Master of Science in Information Technology: Online Degree

Dec 03, 2019

Research online information technology courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

A Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) is one of two degrees for IT managers commonly offered online. Online MSIT programs focus more on computer science and systems than on business and management. Students seeking a more business-oriented IT master's degree might consider an MBA in Information Technology, which is also available online through many universities.

Applicants to an online MSIT program may need an undergraduate degree in computer science or information technology, or documented work experience in IT. Other admissions requirements are comparable to traditional campus-based graduate programs.

MSIT programs typically do not require on-campus class meetings. However, some require students to attend an orientation, and a few may have hybrid courses. Some courses may have scheduled live teleconferencing.

Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT)

MSIT programs delve into the systems development process, as well as train students to understand telecommunications and data processing needs of information technology (IT) organizations through coursework, demonstrations and research. Additionally, master's programs examine programming, communications, technology and management concepts. The minimum requirements for many MSIT programs include a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and qualifying scores on the Graduate Record Exams (GRE) or Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Some programs may require students to possess prior work experience.

Format and Delivery Style

While many schools offer flexible plans, online Master of Science in Information Technology programs usually take two years to complete with full-time study. Most programs are fully online, but students may be required to attend an on-campus orientation at the start of their program. Some programs may feature hybrid courses that combine classroom meetings with a Web environment for uploading assignments and projects.

Coursework in Master of Science programs in information technology is often delivered exclusively through online applications. Students are able to stay in contact with professors through message boards, chat rooms and email. Bulletin boards may be used to post assignments, course readings and grades. Lectures may be viewed using presentation software or streaming video. Specific technical requirements vary by school; however, accessing online courses typically requires an up-to-date operating system and high-speed internet connection.

List of Online Information Technology Courses

Core courses examine strategic planning, information security and business leadership. Software engineering and database management topics are typically explored.


Students explore e-commerce solutions such as .NET web controls, database connectively and email. The course also investigates security, custom controls and session state management.

Information Security Risk Analysis

This course places information security in a management context, allowing students to learn how organizations apply resources to protect data. Areas of emphasis include vulnerability management and security risk analysis.

Database Management

Concepts of data structure, integrity and manipulation are examined in this course. Students learn about the capabilities and limitations of database systems, as well as the theories behind data interactions and data modeling.

Career Information

Graduates might find work as information systems managers or analysts in private businesses, government agencies or education organizations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a robust job growth for computer systems analysts in the coming years, with overall employment expected to increase by 9% from 2018-2028. There was also an 11% percent projected growth in employment of computer and information systems managers during the same period. As of May 2018, the BLS reported average annual salaries of $152,860 for computer and information systems managers and $93,610 for computer systems analysts.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Certifications for computer and information systems managers can demonstrate education and expertise, as well as aid career advancement. Software or hardware companies, rather than independent training organizations, often award high-level certification credentials for computer and information systems managers. Cisco and Microsoft are among the organizations offering information technology management certifications. Additionally, students looking to further their education in the IT field can find distance learning doctoral programs in technology management.

In online MSIT programs, students learn to apply advanced technological concepts to business and other organizational settings. They can apply their skills in a wide range of industries; earning professional certifications after graduation may improve their job prospects.

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