Online Master’s Degree in Information Technology

An online masters degree in information technology (IT) can be a great way for an existing information technology professional to advance their career, while learning about the latest technology and procedures in the field. While traditionally, most online IT masters degree students come from a technology-related background that may include previous experience in the field, or a bachelor’s degree in a related area, such degrees can also be a great option for individuals possessing a bachelor’s degree in math, science, or business, who are looking for a career change. In addition, a number of MBA programs now integrate IT into the program, helping existing business managers gain insight into the world of IT, while training IT managers in advanced business principles.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Information Technology

Online masters degree programs for IT are designed to provide individuals who already have experience, whether through a bachelor’s degree program or in the work place, with advanced training in information assurance, analysis, cyber security, and information science training and management. Most programs also require students to choose an area of emphasis within the field. These can include project management, information security, database management, or healthcare informatics. In most cases, students can complete an online masters in IT in two to three years depending on the specific program, emphasis, and school. Some courses you can expect to see include:

  • Fundamentals of Information Systems
  • Core Web Technologies
  • Computer and Cyber Forensics
  • Web Security and Privacy
  • System Analysis and Design

Most online masters degree programs in IT will require students to complete a final capstone project, or final thesis before graduating. Some programs may even give you the option to decide. Regardless of which you will have to complete, the project or thesis must be approved by an advisor or advisory board before you begin. Some programs may even allow final capstone projects to be completed in groups, or completed at your workplace if you are an existing IT professional. As far as completing a thesis, the paper should be an original piece of writing based on research or knowledge gained during the program that demonstrates a mastery of an IT concept that can be applied as a professional working in the field.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Information Technology

Graduates of an online masters degree in IT can typically find employment as a network or computer systems administrator. In most cases, individuals working in the field need to possess a bachelor’s degree, or an associate or certificate degree combined with the right experience. However, possessing a masters degree in the field can be a great way to set oneself apart among a group of applicants, or help someone advance to a management position when combined with the right experience. In most companies, network and computer systems administrators are responsible for operating computer networks used by the company. This includes organizing, installing, and providing support for the entire system, including local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), network segments, intranets, and other data systems.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, network and computer systems administrators held approximately 347,200 jobs in 2010. The BLS also reports that the field should experience faster than average employment growth compared to all other occupations, with positions in the field increasing by 28% through the year 2020.


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