Will My Master’s Degree in IT Include Management Courses?

Information technology has been one of the fastest growing fields for the past several decades, and its growth doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon. Even so, the number of IT programs continues to increase at the graduate and underrate levels, making the field quite competitive. In order to secure better job prospects, many professionals feel that seeking their master’s degree can land them a better job or at least place their resume ahead of many others.

How to Maximize Management Courses

One common question among those considering a graduate education in the field is whether or not they’ll be educated in management strategies during their coursework. The answer is decidedly not as exact as many people would prefer, hinging on a key word: sometimes. Many graduate programs actually do not include a strong management focus in their broad IT graduate program. There are some things that graduates can do to make sure that they’ll get access to these courses, such as; research program titles and coursework extensively.  Sites like MastersInIT.org allow graduates to view the specific program titles offered by each school at the graduate level. Whether it’s a master’s degree in computer security, organizational services, or IT management, each program title will be indicative of the coursework offered to students as they pursue their eventual degree in the field.

It’s worth noting that the vast majority of management-inclusive IT graduate programs do have “management” in their titles. Programs that include management courses, like those offered at the University of Texas, are labeled Master of Science in Information Technology and Management. This degree is heavily loaded with management coursework, giving graduates the classroom experience that they need in order to pursue a rewarding career at the higher levels of the IT profession.

Consider Concentrations or Elective Coursework

Some schools simply don’t offer a degree in information technology management. This is often because they have smaller science and technology programs, or they simply haven’t experienced a surge in demand for management-focused coursework. Most schools, however, do offer concentrations in management or a few elective courses that teach IT management strategies. These courses are less numerous, and often less involved, than those offered by an explicitly management-focused program. Even so, they present real opportunities for students to glean the skills needed for management occupations in the field.

Before applying for a more general IT graduate-level program, prospective students should browse the course catalog online or request an offline copy from the school. Evaluate any available concentrations in the degree, and look for course titles or descriptions that fall in line with management theory and instruction. If the coursework is not available at all, it might make sense to choose a school with either a management concentration or a full-blow IT management degree that pay dividends later on.

The Key is Attention to Detail and Program Structure

When the answer to a question is “sometimes,” students know that they’re in for a great deal of researching and decision-making. That’s certainly true with IT degree programs, since they tend to vary considerably between each college or university. With a careful eye for detail, including concentrations or course names, it’s possible to find a master’s degree program with IT management courses that will prove beneficial in the long run.