Best Master’s Degrees in Information Technology 2022

| ComputerScience.org Staff Modified on June 27, 2022

Best Master’s Degrees in Information Technology 2022
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A master's degree in information technology helps learners develop their IT, leadership, and business skills, positioning them to pursue advanced careers in the tech industry.

IT programs combine training in business, communications, and technology. IT master's programs can build on students' existing IT knowledge and hone their skills in software processes, business intelligence, data science, project management, and advanced data mining.

IT professionals can expect a strong job outlook and strong earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 13% growth in computer and information technology jobs from 2020-2030, which is more than the average growth for all occupations.

This guide covers what to expect from IT master's programs, including courses, concentrations, and admission requirements. It also covers career paths and earning potential for IT master's degree-holders.

Why Get an Information Technology Master's Degree?

IT refers to the creation, management, and practical application of software, computer systems, and computer networks. IT helps businesses and organizations communicate and exchange information on a daily basis.

Since the first electronic computers appeared in the 1960s, IT professionals' jobs and responsibilities have changed alongside rapidly improving technologies. As technology and programming languages advanced, computer technologies by the late '60s and early '70s became substantially useful in business.

By the 1970s, information technology jobs emerged, focusing on the development of software and hardware that serve business operations across industries.

The BLS projects 13% growth for IT roles from 2020-2030, equaling an added 667,600 jobs.

Information technology plays a major role across the transportation, financial services, healthcare, and manufacturing industries. These sectors require many trained IT professionals for daily operations. The BLS projects 13% growth for IT roles from 2020-2030, equaling an added 667,600 jobs.

A master's in IT costs substantially more than a coding bootcamp. However, graduate programs offer intensive, well-rounded training, allowing students to develop expertise in a particular area of the field.

A master's in IT positions graduates to apply for high-paying advanced roles. Paying for a master's degree can be challenging for many students, but graduates can expect a higher return on their educational investment.

Higher Pay
According to the BLS, professionals with master's degrees typically make higher salaries. Compared to professionals with bachelor's degrees, master's degree-holders earn about $12,000 more per year in 2020.
Competition
Candidates with a master's in IT may stand out in the competitive job market.
Advancement
Both undergraduate and graduate degree-holders possess valuable skills for work in the tech field. Employers might prefer candidates with graduate degrees for higher-paying senior and management positions.

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What To Expect From Master's in Information Technology Programs

IT master's programs teach the essential frameworks and methodologies to solve complex computer and network issues. Foundational curricula also cover core aspects of data management, computer security, and software engineering. Required courses may include principles of cybersecurity, information technology research methods, and enterprise security and forensics.

Master's IT programs allow students to focus their skills in a particular subfield. Depending on the program, students can choose a concentration or elective courses, tailoring their degree to their career goals. Concentrations vary among IT programs but may include healthcare informatics, information security, or web design.

Full-time students can expect to complete about 30 credits in 18-24 months. The total cost of IT master's degrees varies, but public schools typically cost less than private schools. The National Center for Education Statistics reported in-state public universities charged an average graduate tuition of $12,410 for the 2019-20 academic year, compared to $26,597 for private institutions.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary among schools. Most colleges and universities prefer applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in a tech-related field with a competitive GPA. Many programs require prospective IT master's students to demonstrate a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants may also need prior work experience in an IT field.

Depending on the program, you may need to submit GRE scores or supplemental materials. Programs may ask for letters of recommendation and a personal statement that details your interests in IT. Some institutions may also ask you to participate in an in-person or online admissions interview.

Degree and Specialization Options

One aspect of pursuing a master's degree in IT is choosing a concentration or specialization. Each concentration focuses on an area of IT that students can apply to their future careers.

Popular master's IT concentrations include health informatics, network security, and network administration. These specializations can prepare students for jobs like data manager, digital security analyst, and network administrator.

Popular master's IT concentrations include health informatics, network security, and network administration.

Learners may encounter master's programs offering a research track and a professional track. The research option serves learners interested in developing research and analytical skills used in the field. The professional track helps students acquire applied IT knowledge, including business ethics and strategies.

Popular Information Technology Courses

Master's IT students must typically complete core courses, electives, and a final capstone or research project to graduate. Course offerings vary among schools and specializations. Many schools offer similar IT foundational courses, but elective offerings and degree requirements vary.

  • Network Defense and Hacking Ethics: This course helps students develop ethical hacking techniques. These skills allow IT professionals to detect network vulnerabilities and defend systems against malicious attackers. Learners explore footprinting, scanning and enumeration, and wireless network hacking.
  • Analysis and Design: This course covers technology design and system analysis. Students learn new techniques to create more efficient computer systems and increase productivity. Instructors may cover functional design, system requirements, and displays.
  • Forensics and Computer Investigations: In this class, students develop essential problem-solving skills using forensic analysis techniques. Learners typically use case studies and hands-on projects to investigate security breaches.

How Much Will a Master's in Information Technology Cost?

The cost of IT master's degrees varies among schools. In most cases, private schools charge higher tuition rates than public institutions. Out-of-state students at public schools typically spend more per credit than in-state learners.

Online students can sometimes earn their degrees for less. Some schools may offer lower tuition rates for distance students. Remote students also save money on commuting to and from campus, including bus passes, gas, and parking fees. Additionally, learners do not need to relocate to attend an online program.

Several financial aid options can help offset the cost of your information technology master's degree. Scholarships, fellowships, and grants provide funding that does not require repayment. Borrowers must pay back private and public loans with interest.

Jobs for Master's in Information Technology Graduates

IT master's degree-holders can pursue several high-paying jobs, including network architect and database administrator. Some professionals take advantage of continuing education opportunities such as a certification program.

The BLS reports the median annual salary for IT workers was $91,250 as of May 2020, more than double the median annual wage for all U.S. occupations.

Depending on their interests, students can also earn credentials like a certified ethical hacker, certified information security manager, and certified information systems security professional. The BLS reports the median annual salary for IT workers was $97,430 in 2021, more than double the salary for all U.S. occupations.

Web Developer

Web developers create and maintain websites. Their duties include writing code, monitoring website traffic and performance, and integrating audio/visual content. They often work alongside a team of IT professionals and designers in publishing industries and consulting services. Many web designers are self-employed.

  • Required Education: High school diploma
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +13%
  • Median Annual Salary (2020): $77,200

Software Engineer

Individuals with an IT master's can pursue high-level roles as software engineers. These professionals work in computer systems design and create software applications. Software engineers evaluate software performance, develop and recommend upgrades, and test applications' efficiency. They may also oversee software developers, testers, and quality assurance personnel.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +22%
  • Median Annual Salary (2020): $110,140

Database Administrators

Database administrators work in a variety of industries, including computer systems design, education, insurance, and enterprise management services. They design and build database systems that safeguard an organization's sensitive information, such as financial information and business records. They may specialize in managing databases or the software and programs that work with databases.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +8%
  • Median Annual Salary (2020): $98,860

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts often work in finance, insurance, or computer systems design and related services. They monitor organizations' networks for security breaches. Analysts often install software and updates to protect sensitive information, develop security standards and practices for their employers, and conduct regular security testing.

  • Required Education: Bachelor's degree
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +33%
  • Median Annual Salary (2020): $102,600

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Computer and information research scientists develop models and theories to solve complex computing issues. They typically work as part of an IT team, designing and conducting experiments to test software. They also use machine learning and data science tools. Professionals need at least a master's degree to pursue entry-level positions.

  • Required Education: Master's degree
  • Job Outlook (2020-30): +22%
  • Median Annual Salary (2020): $131,490

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Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

Choosing the Right Information Technology Graduate Program

Rankings of the top IT master's programs are a good starting point for prospective students researching their options. However, learners should consider many factors when choosing a school. Review this list of important considerations when looking for the right school for your educational and personal needs.

  • Accreditation: Students should only consider regionally accredited schools. The top IT programs also hold programmatic accreditation from ABET.
  • Student Support: Learn what resources your prospective program offers to master's students. Many schools offer valuable programs and support for STEM students, including networking opportunities and career workshops.
  • Alumni Success: Determine where IT graduates from your prospective schools have secured employment. Examining where recent alumni work to better envision your future career options.

Should You Get Your Degree Online?

Students can take advantage of the flexibility and convenience of distance learning, including maintaining family and work commitments. Online learning formats also suit computer-based IT master's curricula.

What are the pros and cons of distance learning? Self starters with good time management skills often thrive in distance-learning environments. However, if you prefer face-to-face interaction or learn best in structured classrooms, a remote IT master's might not be the best choice for you.

Other Educational Paths

A master's degree in IT sets candidates apart in the competitive job market. This degree positions graduates to pursue higher salaries than professionals with only a bachelor's. BLS data indicates that graduates with bachelor's degrees earn a median annual salary of $1,305 per week, while graduates with master's degrees earn $1,543 per week. This translates to roughly $67,860 annually for bachelor's degree-holders and $80,236 for master's degree-holders.

Researchers found similar trends in related fields. Data from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that salaries for computer science graduates in 2019 were approximately $14,000 higher for master's degree-holders than bachelor's degree-holders.

The Top Online Master's in Information Technology Schools

Top Three Programs

Learn about the best three master's degree in information technology programs for 2022. We explain our methodology for ranking institutions below.

#1 Online College in Florida

University of South Florida-Main Campus

School Information
Location Tampa, Florida
Admission Rate 48%
Graduation Rate 75%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of South Florida offers a master's degree in information technology. The program requires classes like advanced database management, penetration testing for IT, and advanced in object oriented programming. The non-thesis program requires a comprehensive exam the semester before graduation. 

Applicants need a bachelor's degree in information technology, computer science, or a related field with at least a "B" average and minimum GRE scores.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC)
  • Tuition: $7,840 (in state); $15,864 (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 30
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
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#2 Online College in New York

Cornell University

School Information
Location Ithaca, New York
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 95%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Cornell University's interdisciplinary, one-year master of professional studies in information science lets students tailor the degree to reflect their career goals. The curriculum includes courses like big data management and analysis, business intelligence systems, and app design and prototyping.

Learners can add an optional focus area:

  • Data science
  • Interactive technologies
  • User experience
  • Networks, crowds, and markets 

The program requires a capstone project working with client companies.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $31,228/semester
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Delivery Format: On-campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
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#3 Online College in Florida

Florida State University

School Information
Location Tallahassee, Florida
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 83%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Florida State University's College of Communication and Information offers an MS in information technology degree that covers information architecture, user experience design, and information quality assistance. Students develop skills in technical writing and communication, data management, and IT project management.

The 32-credit master's degree in information technology requires courses like usability analysis, information behavior, advanced web applications, and leadership in technology. Admission requirements include prior IT professional experience or coursework. The GRE is waived through fall 2026. 

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $579/credit (in state), $1,211/credit (out of state) for Leon/Gadsden/Wakulla county residents; $544/credit (in state), $1,176/credit (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 32 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online 
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
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Best Online Rankings

Explore our ranking of the top online information technology master's programs for 2022 below.

Florida State University - Master of Science in Information Technology Tallahassee, FL1

Florida State University's College of Communication and Information offers an online MS in information technology through the School of Information, Florida's only iSchool. The program provides a foundation in information systems management, information architecture, and data management. The 32-credit degree develops skills in technical writing, IT project management, and user experience design.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $579/credit (in state), $1,211/credit (out of state) for Leon/Gadsden/Wakulla county residents; $544/credit (in state), $1,176/credit (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 32 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
University of South Florida - Master of Science in Information Technology Tampa, FL2

The University of South Florida's hybrid master's degree in information technology includes online and face-to-face classes. The non-thesis program provides a broad understanding of business and technology applications. Students take classes like network programming for IT, statistical data mining, and cloud computing with opportunities to complete an independent study, internship, or practicum.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC)
  • Tuition: $7,840 (in state); $15,864 (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 30
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
Liberty University - Master of Science in Information Technology Lynchburg, VA3

Liberty University's fully online, 36-credit MS in information technology degree takes 1.5 full-time years to complete. Students can transfer in up to 50% of the required credits. Graduate can apply for jobs like database administrator, network security manager, and software programmer.

The curriculum covers application and software product development and IT system and computer network design. Learners develop leadership, problem-solving, and technical skills. Specializations include network design and security or software design and management.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges SACSCOC
  • Tuition: $565/credit
  • Credits Required: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 1.5 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 57%

Most Affordable Rankings

Consult our ranked list of the most affordable schools to earn your master's degree in information technology in 2022.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Master of Science in Information Technology Charlotte, NC1

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte's College of Computing and Informatics offers an affordable MS in information technology program. Students complete a capstone culminating experience that can include an IT project report, IT internship project, or IT master's thesis.

The 30-credit degree includes classes like mobile application development, principles of human computer interaction, and knowledge discovery from databases. Learners choose from concentrations like:

  • Emerging technologies
  • Information security and privacy
  • Web development
  • Software systems design and engineering

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $241/credit (in state), $987/credit (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 30 credits
  • Delivery Format: On-campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 50%
Florida Atlantic University - Master of Science in Information Technology and Management Bova Raton, FL2

Florida Atlantic University's affordable MS in information technology and management prepares graduates for engineering and management jobs. Designed for students with a background in IT, information systems, and related disciplines, the degree explores software engineering, database systems, and management of information systems.

The 30-credit program offers concentrations in computer science, data analytics and advanced information technology. Students take electives like data mining and machine learning, foundations of vision, and computer data security.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $304/credit (in state), $304/credit + $624/credit non-resident fee (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 30 credits
  • Delivery Format: On campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 32%
The University of West Florida - Master of Science in Information Technology Pensacola, FL3

The University of West Florida's affordable online master's degree in information technology takes about 24 months to finish. The curriculum requires classes like programming for information technology, data visualization, and digital media analytics. Students complete an IT capstone seminar or thesis to graduate.

Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Graduates can apply for jobs like lead database administrator, system architect, and IT manager.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $425/credit
  • Program Length: 24 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 64%

Best for Military Rankings

Explore our ranking of the top master's degrees in information technology of 2022 for military service members and veterans.

University of South Florida - Master of Science in Information Technology Tampa, FL1

The University of South Florida's hybrid master's degree in information technology from the College of Engineering teaches learners to use technology to solve problems in business. The military-friendly institution has a large student veteran population and a robust Office of Veteran Success.

Information technology majors take advanced database management, penetration testing for IT, and advanced in object oriented programming for IT.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC)
  • Tuition: $7,840 (in state); $15,864 (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 30
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
California State University-Fullerton - Master of Science in Information Technology Long Beach, CA2

California State University-Fullerton's College of Business and Economics offers a flexible online master's degree in information technology that takes 20 months to complete. Key topics include systems development processes, cybersecurity and cyberinsurance, and management of IT organizations. Students develop communication, programming, and accounting skills.

Learners can concentrate in: data science or IT management. The cohort-model program helps build a professional network. Admission requirements include GRE or GMAT scores, one letter of recommendation, and a leadership and creativity statement.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Tuition: $3,588/semester + $270/unit professional program fee for the MS in information technology + $396 per units enrolled (out of state)
  • Program Length: 20 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 26%
New York University - Master of Science in Information Systems New York City, NY3

New York University's MS in information systems program offers the equivalent of an accelerated combined MBA and computer science master's degree. The curriculum includes business classes from the Stern School of Business and computer science courses from the Courant Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Students explore data analysis, cryptography, algorithms, and organizational leadership. The program requires an information technology project course, which provides real-world experience at local organizations.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $2,020/credit
  • Credits Required: 39 credits
  • Delivery Format: On-campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 29%

Best Public School Rankings

Peruse our ranking of the best master's degree in information technology programs at public schools for 2022.

University of South Florida - Master of Science in Information Technology Tampa, FL1

The University of South Florida's master's degree in information technology from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering explores database management, object oriented programming, and penetration testing. Students can complete an internship or independent study. The non-thesis program requires a comprehensive exam prior to graduation.

The program is also available as a bachelor's/master's pathway, which lets students complete two degrees on an accelerated timeline.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSOC)
  • Tuition: $7,840 (in state); $15,864 (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 30
  • Delivery Format: Hybrid
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
Florida State University - Master of Science in Information Technology Tallahassee, FL2

The MS in information technology from Florida State University's School of Information, also called the iSchool, explores user experience design, IT governance, and mobile information systems. Students in the online program can apply for iSchool scholarships and assistantships to help fund their degree. Core courses include usability analysis, information systems management, and information behavior.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $579/credit (in state), $1,211/credit (out of state) for Leon/Gadsden/Wakulla county residents; $544/credit (in state), $1,176/credit (out of state)
  • Credits Required: 32 credits
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
California State University-Fullerton - Master of Science in Information Technology Long Beach, CA3

California State University-Fullerton's College of Business and Economics offers a 20-month master's degree in information technology completely online. Students can specialize in IT management or data science or generalize.

Core courses explore business intelligence, statistics for data science, and programming for IT. The program requires a capstone in information systems implementation to graduate.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Tuition: $3,588/semester + $270/unit professional program fee for the MS in information technology + $396 per units enrolled (out of state)
  • Program Length: 20 months
  • Delivery Format: 100% online
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 26%

Best Private School Rankings

Below, learn about the best master's degree in information technology programs for 2022 at private schools.

Cornell University - Master of Professional Studies in Information Science Ithaca, NY1

Cornell University's master of professional studies in information science takes one full-time year to complete. The interdisciplinary curriculum includes a capstone project where students work with local organizations to solve IT problems. Learners can customize their program plan to reflect their career interests.

Potential careers for graduates include application designer, systems administrator, and web applications developer.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $31,228/semester
  • Program Length: 1 year
  • Delivery Format: On-campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 35%
New York University - Master of Science in Information Systems New York City, NY2

New York University's MS in information systems program combines computer science and business courses. Students develop strong skills in business strategy and technology. The program requires 13 courses that explore topics like leadership in organizations, marketing, and database systems. To graduate, learners complete a IT projects capstone course.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $2,020/credit
  • Credits Required: 39 credits
  • Delivery Format: On-campus
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 29%
Northeastern University - Master of Science in Information Technology Boston, MA3

Northeastern University's master's degree in information technology offers part-time and full-time options. Students can graduate in as little as two years. Concentrations include:

  • General information systems
  • User experience
  • Big data systems and analytics
  • Smart contracts
  • Intelligent systems

Applicants with a non-STEM bachelor's degree can pursue the degree at an accelerated pace with the information systems bridge admissions pathway.

Program at a Glance

  • Accreditation: New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $1,689/credit
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Delivery Format: 100% online (synchronous, asynchronous, or both?)
  • Percentage Awarded Loans: 33%

FAQ's About Master's in Information Technology

What should I major in to become an IT architect?

After completing a bachelor's degree in computer science or IT, job-seekers pursuing IT architect roles can benefit from a master's in cybersecurity, data science, or software development.

Can I get an information technology degree online?

Yes. Colleges and universities offer fully online IT master's programs. Many remote programs have no on-campus obligations, allowing students to complete their degrees from virtually any location.

What can I do with a master's degree in information technology?

Professionals with master's degrees in information technology can pursue advanced roles in the field. Popular IT careers include computer and information research scientists, software developers, information security analysts, computer network architects, and computer systems analysts.

What master's degree should I get for information technology?

Most learners wanting to pursue high-level IT careers can earn a master's in the field. Other related graduate programs include master of information systems, master of management information systems, and master of science in information and communication technologies.

Explore Other Information Technology Education Paths

Associate Degrees in Information Technology

Associate Degrees in Information Technology

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Information Technology

Online Bachelor's Degrees in Information Technology

Doctorate Degrees in Information Technology

Doctorate Degrees in Information Technology

Find the Right Bootcamp For You

Find the Right Bootcamp For You

Featured Image: MoMo Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

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