Master of Science in Information Technology Management
Western Governors University (WGU) offers a flexible online Master of Science in Information Technology Management. The majority of students complete this degree in 6-24 months. This program is the perfect fit for self-starters and independently motivated individuals. In this course, you will learn about managing technology and managing organizations. Their culminating experience is an exciting opportunity to solve a real-world program. An added bonus is that you pay a set price per semester meaning that if you may be able to complete multiple courses for the price of one- a great way for motivated individuals to save. We love all of the components that make this program unique.
Western Governors University is an innovative school that focuses on competency-based programming over credit hours. What this means is that individuals may flow at their own pace from course to course and in many instances will find themselves “testing out” of any one course. How does completing a master’s degree in 6 months sound to you? We like the sound of that as well. Of course, individuals can take much longer which means WGU is a fantastic fit for working professionals and parents who are never quite sure what life is going to throw your way. Are you looking for a truly flexible online masters degree? Check out WGU.
Is a Master’s Degree in Information Technology Worth it?
Information technology careers are placed firmly at the crossroads between employers that primarily care about skills and not degrees, and large traditional employers that require certain degrees to reach certain career levels and pay points.
If you find yourself interested in a field populated by smaller, less traditional organizations, then you may not need a degree in the field to get ahead. Many online media and technology startups are known for caring about results more than a worker’s education.
If you find yourself working or seeking work with a government agency, a large traditional corporation, within health care, or within education, degree levels are often directly tied to earning potential.
Information technology as a field requires continual self or professional education just to keep up with the times. While heading back for a master’s in your discipline can be a great way to learn some of the latest career-centered information, there are also other routes. IT is known as a discipline in which many professional certifications are available. These certifications range from the most basic of technical skills, all the way up to IT leadership skills needed for executive positions. While certifications are in no way a match for an entire degree program (which often includes certifications), they can be a time-effective way of keeping up to date with your skills.
What Can I Do With a Master’s Degree in Information Technology?
While the bar to entry-level information technology positions is typically just a professional certificate, it can be hard to break into or move up the managerial ranks within IT without a degree. This is particularly the case if you’re transitioning from managing a small team to an entire program (or more).
Master’s in information technology degree holders can find preparation for a variety of position types within their degree program. As you may have read in our academic ranking above, there are programs focused on project management, program management, IT specialist roles, cybersecurity, and networking-specific jobs. Typically, placement in any of these roles can be found with some mixture of experience and academic coursework on the topic.
Master’s in information technology degrees are typically professional masters programs. This means they aren’t generally taken as a stepping stone towards research or a Ph.D. Rather, they are prepared with specific professional roles. In the case of this degree, some of the most common jobs include:
- Systems Administrator
- Network Administrator
- IT Project Manager
- IT Program Manager
- Chief Technology Officer
- Among others
How Much Can You Make With a Master’s in Information Technology?
There is a definite shortage of skilled information technology workers in most Western nations. This is particularly true of information technology workers focusing on cybersecurity, and information technology managers. This shortage has propelled salaries in these disciplines particularly high. Among cybersecurity workers, some of the most common average salaries include the following:
- Cryptographer: $112,560
- Security Architect: $120,091
- Security Auditor: $90,497
- Security Engineer: $85,177
- Ethical Hacker: $72,000
- Penetration Tester: $71,600
- Security Analyst: $70,096
- Security Software Developer: $68,927
- Security Code Auditor: $64,721
- Forensics Expert: $54,000
- Incident Responder: $50,000
While the average salary of an information technology worker definitely depends on their level of seniority and skill, most entry-level positions can expect to make at least $60,000. Average salaries for some of the most common non-cyber security IT careers include:
- Network Administrator: $57,950
- Systems Administrator: $63,687
- IT Project Manager: $134,182
- IT Program Manager: $141,354
How Long Does It Take To Get a Master’s Degree in Information Technology?
Masters in information technology are professional (non-research) degree programs. As with most professional degree master’s, the course of study seldom takes more than 3 years to complete. If you look through the degree programs in our ranking above, you’ll see a range of degree programs that take between 1 and 3 years.
Most commonly, master of science in information technology degrees require 30-36 credit hours and can often be completed in two years. The most accelerated program above requires just one year to complete. Though this will require the taking of many courses at once, or drastically speeding up the duration of each course in the program.
Working through some of the programs above, one can see a variety of ways in which students may accelerate time-until degree. Many of the most finely-tuned online universities provide services particularly well-suited to working professionals. Some of these services include the ability to test out of courses that you have work experience in, as well as the ability to take courses asynchronously. In asynchronous courses, students may log in whenever they please. Course work is presented in a pre-recorded manner. And in some programs courses may be worked through at a personalized pace. This can allow for acceleration in time until degree.
Should I Get A Master’s Degree in IT?
Generally speaking, there are two main degree types across all disciplines: professional or applied degrees, and research degrees.
Professionally-centered degrees spend a great deal of time on actual use cases of knowledge within the workplace. Research degrees teach students to read, write, reason, and advance research within a field of study.
Masters in information technology are almost always professionally-centered degrees. This means that while they won’t be centered around making you an all-around better problem solver, you will learn many important skills and pieces of information for IT-centered careers.
This is a central component to understand before endeavoring upon a master’s in information technology degree. Information technology masters are one of the single most direct ways to gain employment or promotion within information technology organizations. With this said, some students are aspiring to move into work related to information technology. For this group of students, they may be better served by gaining a master’s in project management, a masters in business administration, or a master’s in computer science.
With that said, you likely already work or would like to work in information technology if you’re seeking this degree out. And for those that do want to primarily work in information technology, it’s hard to find a better degree. So the answer really comes down to whether you want to focus on information technology as the primary responsibility of your job, or not.
If you enjoyed our ranking for the best online masters programs in Information Technology and would like to see more from OnlineCollegePlan, check out some of the links below!
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