What Can You Do with a Master’s in Information Technology?
2 June, 2021
Information technology professionals work at the center of digital transformation, empowering companies to thrive in a world of globalized connections and strategize for emerging challenges. Businesses rely on experts in fields such as IT project management, cloud computing, user experience, big data, and cybersecurity to adopt new technologies that propel the rapid evolution of business operations. And with many firms now exploring a long-term switch to remote work, these technical problem solvers are more crucial than ever to implement secure and reliable solutions.
With businesses focused on analytics-driven decision making and increasingly staffed by digital workforces, professionals who earn a master’s in information technology can expand their job prospects and find opportunities for advancement. An information technology graduate degree allows candidates to upgrade their knowledge of IT best practices while growing their skills in communication, leadership, problem solving, systems thinking, and organizational strategy. Here’s how expanding your IT knowledge can help to reach your professional objectives.
What Career Options Are Available in Information Technology?
High-level careers in IT require an in-depth understanding of digital technology and the skills to apply sophisticated systems in an organizational setting. Firms depend on highly trained IT specialists to:
- Collect and manage vital data
- Optimize system performance
- Lead complex technical projects
- Establish and enforce cybersecurity measures
- Discover analytics insights into customers and operations
- Develop software applications based on organizational needs
- Communicate clearly with both business leaders and technical teams
- Solve business problems with machine learning and artificial intelligence
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected 11% growth in computer and IT jobs between 2019 and 2029, representing 531,200 new positions. Professionals in these fields earn a median annual salary of $91,250 working in a wide range of industries such as professional and technical services, computer systems design, manufacturing, telecommunications, finance, data processing, education, healthcare, and software development.
You can explore career options in information technology like the following:
|Information Technology Job Titles||Median Salary|
|IT Project Manager||$104,808|
|Chief Information Officer (CIO)||$118,203|
|Chief Technology Officer (CTO)||$150,996|
Median salary estimates are based on a Burning Glass analysis of job postings.
What Jobs Can I Get With a Master’s Degree in Information Technology?
If you want to advance in an IT career, you’ll benefit from cultivating a varied set of skills that help organizations reach their goals. In addition to technical expertise, successful information technology leaders are resourceful professionals who harness project management strategies, analytical insights, creative problem solving, and persuasive communication.
The following descriptions demonstrate the breadth of master’s in information technology career possibilities:
IT Project Manager
IT project managers plan, implement, and supervise a variety of initiatives that build up an organization’s technical capabilities and infrastructure. These leaders may be responsible for software development, hardware installation, cloud migration, and analytics implementation. A manager assesses each project’s requirements and works with various specialized teams to complete the tasks involved as efficiently as possible. Planning a major undertaking may involve hiring and training technical experts or securing materials and facilities. Throughout the process, leaders must monitor their teams’ activities closely to stay within budget and on schedule.
Analytics projects require organizations to collect and analyze extensive volumes of data while verifying the accuracy of findings and protecting information security. Data or analytics managers make these efforts possible by overseeing teams of specialists and coordinating the many tasks involved. Their responsibilities can include developing efficient methods to collect data and analyze information, selecting tools for analysis and reporting, solving technical problems, and employing machine learning or artificial intelligence to discover strategic insights. Data managers must be able to balance highly technical concepts with the everyday demands of business operations, distilling complex issues into clear recommendations for decision makers and other stakeholders.
The senior manager in an IT department is tasked with supervising staff members and keeping an organization’s technical resources aligned with its objectives. In consultation with senior executive leaders, the director leads updates by thoroughly analyzing the technology already in place and identifying gaps. In close collaboration with departments, an IT leader may research, test, and integrate new tools as needed. In addition to staying up to date with advances in computer hardware and software, directors must be capable of managing a budget and maintaining relationships with outside consultants and vendors.
The possibility of a data breach or cyberattack is a constant concern for organizations of all kinds, a danger vividly illustrated by incidents like the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline. Cybersecurity managers are charged with proactively taking on threats such as malware and social engineering tactics to keep systems, networks, and data safe from criminals. To protect a company’s valuable information and reputation, a leader must institute effective security policies, audit and update systems to eliminate vulnerabilities, and stay vigilant for any risky activities by employees.
In our era of big data, companies rely on cloud storage as a scalable, flexible means to organize and manage all the information they gather. A cloud architect implements a strategy to meet an organization’s specific storage needs by managing and monitoring an array of databases and applications. These IT specialists are responsible for ensuring that cloud solutions are well-protected and compliant with regulations. Cloud architects should be capable communicators who collaborate effectively with multiple departments within their organizations as well as third-party vendors.
Software developers apply principles from computer science and engineering to create solutions such as mobile apps, desktop and web applications, network systems, games, and operating systems. This field involves collaboration with designers, data scientists, and program managers to create solutions that meet an organization’s requirements. Developers must have a thorough understanding of programming languages and be ready to adapt to different ones as needed. These professionals may be asked to conduct research, design prototypes, run tests, and review other people’s code.
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
CIOs are top executives in large companies who are in charge of major decisions regarding the organization’s information infrastructure. Working across disciplines to provide strategic direction and technical expertise, these leaders craft policies governing information systems and management. A CIO supervises the maintenance and upgrades of information systems, including setting and monitoring a budget. In addition to advanced IT skills, leaders at this level need several years of experience in executive leadership and resource management.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
As part of the executive team, a CTO oversees a company’s technological resources as well as research and development efforts. The role involves planning and executing large-scale strategies that enable organizations to leverage technology for improved productivity and profitability. CTOs pursue technical innovations while balancing their organization’s overall business goals and financial obligations. Taking on this position requires a combination of extensive leadership experience, powerful communication skills, and specialized knowledge of technology.
Growing opportunities in information technology mean you can apply advanced technical skills in many different settings, from groundbreaking tech firms to government agencies and nonprofits. Obtaining a master’s degree in information technology helps you take on the complex challenges of today’s digital workplaces with valuable skills in areas like systems design, analytics, user experience, and digital transformation. With a broad variety of MSIT career options, you can delve into the problems that interest you most and build a future as a leader in innovation.
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Master of Science in Information Technology
The WPI Business School is committed to helping professionals build a strategic business mindset that’s empowered by technology. Students in WPI’s online Master of Science in Information Technology program experience technical, project-based virtual learning that prepares them for career advancement in the IT sector.
Designed for working professionals, the hands-on curriculum teaches graduate students how to use state-of-the-art software and analytics tools to manage enterprise-grade IT systems. WPI’s online master’s in information technology program offers four stackable specializations in information systems design, data analytics, digital transformation, and IT user experience. Students learn from real-world examples, participate in team projects, and have opportunities to acquire certifications and micro-credentials.
Our faculty includes experienced practitioners who are experts in topics including security management, information systems innovation, analytics, and the systems development life cycle. Students learn how to implement technology such as low-code platforms and automated machine learning tools in day-to-day business situations. The MSIT program also builds the strategic knowledge and communications skills that professionals need to excel as leaders.