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Almost every business uses technology, and every industry needs the expertise of information systems and technology professionals to ensure its technology works appropriately and remains secure. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% job growth for computer and information systems managers between 2019 and 2029 as digital platforms continue to expand.
Earning a master's in information systems and technology can launch your career in the expanding fields of software development, cybersecurity, and computer networking. This degree builds on computer science fundamentals, develops leadership skills, and offers career changers a path to a new field.
What Are the Best Online Master's in Information Systems and Technology Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|1||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA|
|2||Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL|
|3||University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|4||Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago, IL|
|5||California State University, Fullerton||Fullerton, CA|
|6||Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN|
|7||University of Denver||Denver, CO|
|8||The University of Texas at Dallas||Richardson, TX|
|9||Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, NJ|
|10||George Washington University||Washington, DC|
- How We Rank Schools
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Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.
2020 Best Accredited Online Master's in Information Systems and Technology Programs
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Carnegie Mellon University
|Pittsburgh, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 89%||
CMU's online master's in information technology program features four concentrations: information technology management; business intelligence and data analytics; formation security and assurance; and cybersecurity in Washington, D.C. This last track requires some on-site coursework in the nation's capital. Each concentration offers students multiple elective options.
Approximately 85% of CMU alumni find a job or enter another academic program within one year of earning their degree. Students can prepare for life after graduation by taking advantage of resume critiques, internship opportunities, and career workshops.
CMU admits new learners at three points throughout the year. Admission requirements for this program include GRE or GMAT scores, undergraduate transcripts, and recommendation letters. Full-time students pay a per-semester tuition rate. Incoming students may qualify for one of three institutional scholarships.
Florida State University
|Tallahassee, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 83%||
FSU's 32-credit online master's degree in information technology includes coursework in information behavior, usability analysis, and information systems management. Students work with an advisor to select electives in one of five paths, with options like web design and large-scale data management.
FSU's career center offers resources like Handshake job-search software, a virtual career portfolio, and alumni mentors. Distance learners can also access in-depth cover letter and resume guides.
Admission requirements include two years of work experience, standardized test scores, and a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Florida residents receive a significant tuition discount. Online students may qualify for scholarships offered through FSU's iSchool.
University of South Florida
|Tampa, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 73%||
USF's master's in information technology program uses a hybrid delivery method; some courses take place on the university's campus in Tampa. The program's 30-credit curriculum includes coursework in advanced object-oriented programming, penetration testing for IT, and advanced database management. All students take a comprehensive exam in their final semester.
Over 50% of USF's information systems alumni have a job offer on graduation day or start a career soon after. Students and alumni can plan for professional success by visiting career fairs, an online internship board, and information sessions.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, and three recommendation letters. Out-of-state online students in the program pay in-state tuition. Incoming students can use the STARS database to research and apply for institutional financial aid.
Illinois Institute of Technology
|Chicago, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
Prospective students who want a personalized educational experience may be interested in IIT's online master's degree in information technology and management. This degree features nine concentrations, including data management, software development, and systems analysis. Most full-time learners complete the 30-credit curriculum in two years.
IIT provides students with access to Handshake, career coaches, and an informational blog that covers job-hunting best practices. Nearly 90% of IIT students find a job or earn admission into another academic program before or shortly after graduation.
Prospective students must submit GRE or GMAT scores. IIT charges the same per-credit tuition rate to all learners, regardless of residency. Outstanding students in the program may qualify for the institutional Science Frontier Scholarship.
California State University, Fullerton
|Fullerton, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 68%||
CSUF's online master's in information technology program uses cohort learning to mimic the on-campus experience and promote professional relationships among students. The degree also features two concentrations: data science and IT management. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing.
CSUF provides distance learners with a job shadowing program, resume and cover letter critiques, and a social media etiquette guide. The university also provides alumni with career assessments and the latest job postings on Titan Connection.
Admission requirements include GMAT or GRE scores, one recommendation letter, and a statement of purpose. California residents receive a significant tuition discount.
|West Lafayette, IN||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 81%||
Purdue's 34-credit master's in IT business analysis includes coursework in data analytics, IT enterprise analysis, and IT policy and law. This program can be completed entirely online, and some full-time students can graduate within a year.
Purdue's information systems and technology alumni earn, on average, over $70,000 per year. Students can research the latest job postings through the university's website, where they can also attend a virtual job fair.
Admission requirements include two years of work experience, a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, and three recommendation letters. Out-of-state learners pay a slightly higher tuition rate than in-state students. Purdue offers a tuition payment plan, and students may also qualify for federal grants and loans.
University of Denver
|Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 77%||
DU's master's in information and communications technology program features an entirely online curriculum that students can complete in 18 months. Learners select from 10 concentrations, including information systems security, cybersecurity management, and technology management. Students can supplement major coursework by earning a certificate in a related area.
Students at DU can explore internship opportunities, meet with career coaches, and attend virtual workshops. Approximately 85% of recent DU master's alumni found a job or earned admission into another academic program.
Admission requirements include a minimum 2.5 undergraduate GPA. However, applicants need not submit standardized test scores, and all learners pay the same tuition rate. DU's Graduate Impact Scholarship accepts applications at three points throughout the year.
The University of Texas at Dallas
|Richardson, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 72%||
UT Dallas offers a master's degree in information technology and management that features a 36-credit curriculum with core coursework in data management, business economics, and operations management. The program also includes three optional graduate certificates. Students can complete many of their courses online.
UT Dallas provides distance learners with access to Handshake software, internship opportunities, and virtual seminars that provide tips on writing resumes and interviewing.
Admission requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, GMAT or GRE scores, and at least one recommendation letter. UT Dallas provides a tuition discount to Texas residents. Learners who maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA can apply for institutional scholarships.
Stevens Institute of Technology
|Hoboken, NJ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
Aspiring information systems managers may be interested in the master's in information systems program at Stevens. The 36-credit, 18-month degree offers five concentrations, including project management, software engineering, and cybersecurity risk management. The program does not require a traditional master's thesis or capstone.
Over 95% of Stevens alumni find a job or pursue further education before or shortly after graduation. The university plays a significant role in alumni's professional success by offering virtual career advising sessions, a job board, and online workshops through Zoom.
Students begin this program in the fall semester. Admission requirements include a resume, GMAT or GRE scores, and two recommendation letters. Full-time students pay a per-semester tuition rate, and over 90% of students receive some form of institutional financial aid.
George Washington University
|Washington, DC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 82%||
GW's 33-credit master's degree in information systems technology can be earned online and includes coursework in structured programming, relational databases, and information systems security. Students create a custom concentration by choosing electives. They also complete an integrated information systems capstone.
GW's career center offers resources like highly trained advisors, GoinGlobal, and InterviewStream. The center's blog covers job-hunting best practices and interviewing and networking tips.
Admission requirements include undergraduate transcripts, two recommendation letters, and a 500-word career objective statement. All students pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of residency.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Information Systems and Technology Program?
In addition to technical skills, information systems managers need good communication skills, problem-solving capabilities, and decision-making abilities.
A master's in information systems and technology blends computer science and programming with the study of business and leadership. A professional's duties vary based on their career path, but individuals in this field should enjoy working with database management systems, programming languages, and hardware platforms.
In addition to technical skills, information systems managers need good communication skills, problem-solving capabilities, and decision-making abilities. These managers often work with other departments in an organization, helping to plan and implement technology upgrades. They need active listening skills to understand the needs of technology users, as well as verbal and written communication skills to train users how to take advantage of new tools or follow new procedures.
It takes most students about two years to complete a master's in information systems and technology, although some schools offer accelerated one-year programs. Most programs require 30-36 credits. Students can choose from a master of science (MS) degree or a master of business administration (MBA) degree.
Many programs offer concentrations related to information systems, including medical informatics, information systems security, project management, and business intelligence.
Master's programs often require a comprehensive capstone experience. This experience may involve completing a professional project, writing a thesis, or compiling a portfolio. Some schools also offer internships and the chance to take part in case competitions.
Admission Requirements for Online Master's in Information Systems and Technology Programs
Applicants must submit their undergraduate transcripts, and some schools require a 3.0 GPA or higher. Some schools require GMAT or GRE scores, and programs may also ask applicants to turn in a statement of purpose and letters of recommendation.
Many schools welcome applicants from a variety of academic backgrounds. However, you may need to take prerequisite courses in business, statistics, or computer science before starting graduate coursework.
Our Graduate Admissions Guide can help you prepare for the application process.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Information Systems and Technology Program?
The curriculum for a master's in information systems and technology varies by school and specialization. This interdisciplinary program combines business and analytics courses with courses in computer programming and engineering. Students in an MBA program may take more business courses, while the MS pathway provides a greater focus on computer science and technology.
- Business Foundations for IT
This course offers an overview of critical elements of business management. Designed for students without a business background, the course introduces concepts and theories related to economic and financial decisions, marketing, and human resources. Coursework also examines the role of information technology in business operations.
- Business Data Analytics
Businesses collect and use a variety of data in their decisions. This course introduces students to those data sources and their business uses. Instructors focus on quantitative data analysis and business analytics modeling. The course often incorporates the use of spreadsheet applications.
- Information Security
Businesses often keep sensitive data related to financial information, product development, or healthcare records. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of information security, focusing on laws and information security regulations, security monitoring, risk assessment, and disaster recovery. Assignments may include a combination of reading and writing assignments, tests, and projects.
- Business Data Mining
Companies collect vast amounts of data on their customers every day. This course teaches students how to analyze that information for business purposes. Key components of the course include pattern discovery and cluster analysis. Students learn how to use graphs and other visualization methods to illustrate their work.
- Managing Cloud Computing
Cloud computing offers increased efficiency and convenience, but it also brings new risks to information security. In this course, students explore the types of cloud infrastructures available and various service models. Case studies offer real-world examples of cloud computing management, emphasizing software-defined networks and cloud storage concepts.
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What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Information Systems and Technology Degree?
Many industries rely on the expertise of information systems and technology graduates. The BLS projects 10% employment growth for computer and information systems managers from 2019-2029, which is much faster than the average projected growth rate for all occupations (4%). The BLS also projects 7% job growth for computer systems analysts, 11% job growth for management analysts, and 10% job growth for database administrators over that same timeframe.
Many of these careers require at least a bachelor's degree. A master's degree in information systems and technology can prepare applicants for management roles and provide a competitive edge when it comes to hiring or promotion decisions, especially if you supplement your degree with relevant industry certifications.
The careers described below represent a sample of what you can do with an online master's in information systems and technology degree. You can also read our guide to learn more about information systems careers.
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
Information systems managers help plan and direct technology activities in an organization. They oversee networking plans and the installation of hardware and software. They evaluate new technology and determine the costs and benefits of new projects. The BLS projects 10% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029, with workers making a median annual salary of $146,360 in 2019.
- Computer Systems Analyst
Systems analysts and architects regularly evaluate organizational information technology systems for potential upgrades, efficiencies, and security. They train both IT staff and staff who use the technology. They may specialize in programming analysis or software quality assurance. The BLS projects 7% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029. Systems analysts made a median annual salary of $90,920 in 2019.
- Management Analyst
Management analysts advise company managers on improving organizational efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing revenues. They work with various types of business data to inform their recommendations and implement new procedures, tools, and training. The BLS projects 11% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029. The median annual salary for management analysts in 2019 was $85,260.
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
These administrators design, build, and maintain critical network infrastructure for organizations. They train users, support security protocols, and respond to repairs or malfunctions. Computer systems administrators work in almost every industry, including finance, insurance, and educational services. The BLS projects 4% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029, with workers making a median annual salary of $83,510 in 2019.
- Database Administrator
Database administrators monitor data security, design database structures, and ensure personnel can access data quickly. Database administrators may specialize in the hardware and network structure of a database or specific applications and software. The BLS reported a median annual salary of $93,750 for database administrators in 2019 and projects 10% job growth for this position between 2019 and 2029.
Information Systems and Technology Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Information Systems and Technology Programs
- Is a master's in information systems and technology worth it?
Earning an online master's in information systems and technology prepares you for leadership roles and allows you to take on complex information technology projects. The curriculum combines technical computer science topics with a business foundation.
- What can I do with a master's in information systems and technology?
Almost every industry needs the expertise of information systems and technology graduates. From healthcare and finance to education and social services, businesses continue to use new technologies to reach and serve their customers. An online master's in information systems and technology teaches you to identify the best technology for an organization's unique needs.
- Is information systems and technology in demand?
Yes. The BLS projects 11% job growth in computer and information technology occupations between 2019 and 2029. Increased cloud computing, the need for information security, and enhanced e-commerce platforms should drive this growth. Most jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar subject, and a master's degree in information systems and technology can provide an advantage on the job market.
- How much money can I make with a master's in information systems and technology?
Computer and information technology professionals earned a median annual salary of $88,240 in 2019. However, the type of job you have, your experience and education, your industry, and where you live all impact earning potential. For example, while computer and information research scientists reported a median annual salary of $122,840, computer support specialists reported a median annual wage of $54,760.
- What are the highest-paying jobs I can get with a master's in information systems and technology?