Affordable Online Master’s Degrees in Information Technology

In an age of high-tech industry and high-speed networks, the job outlook for information technology (IT) professionals is particularly strong. An online master’s program in information technology can help you tap into this growing job market.

Computer science and information technology degrees may seem similar, but there are some important differences. Whereas computer scientists code software applications and develop operating systems, IT professionals perform tasks like software installation and network maintenance. An IT degree stresses hands-on skills, training you to troubleshoot computer problems for businesses that depend on complex network infrastructures.

Based on data for computer support specialists, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that IT jobs will grow 12% through 2024. The high demand and relatively low supply of skilled workers in this field make this an ideal time to get an IT degree.

Most Affordable Online Master's Degrees in Information Technology
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Fort Hays State University

Value Score 8.92
Average Tuition $3,205
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87
Number of Online Programs 2

One of the largest colleges in Kansas, FHSU serves over 11,000 students, and more than half of them are enrolled in online courses. FHSU’s Virtual College system is a leader in distance education, and the school draws praise from U.S. News & World Report for the strength of its online graduate programs, and its online MBA in particular. The college features no residency requirements, and online students pay the same affordable tuition regardless of where they reside. FHSU’s MBA in information technology features a concentration in information assurance, which prepares students to protect organizations’ sensitive digital information from outside threats. In addition to courses focused on fundamental business practices, students also gain skills in systems security, information management, and risk management. The program offers a holistic approach that incorporates hardware, software, network tools, and security methodologies. The curriculum also emphasizes effective communication skills, training students to interact with personnel at all levels of an organization.

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Kennesaw State University

Value Score 8.91
Average Tuition $4,734
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 5

Kennesaw State is one of the largest universities in Georgia, and the school is also considered a leader in distance education, and is considered one of the top online colleges in the region by U.S. News & World Report. KSU’s master's degree in information technology is one of the most affordable and customizable programs of its kind in the region, and it allows students to tailor the program to suit their professional interests through available courses in security, databases, networking, health information systems, and more. Regardless of focus, students build skills in the planning, development, application, and operation of complex information systems. Distance learners also have access to tutors who specialize in math, science, statistics, and writing. Offered through the school’s Office of Adult and Commuter Student Affairs, the tutoring program allows students to receive help from peer and staff tutors, entirely online.

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East Carolina University

Value Score 8.64
Average Tuition $4,434
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 59
Number of Online Programs 4

ECU’s master's degree in information technology offers a specialization in information security. The curriculum emphasizes finding creative approaches to keep digital data safe. Students learn to design, secure, and manage information systems and communication networks, taking core courses in research methods, project management, and information ethics, along with concentration courses focused on systems integrity, network intrusion, and security. The program allows students to complete either a thesis, practicum, or non-thesis track. Students who choose the non-thesis track take two additional elective courses along with a comprehensive exam that covers all aspects of the curriculum, along with a research write up. Graduates are prepared for careers in network administration, technology training, systems analysis, and more.

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Western Governors University

Value Score 8.4
Average Tuition $6,500
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 5

An early proponent of distance education, WGU is a nonprofit university that has offered online degrees since 1999. The college now serves over 70,000 students nationwide, offering affordable education to a range of nontraditional students. The MBA in information technology at WGU prepares students for mid- and upper-level IT management positions in a range of fields, emphasizing skills in leadership, business, and computing. Courses cover subjects like project management, marketing, economics, and IT strategic solutions. The program concludes with a capstone course, in which students must apply what they’ve learned in class to a practical business problem. Most students graduate within two years, though students taking accelerated courses can finish in just a year. WGU also provides graduates with a range of online resources to help students find jobs after graduation, including connections to professional organizations and career counseling.

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Oklahoma State University-Main Campus

Value Score 8.31
Average Tuition $4,704
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 30
Number of Online Programs 4

Founded in 1890, OSU is a nationally ranked public college and the flagship school of the Oklahoma State University System. OSU is one of the most affordable online colleges in Oklahoma, and the school’s master's degree in information technology is widely considered one of the best programs of its kind. Recognizing the importance of data and IT in corporate decision making, the degree gives students a deep understanding of both business concepts and information system maintenance, preparing them to serve as both managers and technicians. In addition to core business and IT courses, students can choose to focus on software design, information retrieval and analysis, data science, or network security and management. The master of science in management information systems degree also provides a corporate option for IT professionals who are already in the industry and looking to augment their skills.

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Dakota State University

Value Score 8.24
Average Tuition $5,692
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 76
Number of Online Programs 3

Dakota State provides a variety of courses in computer management and computer information systems, offering two programs for students interested in earning a master's degree in information technology: a master of science in information assurance and computer security and a master of science in information systems. The information assurance degree trains students in strategies for securing and defending digital networks from cyber-attacks, while the information systems degree combines studies in management, leadership, and technology. The information systems program also allows students to choose from four focus areas, including data management, application development, network administration, and healthcare information systems. Both programs include core courses in computer science and information technology, preparing students for higher-level management positions in the field.

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Tarleton State University

Value Score 8.20
Average Tuition $3,672
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 32
Number of Online Programs 2

Located in Stephenville, Texas (about an hour southwest of Fort Worth), Tarleton is part of the Texas A&M University System, offering affordable education to students throughout the region and the state. Tarleton’s history dates back to 1899, and today the college enrolls more than 12,000 students annually. The school’s master's degree in information technology covers both management and information systems, giving students the skills needed to coordinate personnel and manage information technology resources. In addition to business and technical knowledge, the program helps students develop their analytical, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. Online students can typically complete their degree in around 18 months. Graduates often find work as business analysts, database administrators, cost control analysts, computer engineers, and more. Tarleton graduates can also make use of the college’s extensive career services department, which offers a resume clinic, mock interviews, an online job board, career counseling, and more.

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Sam Houston State University

Value Score 8.08
Average Tuition $5,139
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 60
Number of Online Programs 2

Founded in 1879, SHSU is the third-oldest university in the state of Texas, and the school has maintained a tradition of progressive education since its origin. Today, SHSU is renowned for its online course offerings, earning praise from U.S. News & World Report for both the overall strength of its online graduate programs and its computer information technology degrees in particular. In the school’s MS in information assurance and security program, students take core courses in operating systems, databases, and organizational system security, along with electives in both computer science and digital forensics. This master's degree in information technology is available to students who have an undergraduate major or minor in computer science or management information science, or an equivalent degree with comparable coursework.

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Emporia State University

Value Score 7.98
Average Tuition $5,640
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 83
Number of Online Programs 1

One of the oldest public universities in Kansas, ESU caters to students from a variety of backgrounds, and is home to one of the state’s most expansive distance education platforms. Among ESU’s online graduate programs is the school’s renowned and affordable MBA in information technology program. The program is also accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a distinction held by only 5% of schools nationally. The MBA in information systems helps students build the skills they need to assess the IT capabilities of organizations and to effectively manage IT projects. Students take all required MBA core courses along with classes in accounting information for management, systems analysis and design, and a range of business and information systems electives.

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University of the Cumberlands

Value Score 7.92
Average Tuition $5,670
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 99
Number of Online Programs 1

Affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, UC is a private college in Williamsburg, with a student body of approximately 6,000. UC is one of the most affordable online colleges in the state, making it a popular choice for students looking for a cheap master's degree in information technology. Intended for distance learners who already have a relevant bachelor’s credential and professional experience in IT, the program focuses on preventing or mitigating the loss of digital data. Students learn how to develop security policies, create data loss prevention and recovery plans, recognize and prevent data exploitation, and manage compliance with federal information security regulations. UC recognizes the value of learning outside of the classroom, and the school’s Credit for Prior Learning policy allows students to earn academic course credit for certain work experience, including professional certifications.

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University of North Alabama

Value Score 7.91
Average Tuition $5,382
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 70
Number of Online Programs 2

Northern Alabama is home to only 7,500 students, which allows the school to maintain a low student-faculty ratio of just 17:1. UNA offers cheap tuition, as students can earn their MBA in information technology for less than $15,500. The university’s business school is also one of the top institutions in Alabama, and UNA grants the third most MBA degrees in the state. Distance learners in the MBA program can pursue a concentration in information systems, which helps students develop technical and managerial skills, requiring a core selection of business courses along with nine hours of information systems elective credits. Students can choose from courses including software engineering and enterprise, electronic commerce, and information systems management.

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University of Central Arkansas

Value Score 7.91
Average Tuition $4,375
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 60
Number of Online Programs 1

UCA was founded as a teacher’s college back in 1907. Since then, the school has evolved into a major regional institution, serving over 11,000 students annually. Students in Central Arkansas’s MBA program can pursue an information management concentration, which requires distance learners to take seven core business courses along with three elective classes, including quantitative analytical methods, project management, principles of information security, and business intelligence. The program prepares students for upper management positions, including problem solving, research, communication, and computer technology. Online students at UCA can use many of the school’s campus resources, including academic advising, career counseling, and nontraditional student services, which are specifically intended to help working adult students balance their academic and professional commitments.

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Minot State University

Value Score 7.74
Average Tuition $6,699
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 65
Number of Online Programs 2

One of the largest universities North Dakota, MSU serves more than 3,400 students from its campus in Minot. The school offers a cheap well respected online education, and U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU’s online graduate programs among the best and most affordable in the country. The school’s master's degree in information technology produces technically skilled business executives who are knowledgeable about both data information systems and the business environments in which they are used. Students gain skills for both developing and managing system infrastructures, and graduates who earn their MS in information systems can pursue a variety of career paths, including consulting, data administration, systems integration, networking administration, software development, and more. All courses are offered online, and the program can be completed in as few as two semesters with accelerated study. MSU also offers research assistantships to qualifying students, allowing recipients to work closely with faculty members and build their IT skills.

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University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus

Value Score 7.43

The University of West Florida

Value Score 7.40
Average Tuition $7,088
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 74
Number of Online Programs 2

Based in Pensacola, UWF also maintains several other campus locations around Northwest Florida. The school offers a cheap master's degree in information technology, with several scholarship options available to help students reduce their expenses even further. The program allows students to pursue a specialization track in database management, which focuses primary on relational databases, training students in programming and SQL. The program culminates in a two-semester capstone project that has student focus on a computing topic of their choice, producing a concrete work such as a computer program or a comprehensive report. UWF offers graduate teaching and research assistantships for qualified full-time students, allowing them to gain additional experience and extra income. For students who need academic assistance, UWF also offers free tutoring services in a range of database and programming languages.

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Metropolitan State University

Value Score 7.34
Average Tuition $7,185
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47
Number of Online Programs 2

MSU maintains over 20 teaching locations throughout Minnesota, including main campuses in Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Brooklyn Park. With affordable tuition rates, MSU is a popular choice for students seeking a cheap master's degree in information technology, and the school also offers a range of grants and scholarship options. MSU’s master of management information systems is designed for both IT professionals and those from different fields who want to deepen their understanding of both management and technology principles as they relate to modern business. The degree covers management theory and practice in equal measure, while also providing students with a strong grounding in technical competencies. The program is available almost entirely online, though elective options are limited, and students may need to take at least one course on campus. The program features a final capstone project that allows students to apply their skills to real IT and management issues at local Twin Cities organizations.

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Central Washington University

Value Score 7.25
Average Tuition $8,586
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 46
Number of Online Programs 3

Located in tiny Ellensburg, CWU offers an affordable master's degree in information technology. The school provides students with access to a range of grants, scholarships, tuition waivers, and graduate assistantships available to help students reduce tuition even further. CWU’s MS in information technology and administrative management is a unique program that blends IT skills with management fundamentals, including leadership, communication, budget planning, and entrepreneurship. Combining courses in both information management and organizational management, the program features four distinct concentrations: administrative management, cybersecurity management, information technology, and structures of data analytics for IT managers. The degree is offered in a cohort model, where students move through the stages of the program together, developing teamwork and community-building skills as they learn. Due to the unique nature of the program, CWU only admits students for full-time enrollment. The degree is often completed within a year.

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University of Illinois at Springfield

Value Score 7.17
Average Tuition $7,996
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 64
Number of Online Programs 1

A public liberal arts college in Springfield, Illinois, UIS serves approximately 5,000 students annually, offering more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees. U.S. News & World Report ranks the MS in management information systems degree at UIS among the top 20 programs of its kind in the country. Students develop a strong theoretical and practical framework for designing, implementing, and managing computer information networks for modern organizations. Offering a balance of technical and organizational knowledge, the degree includes courses in managerial decision making, systems analysis, data communications, and more. Students can end the program with either a final graduate thesis and seminar or a capstone course synthesizing core program topics. For those who qualify, UIS also offers several graduate assistantships and public service internships, allowing students to gain hands-on experience through teaching, research, and work.

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Florida Atlantic University

Value Score 7.07

University of Maryland-University College

Value Score 7.02
Average Tuition $8,244
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 5

Geared toward adult learners, UMUC specializes in delivering distance education to working students, and most of the school’s 90+ degree programs are available online. The school’s focus on non-traditional students has earned UMUC several awards and recognitions, particularly for its affordability and friendliness to veterans. UMUC offers an information technology master's degree with a database systems technology specialization. The program covers data design, development, and management, providing students with the skills they need to maintain database systems. The program focuses on relational and distributed databases, along with core knowledge in warehousing, mining, modeling, and security practices for data systems. The degree concludes with a capstone course in database systems administration, giving students an overview of best practices for administering operational database systems. The curriculum also prepares graduates for several professional certification exams, including the ICCP Certified Data Management Professional, Oracle Certified Professional, and Oracle Database Administration.

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Lincoln University

Value Score 6.96
Average Tuition $6,840
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48
Number of Online Programs 1

Founded in 1866, Lincoln is a historically black public university in Jefferson City, Missouri, with a student population of more than 3,000. The college was established with the fundamental goal of combining study and labor. In that spirit, Lincoln maintains a strong selection of professional education programs, including a cheap and widely respected MBA in information technology. Lincoln’s MBA offers an emphasis in management of information systems. The program teaches students how to use business computing for successful management, and the implementation of information systems into business practices. The program also stresses the development and application of effective business practices, policies, and procedures, encouraging growth in critical thinking, leadership, communication, and organization. While all core classes are available online, some courses for the information systems emphasis may require students to visit campus occasionally. Lincoln also maintains a host of resources for online students, including academic advising, career counseling, and the Center for Teaching and Learning, which offers both technology training and assistance with online classes.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

Value Score 6.94
Average Tuition $6,960
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 85
Number of Online Programs 7

The largest fully accredited aviation and aerospace university, ERAU also offers prestigious programs in business, engineering, and security. One such program is ERAU’s online master of science in information security and assurance degree. In 1971, ERAU became one of the first colleges to offer distance education programs, and that tradition of innovation continues today with its online campus program, which U.S. News & World Report ranks as one of the best in the country. Students in the information security program learn to design, develop, organize, and protect information systems, with a focus on their implementation for businesses. The information security degree at ERAU balances specialized technical knowledge with a grounding in business management principles, emphasizing three key perspectives: enterprise, knowledge management, and quality management. Students can also specialize in one of three concentrations: protecting business intelligence, information systems security, or information assurance in a global context.

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Arizona State University-Skysong

Value Score 6.89
Average Tuition $5,904
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 1

With more than 98,000 students, most of whom study online, ASU is the largest university in the country. ASU is famous for its progressive approach to education, and U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school as the most innovative college in the country for two years in a row. ASU’s MS in information management is an integrated degree that prepares students to manage IT environments in the context of business organizations. The program can be completed concurrently along with ASU’s MBA, making it an ideal choice for students interested in earning an MBA in information technology. The dual-degree program helps students deepen their focus on the intersection of business and information technology, and requires students to complete an applied project synthesizing different program topics. Applicants to either the single or dual-degree program must have two years of relevant full-time work experience and a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

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Louisiana Tech University

Value Score 6.84
Average Tuition $6,594
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 37
Number of Online Programs 1

Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the only Tier One school in the University of Louisiana System, Louisiana Tech is a center of professional and technical education. The school’s MBA in information technology is hybrid program, with core business classes available online and concentration classes in information assurance taught at a satellite campus in Bossier City. The 24-month program covers foundational business courses along with a required course in principles of information assurance and a selection of elective courses, covering everything from digital forensics and disaster recovery to cryptography. The degree emphasizes data security for business operations, preparing graduates for leadership positions in information and network security. The MBA program in information assurance at Louisiana Tech is highly respected, and is one of the only colleges in the country to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research by the National Security Agency.

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University of Maine

Value Score 6.82
Average Tuition $7,524
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22
Number of Online Programs 3

The largest research university in Maine, UMaine serves more than 11,000 students through its campus and online programs. The school’s master of science in information systems degree focuses on the intersection of technical, managerial, and policy practices that characterize the information systems used in modern businesses. UMaine’s program trains students to construct and manage these systems, developing technical skills along with best practices for business and resource management. The curriculum includes core information systems courses along with a range of electives in business, computer science, education, intermedia, and engineering. While students can customize their degree through a broad selection of elective courses, they must receive faculty approval for their selections in order to graduate. Graduates commonly pursue careers as systems analysts, security analysts, or database administrators, though the degree’s interdisciplinary nature lends itself to many other careers in information management as well.

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University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Value Score 6.79
Average Tuition $1,637
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 94
Number of Online Programs 4

UML is widely respected for its online graduate programs, including its MS in information technology program. Classes review the design, management, and deployment of computer networks, emphasizing skills for all major operating platforms, including Windows, Apple, and Linux/Unix. The curriculum covers major topics in computing and information systems, from system administration and core networking to cloud and mobile computing. In addition to IT fundamentals, students develop an ethical foundation for effective organizational and regulatory compliance, preparing them to serve as senior IT managers, consultants, and information security managers. Additionally, UML’s professional graduate IT certifications in both systems models and management and network security also feature courses that count as credit towards a master's degree in IT, allowing students to earn their degree and certification simultaneously.

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Liberty University

Value Score 6.79
Average Tuition $7,781
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 97
Number of Online Programs 2

Liberty is the largest Christian university in the world, serving over 94,000 students through its distance education programs alone. The university is both affordable and academically respected, making it an obvious choice for Christian students seeking cheap, convenient online education. Liberty offers an MS in information systems, emphasizing the design, development, ethics, strategy, and security of information technology systems. The program seeks to train ethical technology leaders, as students learn fundamental management and technology skills in classes taught from a biblical perspective. The degree offers two specialization options: information assurance and technology management. The information assurance track covers topics in network security and the protection of digital information, while the technology management track focuses on IT decision making and management strategies. Liberty’s online information technology master's also prepares students for professional Cisco and Java certification exams.

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Missouri University of Science and Technology

Value Score 6.78
Average Tuition $9,288
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41
Number of Online Programs 2

A public university that has earned national respect for the strength of its engineering, business, and technology programs, Missouri S&T serves nearly 9,000 students from its campus in the town of Rolla. The school is known for its cheap tuition, and Newsweek also ranks Missouri S&T as one of the best investments among public universities for out-of-state students. The school’s MS in information science and technology degree prepares students to create and apply information systems to business organizations, and offers a range of study options within that framework. The program features only four required courses, giving students the ability to customize their degree through elective concentration courses. Students can take classes in enterprise resource planning, project management, leadership, computer networks and e-commerce. Program concentration tracks also lead to professional certificates in business intelligence, digital media, mobile business, and more.

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University of New Mexico-Main Campus

Value Score 6.74
Average Tuition $6,096
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 13
Number of Online Programs 1

The flagship public institution of the New Mexico system, UNM was founded in 1889 and now serves more than 27,000 students. The school is recognized as a top Hispanic-serving institution, and UNM is also recognized both regionally and nationally for its academics, earning a “Best Western College” distinction from The Princeton Review. UNM offers two MBA in information technology programs: an MBA in information assurance and an mba in management information systems management. The information assurance program covers data security, fraud protection, and forensic accounting, preparing students to serve as information security managers or digital investigators. The management information systems program reviews information resource management and organization, giving students advanced strategies for managing business data systems. The programs situates concepts of data within a business framework, preparing students to interact with complex, large scale information systems. Both programs are offered in a blended format that includes significant online work, along with some required campus courses.

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National University

Value Score 6.65
Average Tuition $10,962
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 79
Number of Online Programs 5

Founded in 1971, NU is a California-based school that caters to adult learners and nontraditional students. The school is heavily focused on distance education, offering more than 70 degree programs entirely online, including a master's degree in information technology. Diversity is important at NU, and the school awards more graduate degrees to African American and Hispanic students than any other university in California. National is also among the top 10 national providers of graduate to degrees to women. NU’s master of science in management information systems gives students the management, technical, and strategic skills for organizing and maintaining large information systems. The program encourages students to develop a variety of managerial skills, including communication, decision-making, and ethical leadership, along with technical skills, including systems integration and analysis. The curriculum consists of 10 core courses along with a two-part graduate synthesis project that can only be undertaken after you’ve passed all other courses.

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Colorado State University-Global Campus

Value Score 6.61
Average Tuition $9,000
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 2

Established in 2007, CSU’s Global Campus caters to working adult students, offering a flexible and affordable education model. Rather than a semester system, online programs at CSU offer monthly start dates and convenient eight-week courses, which allows students to jump into their education at their convenience. All courses are available during each term, giving students the freedom to pursue a degree at their own pace. The master of information technology management program at CSU gives students the skills they need to apply global perspectives and leadership tools to organizational IT operations, preparing them for positions as IT managers and leaders. The degree is highly customizable, allowing students to specialize in more than a dozen areas, including cyber security, finance, international management, and healthcare administration.

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Saint Leo University

Value Score 6.56
Average Tuition $8,730
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 87
Number of Online Programs 5

Rooted in its Catholic values, Saint Leo is a private liberal arts college with an enrollment of over 16,00 students. The school’s online MBA in cybersecurity focuses on strategies for digital network security, disaster recovery, and incident response planning, which trains students to serve as security specialists for corporations, government agencies, and other organizations. Distance learners also develop core business management skills in preparation for security leadership positions. You can take several information security electives, along with an internship that allows students to apply their learning to an organizational setting. Saint Leo’s MBA in information technology offers an accelerated one-year online track, which requires two courses each term for six terms and equates to about 20 to 24 hours of classwork each week. Conversely, students who want to work at a slower pace have up to five years to graduate online.

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Wilmington University

Value Score 6.52
Average Tuition $7,992
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 48
Number of Online Programs 2

A private research university in Delaware, Wilmington is one of a handful of colleges nationwide to receive designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance from the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. One of the most affordable colleges in the region, Wilmington also offers in-state tuition rates to all enrolled students. The school’s MS in information systems technologies prepares students to serve as managers and leaders of business information systems, gaining a deeper understanding of the intersection between organizational needs and technology solutions. Students can choose from one of four career concentrations, including information assurance, management and management information systems, internet/web design, and technology project management. In addition to core business and IT courses, students also complete a supervised field experience or internship during their final year in the program.

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University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Value Score 6.46
Average Tuition $7,640
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 37
Number of Online Programs 1

With nearly 14,000 students, UW Oshkosh is one of the largest public universities in Wisconsin, and the school has more than a dozen programs available entirely online. The professional MBA: management information systems emphasis includes nine elective credits in IT courses, allowing students to pursue topics such as e-commerce, system security, and enterprise resource planning. Students also develop a foundational understanding of business, focusing on organization, management, marketing, and leadership. UW Oshkosh combines resources with three other universities in the University of Wisconsin system to offer students a fully online MBA, with concentration classes available each semester. MBA students also have access to the school’s Business Success Center, which allows students, faculty, and local business leaders to network and collaborate.

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Bellevue University

Value Score 6.28
Average Tuition $9,450
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 90
Number of Online Programs 3

Boasting a substantial online platform, Bellevue is committed to providing an accessible education for all students. Washington Monthly ranks Bellevue as a top school for adult learners, and its online computer science programs have also drawn praise from several publications for both their academics and affordability. Bellevue is committed to affordable learning, and the school’s generous credit transfer policy, minimal academic fees, and competitive online tuition rate make it easy for students to earn a cheap education from a reputable institution. The school’s MS in computer information systems focuses on meeting organizational needs by training students to select, create, apply, integrate, and administer effecting information technology and resources. Combining hands-on learning and advanced computing theory, the program offers three available concentrations, in databases, software development, and security. Students take 27 credit hours of core computing and information classes, along with nine credits in their chosen elective.

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Rivier University

Value Score 5.93
Average Tuition $9,342
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 35
Number of Online Programs 3

A private, Catholic-affiliated liberal arts college, Rivier was founded in 1933 as a women’s college, before becoming coeducational in 1991. With fewer than 3,000 students, Rivier offers smaller class sizes and an active, student-focused learning environment infused with Catholic values. The online MBA program is offered with a concentration in information technology management. The program covers a variety of business fundamentals, such as organizational dynamics, project management, innovation strategies, along with a concentrated study in IT management. The program offers specific focuses in e-business, process improvement, and computer security. Courses are offered in seven-week terms, with rolling admissions and multiple start dates throughout the year, and the degree itself can typically be completed within two years. Graduates commonly find employment as IT directors, systems managers, security managers, and a range of other senior management positions.

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Concordia University-Wisconsin

Value Score 5.89
Average Tuition $9,864
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 72
Number of Online Programs 5

Operated in affiliation with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod for more than 125 years, CUW offers a quality education with a Christian foundation to more than 8,000 students, many of whom study online. The school’s MS in information technology applies digital technology tools to modern business, teaching students to manage, implement, and maintain information systems for organizations of all sizes. The degree covers strategies for developing sustainable, modifiable IT systems for security, database management, business organization, and more. Students also learn about computer ethics and professional codes of practice, which are driven by the school’s overarching Christian values. The online MBA at CUW is offered in a cohort model that allows students to progress through their courses with the same group of peers, which fosters a deep sense of community and educational cohesion.

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Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Value Score 5.83
Average Tuition $9,348
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 32
Number of Online Programs 2

CSU is one of the top schools in Colorado and 61st among all public universities nationwide, per U.S. News & World Report’s rankings. CSU’s tuition is also among the most affordable in the country, and online students pay the same rate as in-state students, regardless of location. The school’s master of computer information systems helps students build advanced knowledge in information technology, business systems, and project management, giving them the skills they need to manage information systems for businesses and other organizations. CSU offers the MCIS degree through its College of Business, and the program focuses on organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and profitability. Offered through fully online courses, the degree typically takes around 18 months to complete. Online students have access to a dedicated computer information science advisor, who can help approve program selections and design an effective course of study. The College of Business Career Services Liaison can also assist students with job searches and other career resources both before and after graduation.

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SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Value Score 5.78
Average Tuition $10,870
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 77
Number of Online Programs 1

SUNY Poly is a globally recognized technical institution that is home to more than 3,000 students. The school serves as New York State’s premier polytechnic college, offering students the opportunity to obtain a cheap and well-respected technical education. Rooted in theory, practice, and research, the MS in information design and technology explores the relationship between information and technology, closely covering the social impact of new information and communication technologies. This interdisciplinary degree places IT in both a historical and technical context, preparing students for work in a range of fields, from instructional media and web development to digital strategy and information design. The program is highly customizable, and features core courses in social information theory and information technology, along with a wide selection of electives covering everything from computing environments and global communication to digital narratives and gender. Students also work closely with a faculty member to complete a final thesis or culminating project.

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University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Value Score 5.69
Average Tuition $4,873
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 27
Number of Online Programs 1

UNCG has earned praise for its affordable tuition and academic quality from Washington Monthly, The Princeton Review, and U.S. News & World Report. The school’s MS of science in information technology and management blends the principles of technology and management, training students to solve organizational problems through a variety of technology resources. The program also includes an optional emphasis in business analytics, allowing students to further customize their degree. The general program and the business analytics focus include both thesis and a non-thesis options. UNCG’s faculty maintains close relationships with both the IT industry and local businesses, presenting students with ample opportunities to build professional connections and experience. Students can also make use of the school’s Career Services Center, which facilitates summer internships, career fairs, on-campus recruiting, resume help, and interview training.

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Capitol Technology University

Value Score 5.67
Average Tuition $10,548
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 2

A private university northwest of Washington, D.C., CTU was founded in 1927 to offer professional and technical education, focusing in engineering, information technology, and business. A tiny school with less than a thousand students, CTU offers a low 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. CTU’s MS in information systems management program includes core courses in both management and business analytics, which helps students develop into strategic thinkers with advanced decision-making skills. The degree emphasizes the use of data analysis to solve business problems, stressing quantitative research methods and business performance analysis. In addition to core courses in systems management, the degree also features nine elective credits, allowing students to tailor part their degree to suit their interests.

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Baker College

Value Score 5.64
Average Tuition $11,745
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 83
Number of Online Programs 2

A career college with over 150 degree programs, Baker is the largest nonprofit, independent college in the Midwest. Baker is also one of just a few colleges in the country to offer a master of science in information systems degree with a concentration in business intelligence. The program teaches students to develop software applications and processes that helps companies operate efficiently. Focusing on knowledge in data warehousing, data mining, and the use of analytical tools, the degree gives students the skills they need to organize and manage information and to influence corporate decision making. Distance learners are taught by industry professionals, and they build knowledge through coursework, lab projects, and hands-on business experience. Baker graduates have access to the school’s Lifetime Employment Services, which assists students with job searching techniques, and provides students with job opportunities, resume advice, interview strategies, and job relocation tips.

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Murray State University

Value Score 5.53
Average Tuition $10,512
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 53
Number of Online Programs 2

A four-year university in Murray, Kentucky, MSU serves more than 11,000 students through its campus-based and online programs. The school’s MS in information systems degree focuses on high-level strategies for designing and organizing information resources for modern organizations, preparing students for careers in software development, information security, information management, information systems architecture, and more. The curriculum covers foundational business and technical courses, along with advanced information systems classes and a range of electives. Murray State also offers more information systems classes than any comparable college in the region. Students with IT or business experience may be able to test out of certain foundation courses, allowing them to graduate in just 15 months.

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Auburn University

Value Score 5.48
Average Tuition $8,802
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 22
Number of Online Programs 1

Founded in 1826, AU educates more than 28,000 students annually, making it one of the largest universities in the South. Targeted at IT professionals interested in moving into advanced leadership positions, Auburn’s MS in information systems can typically be completed in two to three years of online study. The program is highly customizable, which allows distance learners to work with an academic advisory committee to design an effective and engaging curriculum that suits their professional interests. The curriculum includes only three required courses: advanced database administration and development, information system analysis and design, and a final information systems project, in which students perform an independent exploration of an approved topic of their choice.

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Regis University

Value Score 5.48
Average Tuition $10,800
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 51
Number of Online Programs 3

A private college in the Jesuit tradition, Regis is one of the top colleges in Colorado. U.S. News & World Report also ranks the school highly among online colleges, and particularly praises its graduate computer information technology programs. Regis’s MS in information technology management degree helps students develop as IT leaders, and the curriculum prepares them for advanced management positions in programming, engineering, software development, and other IT fields. Emphasizing both foundational knowledge and specialized study, the program allows students to choose from 10 different elective focuses, including cybersecurity, data science, information assurance policy management, agile technologies, and more. Several of the program’s focuses can be paired with extra courses to prepare students for professional certification exams. Students finish the program with one of three culminating projects: a thesis, capstone course, or advanced practicum course.

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George Mason University

Value Score 5.43
Average Tuition $10,328
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 18
Number of Online Programs 4

The largest college in Virginia, George Mason educates more than 33,000 students annually. With a focus on the intersection of data and decision making, GMU’s master of science in applied information technology features a concentration in cyber security. The degree emphasizes the role of information organization and security for large agencies, particularly within the federal sector. George Mason’s IT program meets the needs of the Washington, D.C. region, and local employers are heavily involved in the program, offering curriculum assessment and evaluating students’ final capstone projects. Online students can also make use of a host of academic resources, including face-to-face video conferences with advisers and social resources that keep students engaged in the school’s academic community. The degree is intended for mid-career professionals; typical applicants have between five and 12 years of related professional experience.

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Thomas Edison State University

Value Score 5.24
Average Tuition $11,610
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 100
Number of Online Programs 6

New Jersey-based TESU first opened in 1972, and is one of the oldest schools in the country that caters specifically to adult learners. Befitting its focus on cheap, accessible education for working professionals, the school has received widespread praise for its online programs, including a Distance Education Innovation Award from the National University Technology Network. TESU’s MS in information technology program is a highly customizable degree that teaches students how to use IT methodologies and frameworks, allowing them to solve complex computing problems across a range of fields. The program includes core courses in computer security, data management, networking and software engineering, along with specialized concentrations in six areas. These include offerings in cybersecurity, data management and analytics, health information technology, information assurance, network management, and software engineering. The program culminates in a six-credit master’s project that requires students to perform significant work in an IT area of their choosing.

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Florida State University

Value Score 5.22
Average Tuition $9,684
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 20
Number of Online Programs 1

Founded in 1851, FSU is the oldest continuously operating institution of higher education in Florida. FSU’s MS in information technology program is ranked as the 11th best program of its kind in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The curriculum begins with four core courses that cover user needs assessment, management of information organizations, information systems management, and usability analysis. Students can then choose from a wide selection of electives to build a curriculum that matches their academic and professional interests. For your convenience, the school maintains five programs of study that can help students align their course selections around a specific discipline: large-scale data management, leadership & management, technology & networking, user-centered design, and web design.

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Ohio University-Main Campus

Value Score 5.05
Average Tuition $9,510
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 38
Number of Online Programs 3

Ohio University is one of the oldest colleges in the United States. Combining the disciplines of technology, economics, and management, Ohio’s master of information and telecommunication systems teaches students how to use information technology to create innovative business solutions. The program includes core courses in research methods, policy and regulation for ICT networks, and information network, along with a selection of four elective courses focused on aspects of telecommunications and networking. Students wrap up the program with a case study capstone course, which provides a practical setting for them to solve a real-life IT issue. Students must also complete one of three culminating experiences, including either a comprehensive exam based on a series of advanced readings, a professional project completed under the supervision of a faculty member, or a thesis-based research project that must be defended in front of a committee.

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University of Alabama in Huntsville

Value Score 4.81
Average Tuition $9,548
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 23
Number of Online Programs 1

UAH is a research university with an annual enrollment of around 8,500 students. The school ranks highly for its return on student investment, and both USA Today and The Princeton Review call UAH one of the 50 best educational values in the country. The school’s MS in information systems program covers both the managerial and technical aspects of information systems and technology, preparing students for managerial and executive level positions in the field. The degree introduces students to the intersection of data and business practices, training distance learners to create and operate information systems in order to influence company organization and management. Students also learn to use data management and business analytics tools to gain deeper insights into business practices. Online students at UAH have access to both live streaming lectures and video recordings, allowing them to view past program content any time they need it.

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What Will I Learn in My Online Master’s in IT Program?

Information technology master’s degree online programs can open up a variety of career opportunities, or enhance job prospects for professionals who are already working in IT. Some programs provide internship opportunities, while others include a capstone project or thesis requirement. A standard IT curriculum helps you develop skills that are applicable to a variety of fields, including cybersecurity, telecommunications, information management, database design, and healthcare informatics.

Sample Courses

  • Information and Cybersecurity: This course surveys the principles and practices of information security. Topics covered in the course include authentication, vulnerability, cryptography, software security, firewalls, network security, and cybersecurity law and policy.
  • Telecommunications: The fundamental concepts of telecommunication networks are introduced in this course. Students learn about telephone and data networks, data link protocol, flow control, congestion control, routing, and local area networks.
  • Information Management: This course introduces students to business models for managing information systems, covering areas such as information systems to support strategic planning, information resource management, and human-machine information systems.
  • Cloud Computing: In this course, students learn about cloud concepts and capabilities across a number of cloud service models. These models include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Business Process as a Service (BPaaS).
  • Database Design: Students in this course will learn how to design, build, query, update, and manage relational databases using Structured Query Language (SQL). Topics include data modeling, database design theory, data definition and manipulation languages, storage, and indexing techniques.

Concentrations for an Online IT Master’s Degree

Most of the information technology master’s degree online programs offer specializations that allow you to cluster courses in a particular area such as information security, healthcare informatics, information technology management, software development, or telecommunications. As you compare programs, consider what specializations are offered and decide which ones align with your interests and career goals.

  1. Information Security: This concentration equips students with the techniques needed to protect the integrity of computer programs, data, and networks from hacking attempts. Students also learn to protect systems and information from major cyber threats, including cyber terrorism and cyber warfare.
  2. Information Technology Management: Students in this concentration acquire the skills to manage the planning, implementation, and maintenance of information and communications infrastructures in support of an organization’s strategic plan and business model.
  3. Software Development: This concentration provides students with the tools needed for software design, coding, and implementation. Students also learn to create, test, debug, and maintain software applications and networks.
  4. Telecommunications: This specialization prepares students for careers in many emerging areas, including transmission systems, telematics, network planning, smart grids, wireless network access, gigabit optical networks, and multimedia communications delivery.
  5. Healthcare Informatics: This concentration trains students for IT management positions at healthcare organizations, teaching them to maintain IT systems, patient databases, electronic health records, and other important healthcare infrastructure.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in IT Graduates

Master’s in IT Careers

Many organizations need to maintain and protect their computer systems and networks, which is why so many IT professionals work in finance, education, healthcare, and government. An online master’s in information technology also opens doors to emerging fields like cloud computing, mobile data, voice networks, and cyber security. Due to the nature of their work, IT specialists need to possess management and critical thinking skills in order to tackle complex computer problems. Because of the broad range of employment possibilities, it is a good idea to research the educational requirements and earning potential for several career paths before you decide which degree programs best suit your needs and goals.

Information Systems Manager

$135,800 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s degree Degree Required

IT managers plan and coordinate the use of data and technology in an organization. They work with other managers to set strategic goals and implement appropriate computer systems to meet those goals. A bachelor’s degree is the entry-level educational requirement for this occupation, but career advancement is increasingly tied to specialized graduate training in information technology.

Projected Growth Rate 15%

Network Systems Administrator

$79,700 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s degree Degree Required

Network systems administrators work in a variety of settings and are responsible for setting up and maintaining an organization’s hardware, software applications, systems, and networks. As organizations of all kinds become more dependent on digital networks, employers are seeking out highly skilled personnel with at least master’s-level training.

Projected Growth Rate 8%

Information Security Analyst

$92,600 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s degree Degree Required

These professionals establish security policies and implement measures to protect an organization’s computer systems and networks against security threats, viruses, hacking, and other vulnerabilities. As threats become more frequent and sophisticated, security analysts with advanced graduate training are needed across a number of industries.

Projected Growth Rate 18%

Database Administrator

$84,950 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s degree Degree Required

Data administrators manage an organization’s database and software applications to allow rapid, efficient, and secure access to data. This data includes financial accounts and customer information along with government, medical, and educational records. Since jobs in this field are projected to grow dramatically, an online master’s program in information technology may be a particularly good investment.

Projected Growth Rate 11%

Computer Network/Information Technology Architect

$101,210 Avg Annual Salary
Bachelor’s degree Degree Required

These highly skilled personnel design and build data communication networks of all types: small-scale local area networks, wide area networks, intranets, and cloud infrastructures. Many firms in this field prefer that job candidates possess a master’s degree and specialized training in IT, database management, or computer science.

Projected Growth Rate 9%

Information Technology Licensure and Certification

Certifications are required for employment in some specialized areas in information technology. They also help you move ahead in your career by demonstrating that you have taken the initiative to acquire advanced skills and training. Many online master’s degree programs in information technology prepare you for IT certification as part of the standard curriculum. Some programs also permit students to apply the credits they earned in a certificate program to those needed to complete their IT degree.

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP): This is an internationally recognized credential that ensures professionals have the technical and managerial skills to engineer and manage information security programs. Information technology auditors, security analysts, and others in related fields can benefit from this certification.
  • Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE): This certificate is available for professionals who specialize in the following areas: server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, private cloud computing, enterprise devices, business intelligence, and SharePoint. The certification is useful to systems administrators, systems engineers, and field systems technicians.
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): This is a basic certification for those who troubleshoot network problems and operate switches and routers. CCNA specializations include security, voice communication, and wireless networking. It is a desirable certification for many network and system administrators.

Job Placement for Information Technology Graduates

While it is possible to enter IT fields with only a bachelor’s degree, as the job landscape changes and more job seekers seek specialized training, a graduate degree differentiates you from the rest of the pack. Salaries for professionals in computer and information technology vary considerably, with the 25th percentile earning around $48,000 a year and the 75th percentile earning around $100,000 a year. About a third of these professionals possess graduate training, and that credential increases their earnings by 31%. Besides the boost in salary, a master’s degree enhances career opportunities in management, supervisory, and consulting roles. Additionally, high-paying jobs require skilled workers with specialized certifications, which are often incorporated into master’s programs as part of the standard curriculum.

Master’s in IT Salary

Salaries in IT depend on location, job demand, years of experience, educational level, and certifications. Compensation increases with experience across all IT professions, but with particular growth for information systems managers, network systems administrators, and database administrators. The table below summarizes recent salary information from PayScale for some of these professionals at each stage of their careers.

Salary for IT Occupations by Experience
Job Title Overall Median Salary Top Paying Cities/States Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Information Systems Manager $82,105 New York, NY; Chicago, IL $65,085 $78,750 $97,702
Network Systems Administrator $59,534 Seattle, WA; Minneapolis, MN; San Antonio, TX $51,982 $66,408 $69,410
Information Security Analyst $70,260 Seattle, WA; Washington, DC; New York, NY $63,884 $88,998 $91,214
Database Administrator $72,285 San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis, MN $61,178 $91,343 $95,451
Computer Network/Information Technology Architect $116,574 San Jose, CA; San Francisco, CA; New York, NY $90,273 $105,675 $119,407

Do I Need to Take the GRE to Enroll in an Online Master’s in IT Program?

If you are applying for graduate school, you will probably need to take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as a requirement for admission. The GRE, administered by the Educational Testing Service, measures critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative skills in much the same way that the SAT and ACT assess a student’s readiness for undergraduate work. You may also be required to take a focused GRE subject test in an area like computer science. Some students enroll in professional test preparation courses to get ready for the GRE, while others spend one to three months studying for the exam independently. The amount of preparation you need depends on your academic readiness and test-taking skills. Some schools, including many that offer online master’s programs, do not require the GRE and give more weight to other components of your application such as academic potential, GPA, and work experience.

Accreditation for Online Master’s in IT Degrees

Accreditation is an important factor when choosing an online program in information technology. Between national and regional accreditation, the most popular and sought-after is regional accreditation. Nationally accredited schools usually offer technical, vocational, or related programs. Schools that are regionally accredited are normally degree-granting, nonprofit institutions that have met rigorous criteria for academic quality.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversees a number of regional accrediting bodies throughout the United States. Some programs in computer and information technology may also receive accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), an agency that assesses degree programs in in the natural sciences, engineering, and computing. In addition to ensuring programs are accredited by ABET, check the CHEA website to verify that your school is nationally or regionally accredited.

Financing Your Online Master’s in IT Program

An affordable online master’s in information technology may well be within your reach. As a first step, be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study awards. Funding is also available to expand the participation of targeted demographic groups and underrepresented populations in computer and information technology careers. Several types of financial assistance are available for graduate work in in the STEM fields, with major industries and foundations offering awards to students in specialized IT fields. Below are some examples of the scholarships available to students studying information technology.

Scholarships for a Online IT Master’s Degrees

IT Scholarships

Generation Google Scholarship $10,000

The Generation Google Scholarship is granted to minorities pursuing degrees in IT-related fields at accredited U.S. and Canadian colleges.

Scholarship Deadline: March 3

Eligibility Requirements: Students must be members of an underrepresented minority group and be enrolled, or intend to enroll, in a graduate program in computer science or related field. They must also exemplify leadership qualities and provide evidence of their interest in the field.

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National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Aspirations in Computing Collegiate Award $10,000

The Aspirations Award is given to female undergraduates or graduates pursuing an accredited degree program in IT or a related field.

Scholarship Deadline: OCTOBER 30

Eligibility Requirements: Students must be NCWIT members enrolled in an NCWIT Academic Alliance college in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, and must submit outstanding technical projects.

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ALICOM Technical Student Scholarship $1,000

This ALICOM scholarship is given to full-time U.S. citizens enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs in information technology or related fields at any private or public college or university.

Scholarship Deadline: June 1

Eligibility Requirements: Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and submit an essay of 1,000 words that addresses innovative IT applications for dealing with cyber warfare or cyber security threats.

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ISC2 Foundation Women's Cybersecurity Scholarship $10,000

This scholarship is awarded to women pursuing or planning to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree with a focus on cybersecurity or information assurance.

Scholarship Deadline: March 19

Eligibility Requirements: This award is open to female students in the field who have earned a minimum 3.5 undergraduate GPA.

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Center for Cyber Safety and Education Graduate Scholarship $5,000

The Center for Cyber Safety and Education Scholarship provides graduate students with funding to conduct special research projects, or as assistance with tuition and fees.

Scholarship Deadline: March 1

Eligibility Requirements: Eligible students must be U.S. citizens with a 3.5 GPA who are pursuing or will be pursuing graduate programs with a focus in cybersecurity or information assurance

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