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Information technology jobs are growing rapidly in the US, and the pay is as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics at the Department of Labor reports that all computer and information technology jobs will experience rapid growth in the coming years, with 12% growth anticipated by 2024.
Information technology professionals will continue to play a growing role in keeping computer and information systems functioning properly, and also performing regular updates as technology improves and evolves. Information technology professionals will continue to provide much needed supervision for information systems support, analysis, maintenance and programming for all types of organizations.
A great way to transition into a leadership position in information technology today is to earn your master’s degree in this field. After graduation, you could be working in one of these well-paid roles:
- Information systems manager: Responsible for the planning, coordination and direction of all activities in IT and computers in the organization. Their job is to determine what the IT goals are for the organization, and are then responsible for implementing the necessary technology to implement the goals. The duties of this position are very important in all organizations; your exact duties will vary depending upon the size of the company.
- IT director: This role also includes management information systems directors, who are responsible for their company’s IT departments. They will usually oversee a large number of other employees. IT directors are normally responsible for determining the business requirements for an organization’s information technology systems. They also implement the systems that have been selected by senior technology executives.
- IT security managers: This manager oversees data and cyber security of an organization’s computer systems and networks. They usually work with top executives to plan IT security policies and to promote a better overall culture of information security in the entire organization. They also will come up with new programs to keep all employees aware of major security threats.
- Chief information officer (CIO): This senior executive is responsible for the technology strategy of the company. The CIO will determine the overall IT and information goals of the organization. He then must oversee how the technology is implemented. The CIO will often oversee the entire IT department, but he also may focus on a smaller area, such as IS or electronic data processing.
Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Information Technology?
Research shows that there is a constant, growing demand for information technology professionals. For example the information technology company Robert Half Technology reported in 2016 that 60% of chief information officers stated that it is challenging for them to find skilled information technology professionals. Further, more than 75% of CIOs stated that they were going to hire information technology professionals in 2016.
The US government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) further confirms that growth in computer and information technology jobs will be strong in the future. These jobs will increase in demand by 12% by 2024, with at least 488,000 jobs being added by that time.
Earning your master’s degree in information technology will put you in line for a progressive management role in the information technology field. And these jobs are available in virtually every industry, so there is no end of the possibilities with this graduate degree.
Featured Online Masters in Information Technology Programs
There will be many good information technology jobs there for the taking in the coming years. So you should be prepared to have a strong application if you are going to apply for admission to a master’s program in this specialty. Admissions standards will vary, but typical requirements are:
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official GRE scores may be required for most programs
- Strong statement of purpose about your information technology career goals
- 0 GPA or higher
- Complete official college transcripts
- Updated resume with at least three years of computer technology experience
- Many programs will require you to have a technical bachelor’s such as computer science, information systems or engineering. If you do not, you will need to most likely take prerequisite courses in computer science and information technology.
Curriculum and Courses
Rutgers University has a high quality, rigorous Master of Information Technology program. This program will prepare you to manage large and complex software development projects, and will help you to learn the skills to lead teams of IT professionals, who are designing, analyzing and implementing these projects.
One of the popular paths in this program is for students to specialize in the accounting concentration in information systems. This allows them to pursue exciting careers in risk management with large accounting companies. These companies really need employees with skills in computer auditing and risk management. These skills also can be applied to the task of internal audits for reviewing and analyzing computer systems for large organizations.
Applicants for this tough program should have a bachelor’s degree in a technology-related field and should have had classes in statistics and calculus.
Required courses include:
- Business Data Management
- Analytics for Business Intelligence (or 26:198:644 Data Mining)
- Information Security
- Capstone Project
- Operations Research and Business Analytics
- Introduction to Probability
- Introduction to Algorithms & Data Structure
- Linear Programming
- Stochastic Processes
- Nonlinear Programming
- Discrete Optimization
- Financial Management
- Introduction to Software Development
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
A master’s degree in information technology can lead to these types of roles and job titles:
- IS manager
- IT manager
- Network engineer
- Director of information technology
- Business systems manager
- Chief information officer
- Chief technology officer
- Network security manager
Job and Salary Outlook
- Information Systems Manager –This role will see a strong increase in job demand in the next several years, with 15% increase in jobs expected. Companies will likely need more information systems managers as they are ramping up operations to include highly advanced digital systems. IS managers will always be important to handle upgrades and to perform system maintenance. Median pay for 2015 was $131,000 per year.
- Computer Systems Analyst –This career path will see a 21% increase in job demand by 2024, which means that you will probably have multiple job offers after you graduate. Organizations are increasingly reliant upon IT and computer systems, so skilled analysts are required to design and install the newest systems, and to ensure that they are completely secure. Median salary as of 2015 was $85,000 per year.
- Computer and Information Research Scientists –This role will experience an 11% increase in job demand by 2024. Research and design in computer and information systems is really important; scientists are turning innovative ideas into industry leading technology platforms. As technology evolves, more organizations will want to move to these new systems. Thus demand for computer scientists will remain strong. Median pay is $110,000 per year.
Scholarships and Grants
- Foundation for IT Education: This leading IT foundation offers several scholarships for qualified information technology students, including the Betty Stevens-Frecknall Scholarship, the Dave Sanders Memorial Scholarship, and the Kevin Jetton Service Scholarship.
- King University: This Tennessee university offers programs in information technology, and has a long list of scholarships for students earning their bachelor’s or master’s in this field.
- Association of Information Technology Professionals: This organization is the leading global society of professionals who work in information technology and information security. You can educate yourself with the group’s many annual webinars and conferences, and also enjoy many member discounts.
- Information Systems Security Association: This is a leading international organization of information security experts and professionals.
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