Written by CyberDegrees.org Staff Writer
Last Updated: April 1, 2020
The information technology field is rapidly evolving, and a master's degree in the subject gives professionals the foundation of knowledge and skill set to face these changes. Prospective students considering careers in information technology should make sure their research includes current information. The list below offers the most current ranking of master's in information technology programs, a crucial starting point or addition to any IT degree search.
Further down the page, readers can find information on ranking methodology, information technology courses, funding, career opportunities, and advice for finding the right program.
Top 10 Best Master's in Information Technology Programs
|1||Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, NJ|
|2||University of Dallas||Irving, TX|
|3||George Washington University||Washington, DC|
|4||Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN|
|5||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA|
|6||Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University||Blacksburg, VA|
|7||University of Denver||Denver, CO|
|8||Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago, IL|
|9||Indiana University-Bloomington||Bloomington, IN|
|10||Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL|
Best Master's in Information Technology Colleges and Programs for 2020
Stevens Institute of Technology
Founded by a family that revolutionized engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology maintains eminence in engineering, computer science, and other technological disciplines. On a green hilltop campus in Hoboken, New Jersey, faculty engage in groundbreaking research to transform many fields. Of the school's more than 7,000 students, many choose to study online, including those interested in information technology.
The master in information technology degree requires 36 credits, which students complete in just 18 months. Faculty train information technology (IT) professionals to leverage business models and technology to address business challenges. The curriculum begins with a two-course business core, which focuses on project management and financial decision-making. The information systems core covers six topics, including data management, applied analytics, and process innovation and management.
One course focuses on IT architecture, exploring the interdependence of network, hardware, data, and applications architecture. The rest of the curriculum allows learners to choose from five concentration options: software engineering, project management, business intelligence and analytics, cybersecurity risk management, and business process management and service innovation. Degree-seekers learn from researchers and former Fortune 500 managers who can help them create new innovations.
Students may elect to enroll on a full or part time basis. They pay the same tuition rates, regardless of residency. About 90% of Stevens students receive some form of financial aid, making this a prestigious, affordable information technology degree. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, at least one year of relevant professional experience, and GMAT or GRE scores.
University of Dallas
A leading Catholic college, the University of Dallas welcomes learners of all faiths. UD manages a comprehensive catalog of degrees, including programs that enroll about 1,200 graduate students. The Gupta College of Business offers a 30-credit MS in information and technology management, which students complete in 1-2 years, depending on enrollment status.
Students learn about principled leadership, information technology best practices, and how to use innovative technologies to improve business processes. Two courses focus on the behavioral traits of an effective leader, along with the sociopolitical, legal, and regulatory environments in which businesses operate today. The IT courses examine topics such as programming, enterprise architecture, and process mapping and management.
Faculty explore technology trends through a course that explores innovations such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, and nanotechnology. Two project management courses embedded in the MS in information and technology management prepare learners to sit for the Project Management Institute's project manager professional or certified associate project manager certification exam. Students culminate the information technology degree with an applied research project demonstrating their professional competence.
Learners build networks and engage in professional development by joining one or two business clubs -- the Sustainable Business Network and Entrepreneurship Society. Program graduates qualify for positions in database administration, computer programming, and software development. All students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency. Admission requires a minimum 2.0 GPA and prerequisite IT courses.
George Washington University
The George Washington University offers distinctive graduate education in the heart of the nation's capital. Students from all 50 states and 130 countries attend the college on three campuses, including one just four blocks from the White House. Online learning at GW allows learners to pursue degrees from anywhere.
The 33-credit MS in information systems technology teaches students how to integrate strategies and key technologies to address business challenges. The online curriculum requires seven core courses and four electives that allow for customization. Depending on their education, students may need to complete prerequisite courses in structured programming, Python and SQL, and/or principles of database design/expert database system.
The core develops proficiency in information systems development, internet computing, and information systems security. Students may use their elective credits to pursue managerial or technical training. Elective course options include new venture financing, information resource management, and data warehousing/OLAP. An integrated information systems capstone requires learners to incorporate technical expertise as they design online information systems.
Full-time students complete the master's in IT in 18-24 months, or 30-48 months for part-time learners. Faculty deliver select core and elective courses online, so students may need to complete some courses on campus. All participants pay the same tuition, regardless of residency. Admission to this information technology program requires school transcripts and optional GMAT or GRE scores to bolster the application.
One of 10 colleges at Purdue University, Purdue Polytechnic Institute administers programs through six schools, including the department of computer and information technology. Purdue Polytechnic focuses exclusively on technological and scientific programs, delivered on the main campus in West Lafayette, at other sites in Indiana, and online.
The department of computer and information technology offers a fully online MS in IT business analysis. The degree bridges IT and business proficiencies with an International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA)- and Project Management Institute (PMI)-based curriculum. The degree trains analysts to work across operational areas to identify and implement IT solutions, keeping organizations competitive.
Two required courses begin the 30- to 34-credit curriculum, during which students examine business analysis essentials and professional research and communication. Students use elective credits to focus on subjects such as IT economics, IT enterprise analytics, IT analysis and modeling, and project quality management. Learners complete a course that reviews content for IIBA's certified business analysis professional and PMI's professional business analyst certification exams, including study tips and practice exams.
The program also develops students' leadership skills through a course exploring the traits of a strong leader, including the ability to manage conflicts, effectively communicate, and build relationships. Those already certified as business analysts complete only 30 credits. All students complete their degrees at their own pace in 1-5 years.
Students pay a flat tuition rate for this online information technology degree, which varies depending on state residency status. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, with at least two years of IT experience preferred.
Carnegie Mellon University
A global research college, Carnegie Mellon University makes significant contributions to science and technology in domains as diverse as brain science, robotics, and big data. The Pittsburgh school's 14,500 students represent more than 100 countries. In 2019, U.S News & World Report ranked CMU the nation's top public affairs school for IT management.
The MS in information technology (MSIT) allows professionals to upgrade their IT and management skills from anywhere in the world. Through a part-time asynchronous model, the MSIT gives learners access to the same world-class faculty that on-campus students enjoy. The student body for this MSIT consists of early-career professionals and seasoned executives. Participants choose between three tracks: business intelligence and data analytics, information technology management, and information security and assurance.
All students complete a six-course core, which includes topics such as database management, telecommunications management, and object-oriented programming in Java. With elective credits, students in the information technology degree choose which skills they want to acquire in their chosen track. Options include economic analysis, business process modeling, and ethical penetration testing.
CMU offers one track for experienced professionals. The MSIT: information security and assurance in Washington, D.C., provides a hybrid curriculum, with some courses taken in the nation's capital. The two-year program features a set curriculum.
CMU students in information technology courses pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency. Learners can reduce tuition costs through scholarships, designed just for MSIT students. Admission to the MS in information technology requires school transcripts and GRE or GMAT scores.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, located in Blacksburg, enrolls about 35,000 students on and off campus. Virginia Tech specializes in integrating technology in all disciplines, administering a robust catalog through nine colleges and a graduate school. Students receive a rigorous education from renowned faculty.
Virginia Tech started offering the interdisciplinary master of information technology about 17 years ago, preparing technology leaders at the forefront of business, computer science, and engineering. The Pamplin College of Business and college of engineering partner to offer the fully online program. The curriculum requires 11 courses, including a core and seven elective courses.
The core requires students choose four of six courses, covering topics such as software engineering, object-oriented programming with Java, and information systems design and database concepts. Students design the rest of the curriculum by taking any available electives. They can customize the master of information technology, since faculty arrange electives into modules under 11 specializations. These tracks include big data, analytics and business intelligence, cybersecurity policy, and cybersecurity management.
Another option gives learners the opportunity to use elective credits to complete certificates in one of six IT specialties, including business analytics and data mining, software development, health information technology, and information security and analytics.
The online information technology degree ranks among the best programs for veterans. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and programming experience in Java, C, or C++ (preferred). It does not require GRE/GMAT scores.
University of Denver
Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is a private college situated near the Rocky Mountains. DU manages a catalog of more than 300 programs, administered to about 12,000 students. Faculty teach students in classrooms with an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The University College at DU designs career-focused programs, exclusively for nontraditional learners.
Students complete the fully online master's in information and communications technology (ICT) in just 18 months. The 48-credit degree teaches students to use technology to gain a competitive advantage, offering 10 concentration options. All students complete a four-course core: ICT business foundations, ICT technical foundations, enterprise architecture, and a capstone. Concentration offerings include training in mobile application development, cybersecurity management, and telecommunications technology.
A geographic information systems (GIS) concentration trains degree-seekers in the use of GIS tools to help address topical issues such as detecting crime patterns in communities or mapping climate change. Participants who choose this option study remote sensing, internet mapping, GPS for GIS, and other topics. They demonstrate their professional competence when they plan, implement, and execute a GIS project from beginning to end.
All students choose a capstone project or seminar to culminate the degree. University College allows graduate students to transfer up to 12 credits into the master's in ICT, as long as the coursework meets curricular requirements and learners earned a minimum B grade in their courses. Learners may take up to five years to complete the program. Admission to the information technology degree requires school transcripts and a minimum 2.5 GPA. It does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
Illinois Institute of Technology
Since Illinois Institute of Technology opened its doors in 1890, the school has enjoyed a reputation for outstanding tech education. IlT specializes in fields such as engineering, science, design, and applied technology. Based in Chicago, the school enrolls about 6,500 students, more than 30% of whom pursue master's degrees. IIT's educational model emphasizes the use of classroom knowledge to solve real problems.
The 30-credit master of information in technology and management (ITM) continues this tradition, blending theoretical coursework, projects, and laboratory-based instruction. Faculty deliver this program through live online and on-campus courses. The curriculum offers nine, career-focused specializations, allowing students to focus on their interests and career goals. All students complete a 12- to 15-credit ITM core, which varies by specialization.
Students choose a generalized course of study or a specialization such as digital systems technology, management information systems, or computer and information security. By the time learners graduate from this information technology degree, they complete IT projects to highlight their proficiencies and address real problems. Information technology courses also prepare learners for various certification exams, such as Microsoft certified system administrator and Oracle certified database administrator.
The university notes that IT program graduates often go on to work for top companies such as Google, Microsoft, AT&T, and others. IIT holds designation as a national center of academic excellence in cyber defense education from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. Admission to the ITM degree requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE scores.
Indiana University-Bloomington is the flagship of an eight-college system. U.S. News & World Report ranks the school one of the top national colleges. IU has offered business courses since 1916, and IU's Kelley School of Business administers a top-tier education including online programs for those unable to study on campus.
The MS in IT management enrolls IT professionals seeking to advance their careers. Students complete the fully online 30-credit curriculum in 21-36 months. The degree teaches students to design and develop IT systems, use data and visualizations to support managerial decisions, and take the lead on IT management and strategy. The curriculum delves into topics like enterprise data management, digital technology and innovation, platform-based analytics, and IT risk and security management.
Degree-seekers hone leadership and problem-solving skills, along with their ability to engage in systems analysis. Learners may begin building degree credit through the edX online information systems MicroMasters program. The nine-month program comprises three graduate-level courses, 30% of the MS in IT management's coursework.
All students in the online information technology degree pay the same tuition rates, regardless of residency. Admission requires school transcripts, GMAT or GRE Scores, and at least one college-level computer programming course such as C, C++, or Java. The school waives entrance exams for applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least two years of professional experience.
Florida State University
Designated a preeminent research college, Florida State University offers programs online and on campus in Tallahassee. The school of information started training information professionals in 1947, and it began offering distributed learning in 1948. The online MS in information technology equips students with expertise in IT, information management, and individual and organizational behavior.
The 32-semester hour curriculum requires four courses, which examine information behavior, usability analysis, information systems management, and management of information organizations. Participants use their remaining semester hours to choose courses from an extensive portfolio of options. Faculty divide these courses into programs of study, though students don't have to choose from one specialization. Programs of study include web design, leadership and management, technology and networking, and large-scale data management.
One program of study teaches students to design systems and services that meet users' needs. Students interested in user-centered design learn to resolve system design problems through coursework in mobile application development, computers as persuasive technology, and digital media concepts and production. All students in the MS in information technology may engage in directed independent studies in appropriate subjects or complete internships in relevant settings.
Students have up to seven years to complete their MS in information technology. Admission requires IT-related coursework or work experience, plus GRE, MAT, or GMAT scores. Applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least two years' professional IT experience qualify for entrance exam waivers.
Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Rutgers University-New Brunswick is recognized for academic excellence. U.S. World & News Report regularly ranks Rutgers among the nation's top public colleges. The research powerhouse, a member of the Big Ten Conference, enrolls 70,000 students across three campuses. Learners who can't complete courses on campus benefit from a portfolio of degrees delivered through Rutgers Online.
The 36-credit master of information offers a fully online and on-campus/hybrid curriculum. All students in the master's in IT complete two foundation courses. Students go on to specialize their degrees through one of five concentration options, amassing expertise in a domain such as technology, information, and management.
The technology, information, and management concentration requires four courses, which focus on competitive intelligence, database design and management, knowledge management in organizations, and management principles in information organizations. Students use three elective courses to build on this knowledge in areas such as data science and problem-solving with data.
The degree also offers another option: Design your own concentration. Learners interested in information technology can use this path to pursue more targeted areas of study, such as cybersecurity or information assurance. Master of information graduates qualify for careers as information architects, data scientists, or interaction design and informatics technologists.
Learners complete this degree in 18-24 months of full-time study, or 24-36 months for part-timers. Students who complete this degree fully online pay the same tuition rates, regardless of residency. Applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA may receive a GRE waiver.
Murray State University
Murray State University provides a comprehensive catalog of programs on its main campus in Murray, Tennessee, and at five regional sites. Online learning gives students access to degree and certificate programs in fields across disciplines. Murray State offers a fully online program to train data scientists and IT managers.
The 30-credit MS in information systems (IS) holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. The degree develops learners' core IS and business knowledge, along with their analytical, critical thinking, and communication skills. The curriculum examines seven core areas, including software development, data management, enterprise resource planning, and decision support and expert systems.
Students customize the degree with three courses, completed in one of two concentrations: information security or business analytics. Some students culminate the degree with a capstone project, which requires in-depth study of a computer information systems topic. Other participants may pursue internships, which allow them to apply their learning in IS challenges within an organization. The internship option culminates in a final report outlining lessons learned.
Participants hone their skills in the use of data management tools such as Python, SAP Predictive Analytics, and SQL Server Integration and Reporting. Students who take two courses each term finish the online information technology degree in five terms, and sooner if they elect to take summer courses. Admission to the MS in information systems requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and official GRE or GMAT scores.
A private college located in Missouri, Webster University enrolls students from across the nation and 100 countries. Students take classes on the home campus in Webster Groves, at several locations, and online. The Walker School of Business develops business programs that embrace a global perspective.
The fully online MA in information technology management from Walker holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The degree empowers IT managers with the technical knowledge and managerial skills to implement emerging information and communications technologies and oversee the work of IT professionals, such as programmers and software engineers.
The 36-credit curriculum requires foundational coursework examining two areas: organizational behavior and basic finance for managers. Faculty go on to review information technology management concepts, understand how managers procure information technology, and manage contracts for hardware and services. Other courses develop learners' expertise in project management for information technology and systems analysis, design, and implementation.
During a final project, learners synthesize and apply the technical and management knowledge from prior classes. Walker students may also receive practical professional experience through internships. The business school administers internship fairs, which allow students to network with their employers. Established mentoring partnerships foster professional development and network-building. Online students pay the same affordable tuition rates, regardless of residency.
Admission to the information technology degree requires an accredited business degree. Those who do not meet these criteria must complete a series of prerequisite business courses with a minimum C- grade.
University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati, a public research college, enrolls about 46,000 students. Real-world experience plays an integral role in UC's educational programs. The university represents one of few schools to hold designation from the National Security Agency as a national center of academic excellence for both cyberoperations and cyberdefense. The MS in information technology helps IT professionals develop skills in systems administration, cybersecurity, and social media technologies.
The degree offers flexibility for working professionals, providing a fully online curriculum learners can complete in just one year. The 30-credit curriculum requires three core courses: an IT graduate seminar, IT research methods, and human computer interaction and usability. The rest of the curriculum requires electives that explore issues like cybersecurity and technologies for social networking. UC houses the Ohio Cyber Range, a virtual environment students use to deepen their understanding of cybersecurity and practice cyberdefense in a safe environment.
In addition to well-honed technical proficiency, students enhance their capacity for problem-solving and systems analysis. Degree-seekers culminate the information technology degree with a thesis outlining a solution to an information technology challenge. Learners may also develop a capstone project, which does the same.
Students with no background in information technology begin the program with an additional 12 credits of bridge courses, which develop learners' proficiencies in areas like systems administration and computer programming with Java. Students complete the MS in IT on a full- or part-time basis. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, GRE scores, and bridge coursework for some students.
Marist College, a leading liberal arts college located in Poughkeepsie, New York, educates 1,400 nontraditional and graduate students. Marist houses several centers of excellence, including ones serving social media and data center professionals.
Students in the 36-credit MS in information systems develop a blend of managerial and technical skills. The degree especially suits business and technical professionals who want to advance their careers as innovators and technical thought leaders. Learners from other fields can also acquire the necessary training to establish themselves as IT professionals. The degree offers three concentrations to address degree-seekers' various needs: information systems management, business analytics, and computer networks and security.
All students complete 21 credits in core courses, regardless of their chosen concentration. The core examines topics such as data management, information analysis and systems design, and systems and information concepts in organizations. Students use nine credits to complete their concentration, and they can further customize the curriculum through electives. All students complete a capstone project demonstrating their specialized skills.
Faculty blend lectures with hands-on experience, which students acquire through team projects and consultation work with real clients. Students can complete their degrees entirely online using Marist's iLearn program. Online students pay the same tuition rates regardless of residency. Admission to the online information technology degree requires a prerequisite course in statistics, a GradCAS application, and no GRE scores.
University of Massachusetts Lowell
Part of a four-college system, the University of Massachusetts Lowell maintains standing as one of New England's top institutions. UMass Lowell's graduate programs offer rigor and flexibility, with many online learning options. Students can earn the MS in information technology in just 18 months. The program enrolls degree-seekers with bachelor's degrees in information technology, along with other working professionals with the aptitude to complete advanced graduate studies in the field.
The 10-course degree emphasizes the design, management, and deployment of IT hardware and networks. Learners develop skills in network and system administration, large scale application deployment, network infrastructures, and virtual systems. A new digital forensics course trains IT professionals in the intricacies of identifying, extracting, and preserving evidence for use in legal proceedings.
Students use four electives to build on these foundational skills, developing proficiencies in advanced cloud computing, data mining, and other areas. A new elective delves into the best practices IT professionals use to design and build cybersecurity programs that reduce organizations' risk. UMass Lowell allows learners to begin earning credit toward this MS in information technology by completing a fully online graduate certificate in cybersecurity or systems models and management.
The school offers a variety of scholarships and a comprehensive financial aid suite to help learners pay for information technology courses. Students pursuing the online degree pay the same per-credit tuition rates, regardless of residency. MS applicants should demonstrate some proficiency in math, C programming, and data structures. This information technology degree does not require GRE scores for admission.
The University of Texas at Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas, an emerging research powerhouse, administers 140 academic programs through eight schools. Its top-ranked programs include degrees in business, science, and technology. The online MS in information technology and management provides a curriculum that intersects between business and IT. The 36-credit degree offers a mix of online and on-campus courses, qualifying learners for roles as IT managers or information systems analysts.
Students must complete a core MS course in Java or Python to develop skills in object-oriented programming. Learners also receive advanced training in data management, systems analysis, and project management. Faculty ensure learners leave the program with skills in one operational area, such as financial management or marketing management.
With 18 semester credit hours, students choose which other skills they want to acquire from a portfolio of many. The options include web analytics, managing digital strategy, and digital forensics and incident management. One elective explores the machine learning models used for business data processes such as text mining and natural language processing.
Students customize the information technology degree with one of several concentrations options: enterprise systems, cybersecurity management, and IT consulting and services management. Alternately, learners may use nine semester credits to earn a graduate certificate in health information technology, which includes hands-on experience in the use of electronic medical records software.
Admission to the information technology degree requires a professional development course and GMAT or GRE scores. The admission committee considers all majors.
University of Arizona
The University of Arizona enrolls about 10,000 students on its Tucson campus and through online learning. The school leads in the arts and sciences, with faculty, students, and alumni making contributions in fields spanning the disciplines. The MS in management information systems offers a curriculum that bridges managerial skills and technical competency.
Learners complete the degree fully online in just 10 months. The 30- to 33-credit program, which enrolls learners with at least two years of relevant work experience, blends core and elective credits. Core courses examine topics such as software design and integration, the business foundations of IT, enterprise data management, and data mining for business intelligence.
Students build on the core with a minimum of three elective courses. These courses develop advanced knowledge in areas such as business intelligence and project management. Faculty supplement lectures with classroom activities such as discussions, labs, projects, and exams. Enrollees culminate the MS with a master's project and report. Some courses in this information technology degree require programming skills, so learners without such skills must complete prerequisite courses in the fundamentals of object-oriented programming.
Faculty use accelerated eight-week courses to deliver the program. Students start the MS at any of six start terms per year. UArizona places a premium on affordability, with online students paying the same affordable tuition rates, regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least two years' work experience.
George Mason University
One of the nation's younger colleges, George Mason University is a comprehensive public institution in Virginia. Mason offers a fully online MS in applied information technology with a cybersecurity concentration, which goes beyond theoretical learning to examine the practical applications of IT expertise. The program bet suits learners with BS degrees in related fields, plus several years of professional experience and working IT knowledge.
This degree develops learners' technical and management skill sets in preparation for leadership roles and responsibilities. The 30- to 36-credit curriculum examines a comprehensive number of topics, including four core courses that delve into computing platforms; database management systems; representation, processing, and visualization; and algorithms and data structures essentials. The cybersecurity concentration requires a foundation focused on topics like cloud computing security and network and systems security. A required course puts learners' skills to the test as they engage in penetration testing.
Elective credits in this information technology degree allow learners to pursue training in areas like machine learning. Degree-seekers finish the MS in applied information technology with a research project or thesis. Mason works with businesses and organizations in the region to ensure the program meets their needs. Employers also review students' capstone projects and seek out online information technology graduates for employment.
Students enjoy robust support services, which include online advising consultations and access to web and social resources. Enrollees complete their degrees on a full- or part-time basis. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Part of the University System of Maryland, Towson University has grown from a teachers' training college to a comprehensive institution. TU, located on a scenic, 329-acre campus in Maryland, maintains strong relationships with business and industry in the Washington, D.C., metro area. This provides students with opportunities for internships, research, and jobs.
Students in the 33-unit MS in applied information technology acquire advanced training in current information technology best practices. Learners begin the program by completing a 15-credit graduate certificate in one of eight subjects, including computer forensics and information security and assurance. They use 18 elective credits to make up the rest of the curriculum, acquiring skills in areas such as network security or mobile device forensics.
An elective course in healthcare data analytics trains learners in the use of statistical analysis methods, data visualization, and database mining using healthcare data. Faculty incorporate the case study format as part of their MS, requiring students to complete projects that give them hands-on experience in their certificate area of specialization; each case study project culminates in a final project report that outlines lessons learned.
Learners may use an elective course to pursue even more hands-on training during an internship in computing at a local business. With faculty permission, participants may pursue independent study on a particular IT topic. This program equally suits IT workers, learners with bachelor's degrees in IT or related fields, and those with no IT experience at all. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Bay Path University
Established in 1897, Bay Path University offers an undergraduate women's college and coeducational graduate programs. The Massachusetts school delivers programs on several campuses and through a robust virtual platform. The fully online MS in information management educates students on the popular information management systems and strategies in use today.
Students complete the 36-credit program in 1-2 years on a full- or part-time basis. Learners study threats and challenges, decision support systems, strategic innovation, cybersecurity, and other topics. One course focuses on how organizations identify and strategically integrate information across business functions. A project management course introduces students to the tools and techniques used by project managers to plan and schedule project tasks, predict scheduling success or failure, and estimate IT project requirements.
At the end of the program, students in the information technology degree complete a capstone project incorporating lessons learned. Participants demonstrate problem-solving, information management, and business leadership skills during this process; they also complete a companion essay and portfolio highlighting their reflections.
Faculty incorporate animation, videos, podcasts, and other technologies to teach courses in this online information technology degree. They ensure personalized learning, with an intimate interactive online community. Support services such as mentoring, tutoring, and career services help learners successfully complete their degrees and chart their careers. All students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of residency. Admission does not require GRE or GMAT scores.
University of Maryland-Baltimore County
The University of Maryland-Baltimore County offers a strong undergraduate liberal arts program, plus graduate and professional degrees. The school's enrollment includes about 2,500 graduate students. The 30- to 39-credit MS in information systems enrolls learners with and without backgrounds in information technology.
Students begin the degree with three foundational courses, focused on object-oriented programming concepts, database program development, and data communications and networks. The degree core builds on this knowledge by examining topics such as management information systems, distributed systems, and structured systems analysis and design.
A required unit focuses on IT systems, which help support organizations' decision-making processes. Students learn about the management process, technology management, and the use of decision technology systems, such as artificial intelligence and executive and geographic information systems.
An advanced database project requires teamwork in the design and implementation of a database using software tools such as INGRES or EXCELERATOR. Students must also take independent study courses, which count as electives. Participants may enhance their knowledge base through up to two electives from programs outside the MS in information systems.
Students with relevant experience may receive waivers for one or more of the program's fundamental courses, lowering the number of credits they need to complete. Applicants typically demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants without IT backgrounds must have solid math skills and can use the GRE to support their application.
Nova Southeastern University
Founded in 1964, Nova Southeastern University maintains a main campus in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and regional campuses throughout the state. Classified as a high-activity research college, NSU offers nontraditional learning opportunities through distance education and the virtual classroom. The MS in information technology, one such option, requires 30 credits, giving learners practical skills they can use to solve real information technology problems.
The degree allows learners to choose from three concentration options: application development, data analytics, and information assurance and cybersecurity management. Those without IT backgrounds may need to complete prerequisite courses, which acquaint learners with the foundations of programming, data structures, and algorithms before they move on to the core curriculum.
All learners complete core courses, which give them advanced training in domains such as database systems, software development, and platform technologies.
With nine credits, participants complete their chosen concentrations. Notably, the information assurance and cybersecurity management track requires theoretical and hands-on experience in information security governance, operations management, and governance system auditing. Learners who do not concentrate their MS in information technology degrees complete five courses, comprising core courses and electives.
Full-time enrollees complete this degree in 12-14 months, while those who continue to work do so in 16-24 months. Students in the online information technology degree pay the same affordable tuition, regardless of their state of residency. Admission requires a bachelor's in an appropriate major and a minimum 2.5 GPA.
Concordia University - Saint Paul
A college of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, Concordia University - Saint Paul provides students of all backgrounds with relevant career preparation informed by Lutheran theology. The liberal arts college offers affordable programs, which learners can access from anywhere, anytime through a flexible, virtual college. The 36-credit MS in information technology management enrolls IT workers who want to advance their careers and non-IT workers who want to deepen their business and IT skills.
Faculty incorporate experience-based learning as they develop a cadre of IT professionals skilled in the development of business strategies, financial analysis, and strategic communication. The technical curriculum focuses on information security, leadership information technology, and technology management and innovation. One course focuses exclusively on the strategies IT professionals use to select and motivate support teams that can help organizations meet operational and strategic goals.
Participants integrate the tools and techniques learned when they complete capstone projects, which culminate the online information technology degree. The project emphasizes technical and business leadership skills to manage technical products or implement process improvement plans. Graduates leave the program equipped with the skills to effectively lead IT teams in the workplace. CSP notes that 95% of graduates secure jobs within one year of graduation. Moreover, CSP graduates earn 44% more than their peers.
Students pay the same affordable tuition regardless of residency. Admission requires a minimum 3.0 GPA, and it does not mandate GRE or GMAT scores.
Located in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, DeSales University is a Catholic college in the Salesian tradition. DeSales consistently ranks as one of the nation's best regional colleges, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The school offers programs rooted in rigor and Salesian spiritual values, empowering individuals with professional competence and ethics.
The MS in information systems (MSIS) offers a fully online format or hybrid option, which gives learners the best of both worlds. Faculty designed the degree for nontraditional learners to advance or change their careers. The curriculum focuses on managerial and technological skill-building. In addition to a robust foundational core, learners choose from between several concentration options in data analytics, cybersecurity, digital forensics, project management, and healthcare information management.
The MSIS core comprises five courses, which examine topics including database management, object-oriented programming, and systems analysis and design. Students complete 12 credits in their chosen concentration of this online information technology degree. Six elective credits allow learners to deepen their knowledge in a professional area of interest. To culminate the MSIS, students complete a project or thesis on a contemporary research topic.
Faculty supplement interactive lectures with an examination of real case studies, group work, and hands-on experience. All students in the MSIS pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their state of residency. Admission requires a bachelor's in a computer-related major, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and no standardized exam. DeSales offers multiple start dates each year.
What You Should Know About the Master's in Information Technology Program
What Is a Master’s in Information Technology Degree?
Students pursuing a master's in information technology can enhance their programming skills, apply computer-based solutions to company challenges, and develop their knowledge of cybersecurity and information systems. Core courses cover advanced computer principles, with specializations including information security, systems development and management, and project management. Students with master's degrees can develop leadership and critical-thinking skills and a thorough understanding of systems infrastructure.
Students should research their chosen career paths to make sure they select a program that aligns with their career goals.
- Title and Curriculum: Prospective students should note the differences between various IT-related master's degree options. The focus of a master's degree in IT involves hands-on problem-solving and technical abilities. A master's in information management focuses on storing, delivering, and protecting user information, and it may emphasize critical inquiry into the societal implications of data management. A master's in technology management, a business-focused degree, prepares students to strategize in the technical arena, whether they begin as engineers or businesspeople.
- Department Strengths: Degree focus differs depending on whether the master's degree is offered by a school of business, engineering, or computer science. Students should consider department goals when selecting a program and ensure they understand whether the program takes a business or technical focus. Applicants should seek out departments featuring labs, exciting faculty projects, and various types of project centers.
- Class Profiles: Most programs provide information about current students and alumni either publicly or upon request. Prospective students should consider whether a program's students are recent college graduates or mid-career professionals.
Master’s in Information Technology Curriculum
There's no standard template for an online master's in IT or information management. Universities tend to split these programs into required courses, concentrations, and electives, but a few online MSIT degrees offer no electives whatsoever. Many programs include a capstone project, thesis, or the equivalent; some offer the option to pursue an internship for credit.
Take a look at the curriculum section in our rankings to better understand:
- Required Courses: Decide whether the IT foundation courses suit your level of expertise, as you don't want to be stuck revisiting elementary principles. Ask to monitor an online course. Talk to the program coordinator about your skill sets, and don't be afraid to contact alumni about their course experience.
- Electives and Concentrations: Choose a concentration and/or electives that closely match your career goals. Cybersecurity is always a popular category in online MSIT programs, but there are plenty of other concentrations and tracks on our list (e.g. game development, business intelligence, project management, software design, IT infrastructures, etc.).
Interdisciplinary Options: Find out if any courses are taught by faculty from other departments or adjunct faculty with real-world jobs. A strong interdisciplinary program provides learners with all kinds of marketable skills (e.g. psychological understanding of user experience) and helpful business contacts.
Degree requirements, course titles, and syllabi differ between programs, so students should contact their programs of interest to learn more about available curricula. Still, prospective IT master's students can find some common ground as they research schools.
- Network and System Administration: Students build strong foundations in computer network fundamentals, including design and management. Topics may include automatic system administration, hosting, communication including wireless and mobile networks, architecture, and service configuration. Business-focused programs may emphasize how to build networks to answer the needs of their organizations.
- Systems Security: Though some offer security-specific tracks, many information technology master's programs include cybersecurity foundations among their core courses. Security courses may explore systems auditing for risk management, best practices, evaluation, troubleshooting, decision-making, and implementing fixes when a breach occurs.
- Software Design: Students learn the fundamentals of software design by studying existing systems and analyzing those structures to create their own. Topics include an overview of popular software structures and architecture, programming tools, notation styles, and design and implementation.
- Data Mining: In this course, students learn to parse the flood of data received through mobile applications, websites, social media, medicine, and finance. The course covers topics in data mining techniques including algorithms and analysis, plus basic statistics, software tools, data classification, and identifying outliers.
How Much Does a Master’s in Information Technology Cost?
Several factors go into tuition rates for online MSIT and online IT management programs:
- Total Credits: Universities usually charge per-credit tuition rates, meaning a 30-credit MSIT typically costs less than a 36-credit MSIM from the same school.
- Public vs. Private University: Generally speaking, private universities charge more than public universities. On the other hand, private universities may offer superb scholarships and corporate sponsorship deals to bring costs down.
- In-State vs. Out-of-State: At some public universities, in-state residents pay considerably less than out-of-state residents. Other public universities charge flat tuition rates for online graduate degrees, regardless of residency.
- Additional Fees: On top of tuition, universities may tack on various fees, such as distance learning and materials fees. Follow the tuition links in our profile to understand each program's complete cost rather than just the estimated tuition rate.
How to Pay for an Online MSIT
Students can take advantage of a variety of resources to help fund their online master's degrees in information technology. Aid resources include federal loans, employer assistance, and professional scholarships. Students can fill out a FAFSA to qualify for federal grants, scholarships, and loans available at a low, fixed interest rate of 6.8%. The FAFSA calculates how much a student can borrow based on financial need and qualifies students for work-study.
Some companies offer full or partial tuition benefits for their employees. They may expect these employees to enroll in degree programs related to their current positions, in which case their education may benefit the organization going forward. They may also set minimum GPA requirements and other stipulations.
Students may seek out scholarship and grant opportunities through professional organizations, regional groups, and private foundations.
- Women Techmakers Scholarship for Computer Science and Gaming: Women enrolled in accredited bachelor's, master's, or Ph.D. programs in computer science or related fields qualify for this Google-funded scholarship. Amount: $10,000
- Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship: A merit-based award for students planning to enroll in an undergraduate or graduate program in the next 12 months, the Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship requires a brief essay on applicants' career goals. Amount: $1,000
- Ralph W. Schrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship: Full-time women and minorities in at least the second semester of accredited graduate degree programs in information technology or other STEM-related fields qualify to apply. Amount: $3,000
What Can I Do With a Master's in Information Technology?
Master's in Information Technology Jobs
Graduates with master's degrees in information technology can choose from a range of positions, including IT managers, software developers, computer and information research scientists, and database administrators. Analytical, communication, and detail skills are commonly associated with these positions, and a master's in IT can help students obtain the knowledge they need.
Salary ranges differ by location and experience, but the BLS offers salary data on these and other IT-related jobs. The bureau reports a range of annual mean salaries from $82,050 for computer and information systems administrators to $142,540 for IT managers.
To learn more about master's degrees in cybersecurity, check out this website.
Information Technology Certifications
By pursuing certifications related to their areas of interest, IT professionals can hone their skills and boost their resumes to better qualify for jobs or promotions.
- Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control: With CRISC, professionals can validate their knowledge of cybersecurity risks in four areas: identifying IT risk, assessing IT risk, risk response and mitigation, and risk and control monitoring and reporting.
- Project Management Professional: Offered by the Project Management Institute, PMP certification validates program management knowledge in the areas of project initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Engineer: Professionals can earn MCSE credentials in business applications, core infrastructure, data management and analytics, mobility, or productivity, all focused on the implementation of various technologies.
Earn A PhD in Information Technology
Higher education boosts a graduate's chances in the job market, and students who complete a Ph.D. in information technology may find a wealth of career opportunities. Because a PhD is often research-focused, students can pursue deep knowledge of a particular area of information technology, qualifying them as experts in the field.
Students seeking higher education careers may pursue doctorates, qualifying them for professorships and other research-based positions. A PhD can also lead to executive leadership in areas like systems analysis, IT management, and computer network architecture.
Students may pursue general IT degrees to prepare for executive management, teaching, and consulting. Research focus may involve software development, network architecture, or work with a particular industry. A PhD focused in cybersecurity prepares students for high-level IT risk management, while one in project management emphasizes strategy and business.
Prospective students should engage in careful research before enrolling in a PhD program to ensure their program of choice holds regional accreditation, which ensures that it meets certain minimum standards.
To learn more about PhDs in cybersecurity, check out this website.
Learn More About Cybersecurity Degrees and Careers
- How to Become a Security Specialist
- How to Become a Security Analyst
- Online Certificate Programs in Cybersecurity
- Master's in Cybersecurity Programs
- Online PhD Programs in Cybersecurity