Awareness of the overall importance of Information Technology (IT) for any business has become quite widespread over the years. With the industry continuously demanding workers who have interdisciplinary skills, a masters in information technology (Ms. IT) degree does bridge the gap between business and IT. In the program, students are normally given an opportunity of learning both technical and domain knowledge so as to ably face the tough challenges that the industry constantly presents.
Why choose this program?
First and foremost, the Ms. IT program has experienced phenomenal growth over the years since it is marketable and in demand. Graduates from this program not only increase their IT career and networking opportunities but also boost their self confidence and offers them some level of financial security. The degree also opens doors for most graduates to apply for, or get promoted to some of the most sought after senior management and executive positions in the IT arena.
The masters in information technology program does also allow students to learn how to lead complex projects from todays ever changing IT perspective as well as gain or acquire skills that can be applied immediately in the workplace. They are also able to develop information systems as strategic tools which can be effectively used to provide some competitive advantage in the highly competitive business arena.
Further to the above, the training offered allows graduates to quickly adapt to new technologies in the ever volatile global environment as well as effectively and efficiently identify and implement solutions using the important leadership skills which they have honed. Finally, masters in information technology graduates enjoy having the potential to seek higher salaries and other attractive perks during any recruitment or job appraisal negotiation or discussion.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a University
With so many universities out there offering Ms. IT degree programs, it is important for prospective students to know what to look for when choosing a good university. First and foremost, it is important to ensure that the program you want to pursue is accredited and recognized by the relevant authorities. Take your time to know the recognized accreditation bodies in your state or country. Depending on your schedule, you should also choose a program that’s flexible and efficient so as to allow you to complete the graduate degree within the shortest or most appropriate time span.
In addition to the above, you should opt for a school that offers you convenience. This is especially so for those who may be interested in online masters in information technology program or a mix of both online and standard classes. It is also important to take into consideration the experience and expert depth of the faculty. Information technology is a very dynamic field and you therefore need to have instructors with real world and relevant experience which they can share with their students during lessons. A good school should also have relatively minimal requirements for admission; this is usually an undergraduate degree. However, there are also some which may require one to provide GRE or GMAT results prior to admission.
Lastly, it is recommended that you go to a university that’s affordable without compromising on the quality of learning. One should also consider a university that has a national if not international network of alumni so as to expand your internship and career development opportunities.
Even though the course curriculum may vary, the concepts taught in a masters in information technology program are quite similar. Virtually all schools tend to have core, specialization and elective courses. Some of the core courses include units such as Enterprise Systems Architecture, Enterprise Data Management, Networking and Telecommunications, Strategic Management in Dynamic Environments as well as Project Management Processes in Organizations. Some of the Electives may include courses or units such as Digital Forensics, Data and Applications Security, Operating Systems Security, Security Management, Database Systems, Network Security, Data Warehousing, IT Governance and Risk Management, Virtual Systems, Enterprise Network Architecture, Business Intelligence Systems and Methods and Advanced Research and Study in Data Management amongst a whole list of others.
Most if not all universities usually have an Information technology capstone project which one must complete before graduation. It is also important to mention that the number of credit hours that one is expected to complete does also vary with some being as low as 33 while some being as high as 48.
Who Should Enroll
Even though this does also depend on the university that one is joining, most masters in information technology schools expect one to have a bachelor’s degree as well as have some basic knowledge in calculus and statistics. Many schools are particularly interested with applicants who have undergraduate degrees in Computer Science, Information Technology, Library Science, Mathematics, Industrial Engineering, Business and other related fields. It is highly recommended though that one inquires from the relevant university authorities the undergraduate degrees that are acceptable as well as any other remedial measures one can pursue in the event that his or her undergraduate degree is not acceptable or recognized by that particular university.
It is worth mentioning that the course can be pursued on a full-time, part-time or even online basis. Generally, those taking the course on a full time basis can complete the course in one to two years. Part time students can take anything between two and four years to complete the course while online students can take one and half to three years to complete this course. The duration one takes to complete the course is usually dependent on the number of units one is taking in a semester.
Careers and Job Opportunities
A graduate degree holder in this field is a much stronger candidate for promotions and new job openings in the IT arena. Employers seeking individuals with a broad technical understanding of emerging technologies in the IT field tend to go for masters in information technology degree holders. Some of the positions one can apply for include IT Architect and Systems Manager, Software Systems Manager, Chief Information Officer, Data Processing Manager, Director of Information Technology etc. In this regard, it is worth mentioning that the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics does project that many IT careers will grow through 2022 including Information systems manager (15%), Web developer (20 %), Software Developer (22%), Systems Analyst (25%).
Tuition and Fees
Many universities do charge an application fee which does range from $ 30 to $ 100, a graduation fee which does range from $ 150 to $ 500 while books are normally charged on a course by course basis. Depending on whether you are taking your masters in information technology course on a part-time, full-time, or online basis, many universities have per course and per credit hour fee tag. These figures vary greatly and it is therefore important to seek clarification from the relevant authorities first
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