Your Complete Guide to

Master’s in Information Technology

Online Masters Degree
on January 9, 2024

Why We Love It

  • Stellar Salary Potential
  • Growing Demand
  • Multiple Career Paths

* The Why We Love It section is solely based on the opinion of's Editorial Team. Any salary & growth research or estimates should be referenced further at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics data published at for your specific desired career.

What is a Master of Science in Information Technology?

Did you know that 90% of the digital information in the world has been created in the last two years?  Think about that for a second.  The sheer amount of data in the world is growing exponentially, and advances in technology are being made not every day, but every hour.  In 2020, data-driven businesses were worth an estimated $1.2 trillion, and that number is not going down.  Information technology (IT) is one of the fastest-growing industries on the face of the planet.

A Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) is a postgraduate degree designed to teach you advanced concepts and give you the expertise to work in this red-hot and ever-expanding field.  An MSIT could prepare you to work as a software engineer or data scientist or to manage a team or division of IT specialists. As societies and industries move towards automation and technology, the demand for professionals with relevant technical skills could open up an exciting and diverse set of career opportunities.

At its core, information technology simply refers to using computers for the storage, retrieval, and transmission of data for business purposes.  Companies need people to build their networks, design their databases, create their user interfaces, maintain their computer systems, and find ways to improve their efficiency.  And since this field is still relatively young compared to several industries, you could be a trailblazer, working on the bleeding edge of technology.

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What Can You Do With an MSIT?

In this exciting and rapidly growing field?  What do you want to do?

A cloud architect designs a new computer system for medical records.  A systems analyst identifies problem areas and improves the efficiency of a company’s retail network.  A video game designer playtests and tweaks a new game to ensure a successful launch.  These are all potential career paths for someone with an MSIT, and they could all help shape the future, making the world a brighter place.

Fortunately, the novel pandemic, coronavirus has accelerated the information technology industry like never before. We witnessed businesses, and organizations shifting online completely, which opened doors to a lot of information technology-related opportunities.

These are only a few examples. There is a world of possibilities out there. You get to choose what you’ll do, and you don’t have to know what that is right now.  An MSIT is a high-demand degree that could give you the tools you need to do a wide variety of jobs, so you’re not committing to a career before you even finish your degree. Moreover, pursuing an MSIT degree can also provide an access to resources and research in the field along with the opportunity to network before you have even officially started your career.

Best Programs for an MSIT

Here’s the best part: We’re going to give you the secrets to finding the best programs for adults, programs that could help you get your MS in Information Technology faster and with as few headaches as possible.  We know planning for college can be confusing, and is dedicated to helping you find the right path for you so that you can complete your degree and start your new career as soon as possible.

Why We Love an MSIT

  1. Stellar salary: IT experts command excellent pay for their important skills. Having a degree can automatically increase your potential to draw a higher salary as it signals higher expertise. And this potential to earn more and the financial stability that will come with it is something you should prioritise, always.
  2. Growing demand:  The IT field isn’t getting any smaller, so there are many opportunities available and plenty of room for advancement. This is especially true with the current unemployment. Having a degree that opens up plenty of opportunities in the field that is expanding and will provide stability during financially turbulent times can be very beneficial.
  3. Multiple career paths: Your MSIT could be your gateway to a variety of industries. Technology is getting more and more incorporated in very industry whether it is finance, manufacturing, or even healthcare, and with skills and qualifications in IT, you’d find yourself with multiple career paths to choose from.

Online vs. Traditional Campus

Most people who think about going back to school and getting their MSIT never even get started. With all the technological advancements, getting a masters degree in information technology can help you accelerate your career, and stay on top of the market. Entrance exams, application fees, and making school work around their schedule just seem like insurmountable obstacles.

Technology has made these obstacles a whole lot more manageable.

With adult-friendly schools, there is really no reason not to go back to school anymore.  What makes a school adult-friendly?  Here are a few key attributes:

  • Adult-friendly schools are totally online. Online learning is best for busy adults, who have to balance their ongoing education with work, kids, and everything else that comes with being a grownup. The corona virus pandemic accelerated online education like never before. Online schools allow you to work college around your life, not the other way around.
  • Adult-friendly schools can offer accelerated programs, with ongoing enrollment.  What’s better than getting your master’s in two years?  Getting it in a year!  And with ongoing enrollment, you don’t have to wait until fall or spring to start on your new journey; many schools offer monthly enrollment periods, meaning you can start whenever it works for you.
  • Adult-friendly schools can offer more support than traditional schools.  This includes, but is not limited to, career services, making it easier for you to begin your new career.  Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that why you’re going back to school?

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Admissions Requirements for MSIT

So what are the prerequisites for grad school?  The first step is always the GRE or another entrance exam, right?

Information technology has changed that forever.

Many adult-friendly schools no longer require GRE or entrance exams.  Online programs generally require only a bachelor’s degree to get started, and there are no application fees to worry about.  You start when you’re ready.

MSIT Curriculum

As mentioned above, a Master of Science in Information Technology could teach you to build networks, design databases, create user interfaces, maintain computer systems, and find ways to improve the efficiency of those systems.  You could become a software engineer, data scientist, or IT manager, or you could work in a related field.

An MSIT will build your knowledge in critical areas to allow you to compete in this exciting and dynamic field. Moreover, with technological advancement happening at an unprecedented pace, an MSIT degree will ensure that you’re equipped with all the necessary knowledge and expertise that can help remain competitive and land a job in the market in no time.

What Courses Will I Take in My MSIT Program?

Because the field of IT is so important and complex, the core curriculum of an MS in Information Technology program could include a wide variety of courses to build on your knowledge of key principles.  Examples of specific courses include:

  1. Systems Design: This is essentially the application of systems theory to product development, including architecture, data, and interface.
  2. Systems Analysis: It is important to understand how to solve problems within a system in order to ensure that its goals are achieved as efficiently as possible.
  3. Database Design: This could teach you to identify what data must be stored, how they are organized, and how they interrelate.
  4. Project Management: Leading a team and meeting goals within time constraints are crucial skills for anyone who wants to work in IT management.
  5. Data Communications: The transmission of digital information is the lifeblood of today’s technology-dependent world, as it makes networks like the internet possible.
  6. Cybersecurity: This encompasses topics such as computer science, cryptography, and information security, with the goal of protecting the hardware, software, networks, data, and services of a given organization or business.

Similar Degrees, Specializations, and Concentrations

Depending on what school and program you choose, your degree may be one of the following, all of which are understood to be very similar or identical to a Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT):

  • Master of Computer Applications (MCA)
  • Master in Information Science (MIS)
  • Master of Science in Information and Communication Technologies (MS-ICT)
  • Master of Science in Information Systems Management (MISM)
  • Master of Computer Science (MCS)
  • Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)
  • Master of Information Technology (MIT)

Additionally, your school could offer one of these degrees with an emphasis in one of the following fields:

  • Network Management: This could be useful if you want to manage large-scale computer networks.
  • Project Management: This could be more suitable for leadership roles.
  • Security Management or Information Security: If you’re interested in protecting computer networks and data, this specialization could be for you.

Finally, any schools offer a newer, related degree: an MS in Cybersecurity, also known as a Master in Strategic Cyber Operations and Information Management (SCOIM).

MSIT Program Length

Most MSIT programs require between 30 and 36 credits to graduate.  Normally, an MS in Information Technology takes between two and three years to complete. In this highly competitive market, and with ever-evolving trends, getting a degree quicker will accelerate your career. An accelerated plan, however, could take closer to half that time.  This is where adult-friendly schools really shine.  They know their students have jobs, kids, and other obligations that make a traditional school schedule unrealistic.  The best adult-friendly schools make the process as convenient as possible, and they could get you into the workforce as fast as possible because they know that’s what adults want.

Choosing the Right University or College MSIT Program

Choosing the right school for you can be exciting, but it can also be a hassle.  Tuition costs, application fees, accreditation, enrollment windows, and entrance exams are just some of the variables to consider.

That’s why we created the Smartplan.  We want to help people go back to school, to make college more accessible and affordable for everyone.  With our Smartplan, we make it easy for you to start on your path towards your MSIT.  Here are just some of the benefits of your Smartplan:

  • No application fees
  • Accredited colleges and universities
  • No entrance exams or testing
  • Faculty and professors who understand adults
  • Discounts and scholarships available
  • Open enrollment dates

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Best Jobs for Those With an MSIT

What can you do with an MS in Information Technology?  What kind of salary can you expect?  Here are some common careers for MSIT holders, with salary data estimates provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • IT Manager: This person manages a company’s computer systems and data and is usually responsible for hiring, training, and supervising its IT staff. You could make anywhere from $95,220 to well over $208,000 per year.
  • Systems Analyst: There is a growing demand for experts who evaluate computer systems and make recommendations on how to improve operations and efficiency. You could make anywhere from $60,680 to $158,010 per year.
  • Cloud Architect: This person is responsible for the design and security of a company’s computer systems, databases, and applications. You could make anywhere from $64,770 to $168,390 per year.
  • IT Management Consultant: This is someone responsible for staying up on the latest technology and making recommendations to improve the technology of their company. You could make anywhere from $49,700 to $154,310 per year.
  • Video Game Designer: It sounds too good to be true, but someone has to do this dream job, which involves creating and debugging games. You could make anywhere from $50,150 to $140,250 per year.

We’ve compiled some of our favorite careers, but an MSIT does provide you with broad skills to work in a variety of jobs, which will likely allow you to draw an excellent salary. Plus, you can always start your own business, as firms are more inclined to outsource, in order to cut costs during rising inflation. These are just some of the possibilities you can choose from.

Cost and Tuition

Cost and tuition vary from school to school, and you’ll want to speak with each of your prospective schools directly.  Fortunately, online schools are generally more affordable than their in-person counterparts. With these schools, students may also want to check out the various financial aid options available, such as scholarships and grants which can help cover the tuition costs as much as possible. This can be a giant step in helping ease the financial burdens, especially in financially challenging times like the present. You’ll definitely want to speak to a few schools, and can help you with that.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Do I need to know what job I want before I start an MSIT program?

A: No!  An MSIT program could prepare you for a wide variety of careers.  You certainly don’t need to know what job you want today.

Q: Will I make more money with an MS in Information Technology?

A: That depends on a variety of factors.  But as you can see above in the “Best Jobs for Those With an MSIT” section, your MS in Information Technology could mean excellent earning potential.

Q: How long will I be in school?

A: That could depend on you, your current job, and any other obligations you might have.  An MSIT program could take anywhere from one to three years, but our Smartplan is designed to help you find the right degree for you, so could finish as quickly as possible!

How to save time and money

Our mission is to help you to avoid paying full price for college. We want your Master’s in Information Technology degree to be affordable and accessible. Here’s how you could save:

Create Your Free SmartPlan

There are many ways to make college affordable and accessible.

That’s why we created a helpful tool called SmartPlan.

It’s free, and helps you find potential ways to save and tons of information about each school you’re considering

Think of it as your “college blueprint”, to help you instantly craft a path to your degree:

  • Which Colleges Match Your Needs
  • Ways You Could Save Time & Money
  • Free Courses You Could Take for Credit
  • Valuable Data and Insights on Each College
  • Detailed Steps You Should Take!

See what’s possible for you and generate a free plan within just a few minutes

Create My SmartPlan

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About the Author
Grant founded with a purpose-driven mission: make college accessible and affordable for everyone. After graduating college with an overwhelming amount of debt, he was determined to change how students embark on their education. He's a frequent speaker and author in higher education, and has been featured in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Business Insider, American Express, AOL, MSN, Thrive Global, Reader's Digest, Inside Higher Ed, Evolllution, EducationDive, and nearly 100 radio shows and podcasts.

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