By CSDH Staff
Whether you are looking for an online master’s in information technology in order to reskill, further specialize, or as a way to advance into management, this ranking features the most affordable online master’s in information technology degrees on the market. A master’s-level degree is the highest level of degree necessary in the information technology field unless you want to teach graduate courses or conduct high level research. Each of these programs is quite affordable, and all of them have features that make them unique in some way. Many offer a wide variety of concentrations, allowing you to further specialize in the area of the field that most interests you. This diversity means it is very likely that one of the degrees in this ranking of the top ten most affordable master’s degrees in information technology both meets your needs and your budget.
All of the degrees in our ranking are offered by regionally accredited universities. They are ranked purely according to affordability. Because we are ranking the top ten affordable online degrees in information technology, the programs are ranked according to out of state tuition when applicable. You can find an FAQ and all the information on the sources we used at the end of the article.
The online master’s in information technology degree at University of the Cumberlands is designed for anyone with a bachelor’s degree who is working in information technology. You don’t need to have a bachelor’s degree in information technology to apply to the master’s program. This makes it perfect for anyone who has transitioned into information technology and wants some formal professional development to enhance their skills. Students will take courses like analyzing and visualizing data, business intelligence, cloud computing, organizational leadership and decision making, information security project, and introduction to data mining.
#2. Western Governors University
Online Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
As you complete the coursework in the WGU online master’s in information technology management degree, you will earn the PMI Certified Associate in Project Management Certification at no additional cost. If you study intensely it’s possible to finish this program in just six months, meaning the whole thing would cost you just $3,490, as WGU charges by semester and not by credit. Subject areas include project management, risk management, advanced networking technology, disaster recovery planning, prevention and response, technological globalization, and cyberlaw.
Concordia University Saint Paul is a Lutheran university. 95% of graduates receive job offers in their field within one year of graduation and earn 44% more than the national average according to College Score Card. The online information technology management master’s degree features courses like business intelligence and data analytics, project management, technology management and innovation, research in information technology, and strategic communication.
Bellevue University’s online information technology master’s degree offers concentrations in databases, software development, and security. The database concentration features courses like advanced database management, and planning, designing and implementing ETL solutions. The software development concentration offers courses on mobile application development and software testing and quality. The security concentration offers courses on security architecture and design as well as ethical hacking and response. All three concentrations feature one additional capstone course in the subject area.
Kennesaw State University allows students to use electives to create specializations in areas like IT security, health information technology, and databases and networking. All students pay the same price for online courses regardless of residency. Students will take courses like IT and the law, multimedia applications, foundations of HIT, management of information technology, information security seminar, computer forensics, and ethical hacking.
The online master’s in information technology degree offered by Endicott College is a 36-credit program that offers students the option to specialize in health and medical informatics. Students in this program take courses like systems architecture and analysis, advanced cloud computing, web 3.0/communications and commerce, database management, fundamentals of telecommunications, business intelligence and data mining, and project and professional management.
All active duty military personnel pay in-state tuition for UMUC’s courses. If you’re looking to specialize, UMUC’s online information technology degree is one of your best options. The specializations offered by the program are database systems technology, homeland security management, informatics, information assurance, project management software engineering, systems engineering, and telecommunications management.
Thomas Edison State University’s online master’s in IT is a 36-39-credit program and can be completed in less than two years part-time. In addition to the core requirements, TESU offers specializations in cybersecurity, data management, health information, information assurance, network management, and software engineering. Students will take courses like telecommunications and networking, information systems analysis, modeling and design, and project management for technology.
Tuition: $7,164 (in state), $14,832 (out of state)
This online master’s in information technology has students work toward completing one or more graduate certificates while they earn their degree. Certificates are available in the areas of computer forensics, database management systems, health information technology, information security and assurance, information systems management, internet application development, and networking technologies.
Tuition: $4,680 (in state), $16,320 (out of state)
Middle Georgia State University offers a fully online master’s in information technology with concentrations in information security and digital forensics, software development, health informatics, and critical infrastructure management. Students will take courses like IT project management, research methods in information technology, digital forensics, ethical hacking, and digital evidence and cybercrime.
What can I expect from earning a master’s in information technology online?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics computer and information systems managers earn a median salary of $135,000 per year. Computer network architects aren’t far behind with a median pay of $101,000 per year. These are two of the highest level jobs in the industry, the kind you can only be qualified for with advanced education and years of experience. So if you’ve put in the time in the industry and earn your master’s, you will very likely end up in a position at the very top of the industry.
Who should (or shouldn’t) pursue an online master’s in IT?
Most of the time these degrees focus on one of three areas. The first is integrating high level information technology concepts and knowledge with management techniques. The second is providing an opportunity for the student to more deeply specialize in one specific area of the information technology field. The third is to allow somebody already specialized to add another area of expertise to their portfolio.
So if you’re looking to move into management or higher, specialize further in your area of expertise, or master a new area of IT knowledge, then a master’s degree in IT is a great choice for you. But if you just graduated from your bachelor’s program, you definitely shouldn’t go straight into a master’s program. No matter what degree you hold, you need a certain amount of experience to progress in information technology. So if you earn your master’s too early in your career, it won’t help you advance and will quickly become outdated. An online master’s in IT is something that can help you advance in your mid-to-late career when you’re looking for jobs at the top levels of the industry.
How do I pay for my online master’s in information technology?
Your first stop when searching for financial aid should always be FAFSA. This is where the bulk of everybody’s financial aid should be coming from. Federal education grants are essentially free money, and federally subsidized student loans have incredibly low interest and tons of great programs for paying them back, including loan forgiveness if you work at a non-profit for ten years. After that, private grants and scholarships should be where you look. Finally, if all else fails and it’s your only option, you can apply for private student loans. Private loans tend to be the worst deal and the most expensive form of funding. So make sure you exhaust other sources first.
Aside from federal and state student loans and grants, many employers offer professional development compensation to their employees. So you may be able to earn your online master’s IT degree on your company’s dime! If your company pays for your degree, there is a pretty good chance they see it as worthwhile to invest in your advancement in the company, which means the new degree could also serve to pave the way for a promotion.
Is online learning right for you?
Online learning is beyond convenient for full-time workers. Most students who earn their master’s in IT degrees online are well into their career and have both work and family concerns that require a higher level of flexibility from their degree. Online delivery is quickly becoming the most commonly chosen option for people looking to earn that master’s. However, despite the convenience of an online master’s in information technology, you should still ask yourself some questions before deciding to move forward. Are you the kind of person who can learn by watching videos? Would you be comfortable taking tests online? Can you handle not having any face-to-face interaction with your professors and fellow students? Are you highly self-motivated and disciplined? While online education is a powerful option, it’s not ideal for all students. However, if you need the flexibility and are comfortable with the format and technology, online education offers unprecedented levels of flexibility.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- National Center for Education Statistics: Tuition and graduate rates.
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