Is a Master’s in Information Technology Worth It?

Is a Master’s in Information Technology Worth It?

Those who already hold an undergraduate degree in information technology (IT), computer science, or a related field may be wondering whether pursuing a more advanced degree is worth it.

For many professionals, having a master’s degree in IT is a go-to way to advance career prospects while expanding their knowledge and skill set. So, is a master’s in information technology worth it? Below, we discuss a few aspects to consider.

Understanding the Value of a Master’s in Information Technology

If you have a bachelor’s degree under your belt, you might wonder, “Why study master’s in information technology?” There are numerous reasons to consider this area of study, ranging from the increased importance of advanced education in the IT industry to an ever-evolving landscape.

Importance of Advanced Education in IT

First of all, the information technology realm is highly complex with a range of different subsets that include information systems, computer systems, network systems, and beyond. Although a bachelor’s degree in IT or a related field can provide you with foundational knowledge to enter the industry, the reality is that a more advanced education is necessary to truly understand the various nuances of the field itself.

Exploring the Evolving Landscape of Information Technology

It is also worth noting that IT is constantly changing. What’s current and relevant today may be considered obsolete in months or even a few weeks from now. Meanwhile, new innovations and technologies are regularly emerging. In order to thrive and remain relevant in the dynamic IT field, it is necessary for professionals to remain committed to a lifetime of learning and development.

Why Study a Master’s in Information Technology? 7 Advantages

Still not convinced that a master’s in IT is the next logical step in your career growth? Here are a few specific benefits of advancing your education in IT with a master’s degree:

Career Advancement Opportunities in the IT Field

If you feel “stuck” at your current job or that there’s little opportunity for growth, then it may simply be a matter of needing to advance your skills and knowledge. With the information you learn in a master’s degree program, you may be able to qualify for higher-level jobs in your field, including leadership and management jobs for which you may not qualify with a bachelor’s degree alone.

Specialized Knowledge and Skills Development

A master’s degree program is also an excellent place to really focus on what interests you in the IT field. Whether you’re more interested in cybersecurity, information systems management, or anything in between, a graduate-level degree program allows you to explore what compels you and gain specialized knowledge that will serve you well in your career.

Increased Earning Potential and Marketability

Having a more advanced degree can increase your earnings potential. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, master’s degree holders earn an average of 21% more than those with a bachelor’s degree alone. Combined with the fact that a more advanced degree can help set you apart from other job applicants, it’s clear why a master’s degree in information technology is beneficial.

Access to Advanced Research and Innovation

Additionally, being part of a master’s degree program means having access to unique opportunities for research and innovation. During your studies, you may get to conduct your own research on an industry topic of interest to you—or even participate in a project that leads to new industry innovations. Being involved in this exciting type of work can not only help you make a name for yourself in the IT field but also give you the hands-on experience and confidence you need to forge your own path to success down the road.

Networking Opportunities and Professional Connections

A master’s in information technology program comes with inherent networking opportunities and chances to build long-lasting professional connections. This includes networking with professors and other IT students, along with the potential to establish connections with reputable industry professionals at conferences and other special events you attend during your graduate degree program.

Leadership and Management Development

A quality master’s degree program in IT will cover key industry topics and skills as well as critical leadership and management skills that IT professionals may need in more advanced positions. If you’ve been looking to develop your leadership and management skills to become a more confident and capable leader, a master’s degree program can help you do just that.

Adaptability and Future-Proofing in Technology Careers

As the IT field continues to grow in scope and complexity, it is likely that employers will begin seeking professionals who are highly skilled and knowledgeable. This may mean hiring more graduate degree holders over undergraduate degree holders. In this sense, pursuing your master’s degree in IT could help you future-proof your career and set yourself apart from others in an increasingly competitive job market.

What You Can Do With a Master’s in IT

You might also ask, “What can I do with a master’s in information technology?”

The good news is that there are many possibilities to explore no matter where your interests lie. Whether you’re interested in a career in cybersecurity, data science, or anything in between, having a master’s degree in IT can open up all kinds of new opportunities.

Cybersecurity Specialist

These professionals work to optimize cybersecurity for businesses and organizations alike, assisting with everything from putting safeguards in place to responding to threats or cyber attacks as they occur.

Data Scientist or Analyst

These experts are responsible for working with large volumes of data to make sense of it. From there, data scientists or data analysts use those interpretations to help organizations and individuals solve problems.

IT Project Manager

IT project managers take on an important leadership role where they oversee an entire project from start to finish. This includes managing individual team members while keeping projects on schedule and on budget.

Network Architect or Engineer

Network architects and network engineers in the IT field are responsible for designing and implementing computer networks, such as data communication networks or local area networks (LANsIs a Master’s in Information Technology Worth It?

Considerations When Choosing a Master’s in Information Technology Program

As you can see, there are a number of potential IT professions you can explore with a master’s degree. However, it is worth noting that not all IT programs are created equal—which is why you should choose carefully.

Not sure where to begin? Here are just a few things to consider when it comes to selecting a master’s in information technology program that’s right for your needs.

Accreditation and Reputation of the Institution

Ideally, the program and/or school you select will have been accredited. This means the school has voluntarily gone through the accreditation process and met or exceeded specific standards set forth by the accrediting body.

In addition to accreditation, take some time to research and learn about the school’s overall reputation in the IT field.

Curriculum and Specialization Offerings

It’s also wise for prospective students to research the specific curriculum of any program they’re considering. A master’s in IT program should cover essential topics and coursework in data science, programming language, and other key areas of the field.

Certain schools may also offer specializations within their IT programs, which can be a great way to home in on your unique interests. Some popular concentrations to consider exploring within the IT field include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital health
  • Digital transformation
  • Software engineering
  • Project management and technology leadership

Flexibility and Accessibility of the Program

Another consideration to keep in mind when exploring master’s degree programs in IT is how flexible and accessible they are. This can be especially crucial for those who are already working full-time jobs in the field or have other obligations in their lives (such as taking care of a family).

What does a flexible and accessible IT program look like? Some programs may be offered partially or entirely online, which can be an excellent way to save on the time and hassle involved in commuting to and from campus. In addition to online course offerings, a flexible program will have plenty of course options available with different meeting hours and days to suit the unique needs of the busy professional. This might even include evening or weekend classes for on-campus programs.

Alumni Success Stories and Industry Connections

Any great master’s degree program in IT will also have proven success stories and testimonials from real graduates who have gone on to excel after graduation. If you’re considering a specific program, take some time to look for a “testimonials” or similar page with such stories from real graduates to learn more.

Advance Your Education With a Master’s in Information Technology

With so many potential career opportunities and other benefits to studying information technology at the master’s level, now is an ideal time to start exploring your options. Looking for a flexible, career-focused degree program with plenty of resources to help you succeed? Look no further than Marymount University.

Here, we offer both an online and on-campus Master of Science in Information Technology that prepares students for various roles in the IT industry. Get in touch today to learn more about this 36-credit-hour program or get started with your online application.