Are There Different Variations of a Master’s in IT Degree?

There are nearly five thousand accredited colleges and universities in the United States, each offering a wide variety of two and four year degree programs to its students. With so many different institutions to choose from, it should come as no surprise that there are many variations of popular degrees. A student seeking a Master’s in IT, for example, may come across universities offering a Master’s in Information Systems, an MBA in Information Technology Management, or a Master’s in Computer Science that offers much of the same coursework as a traditional Master’s in Information Technology.

Though a number of different Master’s degrees can prepare a student for a career in information technology, however, the traditional Master’s of Science in Information Technology remains the most popular for those interested in a career as an IT consultant, computer forensic investigator, cloud architect, or software engineer. For those looking for a career in IT management, many employers prefer an MBA with a specialization in IT.

Choosing the Best Degree Program For You

One of the biggest questions prospective students face when trying to choose the “perfect” university and the “perfect” degree program is how to know which degree will best prepare a student for a particular career. Fortunately, the IT industry allows for a great deal of flexibility. Since the majority of IT companies are results-driven, their hiring process centers around finding a candidate that can get results regardless of whether they have a Master’s in Information Technology or a Master’s in Information Systems Management.

That said, one of the best ways to prepare for a career is to call around to possible employers. This type of “Market Research” serves a dual purpose in that it allows you to get acquainted with hiring managers. As in business, networking today could help improve your chances of getting a job after you get your Master’s degree.

All Master’s in Information Technology Degrees Aren’t Created Equal

While some smaller firms may not pay much attention to the university you graduated from, it’s not a wise move to pick a university out of a hat. In fact, choosing the wrong university could eliminate your chances of snagging a position at your dream company. Rather than trusting the PR most universities put out, why not get answers from the folks who are hiring. This is where your “market research” can really point you in the right direction.

More importantly, review the program overview before enrolling. The Guardian published a great piece on Students’ twenty top tips for choosing the best University. Checking out the course outline happens to be number two on that list.

Outlook For Graduates of Master’s Degree Programs

According to projections made at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring a Master’s degree will experience the greatest amount of growth over the next decade while job requiring only a high school diploma will experience the slowest growth between 2010 and 2020. In other words, if you’ve been thinking about getting your Master’s in Science of Information Technology, there’s never been a better time.