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Is a Master’s Degree in Information Technology Worth It?  

Many people think of IT professionals as the people who troubleshoot computer issues—but this career path is so much more than that. Information technology presents a diversity of career paths that pay well, provide career stability, and offer numerous advancement opportunities.

 “Everything today runs on some type of computer-based system, whether it’s cloud-based computing or mobile software,” says Todd Whittaker, Department Chair of Computer and Information Sciences and Program Chair of Information Technology at Franklin University, “IT is a very stable career, and a Master’s in Information Technology is an extremely flexible degree. Because IT is more generalist in nature, we’ve built our coursework to embrace breadth while allowing students to create a focus area for skill specialization in the industry of their choice.” 

But how do you take advantage of all of the opportunities in IT? Do you need to get an advanced degree to get ahead? We’re here to break down the job market, benefits of a master’s degree in IT, and the types of professionals who will benefit by taking the leap. 

The Ever-Growing Market for IT Professionals

Over the next nine years, computer and information technology jobs are expected to grow by 12 percent and add 546,200 new jobs.

A Master’s in Information Technology can be a pivotal step to career advancement, especially if you have limited professional experience, want to change careers or even if you’ve been in the industry for a while and want to get to the next level. 

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A Master’s in Information Technology can be a pivotal step to career advancement, especially if you have limited professional experience, want to change careers or even if you’ve been in the industry for a while and want to get to the next level. 

7 Compelling Reasons to Earn Your Master’s Degree in IT

Getting your master’s degree is an investment, so you want to know if it will pay off. Here are seven reasons a Master’s in Information Technology is worth it:

  1. Upgrade your knowledge of IT best practices in critical areas like cybersecurity, cloud management and web development and deployment.
  2. Grow your leadership and management skills to get the most from your IT team and work more efficiently on projects.
  3. Develop deeper cross-functional collaboration skills to improve communication across departments and implement technology more effectively across your organization.
  4. Differentiate yourself from other candidates with an IT skill set tailored to your specific industry.
  5. Take your strategic thinking skills to the next level by gaining experience in systems thinking, business ethics and organizational strategy.
  6. Earn a lifelong credential that showcases your expertise and dedication to the field, while also growing your professional network.
  7. Increase your job prospects at the management and executive level, as well as salary expectations.

Unlike a bachelor’s degree, which is intentionally broad and deep in order to teach foundational skills, a master’s degree is a specialized degree that elevates both hard tech and interpersonal skills. 

 

What matters most when choosing a master’s program? Compare features, benefits and cost to find the right school for you.

 

A Master’s in IT Will Prepare You For These 5 Leading Careers

A multitude of careers in IT are waiting for master’s degree candidates. These are some of the most popular jobs out there right now.

Project Manager, Information Technology

IT project managers are responsible for planning and overseeing IT initiatives—from upgrading systems to employee evaluations. These professionals ensure projects are completed according to project goals and requirements, as well as on schedule and on budget. 

Why a master’s degree?IT project managers need to be technically sophisticated and have great interpersonal skills as they serve as team leaders. They also need to be adept problem solvers when projects don’t go according to plan. These are all skills gained when completing a master’s program in IT. 

Information Security Manager

Information security managers are responsible for creating, executing and maintaining security policies and procedures. They also audit systems to find risks and operations needs. Their goal is to stay up-to-date on the latest security protocols and ensure their infrastructure, systems and data are protected.

Why a master’s degree? Companies rely on information security managers to protect their most important data, so they want professionals with advanced credentials, the latest skills, and critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

IT Director

IT directors provide strategic leadership to their departments—working with their team to research, test and deploy new technology and software. They also manage budgets, outside vendors and work with executive leadership to reach their company’s goals.

Why a master’s degree? Many companies require director-level employees to have an advanced degree because strategic thinking, management and financial responsibilities are so critical to the role.

Chief Information Officer (CIO)

The CIO makes all of the large, systematic decisions for a company when it comes to technology used by the company. They work at the enterprise level to manage competing needs like maintaining and upgrading information systems with the cost of infrastructure and employee salaries. 

Why a master’s degree? Executive-level positions nearly always require a combination of advanced education and experience. CIOs must work across disciplines to provide technical expertise and strategic direction, which is the goal of a master’s degree in information technology.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

CTOs are responsible for the technology products and services a company provides, rather than internal infrastructure and systems. Their role is crucial to the competitiveness and profitability of a company’s offering. 

Why a master’s degree? A CTO has to stay on the cutting-edge of technology. Their role can be heavily involved in research and development, skills that are integral to a master’s education. The financial responsibilities and implications of this role also lead companies to hire professionals with advanced degrees.

Is It Worth It? The Choice Comes Down To Career Direction 

Deciding to get your master’s degree is a very personal choice. You have to determine if you are willing to dedicate the time, energy and money to get your degree. If you’re one of the professionals who identifies with these career aspirations, a Master’s in Information Technology might be right for you.

  • You want to change careers and get into IT. Maybe you have a technology background, or maybe not. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, getting another one may not be in your best interest when it comes to time commitment and cost. A master’s degree takes half the time to complete and can elevate you past the entry-level as you change careers. Just be aware of any prerequisites you may need for a master’s program.
  • You want to work at the executive level in IT. Getting into the C-suite is a dream of many—but it’s incredibly competitive. Because of the strategic nature of these roles and their direct impact on profitability, the majority of executives hold at least a master’s degree. 
  • You want to get into IT but I don’t have much experience. Even entry-level careers in IT are competitive in today’s job market. While you may be able to secure one of these positions with a bachelor’s degree, advancing to senior, managerial and executive positions can be greatly expedited by getting your master’s degree in IT.
  • You want to increase job prospects and salary expectations in a competitive job market. Maybe you’re looking to work at a larger organization, more prominent company or want to negotiate for a raise. All of these are great reasons to expand your skill set, network and leadership abilities with a master’s degree. 

Choose the Right Master’s in Information Technology Program for You

You are convinced a master’s degree in information technology will take your career to the next level. Now, it’s time to find a degree program. For most professionals, taking time off from their career isn’t feasible, so they look for the best online program to get their master’s degree. 

At Franklin University, we specialize in flexible, online education for working adults. Our Master’s in Information Technology degree is designed to further your technical skills, strategic abilities and give you the ability to focus your curriculum to the industry where you want to make an impact. Explore our program to learn more about our industry-relevant courses, experienced faculty, and supportive online learning environment.

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