Earning a Master’s in Information Technology Online

Should I Pursue a Master's in Information Technology Online?

Today’s digital society needs experts who can skillfully design, execute, and monitor systems that help companies maintain a competitive edge. This can mean devising strategies to store and access information, building data communication networks, and writing code needed for software and applications to properly function. Every industry needs these kinds of specialists, so those with an online master’s in information technology are in demand. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 13% growth in computer and information technology occupations by 2026. This includes careers like computer network architect and software developer.

An online master’s degree in information technology leverages your analytical abilities, interpersonal and organizational skills, and attention to detail. Furthermore, it encourages you to creatively solve problems.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Information Technology Graduates

Master's in Information Technology Salary

These tables offer information from the BLS and PayScale. They explore how many experts the top states for this occupation employ and the average annual salary they earn in comparison to the entire U.S. In addition, the tables report annual income by level of experience for IT managers. This information can help you understand what to expect should you decide to earn an online master's in information technology, including where you can find the best job opportunities with the most lucrative pay.

Top Paying States for Computer and Information Technology Managers

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
New York 26,520 $187,770
New Jersey 13,900 $175,830
California 53,270 $174,790
Virginia 13,460 $169,660
District of Columbia 4,060 $164,310
United States 365,690 $149,730

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Pay by Experience Level for Information Technology Managers

  • Entry-Level (0-5 Years):
    $64,216
  • Mid-Career (5-10 Years):
    $77,257
  • Experienced (10-20 Years):
    $90,963
  • Late-Career (20+ Years):
    $98,566

Source: PayScale

Master's in Information Technology Careers

Completing an accredited online master’s in information technology opens up many professional opportunities. Whether you choose to work in a nonprofit or government position, every industry requires the skills you possess. Computer and information technology occupations not only require technological competence, but also the ability to work well in teams, communicate effectively, and manage projects on time and within budget. A career in this field requires staying up to date on emerging trends and practices.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

Annual Median Salary: $81,100
Projected Growth Rate: 6%

These experts oversee the daily network operations of organizations. Their responsibilities include coordinating, installing, and monitoring networks. An advanced degree helps these professionals develop the skills to train others in the proper use of software and hardware. It also strengthens troubleshooting skills.

Information Security Analysts

Annual Median Salary: $95,510
Projected Growth Rate: 28%

Analysts monitor, identify, and resolve network security breaches. These professionals install data encryption programs to protect an organization’s sensitive information. In addition, they perform penetration testing to assess system vulnerabilities and help create a disaster recovery plan in the event of an emergency. An online master's in information technology helps build these analytical skills.

Database Administrators

Annual Median Salary: $87,020
Projected Growth Rate: 11%

These professionals use specialized software to store, organize, and retrieve data. They protect an organization’s digital information, including backing it up and restoring it to avoid data loss. In addition, they maintain databases and merge them as needed for optimum system performance. An advanced degree sharpens their ability to solve unexpected problems.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

Annual Median Salary: $139,220
Projected Growth Rate: 12%

Frequently called IT managers, these experts organize and direct an organization’s computer-related activities. Not only do they assess its information technology needs and goals, they also help implement necessary computer systems. A master’s degree equips IT managers with the communication skills needed to engage stakeholders within an organization about technology challenges.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Information Technology Program?

The classes you take to earn a top online master’s in information technology largely depend on the school and program you select, but most offer a similar curriculum. You should expect to study topics in information systems, operations research, and information assurance. In addition, you may study data privacy and computer networks.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Information Technology

  1. Network Administration: This class introduces you to what it takes to install and configure an operating system. You will practice administrative tasks in a virtual environment. Hands-on coursework allows you to build skills in server management, file access, and storage backup. These competencies prepare you to become a computer and information system manager.
  2. Advanced Database Concepts: In this course, you study advanced concepts in database language as you learn how to implement efficient databases. In addition, you explore sets, learn how to format result sets through filtering and grouping, and learn to generate analytical reports from data.
  3. Information Systems Security: This course allows you to investigate system vulnerabilities and devise security solutions to resolve them. It can prove ideal if you wish to become an information security analyst. You also study disaster recovery planning, security architecture, and information risk management. The course prepares you for the certified information systems security professional exam.
  4. Project Management: You examine the fundamentals of project management to build your understanding of the skills and processes of overseeing a project. These include defining a project’s scope and initiating, planning, and executing the required work to complete it. In addition, you learn how to create a project charter and work breakdown structure.
  5. Computer Forensics: This class explores the detriments of unauthorized and illegal cyberspace activities. You study the systematic approach required to examine computer crime. You also learn data-retrieval techniques like laboratory data retrieval and onsite data collection. This class provides an understanding of what you need to know as an information security analyst.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Information Technology Prepares For

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional: This certification verifies your competence to design, execute, and manage a world-class cybersecurity program. It helps you advance professionally by connecting you to resources and peer networks. A CISSP credential is ideal for professions like chief information security officer, IT director, and security analyst. Most certification holders possess at least five years of information security experience.
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor: Earning your CISA credential is beneficial if your career requires you to audit, monitor, and evaluate IT systems. The CISA demonstrates your knowledge and experience while verifying your ability to determine network vulnerabilities. The exam assesses your understanding of IT governance, protection of information assets, and IT systems maintenance and operations.