25 Best Online Masters in Information Technology [2020 Guide]

An online masters in information technology brings you deeper into the growing, evolving tech sector. This is an interesting degree option with a lot of range because of the way the tech sector now reaches into every sector.

An advanced degree in IT is a great option for sharpening your skills, learning new tech concepts, and exploring theories of IT management. It can also be important if you’d like to apply the skills you have within a leadership position.

Best Online Masters in Information Technology Degrees

There’s some variety when it comes to selecting a path for your IT masters degree. The changing digital landscape means that new specialties are emerging. Being at the forefront of one of these specialties can take you to some very interesting places in your career!

Information Technology

A classic masters degree in information technology helps you to gain general expertise in your field. This degree is often a precursor to a role as an IT director. You might handle everything from designing networks to overseeing security protocols for an enterprise.

Cyber Security

A specialty in cyber security puts you in the position of designing and maintaining a strategic line of defense against cyber criminals. This is the ultimate career role for a “problem solver” who enjoys using high-level concepts to stay one step ahead! A degree program focused on cyber security will train you in threat detection and neutralization.

Digital Forensics

As a professional in the field of digital forensics, you’ll be an expert at applying concepts of forensic science to recovering information from digital devices. These experts are often utilized by police departments, government organizations, and investigators. This specialty requires you to wear the hat of the detective, scientist, and tech expert!

Health Informatics

Health informatics is a specialty focused on designing and supporting technology used in health information systems. This specialty has a lot of room for growth as medical records become more widely digitized. This role combines organizational programming with security because you’re tasked with designing user-friendly systems that contain highly sensitive and confidential information.

Information Systems Security

Information systems security (INFOSEC) is a unique strain within the IT field because its emphasis is mainly on protecting hardware and networks that are part of user interfaces. As a systems expert, you may be responsible for keeping all digital enterprise collateral secure and operating at a company, agency, or organization.

Network Management

Are you interested in being the person who powers and maintains that “invisible engine” that keeps servers, email, websites, and messaging platforms running? Focusing on network management when pursuing your IT masters degree makes you the person who keeps every careful chess piece of a network in the perfect configuration. Students learn how to manage network performance and achieve error-free performance.

Information Technology Curriculum & Courses

There’s no way around the fact that you’ll be immersed in a challenging, high-tech curriculum when pursuing your online masters in information technology. Yes, most courses focus on highly technical aspects of designing and maintaining networks. You’ll also find that your course list is balanced out with courses that explore concepts like the financial and ethical aspects of tech.

Here’s a look at some courses you might take as you move forward with your masters in information technology online:

  • E-Commerce Technology covers highly practical applications for tech in digital commerce. Topics covered include safe payments, customer databases, and deployment of digital marketing.
  • Enterprise Data Management explores the idea of data as a resource. You’ll learn about emerging tech and best administration tactics in enterprise environments. Hard skills like familiarity with Oracle, PL/SQL, and other programming languages are often required.
  • Ethical and Legal Considerations in Tech and Computing is a course that examines your legal and ethical responsibilities as a wielder of technical capabilities and sensitive data. You’ll gain important insights regarding laws and regulations related to intellectual property, marketing practices, and privacy concerns.
  • Foundations of Information Technology broadly covers the core principles behind developing and following IT protocols in maintenance and development environments.
  • Hardware Engineering covers the tangible aspects of database management and IT support.
  • Principles of Database Design and Maintenance dives into the mechanics and principles of operating databases that run and store valuable information for enterprises.
  • Project Management for Technology provides an overview of project management for tech environments.
  • Software Design dives into building software platforms and applications from the ground up.
  • Programming provides high-level, in-depth instruction in widely-used programming languages like Java and PHP.
  • Thesis/Capstone Project is often required before a student can graduate with a masters in information technology management. This is a large project that allows you to showcase your technical understanding through an intensive research project.

Each course included in an online masters in information technology program is designed to leave you with a new set of very rare and valued skills. These courses create very hands-on experiences because you are often graded on the way you implement concepts into designs.

Information Technology Careers & Salaries

IT professionals don’t necessarily just work at IT firms and tech companies. Consumer brands, manufacturing companies, media companies, hospitals, government agencies, and schools all need tech experts.

We can look at masters in information technology salary information to get a glimpse at just how valued professionals with this designation are in today’s workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for computer and information systems managers is $146,360 per year.

Career Median Annual Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientists $122,840
Computer Network Architects $112,690
Software Developers $107,510
Information Security Analysts $99,730
Database Administrators $93,750
Computer Systems Analysts $90,920
Computer Programmers $86,550
Network and Computer Systems Administrators $83,510
Web Developers $73,760
Computer Support Specialists $54,760

The salary level is often directly linked to skill and educations levels for IT professions at both private and government organizations. Masters in information technology salary can often be higher than average because you’ll potentially step in as a team lead or manager.

Choosing a Masters in Information Technology Degree

The big task of choosing the perfect online masters in information technology program comes next! This is a time to really weigh what you need in a program against what schools have to offer. We’ll also take a look at what schools want to see from you via admissions criteria.

Admissions Requirements

Here’s a look at what’s generally required when applying to get your online masters in information technology:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA in a related major (varies by school).
  • A minimum Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score (varies by school).
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • A personal statement or essay.

Taking the GRE can be a time-consuming and expensive process. It might be helpful to see if an online program that you’re eyeing actually requires you to complete this test before you dive in!

Accreditation

The topic of accreditation pops up once you begin browsing IT masters programs. No, you don’t necessarily need to attend a school with regional accreditation to make your degree valuable. Some employers do look upon schools with regional accreditation more favorably.

Prestige isn’t the only reason to consider regional accreditation. It could make a difference if you decide that you’d like to transfer degree credits or pursue a doctorate degree in the future.

Do your homework to see if a school you’re considering has regional accreditation through one of the accreditation bodies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Information Technology Professional Organizations

It’s helpful to be immersed in some professional affiliations in such a fast-moving, evolving industry as tech. Professional organizations for IT experts are very robust and active precisely for this reason.

Here’s a look at the best professional organizations to jump into after graduating with your IT masters degree:

  • The Association for Computing Machinery is the world’s largest scientific and educational computing society. This prestigious organization is full of resources and networking opportunities for IT experts seeking to advance the tech profession and make positive changes in the world.
  • The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) is focused on providing IT information and training for business professionals. Members keep up with trends and collaborate with other professionals to advance the IT profession on a global level. Local chapters offer meetups and collaboration opportunities.
  • The Association of Software Professionals is a trade organization for independent software developers and vendors.
  • CompTIA is a trade association that issues professional certifications for professionals within the IT industry.
  • The Network Professional Association (NPA) emphasizes the advancement of professional network experts using ethical, socially responsible channels. The organization offers programs, services, and training for career opportunities and professional development.

It’s really worth your while to research these organizations because they help IT professionals to stay connected on both global and local levels. In addition to getting access to highly respected certifications, members of organizations also stay on top of the pressing issues facing their industry.

Information Technology Licensing and Certification

It only makes sense that you’ll be updating your skills somewhat frequently when you’re in an innovative field like IT. After all, you got into this field precisely because you don’t want to be bored.

Certifications are helpful for updating your skills after graduating from a masters program. They can also make you more marketable for things like new job roles or intra-office promotions.

Here’s a look at some of the big certifications that employers might be interested in:

  • A Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) has met education requirements and passed a 150-question exam. This is considered a useful entry-level certification for professionals with less experience who are looking to prove their project capabilities.
  • A person with a Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) qualification has demonstrated an ability to identify and manage enterprise IT risk. This person has also demonstrated an ability to implement and maintain security controls.
  • A Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) has proven that they are capable of designing, implementing, and managing a security program by passing the CISSP examination.
  • A Certified IT Architect Professional (CITA-P) has been granted this designation after taking part in an experienced-based interview by a board of peers. CITA Associate certification is typically a prerequisite for this certification.
  • A Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) had demonstrated exceptional network engineering skills and mastery of Cisco products and solutions.
  • CompTIA Project+ Certification is issued after a candidate passes the CompTIA Project+ examination. A successful candidate demonstrates the ability to manage project life cycles, ensure appropriate communication, manage resources, and uphold documentation.
  • ITIL Expert Certification is available for those who demonstrate knowledge of the full ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) scheme. Candidates should ideally have a range of previous ITIL certifications.
  • A Microsoft Certified Solution Engineer (MCSE) is someone who has passed exams for the Microsoft Windows NT operating system, desktop systems, networking, and Microsoft’s BackOffice server products.
  • An Oracle Certified DBA Professional (OCP) has demonstrated the ability to install, maintain, and troubleshoot all aspects of an Oracle database. This is a second-level certification.
  • A Project Management Professional (PMP) has demonstrated an ability to manage projects through the completion of 35 hours of project-management training and accompanying requirements.
  • Six Sigma Green Belt or Black Belt Certification holders demonstrate high-level understandings of Lean Six Sigma Methodology. Green belts are able to analyze and solve problems in the team and supportive roles. A Certified Six Sigma Black Belt is able to lead by explaining and demonstrating Six Sigma philosophies and principles.

These certifications should be considered important assets for proving your capabilities. Certain employers may require some of these certifications as conditions for employment. You can also be proactive about enrolling in courses and testing on your own to build up your skillset.

Financial Aid

FAFSA and other paths for financial aid will be available to you as a graduate student. It’s possible that you can receive aid through a work-study program while you’re a student. Some schools will allow you to work in roles that actually utilize your IT skills.

Scholarships

Multiple scholarships exist for students pursuing degrees in the IT field. One scholarship that should be on your radar is the Gen and Kelly Tanabe Scholarship. This is a merit-based scholarship that is open to graduate students and adult students who are either currently enrolled in a program or plan to begin school within the next 12 months.

The Ralph W. Schrader Graduate Diversity Scholarship is open to full-time women or minority students enrolled in their second semesters or equivalent. You must be pursuing a graduate degree at an accredited academic institution in the United States to qualify. A one-time scholarship sum of $3,000 is awarded to the chosen recipient.

What Can I Do With a Masters in Information Technology?

A masters in IT is a way to expand your skillset while also potentially priming yourself for a managerial or lead role within an IT organization. You can tailor your degree specialty toward a number of directions that will place you in roles to build and maintain IT infrastructures and systems.

Is a Masters Degree in Information Technology Worth It?

Yes, a masters in IT is a smart strategic move for someone who is seeking to build a career in IT. Factors like industry recognition and the potential for generous pay make this a good degree option for those interested in tech careers.

What Is the Best Online College for Information Technology?

The answer is really about finding a program that gives you the ability to dive deeper into the world of IT through graduate-level courses in a way that syncs up with your goals. A program that allows you to integrate learning into your life is going to help you be a successful student.

MBA vs Masters in Information Technology – What’s the Difference?

An MBA focuses broadly on business administration. You won’t necessarily learn “hard skills” related to specific IT systems or principles. A masters in information technology is a STEM-focused degree path.

Are There Any Affordable Online Masters in Information Technology Programs?

Yes, many IT professionals are able to complete affordable programs. The online aspect of a degree program can create built-in savings simply because there is no need to pay for things like room and board or commuting costs. You can often continue working while enrolled.

You can generally compare costs between programs by weighing the requirement for semester hours against the cost per semester hour. This provides you with a glimpse into the value each program offers instead of viewing annual tuition costs.

What Is the Average Salary for an IT Masters Degree?

The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations is $88,240. That’s more than double the median annual wage of $39,810 that stands for all other occupations.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Masters in Information Technology?

Most programs around the country require between 36 and 54 semester credits. A full-time graduate student pursuing a graduate IT degree can expect to be enrolled for two years.

What Is a Master’s In Information Technology Degree Program?

A masters program for IT professionals is an intensive and immersive program that instructs students in the professional-level development of IT systems. Students typically cover hardware, infrastructure, programming, and security.

Specialty degree options exist for those interested in gaining expertise in branches of IT. This can include database development, programming languages, software development, network management, and data forensics.

#1  Arizona State University

Arizona State University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

#2  Colorado Technical University

Colorado Technical University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Colorado Technical University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#3  Concordia University – St Paul

Concordia University St Paul campus

  • MS in Information Technology Management

Concordia University-Saint Paul is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#4  Florida State University

Florida State University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Florida State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#5  Florida Tech

Florida Tech campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Florida Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#6  George Mason University

George Mason University

  • MS in Applied Information Technology – Cyber Security

George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

#7  Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology campus

  • Master of Information Technology and Management

Illinois Institute of Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#8  Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Kennesaw State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#9  Lawrence Technological University

Lawrence Technological University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Lawrence Technological University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#10  Loyola University – Chicago

Loyola University Chicago campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Loyola University – Chicago is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#11  Montclair State University

Montclair State University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Montclair State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#12  Purdue University

Purdue University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#13  Regis University

Regis University campus

  • MS in Information Technology Management

Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#14  Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#15  Towson University

Towson University campus

  • MS in Applied Information Technology

Towson University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#16  Tulane University

Tulane University campus

  • MPS in Information Technology Management

Tulane University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#17  University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati campus

  • MS in Information Technology

The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

#18  University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global campus

  • Master’s in Information Technology

UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

#19  University of Massachusetts – Lowell

University of Massachusetts Lowell campus

  • MS in Information Technology

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

#20  University of North Carolina – Greensboro

University of North Carolina at Greensboro campus

  • MS in Information Technology and Management

UNCG is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#21  University of South Florida

University of South Florida campus

  • MS in Information Technology

USF is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges.

#22  University of Texas – Dallas

University of Texas Dallas campus

  • MS in Information Technology and Management

The University of Texas at Dallas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#23  Virginia Tech

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University campus

  • Master of Information Technology

Virginia Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#24  Walden University

Walden University campus

  • MS in Information Technology

Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

#25  Western Governors University

Western Governors University campus

  • MS in Information Technology Management

Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Masters in Information Technology Degree Online

It’s a tech world out there. An IT masters degree is one of the most relevant paths out there for students seeking to bolster their credentials and gain interesting job prospects in the future world. You’ll be among those who are building the digital infrastructure and languages that will help organizations propel forward.

The structure and guidance provided in an IT masters program allow you to cover very dense topics and hard skills effectively. You’re also getting instruction from professors and instructors with both hands-on leadership experience and backgrounds in tech theory.

What would it be like to emerge as a more qualified and confident tech professional in two years? A masters in information technology management can be a good fit if you have every intention of rising in your field. Explore degree programs that can be completed online today! Submitting just one application could mean a completely new career path ahead.