The field of information technology (IT) is among the most diverse and fastest growing in our economy. Information systems—and the industries they've spawned—have evolved and expanded enormously since they were first developed in the late 20th century, and IT continues to play an increasingly vital role in today’s data-driven workplace.
With IT systems having become so pervasive across so many sectors, opportunities for career advancement are numerous and varied. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment in IT is projected to grow 15 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations, creating an estimated 682,800 new IT jobs.1
For IT professionals seeking to advance their careers, a master’s degree can provide the knowledge, skills, and credentials needed to excel in their jobs and gain a competitive edge over those with a bachelor’s degree alone.
Information technology refers to the devices, applications, networking, and other infrastructure and processes used to create, process, store, secure, and exchange electronic data. Typically, IT is used in the context of business operations and encompasses both computer technology and telecommunications.
Digital IT systems are integral to virtually every industry, including healthcare, law enforcement, manufacturing, retail, finance, and more. IT covers a broad range of business operations, such as computer systems architecture, networking, software development, cybersecurity, data analytics, biotechnology, and cloud computing.Jobs You Can Get with a Master’s in IT
With a master’s degree in IT, there are a number of exciting career options to choose from. Here are just a few:
Information Research Scientists: The job of the information research scientist is to study and develop innovative uses for new and existing information technology in business, science, healthcare, and other fields. The median salary is about $131,000 per year, according to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook.1
Cloud Architect: Companies that store and exchange a lot of information need cloud architects to design and manage remote, on-demand shared resources for computing, storage, and networking services that can be rapidly deployed at scale. According to salary.com, the median annual salary is just under $173,000.2
IT Systems Manager: IT systems managers are in charge of evaluating and addressing an organization's computer systems and technology needs. This can include managing department budgets, hiring and training IT professionals, assessing employee technology needs, and monitoring IT productivity and performance levels. Salary.com estimates the median annual salary at $132,000.2
Information Security Analyst: These IT professionals are responsible for protecting an organization’s systems and data from cyberattacks and other breaches. They install and manage security infrastructure, develop best practices for protecting sensitive data, identify system risks and vulnerabilities, and respond to any data breaches that may occur. Median annual salary is $102,600, according to BLS.1
Chief Information Officer: A CIO is responsible for directing the management of an organization's IT needs, including evaluating systems and processes, developing best practices, organizing and overseeing IT projects and upgrades, and providing support and guidance throughout an organization. Salary range typically falls between $86,716 and $157,889, according to salary.com.2
UMGC’s Master’s Degree Options
University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) offers 14 online master’s degrees in IT and computer science, all designed with input from today's top employers. Choose from six main program areas, including
- MS in Information Technology: Within the MS in Information Technology, UMGC offers seven IT specializations, each designed to provide you with technical, operational, and problem-solving skills for career advancement. Many of our IT programs are designed to help you prepare for certification exams such as Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), and CompTIA (A+, Network+, Security+). Specializations include
- Cybersecurity master’s: Select one of three online master's programs at UMGC, each designed to prepare you to specialize in the cybersecurity field of your choice, including
- MS in Biotechnology: Bioinformatics: Learn the science of bioinformatics, which blends biology, computer science, and mathematics in order to analyze the massive quantities of big data being generated today. This program is designed to prepare you to become a bioinformatics professional for public- or private-sector organizations doing crucial work in this industry.
- MS in Cloud Computing: Gain the technical and management skills you need to design, operate, and maintain cloud computing systems and help organizations transition to cloud-based solutions. You can prepare for positions in cloud computing, computer network architecture, IT project management, and systems analysis.
- MS in Data Analytics: Develop the skills to manage and manipulate data, create data visualizations, and make strategic data-driven recommendations to help your organization sustain a long-term competitive advantage. This hands-on program can prepare you to help meet the growing demand for business intelligence analysts, data warehousing specialists, and intelligence analysts.
- MS in Management: Information Systems & Services: Learn how to procure and use computer-based information systems for decision-making and organizational effectiveness. This program can help you prepare for work integrating and managing information systems within a private, public, or nonprofit organization.
Why Choose UMGC?
UMGC was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and servicemembers like you. UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is a constituent institution of the University System of Maryland.
The university has repeatedly received awards and recognition for our innovative educational programs and commitment to excellence. Our online master’s in information technology program, in particular, has received numerous awards, including the No. 2 Best Online Masters award in 2020 from Guide to Online Schools.
Your courses are taught by our faculty of highly successful and experienced scholar-practitioners who are leaders in their fields. And no matter where you are in your career or how long you may need them, you'll have access to UMGC’s lifetime career services, so you'll never have to face a job search alone.
Whatever area of IT or computer sciences you pursue, getting your degree is key to unlocking your career potential. A dedicated UMGC admissions advisor can help you get started. To speak with an advisor, contact email@example.com.