How Does a Masters Degree in IT Improve My Career Outlook?

There are multiple options you can consider when preparing for your chosen career. You may be able to start in an entry-level position with a certificate and gain hands-on experience while continuing your studies. Other careers may require applicants to have an undergraduate or graduate degree to be considered.

Determining what type of degree you need is crucial because graduate students spend an average of $66,340 on graduate studies. Most students rely on student loans and acquire debt before entering the workforce. Let’s explore how a Master of Science (MS) in Information Technology (IT) can expand your career options to help you determine the value of earning a master’s degree.

What does a Master of Science (MS) in Information Technology (IT) cover?

Information technology masters programs cover various subjects related to IT and cybersecurity. Your coursework will include enterprise security and forensics courses, advanced storage technologies, games for learning and simulation, principles of cybersecurity, technologies for social networking, statistical data analysis, and machine learning and data mining for IT. Students also learn about scientific methods for studying IT, designing and managing an IT infrastructure, and health information systems.

How does completing a graduate program in IT affect your career prospects?

There are multiple IT roles individuals with a bachelor’s degree can pursue. Your undergraduate information technology degree can lead to opportunities as a computer and information systems manager, computer systems analyst, database administrator, information security analyst, or software developer, quality assurance analyst, and tester.

A master’s degree is required to pursue opportunities as a computer and research information scientist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports these IT experts enjoyed median annual salaries of $126,830 in 2020 and should see job opportunities increase by 15 percent between 2019 and 2029. These professionals need strong analytical skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills. Most employers require computer and research information scientists to have a master’s degree.

A master of science degree in IT can also increase job prospects for aspiring software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers. The BLS reports that these professionals will enjoy a 22 percent job growth rate from 2019 to 2029. Software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers earned median annual incomes of $110,140 in 2020.

Many employers favor information security analysts, computer systems analysts, and computer and information systems managers who’ve completed graduate studies. Earning a graduate degree can also increase your job prospects when pursuing advancement opportunities. The BLS reports information security analysts earned $103,590 in 2020 and should see job opportunities grow by 31 percent from 2019 to 2029.

Computer systems analysts are expected to see jobs increase by seven percent during the same period. The BLS reports these IT professionals took home $93,730 in 2020. The BLS also indicates computer and information systems managers earned median incomes of $151,150 in 2020 and would see a 10 percent job growth rate between 2019 and 2029.

How can you reduce costs while earning a master’s degree?

You can earn a master’s degree in IT by completing two years of postsecondary studies online. Flexible online programs enable you to set your study schedule, making it possible to work while completing graduate studies. Students registered in accredited online degree programs qualify for financial aid. Students can also apply for scholarships, reducing the amount they need to repay by reducing their dependence on student loans.

How can you prepare for the graduate program college admissions process?

Turn to college application advising experts when you’re evaluating graduate programs. A college application counselor can help you identify master’s degree programs in IT suited to your career goals. They’ll also work with you, ensuring you meet the applicant criteria set by college admissions boards. Whether you study in person or online, accredited graduate programs, expect students to have a bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. Applicants who didn’t earn an undergraduate degree in computer science or a similar discipline may need to take bridge courses before completing their graduate studies.

Earning a master of science in IT can increase your job prospects and enable you to pursue advancement opportunities. Career options include working as a computer systems analyst or a computer and information research scientist.