What is Required in Applying for a Masters in IT Program?

Information Technology (IT) is not just one of the fastest growing fields, it is one of the most influential. IT professionals are no longer thought of as mere support personal: they are leaders and catalysts for change. Because IT is positioned at the forefront of business technology, most researchers see and even “bigger, faster and stronger’ future. For many prospective IT professionals, preparing for this future will include advanced training in a master’s program. If you are considering applying to a graduate school, the following is designed to give you information about what you will need in your application.

Basic Requirements

All schools are slightly different, so you will need to carefully review the admissions criteria for each school. Each year, US News and World Report identifies top IT schools and summarizes some of their requirements and strengths.  Some standard requirements among most programs include the following:

  • You should possess a bachelor’s degree (or its foreign equivalent) from a regionally accredited school
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Quantitative GRE scores
  • Your post-graduate work experience
  • Your TOEFL or International English Testing System (IETS) scores

Although schools range in terms of selectivity, most programs will require that you have at least an overall GPA of 2.5, with more selective schools requiring 3.0 and higher. They will carefully review any letters of recommendation to see that you have business acumen and skill. An IT professional is expected not just to interface with technology, but to explain and advance technological goals throughout the organization. Make sure that anyone writing a letter of recommendation on your behalf can highlight these strengths. Although not every school requires quantitative GRE scores, those that do often look for a score of at least 550.

IT Requirements

Most programs will also look at your transcripts to see if you have taken basic IT classes as an undergraduate. Pre-qualifying classes are often in JAVA I and II, based on the assumption that IT professionals need some programming proficiency. Some schools will accept C+++. Other typical prerequisites include: data structures, networking and/or systems security. Finally, almost all IT programs will expect that you have successfully completed a college algebra class and some will even expect competency in calculus.  One last thing to look for is job related experience: some schools ask that applicants have IT job related experience, ranging from 2-4 years.

The Future

The future looks bright for IT professionals. Not only is their average salary high at over 70,000, jobs are expected to be plentiful for the foreseeable future. In the coming years, as core technologies expand, IT professionals will be at the forefront, creating competitive advantages for businesses. IT professionals who are prepared for these exciting challenges, particularly those with a masters degree, can expect to have their own advantages in the marketplace.