Best Master's Degrees in Information Technology

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Updated October 18, 2023

Learn more about master's in IT programs and how to make the school and career choices that match your interests and position you for success.

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Modern information technology has reshaped organizations and industries around the world. The increasing complexities of tech have made professionals with advanced IT education and skills more desirable than ever.

According to CompTIA's 2023 State of the Workforce report, there were 4.1 million job postings in tech in 2022. In 2023, projections indicate a tech workforce topping 9.4 million professionals and representing about 9% of the total economy.

Earning a master's in information technology positions graduates to capitalize on this growing demand. The degree can qualify professionals for many of the most appealing tech careers, but candidates should still consider employment data and trends to develop an understanding of the field.

Throughout this guide, uncover the finer details about a master's in IT. Explore career pathways, program options, and which schools have the best IT programs.

Top 5 Master's in Information Technology Schools

Explore our list of the five best master's in information technology schools to find the right program for your professional needs. Click on the link below to learn more about how we rank schools.

#1 Best Master’s Degrees in Information Technology

Rensselaer at Hartford

  • Hartford, CT
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Rensselaer at Hartford is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — home to 23 NCAA athletic teams and more than 200 student-led clubs. The school provides over 140 undergraduate and graduate programs.

MS in Information Technology

Rensselaer at Hartford's School of Science offers an MS in information technology covering database systems, software design and engineering, and human-computer interaction. The 10-course (30 credit) program offers cognitive computing, financial engineering, web science, and information security focuses. 

Information technology majors can choose from professional and research tracks. The professional pathway requires a capstone course in which enrollees complete information technology team projects with industry organizations. The research track requires a one-semester master's project or a two-semester master's thesis. Information technology students can develop communication, research, and project management skills.

Applying to Rensselaer

Each applicant needs an undergraduate degree with coursework in computer science I and data structures, along with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The program requires a resume, undergraduate transcripts, 2-3 letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Applicants also must submit an IT background evaluation form.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $55,600/year
  • Required Credits: 30
  • Program Length: 2 semesters (full time) or 2.5 years (part time)
  • Delivery Format: On campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
115
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#2 Best Master’s Degrees in Information Technology

University of South Florida

  • Tampa, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Founded in 1956, the University of South Florida (USF) has campuses across the Tampa Bay region. The school enrolls over 50,000 students in more than 200 undergraduate academic programs.

MS in Information Technology

Students can earn MS in information technology (MSIT) degrees from the University of South Florida's College of Engineering. The program combines business knowledge and strategy with technology skills. Enrollees can customize their plan of study to meet their individual needs with input from the graduate program director. 

The 30-credit, non-thesis hybrid degree includes on-campus and online coursework. Each enrollee must complete three core courses: advanced database management, advances in object-oriented programming, and penetration testing for IT. Other classes explore IT robotics applications, cloud computing for IT, and statistical data mining.

Applying to USF

The program requires a bachelor's degree in information technology or a related field. Candidates with bachelor's degrees in unrelated fields can apply by completing all required undergraduate IT prerequisites. The program requires a minimum "B" average in the last two years of undergraduate work. 

An MSIT applicant submits three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and undergraduate transcripts. Prospective students must submit GRE scores unless they have earned an ABET-accredited degree or have at least three years of professional experience in the United States.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $467/credit (in state) or $913/credit (out of state) 
  • Required Credits: 30
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid (online and on campus)
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,559
Out-of-state
$15,473
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,350
Out-of-state
$19,048
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
49%
Students Enrolled
50,626
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Master’s Degrees in Information Technology

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida International University (FIU) enrolls more than 56,000 students. This Miami-based public research university offers in-person and fully online undergraduate and graduate degrees.

MS in Information Technology

Florida International University offers an MS in information technology from its Knight Foundation School of Computing and Information Sciences. Required courses for the 30-credit degree include software and data modeling, computer systems fundamentals, and fundamentals of computer security. Each enrollee also completes 15 elective credits.

Information technology majors also choose a six-credit track in security, software, or system administration. Security pathway students explore information security, network security, and privacy. The software track focuses on advanced software engineering, software design, and software testing. The system administration path offers classes like advanced IT automation and advanced operating systems.

The school also offers an accelerated, hybrid professional MS in information technology that takes one year to complete.

Applying to FIU

Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university and a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two years of upper-division undergraduate coursework. Students without computer science-related degrees must complete prerequisites. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $456/credit (in state) or $1,002/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 30
  • Program Length: 1 year for the accelerated professional degree
  • Delivery Format: On campus (regular degree) or hybrid (professional degree)
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$8,912
Out-of-state
$21,393
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,836
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
86% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Master’s Degrees in Information Technology

Carnegie Mellon University

  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

In 1967, Carnegie Tech and the Mellon Institute merged to become Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Alumni include Nobel Prize and Tony Award winners. 

Master of Information Technology Strategy

Carnegie Mellon University offers a master of information technology strategy through its College of Engineering, School of Computer Science, and the Institute for Politics and Strategy. The multidisciplinary program explores cybersecurity, network and cyberoperations, and decision science and best practices. 

The degree includes concentration tracks in data analytics, software and network systems, information security, and politics and strategy. Each enrollee completes a capstone at the end of the program. The full-time, on-campus program requires 126 credits and takes 12 months to complete. An applied study, 129-credit option requires an internship in addition to the standard curriculum and takes 16 months to finish.

Applying to CMU

Applicants must submit a $75 application fee, statement of purpose, resume, and transcripts. The program also requires letters of recommendation and a diversity essay. Prospective students must demonstrate analytical skills and have previous experience with algorithms, data structures, and programming.

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) 
  • Tuition: $30,000/term
  • Required Units: 126-129
  • Program Length: 12 months (standard) or 16 months (applied study)
  • Delivery Format: On campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$57,560
Out-of-state
$57,560
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$46,441
Out-of-state
$46,441
Retention Rate
96%
Admission Rate
17%
Students Enrolled
13,519
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 Best Master’s Degrees in Information Technology

California State University-San Bernardino

  • San Bernardino, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Established in 1965, California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) offers more than 70 academic programs. It is one of the most diverse universities in the Inland Empire area of southern California. 

MS in Information Systems and Technology

The AACSB-accredited MS in information systems and technology from California State University, San Bernardino requires a concentration in cybersecurity or business intelligence and analytics. The 36-credit curriculum requires foundational courses in business systems and analytics and big data. Learners also explore database management and policies, enterprise architecture planning, and information systems and technology management. 

Each enrollee must complete a master's portfolio and a three-credit capstone course to graduate. The portfolio must include a reflective essay discussing the student's time in the program. The degree can prepare graduates to pursue leadership roles in business intelligence, information systems technology, and cybersecurity.

Applying to CSUSB

Each applicant needs a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. The program prefers students with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 semester units of undergraduate coursework but may accept applicants with a minimum 2.5 GPA. A prospective student must submit official transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores (waiver available), and a personal statement. 

Program at a Glance

  • School Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC); Associate to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Tuition: $2,871/semester (in state); $2,871/semester plus $396/unit 
  • Required Credits: 36
  • Delivery Format: On campus
Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$7,176
Out-of-state
$16,680
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
78%
Students Enrolled
19,689
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
100% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Popular Information Technology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Why Get a Master's in IT Degree?

Since the Rochester Institute of Technology offered the first information technology degree in 1993, the field has significantly expanded. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of computer and information technology graduate degrees conferred grew 187% between 2009-10 and 2019-20, nearly doubling the next fastest-growing discipline.

Despite this incredible growth in advanced IT degrees, 96% of tech employers believe the growing tech skills gap results from a lack of advanced skills in the workforce. Candidates with advanced IT abilities can pursue diverse opportunities across several industries.

Of the 9.4 million jobs in tech, over 2 million work in software development, over 700,000 in cybersecurity and systems engineering, and over 680,000 in network engineering. The top industries include IT services, telecommunications, tech manufacturing, and software.

While graduates of undergraduate programs and coding bootcamps can also pursue these roles, employers often seek master's graduates for their expertise and specialized skills.

  • Career Advancement

    A master's in information technology often includes business, operations, and leadership strategy courses. Many employers look for professionals with advanced education when hiring for management positions.
  • Specialization Opportunities

    Master's programs often provide more specialization opportunities than undergraduate programs. Learners can build on their IT foundations with cybersecurity, networking, or database concentrations.
  • Earning Power

    On average, master's graduates earn about 18% more than bachelor's degree-holders, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In computer and IT occupations, the top 25% of earners made annual salaries over $30,000 more than the median earners in the field as of May 2021.

What To Expect From Master's in Information Technology Programs

In general, a master's in information technology equips students to develop and implement technological solutions for businesses and organizations.

A master's in IT usually runs between 1-2 years and features 30-45 credits. Students may encounter several study options, including courses and concentrations in hardware, software, design, administration, and analysis. The programs may also feature practicum, thesis, portfolio, or capstone project requirements.

The prestige and type of school can affect student outcomes and costs. While the number of IT programs available ensures students have options, most learners pay about $20,000 per year, per the NCES.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements vary by program, but an applicant typically needs a computer-related undergraduate degree, such as a bachelor's in information technology. Competitive programs may require a minimum 3.0 GPA or strong GRE scores.

Other common requirements include letters of recommendation and personal statements. While rarely mandatory, professional experience and a strong portfolio can increase a prospective student's chances of admission.

Degree and Specialization Options

Information technology programs may feature in-person, online, and blended formats. Online programs may have asynchronous delivery for maximum flexibility or synchronous delivery for more classroom engagement.

Concentrations vary, depending on the program. These specializations focus on certain topics and can improve graduates' career opportunities in that field or niche. Possible IT tracks include web application development, data analytics, and IT project management.

Popular Master's in IT Courses

In such a vast field as IT, students can encounter many different courses. The following list highlights a few of the more common topics covered in a master's in IT.

  • Information Systems Analysis

    In this course, students learn to analyze organizations' technological needs. They explore the methods for evaluating existing systems and designing solutions.
  • Information Technology Management

    Learners examine how organizations can align IT with operational and corporate goals and strategies. Coursework may touch on real-world IT concerns to improve problem-solving strategies.
  • Business Data Management

    This course looks at the design, development, and management of data systems. Students learn how businesses use data and how proper management can improve business decisions and outcomes.
  • Strategic Communications

    In this course, students explore the role of IT in strategic communications. The course may cover business networks, digital media, or communication software and applications.

How Much Will a Master's in Information Technology Cost?

According to the NCES, the average overall graduate tuition was $19,749 in 2020-21. At public schools, the average tuition was $12,394, while private schools charged a median tuition of $26,621.

Tuition prices vary by school type and student residency. Schools may charge out-of-state students more than in-state learners, though many graduate programs offer a standard rate.

Students incur other costs, including travel, food, course and facility fees, and room and board. Fortunately, learners can pursue financial aid through federal grants, loans, and scholarships. The links below offer more information on the topic of financial aid.

Jobs for Master's in Information Technology Graduates

The employment outlook for information technology master's graduates appears particularly strong. The BLS projects 15% growth for all computer and information technology occupations from 2021-2031. The median annual wage for this sector was $97,430 in May 2021 — more than double the median wage for all occupations.

Many of the highest-paying and most in-demand jobs in this industry belong to individuals with advanced skill sets and education. Information technology master's graduates can also move in many professional directions depending on their specializations, internships, and postgraduate certifications.

Find some details on some of the available career paths below.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers coordinate and oversee the technological activities and operations within organizations. They ensure the systems perform at the level required to serve their organization's audience and meet the business goals. These professionals may manage IT companies or handle the IT divisions in information, finance and insurance, and manufacturing organizations.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Median Annual Salary: $159,010
  • Job Outlook (2021-31): +16%

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts evaluate organizations' information systems and needs. They may design solutions or provide consultation upgrades and efficiency improvements. Most systems analysts work in computer systems design services, but they also find employment in finance and insurance, government, and information industries.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Median Annual Salary: $99,270
  • Job Outlook (2021-31): +9%

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts create, implement, and manage organizations' cybersecurity systems and policies. They provide management with security insights to help with business decisions and projections. These analysts primarily work in computer systems design services, finance and insurance, and information industries.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Median Annual Salary: $102,600
  • Job Outlook (2021-31): +35%

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Computer and information research scientists develop technological solutions to common problems for people, businesses, and industries. These professionals may specialize in computer architecture, networking, or cybersecurity. Their primary employment industries include the federal government, computer systems design services, and software publishing.

  • Required Education: Master's degree
  • Median Annual Salary: $131,490
  • Job Outlook (2021-31): +21%

Choosing the Right IT Graduate Program

Prospective students need to research several elements when comparing master's in information technology programs. To make the best decision, they should consider these factors while focusing on their needs and interests:

  • Institutional and Programmatic Accreditation: Prospective students should prioritize institutional accreditation when researching colleges and universities. Schools cannot provide federal financial aid without accreditation, and the status may affect postgraduate employment and certification. While not mandatory, programmatic accreditation from ABET helps verify the program's quality and improve employment outcomes.
  • Program Curriculum: Students should find programs that provide courses and concentrations in the fields that interest them. While a broad field like information technology allows learners to explore their options, specializations can significantly affect a graduate's career path.
  • Program Structure: Program structure covers program and course length, course load intensity, start dates, and the semester breakdown. Prospective students should determine the structure that best fits their life and learning style.

Other considerations include:

  • Admission requirements
  • School faculty and facilities
  • School location and residency requirements
  • Program delivery methods and schedule
  • Class size and student-to-teacher ratio
  • Support services and student organizations
  • Alumni network and mentorship programs

Should You Get Your Master's in IT Degree Online?

An online master's in information technology adds an extra level of flexibility to college studies. These programs often run asynchronously for total schedule control or synchronously during the evenings or weekends. As a result, online students can better maintain employment while pursuing degrees.

For online learning success, enrollees should ensure that the program aligns with their learning style. Online classes can be more independent and less interactive than in-person programs. Some online programs also have residency requirements that may limit how distant the campus can be.

Explore other IT education paths:

Doctoral Degrees in Information Technology

Doctoral Degrees in Information Technology

Information Technology Certificate Programs

Information Technology Certificate Programs

Bachelor's Degrees in Information Technology

Bachelor's Degrees in Information Technology

Online Bachelor's Degrees in IT Programs

Online Bachelor's Degrees in IT Programs

FAQ About Information Technology Master's Programs

What can I do with a master's degree in information technology?

Professionals with master's degrees in information technology can pursue advanced roles in the tech sector and beyond. Popular IT careers include computer and information research scientists, software developers, information security analysts, and computer systems analysts.

What is a master of science in information technology?

A master's in information focuses on developing and managing IT devices and systems in the workplace. These programs often emphasize business applications of IT. While typically broad, IT master's degrees usually offer concentrations that allow learners to focus on specific areas of the field.

Is a master of science in IT worth it?

Yes. The high rate of growth in the IT field has created a shortage of highly skilled IT professionals. With a master's in information technology, graduates possess the skills and knowledge to keep up with changes in the field and pursue leadership positions in many organizations and industries.

Will I get a better salary with a master's in information technology?

Professionals with master's degrees typically earn more than individuals with undergraduate degrees. Master's graduates have better access to leadership and management positions, which tend to pay very well. According to the BLS, computer systems managers made a median annual salary of $159,010 in May 2021, over $50,000 more than the median annual salary for all computer and IT occupations.

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