2019 Best Online Master's in Information Technology (IT) Degrees

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These eight schools offer the top-ranked online master’s in information technology degrees, based on affordability and earning potential. Alumni of every school on the list report earning a median salary of more than $100,000. The University of Maryland University College ranks #1, with their 12 IT degrees offered for the low annual cost of $11,862, and graduates of the program earning a median salary of $121,900 annually. Ranked #5 is Webster University, with an affordable tuition of $15,600 per year and a reported salary of $117,300.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about SR Education Group.

Find an Online Degree:
Rank School Annual Tuition Median Salary
#1 #1 University of Maryland University College Annual Tuition $11,862 Median Salary $121,900
#2 #2 Boston University Annual Tuition $23,760 Median Salary $121,600
#3 #3 University of Denver Annual Tuition $16,464 Median Salary $120,500
#4 #4 DePaul University Annual Tuition $22,100 Median Salary $121,100
#5 #5 Webster University Annual Tuition $15,600 Median Salary $117,300
#6 #6 Nova Southeastern University Annual Tuition $18,040 Median Salary $110,300
#7 #7 University of Detroit Mercy Annual Tuition $12,390 Median Salary $105,400
#8 #8 Bellevue University Annual Tuition $10,350 Median Salary $100,200
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo. Updated 2018.
  • Annual Tuition: $11,862
  • Median Salary: $121,900
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Potential students can apply with a bachelor's degree from any regionally or nationally accredited university.
  • Applicants are not required to submit GRE, GMAT, SAT, or ACT scores.
  • For certain specializations, students must have either specialized experience or a background in computer studies and mathematics.

Program Structure:

  • All courses can be taken completely online and the degree takes 36 credit hours to complete.
  • Students can take 6 credits per semester and finish the degree within 3 years.
  • Annual Tuition: $23,760
  • Median Salary: $121,600
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college.
  • No standardized tests are required to apply.
  • Students must have proficiency equivalent to Introduction to Computer Information Systems before applying or complete prerequisites in addition to the graduate courses.

Program Structure:

  • The program can be completed in 18-24 months and requires 40 credits to graduate.
  • There are 7 specializations for students, including computer networks, health informatics, security, and web application development.
  • Annual Tuition: $16,464
  • Median Salary: $120,500
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Prospective students can apply with a baccalaureate degree from any accredited college or university.
  • Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale to be admitted.
  • There is no GRE or GMAT test required for the application.

Program Structure:

  • The program can be taken entirely online and can be completed in 18 months.
  • Term lengths are 10 months and there are 3 semesters per year plus a summer semester.
  • Annual Tuition: $22,100
  • Median Salary: $121,100
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college.
  • GRE scores are recommended but not required.

Program Structure:

  • Their degrees can be completed entirely online and many of them have a number of concentrations.
  • Students can take 2 courses per semester and complete the degree within 2 years.
  • Annual Tuition: $15,600
  • Median Salary: $117,300
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Prospective students with a bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited university can apply.
  • A 2.5 minimum GPA is required.
  • There are no standardized tests required to apply to this university.

Program Structure:

  • Their MS degree in Cyber-security takes 39 credit hours to complete and their MA in Information Technology management takes 36 credit hours to complete.
  • All courses can be taken online and they are 3 credit hours each.
  • Annual Tuition: $18,040
  • Median Salary: $110,300
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Prospective students who have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university in math, science, business, or engineering are welcome to apply.
  • Applicants without the proper educational or work background may have to take their MSIT 501 Foundations of Programming, Data Structures, and Algorithms.
  • GRE and GMAT test scores are not required to apply.

Program Structure:

  • The program is offered both online and on campus and takes 30 credit hours to complete.
  • Full-time students can complete the course in 12-14 months and working students can complete it in 16-24 months.
  • Annual Tuition: $12,390
  • Median Salary: $105,400
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Potential students with a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university are welcome to apply.
  • GRE tests are not required to apply for their graduate degrees.

Program Structure:

  • Both the Computer & Information Systems degree and the Information Assurance (Cyber-security) degrees can be completed in 1 year and require 30 credits to complete.
  • These degrees can be completed entirely online.
  • Annual Tuition: $10,350
  • Median Salary: $100,200
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • School Type: Non-Profit
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Admissions Requirements:

  • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university in order to apply with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  • Students must have 3 years of experience in IT, though 5 years is recommended.
  • For the Master's in Computer Information Systems, there are 3 prerequisite classes: Applied Statistics, Introduction to Programming Using Java, and Introduction to Programming Using C#.

Program Structures:

  • Both the Master's in Computer Information Systems and the Master's in Cyber-security degrees require 36 credit hours to complete.
  • 27 credit hours are made up of core required classes and 9 credits are made up of elective courses.

Jobs and Salaries for IT Degrees

Receiving a master’s in information technology is a major step in launching or enhancing an IT career and sets students up for a high earning potential. The IT master’s degree provides students with professionally focused skills in information technology that incorporate perspectives from business and management. The programs allow students to further their understanding of how to manage and be a part of a comprehensive IT support systems within a thriving business through classroom and hands-on learning. Most programs take 2 years to complete and require around 30 credit hours to receive your degree. Students can take graduate-level courses in cyber-law and ethics, telecommunications management, e-business technologies, database management, software engineering and computer programming. Management courses discuss project management and leading in a technology setting.

As more and more businesses are relying on the internet and computers to facilitate their day-to-day operations, IT professionals have become in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the IT field is expected to increase 13% by 2026. The BLS claims that within that timeframe there will be more than half a million jobs added in this field, promising plenty of opportunities for an information technologist with a master’s degree. Information support systems are integral to making sure a company’s information infrastructure run smoothly and safely and information technicians are the first line of defense, making them invaluable to employers.

A master's degree in information technology can open a wide variety of leadership roles in information systems, including IT manager, project manager, senior database administrator, information security specialist, systems analyst, network architect, and software developer. These managerial-focused careers allow for higher-level positions and a higher earning potential. Master’s in IT programs will prepare you for these opportunities by offering a variety of high-quality, informative courses that focus on how students can apply the knowledge they received in the classroom to the business world.

These are the most common jobs for IT master's degree graduates:

  • IT managers run the IT team of any business, institute, or organization. They are knowledgeable about every aspect of information technology and oversee all of the company's electronic systems and networks. They work with upper-management to effectively communicate the business' needs to other IT technicians. In 2016, IT managers had an average annual income of $135,800.
  • The chief technology officer (CTO) of a business oversees all of the company's technological departments. This is an executive-level position and involves managing a team of IT specialists. The average salary for a CTO is $153,860 per year.
  • A chief information officer (CIO) is the executive who oversees all of the IT strategies for a business. They often work directly with the CEO in order to organzine and implement IT networks in the best possible way. The average annual salary for a CIO is $169,000.
  • IT project managers organize and monitor projects related to information technology. This requires leadership and managerial skills as project managers often have to oversee teams of IT specialists. The average salary for an IT project manager is currently $85,779 per year.
  • Senior database administrators arrange and store important information for an organization. They are responsible for keeping the information safe and accessible. The average annual salary for a senior database administrator in 2017 was $87,020.
  • Information security specialists are responsible for monitoring and maintaining a network's security system. In 2017, their average annual salary was $95,510
  • Systems analysts look at an organization's computer system and provide design assistance that aims to make the network run better and more efficiently for the organization. In 2017, the average annual income for a systems analyst was $88,270.
  • A network architect designs an organization's communication and information networks. These networks could be designed for small or large business and could be intranets, wide area networks (WAN), and local area networks (LAN). The average salary for a network architect was $104,650 in 2017.

While an information technology specialist with a bachelor’s degree generally earns around $80,000 a year, the average salary for a mid-career IT manager with a master’s degree was $105,000 per year in 2017. This master's degree wage premium is much higher than the average wage premium for earning a master's.

References

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