Students in an information technology master's program learn to create and integrate computer solutions for individual businesses or clients. The courses combine topics in advanced mathematics, programming and computer applications. Programs can provide enrolled individuals with the advanced skills and training necessary to gain positions as technology professionals in corporations and government agencies. Many are offered online or part-time. Before being accepted into one of these programs, students need to have a bachelor's degree in the field of technology. Some programs may also require professional work experience.
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Master of Science Degree in Information Technology
Students enrolled in the Master of Science in Information Technology program learn to work with computer networking tools, computer security systems, Web technologies and database management tools, in addition to providing maintenance and troubleshooting when those systems act up. Courses in these programs cover these tasks, with instruction and practice in areas such as wireless networks, analytical reasoning and microcomputer applications. Before graduating, students need to demonstrate their expertise by completing a thesis. Some examples of core courses in such a program are listed below:
- Microcomputer applications
- Telecommunication engineering
- Computer and information technology principles
- Communication networks
- Wireless technologies
- Information technology law and management
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that job growth will be above average for most careers in the computer and information technology industry. For example, software developers were projected to see 17% growth from 2014 to 2024, which is a rate that is much faster than the average for all occupations. Database administrators could see 11% job growth while network and computer systems administrators were projected to see 8% growth in the same time period.
In 2015, application software developers earned median annual salaries of $98,260, database administrators earned $81,710 and network and computer system administrators earned $77,810, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Options
Certification for information technology professionals is most often offered through product vendors, such as Microsoft, and is offered to individuals who have mastered a particular tool. Some individual training institutions or computer-related associations also offer certification in the information technology field. Certifications are not typically required to achieve a position in the field, but can be helpful to individuals leveraging for advanced positions of leadership. Some companies do require that individuals gain outside certification in certain levels, and some are willing to pay to have their employees go through certification process.
Many IT professionals pursue a master's in IT to learn the skills and earn the qualifications needed to advance their career. Students with this degree may seek employment in network, computer and database administration, as well as software development.