With more jobs than ever requiring daily computer work, global demand for qualified information technology specialists continues to rise. Earning an MBA in information technology establishes you as a leader in this field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 12% increase in the need for computer and information technology professionals from 2018 to 2028.
Recent BLS data indicates that these professionals earn a median annual salary of $86,320. Graduates with an MBA in information technology enjoy the potential to earn more than this average.
This guide covers important information for prospective information technology MBA students, including common courses and potential careers and salaries for graduates.
Careers in Information Technology
Below, we outline five potential careers for graduates with an information technology MBA, including projected job growth and median salaries. If you find one that interests you, consider applying for an internship in that field. Some companies hire paid interns and keep them for full-time work after graduation. You can also center your capstone project around a topic that relates directly to your ideal career.
Computer and Information Research Scientist
These professionals enhance current computer networks and designs. They collaborate with a team of professionals to solve complex problems and report findings in scholarly journals and present them at conferences. Individuals who enjoy thinking strategically and creatively typically thrive in this role. The BLS projects this career to grow by 16% between 2018 and 2028 and reports a $118,370 median yearly income.
Computer Network Architect
Computer network architects build data communication networks for businesses, such as local area networks, wide area networks, and Intranets. These professionals must possess excellent interpersonal communication skills, as they must explain their design plans to management. They also update routers and computer hardware on an as-needed basis. The BLS projects this career will grow by 5% between 2018 and 2028 and reports a $109,020 median yearly income.
Database administrators oversee software used to store and sort data. They delegate tasks to data entry specialists, frequently reviewing their work for accuracy. Data administrators also transport data to new software programs as needed. These professionals possess an eye for detail and organization. They tend to work for organizations with large data pools, like higher education institutions and insurance companies. The BLS projects this career will grow by 9% between 2018 and 2028 and reports a $90,070 median yearly income.
Computer programmers create functioning websites with optimal user experiences. They must possess a strong understanding of computer languages like C++ and Java. These individuals must also think well under pressure and collaborate when problems arise. Some computer programmers work in office settings, while others work from home. Large nonprofits, corporations, and agencies all hire computer programmers. The BLS projects this career will decrease by 7% between 2018 and 2028 and reports a median annual salary of $84,280.
Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts critique computer systems to enhance their efficiency. These professionals sometimes work as independent contractors, while others find employment at an agency. They analyze systems, consult on ways to improve them, and then move focus to another project. These individuals often manage more than one project at a time. The BLS projects this career will grow by 9% between 2018 and 2028 and reports a median annual salary of $88,740.
How to Choose a Program in Information Technology
Selecting the right information technology MBA can feel overwhelming. To help, we've listed some factors to consider when researching programs. For remaining questions, we suggest reviewing the program's website and contacting the college or university's admissions office.
Ask for information on how lessons are delivered in the program
When searching for the right online MBA in information technology program, consider your learning style. If you identify as an auditory learner, look for programs featuring lecture-based courses. If you're a kinesthetic learner, hands-on learning sessions are likely the best fit. If you prioritize flexibility, then choose a program that delivers asynchronous rather than synchronous courses.
Get details on what support is available to students
Support levels can greatly impact your success when earning an information technology MBA. Some colleges and universities provide free tutoring services to support learners' studies. The student-to-faculty ratio is another factor to consider. Institutions with fewer students per course may be an ideal choice for those seeking individualized support from instructors.
Estimate your expected program costs
Some schools offer reduced tuition for in-state students, while others offer the same tuition rate for all online students regardless of residency. Colleges and universities typically do not charge student activity fees for online learning. Living expenses and the cost of materials, like books, are also important considerations. An affordable program can help you avoid large student loan payments upon graduation.
Ensure the school's admission requirements align with your expectations
Colleges and universities set their own admission requirements. Before applying, assess your GPA and entrance exam scores. If your qualifications don't meet your ideal school's requirements, then you can either attempt to improve your GPA through additional undergraduate courses or realign your expectations. Keep in mind that most programs require essays along with their online applications.
Compare student outcomes data
Many colleges list student outcome data on their websites. This information typically includes what percentage of graduates find employment within three years of graduation, common jobs for graduates, and average salary information. Most colleges and universities maintain communication with their alumni to gather this data.
Look for partnerships with local businesses and communities
By pursuing an MBA in information technology through a school that maintains partnerships with local businesses and communities, you can start to build your portfolio even before you graduate. These programs allow you to complete projects for real businesses, and can lead to job opportunities upon graduation. Some corporations also partner with schools to find paid interns, which can lead to long-term jobs.
Make sure the program is accredited
Make sure to choose a school that earns accreditation from a regional accrediting body, like the Higher Learning Commission. Regional accrediting agencies regularly review colleges and universities to evaluate their quality. Educational departments can also earn programmatic accreditation. The Computing Sciences Accreditation Board serves as a leading accrediting body for the information technology field. If you want to earn your doctorate, keep in mind that some programs only accept applicants with master's degrees from regionally accredited schools.
Speak with current students and alumni
Gathering a firsthand account is a great way to learn more about a program. Current students and alumni can offer an honest review of the pros and cons of the curriculum and professors. You can also learn about program pace and how this degree can support your intended career path. If you don't personally know any current students or alumni, you can contact your prospective school's admissions office, which can usually connect you with a student representative or graduate to answer your questions.
Information Technology Curriculum
Courses vary greatly between programs, so make sure to read course descriptions before applying to a program to ensure they're aligned with your career goals. Most information technology programs cover software basics and business functions. Below, we highlight three common courses found in information technology MBA programs.
- Software Architecture
- In a software architecture course, students learn best practices for building efficient networks. Students evaluate software designs, looking for ways to improve safety and security. As most software architects work in consulting roles, a large portion of this course includes how to efficiently present recommendations to managers.
- Enterprise Resource Planning
- In an enterprise resource planning course, students learn about software suites that enhance business operations, like human resources and finance. Learners discover how to configure and use enterprise resource planning software across business functions. This course enhances students’ managerial and technical skills, making them a valuable asset to businesses.
- Business Analytics
- This class teaches the methods businesses employ to measure and record performance. These analytics require statistical equations to reveal the efficiency of a program, department, or organization. Information technology professionals use business analytics to evaluate computer networks and software to make appropriate recommendations. This course teaches learners to use statistics to solve complex business problems, especially through an information technology lens.
Comparison of Information Technology Degrees and Specializations
By earning a specialized degree, you position yourself as a desirable job candidate. Below, we list three common information technology degrees, along with their descriptions and potential career paths.
|Degree Type||Description||Potential Career Path|
|Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Information Technology||Students pursuing an MBA in information technology learn how to integrate the latest and most relevant technologies into existing business operations and management systems. The program gives students the necessary skills for top managerial positions that require the ability to implement technology solutions and analyze technical performance.||Chief Technology Officer|
|Master's Degree in Information Technology Management||This program prepares students for IT leadership positions by offering coursework in information assurance, supply chain management, database design, and geographic information systems. Students learn how to administer and optimize enterprise architecture and monetize relevant emerging technologies. Some master's in information technology degrees offer specializations in areas such as data management and e-commerce technologies.||Information Systems Manager|
|Master's Degree in Computer Science (CS) and Engineering||Students learn about design and documentation methods, algorithms, computer hardware configurations, and complex software systems. The program focuses on programming elements rather than business concepts. Through hands-on training and study, students become proficient in implementing, evaluating, and optimizing computer systems and network performance.||Network and Computer Systems Administrator|
Cost and Length of an Information Technology Degree
Most colleges and universities feature out-of-pocket payment plans, but many students take advantage of financial aid opportunities to help offset the cost of a degree, such as scholarships, loans, and work-study programs.
To save money, consider attending a college in your home state, as most schools offer reduced in-state tuition. Earning an MBA in information technology online can also lead to savings, as some schools charge the same rate to all online students regardless of residency. You can also avoid paying on-campus fees, like student activity fees, by taking online classes.
Program length depends on the program's requirements and your personal schedule. Online MBA in information technology programs typically comprise 36-54 credits and take two years of full-time study to complete. However, some schools allow students to complete the program at an accelerated pace. Program requirements, like capstones and internships, may extend a program's length.
Information Technology FAQs
- What job opportunities does an MBA in Information Technology graduate have?
- Graduates of MBA in information technology programs are often leaders in the information technology field. Jobs that require a master's in this field typically pay well and offer rewarding benefits. Examples of jobs you can earn with this degree include computer research scientist and computer programmer.
- What are the subjects of an MBA in Information Technology program?
- Each program varies, but topics typically include network architecture, antivirus software, ethical hacking, and coding. Some schools offer concentrations or specializations, allowing you to dive deeper into one particular subject. This degree also teaches math and communication skills, since information technology professionals must use statistics to generate solutions to computer problems and communicate them effectively.
- What salary can I get with an MBA?
- According to the BLS, computer and information technology professionals earn a median annual salary of $86,320. Some factors that impact salary include experience and location. Typically, employers in large cities pay more than employers in small towns to offset the higher cost of living.
Information Technology Scholarships
Alice L. Haltom Education Scholarship
This scholarship provides $2,000 to bachelor's and master's students who declare a major within the information technology field. Applicants must submit official transcripts and three recommendation letters. Only U.S. and Canadian residents may apply for this scholarship.
This scholarship provides information technology majors with $2,000 scholarships. Applicants must maintain membership in their local CompTIA student chapter and demonstrate how they contribute to their chapter's success and their local community. Students may apply for this scholarship in June, and must submit an essay outlining their qualifications.
(ISC)² Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship
The (ISC)² Graduate Cybersecurity Scholarship awards $1,000-$5,000 to graduate students pursuing degrees related to cybersecurity. The organization annually selects 20 winners and announces them in June. Qualified applicants need a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Women in Technology Scholarship
The Visionary Integration Professionals (VIP) organization offers this $2,500 scholarship to women studying at two- or four-year accredited institutions. Applicants must declare a major in computer science, data management, management information systems, computer engineering, or information technology. VIP awards this scholarship to individuals with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a record of community service.
Women Techmakers Scholars Program
The Women Techmakers Scholars Program awards scholarships to women who work in technology. An advisory board selects winners based on academic performance and leadership demonstration. This scholarship aims to enhance gender equality within the tech field. Scholarship recipients must attend an annual scholarly retreat.