An online Information Technology MBA program will make you an expert on the ins and outs of computer and information systems and how they are used to support business needs in the areas of communication, data and research. These types of programs combine the disciplines of information technology and business management. On the technical side, they focus on computer science including systems analysis, data communications, and networking and security. On the business side, they center on systems management and technical communications.
What Does an MBA in Information Technology Cover?
These days all types of businesses, whether small local or large national ones, use technology to increase efficiency and profitability. Computer systems and networks run daily operations, conduct sales, manage accounts and communicate with employees. Given that this is an ever-advancing area of science, businesses have to do what they can to keep up and those that do not are likely to fall behind and suffer as a result. This is one of the reasons why more companies are looking for business-minded individuals who have earned an online Information Technology MBA.
These degree programs involve every educational aspect of a traditional MBA program with additional curriculum in information technology. Online Information Technology MBA programs are intense and feature demanding course work and projects. They are designed to give students the ability to make rational decisions, solve complex business problems and develop successful solutions. As exceptional business performance is never achieved by one person alone, these programs often revolve around group efforts and teamwork. An MBA program with a concentration in this area will emphasize how information technology can be used to boost an organization’s profitability, efficiency and value. Topics covered will include project management, enterprise systems and infrastructure, and dynamic electronic strategies.
In general an MBA program consists of about 48 credits and can take anywhere from one to three years to complete depending on previous education, business course work and enrollment status. In an online Information Technology MBA program, you will take the same courses as you would in an on-campus one. In the first half of the program you will initially take core classes that address the fundamentals such as business environment, managerial economics, financial analysis, competitive strategy, fundamentals of managerial accounting, corporate finance and management communication. These courses are meant to provide you with a solid understanding of business as well as help you develop leadership, communication, analytical and management skills.
The second half of the online Information Technology MBA program will begin to integrate the IT component through advanced classes that focus on information systems, database management and strategic information technology planning. Courses titles may include information technology project management, information systems security, database administration, digital commerce and e-business, managing information assets, computer database applications, Internet programming, and business intelligence and data mining.
Getting Into an Information Technology MBA Program
To get into an online Information Technology MBA program, all applicants must have an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from an accredited school with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher. Although this bachelor’s degree may have been earned in any field, applicants should have proficiency in algebra-level mathematics and basic computer functions. Those without a business or computer science background will be asked to complete a set of foundation courses before beginning their MBA studies. Most schools will require GMAT scores in addition to a college transcript, and some may also mandate that students submit a resume and letters of recommendation and schedule an interview with a school officer. For example, Kaplan University requires that all applicants speak with an adviser before beginning the enrollment process.
Who Should Pursue an Online Information Technology MBA?
Anyone who has a strong interest in computer technology and a desire to work in the field of business should look into earning an online Information Technology MBA. This degree is usually a requirement for any type of management position within an IT department, and is applicable to a variety of other related positions of leadership.
Why Should I Get an AACSB Accredited Information Technology MBA?
The most respected and well-known online MBA information technology programs will be those that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB accredits only those business schools that provide a high quality education and produce the most qualified students.
What Jobs Can an Online Information Technology MBA Get Me?
- Database Administrators: These professionals find the most efficient ways to store, organize and use information through database management software. They analyze an organization’s information technology needs, select the most appropriate computer databases and work to ensure correct performance of the system. Database administrators also plan security measures and help their organization maintain data integrity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment within this occupation is projected to increase by 20 percent by 2018.
- Chief Information Officer: Chief information officers supervise the technological direction of an organization. They manage day-to-day information technology related projects, set budgets for new tools and software, train staff to use computer systems, and recruit top computer specialists and support personnel. To perform effectively, chief information officers must be able to think logically. They make upgrades based on deep knowledge of the workings of the organization. These managers are responsible for proposing budgets for projects and equipment. They make decisions about staff training and assign computer specialists and information technology workers as needed. Chief information officers manage the work of these employees, review their performance, and establish administrative procedures and policies geared toward the company’s overall success.
- Network Architects: Network architects are responsible for designing, recommending and installing computer and information networks. Network architecture includes local area and wide area networks, intranets and extranets. These professionals also perform network modeling, analysis and planning. They sometimes design computer security measures and recommend data communications hardware and software to the chief information officer. Many websites operate free of interruption because of the efforts of network architects.
Top Earning Industries for Jobs
- Financial Services: $58,354-$90,057
- Retail: $54,828-$89,872
- Insurance: $126,808-$201,902
- Information Technology Services: $103,926-$172,101
- Network and Communications Services: $95,000
- Networking Equipment: $107,707
How Do I Find Online Information Technology MBA Programs?
You should make sure the program you select is accredited, ranked and fits your personal preferences. Well-respected publications such as U.S. News & World Report, Businessweek and Forbes.com publish annual rankings of the top rated colleges and universities. These rankings are commonly based on factors such as student selectivity, academic quality, student-to-faculty ratio, graduation rate and post-graduation outcome. You can use these publications to find and compare business schools and identify online Information Technology MBA rankings.
There are several tools that you can use to find the best Information Technology MBA schools online:
- Best Biz Schools is a website powered by AACSB International that allows you to search for online Information Technology MBA schools and provides a list of AACSB-accredited online MBA programs.
- U.S. News & World Report has a University Directory in which users can search for MBA programs by school name, degree level, category, subject and instruction delivery method.
- College Navigator allows users to search for advanced degree programs by major and location, and provides details concerning accreditation and graduate enrollment.