Last Updated: October 19, 2020
An MBA in information technology (IT) equips graduates with specialized IT skills and knowledge, preparing them for a variety of leadership positions. MBA in IT graduates can leverage their technological expertise for specialized positions in general management and technology. Potential careers include top executive, computer and information systems manager, and computer network architect. Some employers may require an undergraduate degree in computer science or a related field.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an 11% growth for computer and information technology occupations from 2019-29, much faster than the national average for all jobs. The demand for skilled IT workers, combined with the broad applicability and prestige of an MBA, creates excellent career opportunities for business school graduates specializing in IT.
Read on for information on why to consider earning an MBA in IT management degree, what to expect from a typical program, and career and salary expectations for graduates. Our guide also includes a ranked list of the best online MBA in IT programs.
The 10 Best Online Information Technology Degrees
|1||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|2||Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA|
|3||Oklahoma State University||Stillwater, OK|
|4||North Carolina State University||Raleigh, NC|
|5||University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ|
|6||Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL|
|7||University of Massachusetts, Lowell||Lowell, MA|
|8||Creighton University||Omaha, NE|
|9||Eastern Carolina University||Greenville, NC|
|10||University of Wisconsin – Whitewater||Whitewater, WI|
What Is Information Technology?
The IT field uses computers and other technologies to solve organizational problems, cut costs, and improve efficiency. IT professionals use computers to store, send, manipulate, and retrieve information and data, usually in a business setting. They troubleshoot technology problems, maintain infrastructure, and help keep data secure.
The IT field includes a variety of career paths requiring different areas of expertise. Typical job duties vary considerably by position, employer, and industry. Popular occupations include support specialist, web developer, computer programmer, and IT director. Other paths include computer engineering, user experience design, and data science. Major industries that employ IT professionals include healthcare, business, government, and education. Almost every type of business benefits from skilled and knowledgeable IT workers.
The IT field offers a good living. The BLS reports that computer and IT jobs earned a median annual wage of $88,240 as of 2019, much higher than the median wage for all occupations of $39,810. IT workers hold specialized knowledge that organizations need to stay competitive in today's economy.
As society increasingly depends on technologies like cloud computing, information security, and collection and storage of big data, demand grows for professionals skilled in these areas.
BLS data indicates that IT professionals can continue to expect excellent career opportunities in the future, projecting 531,200 new positions for this sector from 2019-29.
Why Get an MBA in IT?
Earning an MBA in information systems opens the door to many lucrative career paths. Weigh the costs and benefits of investing considerable time and money to determine if earning an MBA is worth it. Graduate school helps students develop general business knowledge and broadly applicable skills relevant to nearly any industry. Adding IT as an MBA specialization provides an area of expertise that distinguishes candidates from others in the competitive job market.
- Professional Return on Investment: Earning an MBA in IT degree can expand the number and variety of career opportunities for which you qualify. Many employers prefer applicants with a graduate degree. Students can also network and expand their professional contacts while in school.
- Financial Return on Investment: An MBA in information technology often helps graduates qualify for higher salaries, compared to those with a bachelor's degree alone. Nearly every industry needs employees with IT and business skills.
- Personal Sense of Accomplishment: Completing a rigorous graduate program in business is a huge undertaking. Many students find that earning an MBA offers personal fulfillment and pride.
Ranking the Top 10 Online MBAs in IT Management, 2020
The ranking below identifies the best online MBA in IT management degrees for 2020. This resource is a great place to start the process of choosing where to earn an MBA in IT. Assessment criteria include estimated tuition cost, prestige, accreditation, and graduation rates for each program. We also consider early-career salaries for graduates. Students should think about other factors based on their individual needs and preferences.
We compile all our rankings lists using deliberate methodologies. For this ranking, we evaluated a list of 380 online and hybrid MBA programs based on an information systems and technology management focus or concentration. We ranked and weighted the following five factors evenly:
- Estimated Tuition Cost: We evaluated each program based on the estimated total base tuition cost for the MBA. We calculated this data for the entirety of the degree excluding fees, books, and room and board. Even without full financial data, tuition rates provide insight into the average cost and potential return on investment. We gathered tuition data from the most recent data on each program website. If a school offered a lower in-state tuition cost, we used this pricing to show the lowest tuition available.
- Accreditation: We ranked every program based on regional accreditation and programmatic accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes six regional accrediting agencies. The International Accreditation Council for Business Education, Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Program, and Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business rank as the most prestigious business program accrediting institutions. We gave the highest marks to schools with AACSB accreditation, typically regarded as the top accreditation designation for business programs.
- PayScale Early Career Salary: We collected our data using the PayScale College Salary Report. The early-career salary data reports the median salary for alumni with up to five years of work experience from each school's master's or MBA program. Salary data provides a window into graduates' financial return on their educational investment.
- Prestige: We calculated a prestige score for each program using data from some of the most prestigious rankings systems for online MBA programs: U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review, the Financial Times, and Quacquarelli Symonds. We evaluated schools based on their recognition in these rankings.
- Overall Graduation Rates: We collected overall graduation rate data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Graduation rates show how many students completed their programs, with higher rankings indicating increased value.
#1. Northeastern University D'Amore-McKim School of Business — Boston, Massachusetts
|An online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in High Technology Management is offered at the D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. This program sits at the top of our list with unmatched national accreditation.|
The D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University features an online Master's of Business Administration with a High Technology Management emphasis. This 50-credit hour degree is priced at $1,513 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $75,650. Among this program's many recognitions includes Princeton Review naming it as the 17th best in the nation, US News and World Report recognizing it as one of the nation's top MBAs with a #42 ranking, Quacquarelli Symonds listed it at #23, and the Financial Times placing it at number seven. An early career salary of up to $73,400 has been reported by some students upon completing this degree, revealing a strong return on the investment. Acceptance into this program requires an undergraduate degree from an accredited university, a 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, proof of current employment and at least five years of professional experience, a resume, two professional recommendations, an essay, and $100 application fee. This 50-hour program is divided between 13 core courses and five electives including Entrepreneurial Finance for High Tech Companies, Virtual, Vicious Teams: Building and Leading High Performance Teams, and Business Law, Corporate Governance, and Intellectual Property Strategies.
Comprised of nine colleges and schools and with campuses in Charlotte, North Carolina, Seattle, Silicon Valley, and Canada, the main campus of Northeastern University is in Boston, Massachusetts. This four-year, private, not-for-profit university was established in 1898 and today oversees 19,940 students seeking degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. The university receives its business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Northeastern University reports a favorable graduation rate of 84%, showing high student satisfaction. One hallmark of the school is the area of sustainability revealed in the high priorities for sustainability research funding, education in the classroom, and being one of the nation's greenest universities.
Estimated Program Tuition: $75,650
#2. Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
|An online Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Business Technologies is offered at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University. This program stands out with the highest reported average early-career salary of $109,000 for graduates.|
Carnegie Mellon University features an online Master's of Business Administration with a Business Technologies concentration at the Tepper School of Business. This part-time online MBA allows students the flexibility of virtual education and the strong networking and interactive teamwork of the classroom experience. This degree is designed to be completed in three years and begins with a Basecamp Orientation program followed by a schedule of mini semesters and access weekends requiring students to visit the campus to meet program requirements. The final two years of this program include leadership and communication coaching and assistance with career placement. Applicants interested in this online MBA with a specialization in Business Technologies are required to complete an online form, submit a resume, professional recommendation, unofficial transcripts, GMAT score, $200 application fee, and write an essay. US News and World Report recognizes this program as the 2nd best in the nation. This three-year program is divided between eight mini semesters and features a total tuition cost of $61,440. Some students have reported an early career salary averaging$109,000 upon completing this degree.
Named after successful entrepreneur and titan of industry, Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University got its start in 1900 when Carnegie donated $1 million for the establishment of a technical institute which would educate and equip working-class adults. At the time, men and women could receive two and three-year certificates in various fields of study through the Carnegie Technical Schools including Margaret Morrison Carnegie College. Today, this four-year, private, not-for-profit university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania possesses an impeccable reputation for quality education and technological advancement. Currently there are nearly 13,000 students seeking degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels at this institution of higher learning which receives its business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Carnegie Mellon University reports a graduation rate of 88%, the second-highest percentage on our list.
Estimated Program Tuition: $61,440
#3. Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business — Stillwater, Oklahoma
|Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business features an online Master of Business Administration with an Information Assurance concentration. This top-three program is priced at just $10,904 making it one of the most affordable degrees on our list.|
The Spears School of Business at Oklahoma State University offers an online Master's of Business Administration with a specialization in Information Assurance. Among the many recognitions this program has been awarded is the #29 ranking as one of the best in the nation by US News and World Report. This 52-credit hour online MBA is priced at just $209 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $10,904. Couple the low tuition cost with an early career salary reported as$75,000 upon completing this degree, and one will find a sound return on the investment. The courses required for this distance degree consist of 34 hours of core courses and 18 Information Assurance-specific courses including Applied Information Systems Security, Advanced System Certification and Accreditation, Legal and Ethical Issues in Information Technology, Information Technology Forensics, and The Upper Layers of Telecommunications Systems. Students interested in applying for this 100% online Master of Business Administration are required to submit GMAT or GRE score, a resume, a purpose statement, and three letters of recommendation.
Home of the Cowboys, the athletic department of Oklahoma State University supports seven men's varsity teams and seven women's varsity teams which compete at the NCAA Division I level. With a business accreditation through the AACSB, and regional accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, OSU is a four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus in Stillwater, Oklahoma and other campuses in Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The current student enrollment at Oklahoma State is 25,930 and the school offers degree plans at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. While the school reports a healthy graduation rate of 61%, it also holds the distinction of being "America's Healthiest Campus" supporting initiatives like a strict no smoking or vaping policy, and the addition of newly built walking trails throughout campus.
Estimated Program Tuition: $10,904
#4. North Carolina State University Poole College of Management — Raleigh, North Carolina
|The Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University offers an online MBA with a depth area in Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization. This program is consistently seen as one of the top Online MBAs in the nation.|
An online Master's of Business Administration with a depth area in Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization is featured at North Carolina State University's Poole College of Management. Flexibility is key with this degree plan allowing students to choose the Accelerated or Flexible program and complete all coursework in as little as 21 months or take as long as six years to graduate. This 40-credit hour, 100% online program, which has a total tuition cost of $42,195, features a fall or spring start date and requires two residencies on NC State's main campus that last three days each. These residencies may be waived by active military personnel and replaced with other elective courses. Courses in the depth area in Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization include Managing the Growth Venture, Technology Evaluation and Commercialization Concepts, High Technology Entrepreneurship, and Product Design and Development. Prerequisites to this program include a four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited university, statistics course with a minimum grade of "C," two years of professional employment in the field of study, and GMAT or GRE score.
Established in 1887, North Carolina State University began as a vision of the Watauga Club, a reform-minded group of young businessmen, leaders, and educators in the state, who dreamed of a university which would equip and educate working class men and women. Today this four-year, public university located in Raleigh, North Carolina offers associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to over 34,000 students on campus and through distance learning around the world. NC State, which receives its business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, reports a healthy graduation rate of 75% among its students.
Estimated Program Tuition: $42,195
#5. University of Arizona Eller College of Management — Tucson, Arizona
|An online Master of Business Administration with a Management Information Systems concentration is featured at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management. The Eller online MBA combines national prestige, exceptional accreditation, and a high reportedearly-career salary.|
The University of Arizona offers an online Master's of Business Administration with a focus on Management Information Systems at the Eller College of Management. This 45-unit, 100% online MBA is divided between 28 core units and 17 Management Information Systems-intensive units. With a price of $1,000 per unit, this program has a total tuition cost of $45,000. An early career salary of up to $74,000 has been reported by some students upon completing this degree in Management Information Systems. Among the awards and recognitions associated with this program are Princeton Review's national ranking of #19 and the 55th best in the nation by US News and World Report. The Eller College of Management offers an application checklist for interested students which includes the following: the completion of the GMAT, an updated professional resume, two professional recommendations, a written essay, undergrad and graduate GPAs, and a listing of all previous academic experience.
As a member of the Association of American Universities, the University of Arizona is one of only 62 public and private universities "advancing the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships." With a focus on global development and commerce, the school is still able to generate over $8 billion for the state of Arizona. Founded in 1885, the university pre-dates Arizona being established as a state! Reflecting the timeless words of beloved student body president and football quarterback, John "Button" Salmon, the term "bear down" can be seen on signage and heard by students and faculty alike throughout the campus as a rally cry for perseverance and mental toughness. With a business accreditation through the AACSB and with regional accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission, this four-year, public school reports a graduation rate of 61%. The University of Arizona oversees almost 43,000 students seeking degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
Estimated Program Tuition: $45,000
#6. Florida State University College of Business — Tallahassee, Florida
|The College of Business at Florida State University features an online MBA with a Management Information Systems specialization. FSU's online MBA program holds elite accreditation, a competitive tuition rate, and shows high student satisfaction.|
An online Master's of Business Administration with an emphasis in Management Information Systems is offered at the College of Business at Florida State University. This 39-credit hour 100% online MBA is priced at $780 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $30,427. Combining the cost of tuition with an early career salary averaging$60,300 reported by students upon completing this degree shows a positive return on the investment of education. This program has been named by US News and World Report as the 16th best in the nation. This 100% online MBA is designed to be completed in as little as 24 months by students taking two courses each semester. The courses required for this degree in Management Information Systems include Information and Technology Management, Social and Organizational Issues in Management Information Systems, Advanced Project Management, and Knowledge Management / Business Intelligence. The College of Business accepts students based on prior academic performance, professional experience, GMAT/GRE score, and letters of recommendation.
Florida State University, with a main campus in Tallahassee. Florida, is a four-year, public university offering degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level to over 40,000 students currently enrolled. Even with such a large enrollment, the school is still able to report an average graduation rate of 79% revealing high marks for student satisfaction and quality of education. Home of the FSU Seminoles, the school has a long-standing tradition of athletic success including multiple NCAA Division I national championships in football. Florida State University receives its business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Established in 1885, the university is Florida's oldest institute of higher education. Residents of all counties in Florida are represented in the student body as well as 140 foreign countries.
Estimated Program Tuition: $30,427
#7. University of Massachusetts, Lowell Robert J. Manning School of Business — Lowell, Massachusetts
|University of Massachusetts, Lowell's Robert J. Manning School of Business offers an online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology. This 30-hour MBAis an affordable program with the elite AACSB accreditation.|
The Robert J. Manning School of Business at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell features an online Master's of Business Administration with an Information Technology emphasis. Among the awards and recognitions the Robert J. Manning School of Business has received recently includes the Princeton Review's naming it as the 296th best business school in the nation and U.S. News and World Reports' ranking it amongthe best online programs in the U.S. for 2017. Depending on the student's prior academic experience, this 100% online MBA with a specialization in Information Technology can be completed in as little as 30 credits or 10 courses. Priced at $575 per credit hour, this online MBA features a total tuition cost of $17,250. Some students have reported an early career salary of up to $67,300 upon completing this degree. Courses required for this degree with an Information Technology-focus include Management Information Systems, Electronic Business, Information Technology Infrastructure, and Information Technology Project Management.
Home of the River Hawks, a mascot created with a nod to the school's location on the Merrimack River, the University of Massachusetts, Lowell's athletic program supports multiple men's and women's varsity teams which compete within the America East Conference. The university men's hockey team has been enjoying success in recent years reaching the NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship three consecutive years. UMass Lowell is a four-year, public university set in Lowell, Massachusetts and featuring a student body of 18,047. The university receives its excellent business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The school, which currently reports a graduation rate of 56%, was officially established when a merger took place between Lowell State College and Lowell Technological Institute in 1972.
Estimated Program Tuition: $17,250
#8. Creighton University Heider College of Business — Omaha, Nebraska
|An online Master of Business Administration with an Information Technology Management specialization is offered at the Heider College of Business at Creighton University. This 33-credit hour program holdsan elite business accreditation through the AACSB.|
Creighton University's Heider College of Business features an online Master's of Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology Management. This 33-credit hour online MBA is priced at $1,025 per credit hour making the total cost of tuition $33,825. An early career salary of up to $58,000 has been reported by some students upon completing this degree showing a healthy return on the investment of education. This degree, designed to be completed in as little as 26 months, can be accelerated with the option of extra coursework being taken on campus. This program consists of the three core courses of Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Business Policy and Managerial Action, and Business, Ethics, and Society, Functional core courses including Managerial Finance, Marketing Management, and Information Systems Management, concentration courses, and electives. Interested applicants are required to submit a completed formal application along with a $50 application fee, official transcripts, GMAT or GRE score, and three letters of recommendation.
Established in 1878, Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska is one of only 28 Jesuit colleges and university in the United States. Creighton University, a member of the Society of Jesus, receives its stellar business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Reporting a healthy graduation rate of 79%, this four-year, private, not-for-profit Catholic institution of higher learning offers degrees at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level to the just over 8,400 students enrolled there. The university puts a high premium on community service apparent in recent reports of over 4,700 members of the student body taking part on service and the 800 service partnerships the university maintains among local, national, and international organizations.
Estimated Program Tuition: $33,825
#9. East Carolina University College of Business — Greenville, North Carolina
|East Carolina University's College of Business offers an online MBA with a certificate in Management Information Systems. This program is priced at just $12,200 making it one of the most affordable MBAs on our list.|
The College of Business at East Carolina University features an online Master's of Business Administration with a certificate in Management Information Systems. Students interested in applying to the College of Business are required to complete an application form, and submit a fee of $70, a current resume, official transcripts, and GMAT or GRE score. Some qualified students can waive GMAT and GRE scores and the College of Business does not require a purpose of statement or letters of recommendation for approval into this online MBA program. This 33-credit hour program is priced at $1,109 per three credits making the entire cost of tuition a favorable $12,200. While US News and World Report has recognized this program as the 86th best in the nation, some students have reported early career earnings of up to $52,300 upon completing this degree. Some courses required for this degree in Management Information Systems include Telecommunications and Networked Systems, Managing Information Systems Resources, Web Application Development for Business, Information Systems Analysis and Design, and Topics in Management Information Systems.
With a student body of nearly 29,000 and offering degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels, East Carolina University is a four-year, public university situated in Greenville, North Carolina. The university is comprised of 12 colleges and schools including an Honors College and Graduate School. ECU currently reports a student-to-faculty ratio of 18 to one and a graduation rate of 62% among its students. The school got its start in 1907 when the state's General Assembly passed an act that would establish a normal school in the east area of North Carolina and eventually name it the East Carolina Teachers' Training School. Today, East Carolina University receives its business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.
Estimated Program Tuition: $12,200
#10. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Business and Economics — Whitewater, Wisconsin
|The College of Business and Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater features an online MBA with an emphasis in Information Technology Management. This top-ten program offersan affordable total tuition cost of $22,947.|
An online Master's of Business Administration with an Information Technology Management concentration is offered at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's College of Business and Economics. This 100% online MBA is divided into four sections, the first is the Common Body of Knowledge consisting of prerequisites students are responsible for depending on their previous academic experience, followed by breadth requirements which are core courses, then an emphasis or concentration, and finally the electives that round out the degree. The required courses for the Information Technology Management track include IT Service Management, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, Business Process Innovation and Management, and Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. Qualified students can complete this degree as a 36-credit hour program. The overall tuition rate of $22,947 is based on a per-credit amount of $637. An early career salary of up to $56,900 has been reported by some students upon completing this 100% online MBA.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a four-year, public institution of higher learning with a main campus in the city of Whitewater, Wisconsin. The 12,360-member student body has access to degree plans at the associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. The school, which currently reports a graduation rate of 60%, receives its business accreditation through the AACSB and is regionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks compete at the NCAA Division I level and support nine men's varsity sports and 11 women's varsity sports.
Estimated Program Tuition: $22,947
What to Expect From Information Technology Master's Degree Programs
IT MBA programs combine a strong foundation in business with specialized IT knowledge. Full-time students complete their MBA in IT degree in 1-2 years. Program length varies by number of credits required, program calendar, and the option for accelerated study. Required credits vary considerably from 30-60 credits, but full-time MBA candidates typically take 3-4 classes each semester. Colleges offer online, in-person, and hybrid MBA in IT degrees.
Students learn to lead groups of people and organizations, deploy strategic IT solutions, and manage IT projects. An average curriculum explores ethics, business law, strategic management, and organizational leadership. MBA candidates take IT courses like database design, IT project management, and systems planning. Many programs also require an internship and/or capstone to synthesize knowledge and practice.
Admission requirements include a bachelor's from a regionally accredited university, a minimum 3.0 GPA, letters of recommendation, and GRE/GMAT scores. Some schools offer more than one type of information technology master's. Below, we explain the differences between IT degrees.
Information Technology Degree Options
Students can choose from more than one type of master's program in the IT field, including MS and MBA options. MA degrees, on the other hand, typically cover the arts and humanities rather than technical fields like IT. Factors that may impact degree choice include career goals, academic interests, and professional and undergraduate background.
A professional post-graduate and terminal degree, an MBA provides a strong foundation in career-relevant business knowledge and skills, with students taking IT classes as a concentration. An MBA focuses on professional skills such as management, leadership, and communication. Due to their broad applicability across industries, MBAs offer versatility.
If you want to keep your options open to a variety of business opportunities while still developing your IT skills, consider an MBA in information technology.
An MS in IT focuses on advanced technical and scientific issues in IT and prepares students for potential doctoral study. An MS in IT typically requires a thesis or major research project as a foundation of the curriculum. MS applicants may need an undergraduate degree in a field related to computer science.
Popular Information Technology Courses
The types and variety of courses available varies by school. Most MBA in information technology programs require core, elective, and concentration courses. The number of IT classes you take varies by program. Business students typically complete an internship and/or capstone project. Classes explore issues like leadership, business ethics and law, project management, and database design. Below, we describe courses that IT MBA programs typically offer.
- Business Law: This class examines the major legal issues in business, including contracts, employment law, taxes, and litigation practice. Students develop analytical skills and learn how to act ethically in business.
- Database Design: This course teaches learners to design and develop relational databases. It explores topics like structured query language, database optimization, and relational database nomenclature.
- IT Project Management: Students in this course learn the fundamentals of project management for the IT field. Topics covered include project planning, monitoring, controlling, and evaluation.
- Leadership: This course provides a foundation in leadership strategies and practices. Students learn to use a decision-making framework for management dilemmas.
- MBA in IT Capstone: A culminating experience, the capstone lets MBA candidates apply classroom knowledge to a real-world business problem. Many capstone projects require learners to develop a solution for a local business or organization.
Financing your IT Management Degree
For many students, higher education requires a sizable investment. As the cost of college continues to rise in many states, many students rely on financial aid.
Types of aid available to master's students in IT include loans, scholarships, and grants. Many organizations offer employer tuition assistance or reimbursement to learners pursuing a degree applicable to their company's needs. Some IT graduate programs offer part-time work opportunities, including research and teaching assistantships. Many students earn an online MBA while working, reducing or eliminating their loan debt upon graduation.
Make sure to develop a plan to help pay for your degree before enrolling in your program.
What Jobs Can an MBA in IT Management Get You?
An MBA in IT management provides preparation for higher-level salaries and management occupations. This type of program builds a foundation in general business knowledge and skills, while an IT concentration develops specialized expertise that can help you stand out from other job applicants. Nearly all industries value business and IT acumen. Graduates with expertise in both often command higher salaries and enjoy improved career opportunities.
Below we describe potential careers for graduates of MBA in IT programs, including computer and information systems manager, top executive, and computer network architect. These are just a few examples of the positions available to graduates with an MBA in information technology. No degree guarantees a job, and what you qualify for may vary depending on your undergraduate degree, professional background, and personal strengths.
Computer and Information Systems Managers: Computer and information systems managers coordinate computer-related activities for businesses. They help create technology-related goals, analyze needs, coordinate the maintenance of computer hardware and software, and upgrade systems. Types of computer and information systems managers include chief information officer, chief technology officer, and IT director.
- Required Education: Bachelor's degree. Many employers prefer applicants with an MBA.
- Job Outlook: 10%
- Median Annual Salary: $146,360
Top Executives: Top executives help organizations meet goals by creating effective policies and strategies. They work in nearly every industry, for companies of all sizes. Typical duties include overseeing budgetary activities, consulting with other executives about operations, appointing managers, and analyzing financial information. Types of top executives include chief executive officer, general and operations manager, and city manager.
- Required Education: Bachelor's degree. Large companies often require an MBA.
- Job Outlook: 4%
- Median Annual Salary: $104,690
Computer Network Architects: Computer network architects design and create data communication networks. This includes local area networks, intranets, and wide area networks. They need a solid understanding of their organization's business plan to create networks that meet goals. Job duties include creating plans for networks, upgrading hardware, researching new technologies, and making recommendations to managers.
- Required Education: Bachelor's degree. Some employers require an MBA in information systems.
- Job Outlook: 5%
- Median Annual Salary: $112,690
Selecting Your IT MBA Program
Our rankings list is a great place to start your research, but many other considerations go into selecting the right MBA in IT degree. Below, we describe additional key factors that may affect your choice.
- Is the school regionally accredited? Is the MBA accredited by one of the top accrediting agencies for business programs? Look for the International Accreditation Council for Business Education, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
- Does the program offer robust student resources, including a career center, tutoring, IT help, and library services?
- Do you meet admission requirements? Common program criteria include a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university, a minimum 3.0 GPA, satisfactory GRE or GMAT scores, and letters of recommendation. You may also need to submit a statement of interest, writing sample, and resume.
- How long does it take to complete the degree? Program length varies depending on how many classes you take per term, number of credits required to graduate, and the availability of accelerated options.
- How much does the program cost? What types of financial aid opportunities does the school offer?
- What size school do you prefer? Some prefer a small, intimate college experience, while others like the resources of a large university.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA in IT?
Increasingly common throughout higher education, online education lends itself particularly well to IT MBA programs. The distance learning experience helps students quickly master new technology skills, communicate clearly online, and gain comfort in the digital environment. The skills gained from an online MBA program translate well to the professional IT and business fields, especially as remote working increases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An online MBA in IT offers flexibility and convenience, allowing students to learn anywhere and anytime. Most distance education programs take place asynchronously, letting learners log on to watch pre-recorded lectures and complete coursework whenever they want. This flexibility gives MBA candidates the chance to keep their jobs or handle family responsibilities while in school. Working full time while earning a degree also increases affordability and may improve the return on investment of an MBA in IT degree.
Online education appeals to many learners, particularly working professionals and those who have been out of school for a while. Students coming straight from high school and others seeking a more traditional college experience may prefer an on-campus program. Only you can decide if an online MBA in information technology suits your learning style and individual needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an MBA in information technology worth it?
Only you can decide if investing the time and money to earn an MBA in information technology is worthwhile. Graduates of MBA IT programs often qualify for more jobs and earn higher salaries than those with a bachelor's degree.
What can I do after an MBA in information technology?
An MBA in information technology prepares graduates for a variety of careers in both business and IT. Potential jobs include top executive, computer and information systems manager, IT director, and computer network architect.
What kind of IT degrees are there?
Students can earn IT degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. levels. You can earn a stand-alone IT degree, or choose a more general degree and add an IT concentration. Master's programs in IT offer MBA and MS degrees.
What does an IT manager do?
IT managers coordinate the information system and computer-related activities of an organization. Typical job duties include working with management to determine technology needs, creating budgets, overseeing staff, and developing IT strategies.
Are IT managers in demand?
As more companies take their operations online, the demand for IT managers continues to rise. The BLS projects much faster-than-average job growth for computer and information systems managers for 2019-29.