Home > Top 25 Online Master’s in Information Technology Programs for 2017

Top 25 Online Master’s in Information Technology Programs for 2017

Information technology supports and facilitates the systems we use every day, in every industry. As you consider programs to boost your career, an online master’s in information technology provides an opportunity to develop your technical skills and work at the leading edge of technological advances. According to the Bureau of Labor Services, placement in general computer occupations — along with specialized positions in software development and network administration — are likely to rise 11-19% by 2024. With a master’s in information systems online degree, you enter a robust job market with myriad ways to apply your skills in diverse and inspiring industries.

WHAT IS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY?

Information technology studies the way we organize and manipulate digital information. Today, this includes everything from software development to data analytics, cyber security to mobile applications. In other words, information technology explores the technology we use and the science of organizing data. An online master’s information systems degree introduces students to the fundamentals of information technology, while developing specialties in particular platforms or ways of analyzing information. Diverse industries — from online retail to healthcare facilities — continue to pursue the latest technology to increase their effectiveness. Graduates with a master’s degree are well-positioned to work across industries in roles that suit their professional and personal goals.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROGRAMS?

1

Marist CollegePoughkeepsie, New York

Located in the scenic Hudson Valley, Marist College serves over 6,000 students. The college’s online master’s in information systems is designed for technical and business professionals to become leaders in their fields. The program is also ideal for professionals who have little background in technology, but who would like to become more marketable in a technology-dependent economy. Students in this program specialize in information systems management, business analytics, or computer networks and security. In addition to taking communications, management, policy, accounting, and analysis classes, students also complete a capstone project focused on analyzing, developing, and evaluating information systems. Students complete online coursework on a part-time or full-time schedule. To be accepted into this program, applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA.

2

Stevens Institute of TechnologyHoboken, New Jersey

Stevens Institute of Technology, founded in 1870, is located in Hoboken, NJ. The college serves over 6,000 students and maintains a student-centric, interdisciplinary, and entrepreneurial environment. Stevens’ information systems master’s program offers a cross-disciplinary approach that develops skills in both business and technology communication and management. Students specialize in business intelligence and analytics, business process management and service innovation, or project management. The 36-credit master’s in information systems online degree offers flexible coursework in IT strategy, financial decision-making, and other subjects. All of Stevens’ online classes are taught by the same faculty who teach on campus. Prospective students must provide satisfactory GRE and GMAT scores in order to be accepted into the business graduate school.

3

University of Massachusetts-LowellLowell, Massachusetts

Established in 1894,UMass Lowell has one of the largest online learning programs in New England, serving over 17,000 students and offering over 50 online degrees. The university’s master of science in information technology is designed for students with a completed bachelor’s degree in information science, and for working professionals looking to advance their careers. This master’s in information science online degree emphasizes practical skills in computer platforms, as well as general principles and IT ethics. The program consists of 10 courses and includes topics in digital forensics, cloud computing, data mining, and other relevant subjects. To be accepted, students must submit satisfactory test scores, along with proof of satisfactory prior experience in math and computer programming.

4

University of South FloridaTampa, Florida

With a focus on small classes and community engagement, USF offers several partially online or fully online degrees to support busy students. The university’s master of science in information technology is offered fully online, and is available as a standard master’s degree program or as an accelerated, combined bachelor of science and master of science program. Courses in this 30-credit online master’s in information technology program are asynchronous and include ethical hacking for IT, human computer interaction, software architecture, among others. Students take a final comprehensive exam, and complete either an independent study or an internship or clinical practice experience. To be admitted, students submit satisfactory GRE scores and have a minimum 3.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies.

5

Illinois Institute of TechnologyChicago, Illinois

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is a private university focused on technology and research. The university prepares graduates for careers that require advanced technological and entrepreneurial skills. IIT’s online master of information technology and management is highly flexible and customizable. To help students achieve their career goals, the program offers 11 specializations, including data management, web design, systems analysis, and voice and data communication technology. This 30-credit online master’s in information technology comprises 10 courses and is available on campus or online, and some of the program’s specializations are available fully online. Courses are primarily asynchronous, although students can take synchronous video-conference delivery classes. Applicants must provide letters of recommendation and satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Information Technology Program

To select the online master’s in information technology that’s right for you, review the program length, available concentrations, on-campus requirements, accreditation status, and total program cost at each of your target schools. Some schools offer asynchronous classes that allow you to study at your own pace, while other programs require their students to study and network as a cohort. If you are interested in software development, cyber security, or data analytics, ensure your desired school offers classes for you to develop those skills. If you have questions regarding curriculum, costs, or career services available to you, contact the admissions team at your prospective school directly.

Careers for Graduates of Information Technology Master’s Programs

An online master’s in information technology prepares graduates for profitable jobs in healthcare, business, government, and technology. Depending on the unique needs of your company, exact responsibilities will vary, though most roles integrate strong technical skills with leadership and team management. Some of the most common positions available include network administrator, software developer, IT project manager, and information technology manager.

Career Pathways

Job Outlook and Salary

As the world’s reliance on technology grows, so will the demand for your expertise. A master’s in computer information systems online prepares you for careers in information system management across many industries, such as healthcare, security, business, and academic research. Depending on your industry and position, employment rates and salaries will vary. However, you should expect employment projections much higher than the national average. The table below shows a 12% growth in projected employment for computer and information research scientists — a higher than average rate for all occupations.

Employment Growth for Computer and Information Research Scientists

Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024
25,600 28,300

Source: BLS

SALARY GROWTH BY EXPERIENCE

Careers in information technology are increasingly profitable the further professionals advance. In particular, graduates who gain experience as IT project managers and software developers receive high entry-level salaries, and dramatic increases mid-to-late career. In other words, the more experience you have in a specific area, the greater your earning potential. The table below illustrates this trend in four popular careers for graduates with a master’s in information systems online degree.

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

After completing your information technology master’s degree online, take advantage of the benefits and networking opportunities provided through professional trade organizations. Many offer job posting sites, as well as discounts on technical certifications and continuing education. Often, professional organizations integrate new research with new practices, and are great resources for staying up-to-date on the latest advancements in technology. Some of the most popular information technology organizations to join include:

Association for Information Technology Professionals

The Association for Information Technology Professionals tracks trends in technology, educates professionals, and provides opportunities for career advancement. Members benefit from reports on the latest advancements in technology, business, and media. They also receive mentorship opportunities.

Association for Computing Machinery

The Association for Information Technology Professionals tracks trends in technology, educates professionals, and provides opportunities for career advancement. Members benefit from reports on the latest advancements in technology, business, and media. They also receive mentorship opportunities.

Women in Technology International

Founded in 1989, Women in Technology International empowers women to enter and succeed in business and technology careers. They provide career advancement services, networking events, and online education for professionals working in technology services.


To determine the best online master’s in information technology programs, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 5 best master’s in information technology programs. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.