What Skills Should I Already Have Before Entering a Masters in IT Program?

For those interested in working in the field of computing, information technology is a good career choice. Information technologists plan and manage the life cycle of the software and hardware used in a company. They develop and install software for their employer’s needs and work as network administrators. While fields such as computer programming are focused on developing new programs and innovation, those working in the field of information technology work to ensure that existing technology runs smoothly and gets the job done. When one has decided that information technology is their career of choice, it raises the question “What skills should I have before entering a Masters in IT program?


Strong mathematical skills are important for any student wishing to work in a computer related field. While one does not need to have an undergraduate degree in math, it is still imperative that one has a solid background. At least one Calculus class should be taken as an undergraduate. Statistics will be especially important, so a student should try to take a basic statistics class followed by business statistics.

Business Skills

Skills in business will be vital. While other computer related fields focus exclusively on technology, the field of IT uses technology in the context of a business. Managing a company’s network, designing and implementing software and managing technology will all be done within the cost and marketing constraints of a business. An undergraduate business degree is often a popular major for those pursuing a Masters in IT. Regardless of major, students should ensure that they have basic courses in finance, management and marketing.

People Skills

As with almost any field, people skills will be needed. Information technology professionals will be working directly with management and will be providing technical assistance to those at all levels. Working with customers may also be necessary. Being able to explain technical details to the average person will be helpful.

What are Employers Looking For?

When entering a Master in Information Technology program, one will likely have to choose an area of emphasis. It is a good idea to have in mind the specific area of information technology one may be interested in. It is also necessary to consider the skills that employers are looking for. Computerworld examines the top skills in information technology for 2013. Cloud computing and virtualization will be an important part of the future for many companies. Application development, project management, technical support and security will continue to be vital skill areas. In addition, Infoworld lists six of the most relevant new jobs in IT.

Information technology is an essential part of almost every company. Large corporations rely on their IT departments to oversee all aspects of computing within the company. The importance of IT sometimes goes unrecognized. Computer users have grown accustomed to having access to technology in a user-friendly way, so IT is often taken for granted. Information technology professionals are the ones making that happen. For students with the skills and interest, IT is a vital growing field.