Master Degrees in Information Technology

While most IT career paths tend to require a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree may be recommended for enhanced professional roles in this field.[i] For example, IT managers and CTOs could benefit from earning a masters in IT management or a related degree.[ii]  If you’re interested in pursuing career development opportunities or you want to expand your knowledge of the information technology field, be aware of theese frequently-asked questions about earning your master’s degree in IT.

What does earning an IT masters degree involve?

As you probably know, a master’s degree in IT is a graduate credential that some students choose to pursue after earning a bachelor’s degree. You could opt to enter a master’s program immediately after your bachelor’s, but some students return to school after spending some time working in the IT field, particularly if they find that a master’s degree is recommended for their career goals.

A master’s degree is often referred to as a 2-year program, but the length of this degree could vary depending on the student. Different programs may have varying requirements, such as a background in IT, computer science, math, or a related area. In addition, some programs offer career-related areas of focus, such as IT management or software engineering. Having a professional goal in mind should help you decide what program could be a good fit for you.

What can I do after earning a master degree in information technology?

Several IT career paths may call for a master’s degree, and some employers could prefer candidates with a master’s degree in IT even if graduate education is not formally required for the role. One example is the role of database administrator, where a master’s in database management or a related area may be desired by some employers.[iii]  One possible application for a master’s is IT management. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many organizations require computer and information systems managers to hold a graduate degree.[ii]  If you’re interested in serving a leadership role and influencing IT innovations, policies, and procedures in your organization, you may want to consider earning your master’s.

What will I learn from an information technology masters degree program?

A master’s program typically builds on topics covered in an undergraduate program or in the workplace, helping students to further explore topics relevant to their career goals. For example, a master’s program with a focus on IT management might cover enterprise architecture, business communications, mobile strategies, and the ability to solve organizational challenges. A software engineering program typically covers software design, development, testing, and other skill areas, while an information systems engineering program may cover wireless, broadband, and optical networking. Every program is different, so it’s important to evaluate the curriculum of the master’s degree you are considering.

Can I earn a master’s degree in IT while working?

Some students may decide to remain employed while pursuing a master’s degree on evenings and weekends. If you are preparing for a new career path or an enhanced role in your current career, this might be the path you opt to take. An online master’s degree in IT may be worth considering if you are looking for a more flexible alternative to campus-based courses. While juggling your responsibilities to make room for a graduate education is not always easy, the benefits of earning your master’s degree could be worth your efforts.

How do I choose a master’s program in IT?

Start by identifying your career goals so you can select a master’s degree program that could help you pursue your intended role. For example, if you are pursuing an IT management career track, take a look at programs that include this area of focus. Then evaluate programs based on the curriculum, faculty members, opportunities offered to students, and anything else that may be important to you. It’s often a good idea to learn about a program’s accreditation, graduation rates, and reputation for helping students prepare for success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and talk to current students, if possible.

Take the time to explore these programs that could meet your criteria.

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