There are a wide variety of MBA in Information Technology programs offered online. Although many programs are available entirely remotely, some schools offer a hybrid program with online and on-campus courses. These programs often take less than two years to finish, including 12 hours of concentration courses. A computer with a CD/DVD drive, sound card, speakers and Java and Adobe Acrobat Reader software installed is necessary to complete these programs. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree in a related subject and college-level courses in microeconomics and statistics.
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MBA - Information Technology
Individuals prepare themselves for an MBA in Information Technology by first obtaining a bachelor's degree in a compatible area, such as computer science, management information systems or information science. Usually prior to applying to an online program, students must have completed a college-level course in microeconomics and one in statistics. Students develop skills needed to effectively analyze business strategies, locate IT problems and design, apply and evaluate appropriate IT solutions.
Information and Requirements
If pursued full-time, an online MBA program in information technology typically takes 18-24 months to complete. Courses usually combine online postings of assignments and tests with live and static discussion rooms and message boards. Blackboard is often used, as is e-mail, for communication between students and faculty.
Microsoft XP or Mac OS X and Microsoft Office are a must. In most cases, Adobe Acrobat Reader is called for. Java should be installed. Computers should have a CD and DVD drive, along with sound card and speakers. In some programs, students must disable pop-up blockers in order to have access to all elements of the program.
Common Information Technology Courses
Depending on the number of courses taken ahead of time, programs can consist of 30-42 credits. All MBA programs insist on certain foundation courses, such as finance, operations, strategy and marketing. Generally students must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours in concentration courses.
Students learn to script Web pages using such tools as HTML and Dreamweaver. Emphasis is placed on Internet applications such as TCP/IP, as well as Internet strategies and security measures.
Software Project Management
Using management tools and techniques, students learn to define and manage various aspects of a project, including scope, goal, budget and schedule. With reference to Internet technology projects, students develop methods of risk, knowledge, change and quality management.
Using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Excel, students develop the skills necessary to retrieve and process information with regard to financial and operations uses. By way of IT applications, students learn how to produce summary reports, mass e-mails and expanded Excel databases. They also learn to work with optimization models.
Current Issues in Information Technology
Among other topics addressed are information ownership, reproduction, confidentiality, identity theft and proper disposition and disposal of data. Phishing, ambush marketing, archiving of e-mail, Internet credit fraud and regulation development and compliance are also emphasized.
The integration of financial and logistical activities of an enterprise is the focus of this course. Students learn to seamlessly coordinate the various sources of information in order to present a seamless and complete picture of the organization, in order to facilitate planning and decision-making.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer and information systems managers is expected to grow 15% from 2014-2024. Over the same period, opportunities for computer systems analysts and computer programmers are projected to increase by 21% (www.bls.gov) and decline 8%, respectively.
In 2015, the BLS reported the average annual wages of a computer and information systems manager to be $141,000. The same year, systems analysts averaged $90,180, while computer programmers pulled down $84,360.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals holding an MBA in Information Technology who wish to become a computer information scientist in order to perform high-level research will have to pursue a doctorate.
Because of the ever-changing nature of information technology and job responsibilities, IT managers and specialists are usually required to take continuing education courses in order to remain current and viable in the industry. Individual courses are available online and on campus at many colleges, universities and technical schools.
Certification, while voluntary, is advised in order to increase employability potential as well as career advancement. Professional trade associations, such as the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP) and Computer Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA), offer training classes and examinations that result in certifications such as Certified Computing Professional (CCP), Information Systems Analyst (ISA), Certified Business Intelligence Professional (CBIP), CompTIA Project and CompTIA Linux. ICCP training can be completed online or in a classroom setting, depending on the course. CompTIA training is also done in a classroom. All testing is carried out at approved testing centers. Certification is renewable every three years with the completion of 120 real hours of appropriate continuing education credits and sitting for the necessary exams.
Software and hardware companies, such as Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle, offer product-specific certification courses and examinations.
An online MBA program in information technology provides students with the skills to evaluate business strategies and offer solutions for IT issues they've identified.