2020 Best Online Master's in Information Technology (IT) Degrees

By OnlineU Staff | Updated 3/9/2020
2020 Best Online Master's in Information Technology Badge

The 9 online colleges on this list are the best value options for online master's programs in information technology, based on their tuition and alumni-reported salaries. A degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology has an impressive return on investment, with an annual tuition of $19,605 and alumni reporting a mid-career salary of $147,700. The University of Maryland Global Campus offers distance learners a Master of Science in Information Technology for $11,862 per year. Alumni reported a mid-career salary of $121,900.

Alumni salaries were provided by PayScale. View our methodology for more details or learn more about OnlineU.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition Mid-Career Salary
# 1 #1 New Jersey Institute of Technology $19,605 $147,700
# 2 #2 University of Maryland Global Campus $11,862 $121,900
# 3 #3 DePaul University $17,030 $121,100
# 4 #4 Webster University $14,040 $117,300
# 5 #5 University of Denver $22,816 $120,500
# 6 #6 Florida Tech-Online $12,821 $115,600
# 7 #7 University of Pennsylvania $12,500 $111,200
# 8 #8 Nova Southeastern University $12,735 $110,300
# 9 #9 Bellevue University $10,530 $100,200
Salary data provided by Payscale Logo

2020 Online Colleges Offering Information Technology Degrees - Ranking Details

#1 New Jersey Institute of Technology

  • Annual Tuition: $19,605
  • Median Salary: $147,700
  • Locations: Newark (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Located in Newark, the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is comprised of six colleges and schools that collectively offer more than 125 different degree programs. The institution has been in continuous operation since 1881. The school’s Ying Wu College of Computing offers a Master of Science in IT Administration and Security, where students learn both technical and administrative skills related to the IT industry. A total of 30 credits are required to complete the degree. Students can opt for the professional management option, which adds extra emphasis to developing managerial skills; with this option, 33 credits must be earned. This option also includes a capstone project.

#2 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $11,862
  • Median Salary: $121,900
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Located in Adelphi, Maryland, the University of Maryland Global Campus offers on-campus programs but focuses mainly on online education. An online Master of Science in Information Technology is offered with eight specializations: database systems technology, homeland security management, informatics, information assurance, project management, software engineering, systems engineering, and telecommunications management. All courses are available online, and some are also available in a hybrid format. Learning is asynchronous, so students can log in and study at a time that is convenient for them. A total of 36 credits are required to complete the degree, and up to 6 credits can be transferred.

#3 DePaul University

  • Annual Tuition: $17,030
  • Median Salary: $121,100
  • Locations: Chicago (IL)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Founded in 1898, DePaul University is a Roman Catholic institution located in Chicago. The school offers two online graduate programs in the IT field: a Master of Science in Business Information Technology and a Master of Science in Information Systems. The MS in Business IT requires 52 credits. Some required courses must be taken on campus, while others can be taken on campus or online. A capstone project must be completed. The MS in Information Systems also requires 52 credits, and all courses are available online. Students have the option of completing a capstone course, internship, research course, project course, or thesis. Online learning at DePaul is asynchronous, and students can access course material 24/7. Classes are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus.

#4 Webster University

  • Annual Tuition: $14,040
  • Median Salary: $117,300
  • Locations: St. Louis (MO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Located in Webster Groves, Missouri, Webster University offers an online Master of Arts in Information Technology Management. The 36-credit program teaches students both technical and managerial skills so they can pursue a career in the highly competitive IT field. Also offered is a Master of Science in Cybersecurity, where students learn to oversee, operate, and protect essential computer systems. They gain an in-depth understanding of ethics, terrorism, fraud, counterintelligence, and other subjects related to cybersecurity. A total of 36 credits are required to complete the degree. Online learning at Webster University is asynchronous, and students have 24/7 access to course materials.

#5 University of Denver

  • Annual Tuition: $22,816
  • Median Salary: $120,500
  • Locations: Denver (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

The University of Denver offers an online Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology with ten different concentrations. Among them are cybersecurity management, mobile application development, software design and programming, telecommunications technology, and web design and development. Classes can be taken evenings at the school’s campus or online. The term lengths are ten weeks. The degree can be completed in as little as 18 months, or students can take up to five years. Each degree is comprised of 12 courses, and 48 credits are required to complete the program.

#6 Florida Tech-Online

  • Annual Tuition: $12,821
  • Median Salary: $115,600
  • Locations: Melbourne (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Florida Tech offers numerous information technology degree online programs for students looking for a flexible way to advance their education or careers in the fields of computer science and information systems. The Master of Science in Information Technology has three concentration options: Cybersecurity, Database Administration, and Enterprise Resource Planning. The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems and the Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity are additional options. For those looking for a technical degree with a business focus, online MBA programs with concentrations in Cybersecurity, Information Technology Management, and Project Management in Information Technology are available. These asynchronous online graduate programs offer six start dates for a flexible study experience. Students have access to online resources such as library databases and academic support and advising. To apply, students must submit an online application (no fee) with their college transcripts; additional documentation may be required for consideration.

#7 University of Pennsylvania

  • Annual Tuition: $12,500
  • Median Salary: $111,200
  • Locations: Philadelphia (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The Master of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) online program at the University of Pennsylvania is designed for those who do not have a background in computer science and wish to obtain the necessary skills to explore career opportunities in the field. Students will engage in project-based learning to help them in pursuit of a career in the technical field. New cohorts for this online master’s in information technology program start in the fall and spring; students can enroll either full- or part-time. The ten-course curriculum covers six core classes in computer systems, software development, and systems programming, with four electives in areas such as information systems, data science, blockchain, and AI. Classes are asynchronous, and students can meet for synchronous weekly office hours with faculty who are experienced in the field. Online students have access to dedicated career services support and the MCIT Online club, which brings together a diverse group of students and alumni. To apply, students must submit an online application with a personal statement, college transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a resume; GRE scores are optional.

#8 Nova Southeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,735
  • Median Salary: $110,300
  • Locations: Fort Lauderdale (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Nova Southeastern University offers two asynchronous online master's programs to educate students in computer and information science: the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) and the Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity. The MSIT program is offered with three concentrations: Business Intelligence/Data Analytics, User Experience (UX)/Human-Computer Interaction, and Information Assurance and Cybersecurity Management. It is a 30-credit program that centers on information technology theories and practices in management and business planning. The MS in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity is also a 30-credit program with a focus on network security engineering and infrastructures. This information technology degree online program has been certified by both the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security. Full-time students can complete either degree in 12 to 14 months, while part-time students can finish in 16 to 24 months. Online students have access to campus services such as academic and career advising. To apply to either master’s program at Nova Southeastern University, students must submit an online application (fee applies) with college transcripts and a resume.

#9 Bellevue University

  • Annual Tuition: $10,530
  • Median Salary: $100,200
  • Locations: Bellevue (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

At Bellevue University, students can acquire the knowledge and skills to explore career opportunities in the fields of technology, computer science, and information systems. The Master of Science in Computer Information Systems offers concentrations in Databases, Software Development, and Security. The 36-credit asynchronous online curriculum combines theory with practical training so students can explore career opportunities in systems development and management, software development, database design, project management, and IT security. The Master of Science in Management of Information Systems is a STEM program that focuses on IT project management. This 36-credit asynchronous online master’s program covers various topics in information systems, including security, infrastructure, strategy and policy, and enterprise architecture. Enrolled online students have access to a variety of services, including academic and career advising, library resources, tutoring services, and military/veteran assistance. Prospective students should submit an online application (fee applies) with their college transcripts; additional documents like personal essays and letters of recommendation may also be required.

Overview of an Online Master's Degree in Information Technology

The online IT master’s program curriculum discusses the strategic use of information systems in the business world. Core technical classes look at telecommunications management, e-business technologies, database management, software engineering and computer programming. Management courses discuss project management and leading in a technology setting. Many information technology master’s programs require students to choose a particular module or specialization in an IT area. Possible focuses include software development, information security, health information technology, information systems management, and telecommunications systems. Along with the courses in the specialization area, many IT master’s programs require an on-site practicum or internship experience in an IT business setting.

The information technology master’s opens up a wide variety of leadership roles in information systems, including IT manager, project manager, information security specialist, systems analyst, network architect, and software developer. Other possible roles include network administrator, database administrator, and computer programmer. The career direction that graduates choose will likely depend on their degree specialization and previous professional experience; for example, it is useful for IT managers in a hospital to have previous experience in a healthcare setting.

Jobs and Salaries for IT Degrees

Receiving a master’s in information technology is a major step in launching or enhancing an IT career and sets students up for a high earning potential. The IT master’s degree provides students with professionally focused skills in information technology that incorporate perspectives from business and management. The programs allow students to further their understanding of how to manage and be a part of a comprehensive IT support systems within a thriving business through classroom and hands-on learning. Most programs take 2 years to complete and require around 30 credit hours to receive your degree. Students can take graduate-level courses in cyber-law and ethics, telecommunications management, e-business technologies, database management, software engineering and computer programming. Management courses discuss project management and leading in a technology setting.

As more and more businesses are relying on the internet and computers to facilitate their day-to-day operations, IT professionals have become in high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the IT field is expected to increase 13% by 2026. The BLS claims that within that timeframe there will be more than half a million jobs added in this field, promising plenty of opportunities for an information technologist with a master’s degree. Information support systems are integral to making sure a company’s information infrastructure run smoothly and safely and information technicians are the first line of defense, making them invaluable to employers.

A master's degree in information technology can open a wide variety of leadership roles in information systems, including IT manager, project manager, senior database administrator, information security specialist, systems analyst, network architect, and software developer. These managerial-focused careers allow for higher-level positions and a higher earning potential. Master’s in IT programs will prepare you for these opportunities by offering a variety of high-quality, informative courses that focus on how students can apply the knowledge they received in the classroom to the business world.

These are the most common jobs for IT master's degree graduates:

  • IT managers run the IT team of any business, institute, or organization. They are knowledgeable about every aspect of information technology and oversee all of the company's electronic systems and networks. They work with upper-management to effectively communicate the business' needs to other IT technicians. In 2016, IT managers had an average annual income of $135,800.
  • The chief technology officer (CTO) of a business oversees all of the company's technological departments. This is an executive-level position and involves managing a team of IT specialists. The average salary for a CTO is $153,860 per year.
  • A chief information officer (CIO) is the executive who oversees all of the IT strategies for a business. They often work directly with the CEO in order to organize and implement IT networks in the best possible way. The average annual salary for a CIO is $169,000.
  • IT project managers organize and monitor projects related to information technology. This requires leadership and managerial skills as project managers often have to oversee teams of IT specialists. The average salary for an IT project manager is currently $85,779 per year.
  • Senior database administrators arrange and store important information for an organization. They are responsible for keeping the information safe and accessible. The average annual salary for a senior database administrator in 2017 was $87,020.
  • Information security specialists are responsible for monitoring and maintaining a network's security system. In 2017, their average annual salary was $95,510
  • Systems analysts look at an organization's computer system and provide design assistance that aims to make the network run better and more efficiently for the organization. In 2017, the average annual income for a systems analyst was $88,270.
  • A network architect designs an organization's communication and information networks. These networks could be designed for small or large business and could be intranets, wide area networks (WAN), and local area networks (LAN). The average salary for a network architect was $104,650 in 2017.

While an information technology specialist with a bachelor’s degree generally earns around $80,000 a year, the average salary for a mid-career IT manager with a master’s degree was $105,000 per year in 2017. This master's degree wage premium is much higher than the average wage premium for earning a master's.

References

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