Top Careers in Informational Technology with a Master's Degree
- Chief Information Officer
- Application Architect
- Lead Software Engineer
- Data Analytics/Database Administration
- Information Security Analyst
Earning an advanced degree requires not only time and hard work but also money, so it is logical for professionals to wonder about job opportunities with a Master's in Information Technology and whether the degree is worth it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, earning the additional degree does provide an advantage, both in terms of higher salaries and upward career mobility. In such a competitive field, this credential makes up for less experience, and for seasoned professionals, returning to school also demonstrates the ability and desire to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry. A master's degree in IT can lead to the following jobs.
Chief Information Officer
The CIO of a company makes big picture decisions in three main areas. First, they analyze the workflow and needs of the tech teams within the company and ensure they have everything needed to do their jobs effectively. Second, a large part of a CIO's job is to stay current on new technologies and decide when and how to implement these. A good CIO is always determining innovative ways to use technology to increase profits and serve customers with less overhead. Finally, this position requires predictive analytical skills in order to identify and consider possible risks and unintended consequences of updates. CIOs are excellent communicators and report directly to CEOs.
This is the top leadership position on a software project. The architect is in charge of all groups working on the project including the design team, programmers, testers and trainers, client services, and outreach/marketing. This position oversees every step of software creation from the initialdiscussion with clients to planning and design phases and finally debugging and delivery to ensure that everyone on the team is on the same page. After completion of the project, the application architect also determines what followup work needs to be done including update and maintenance schedules. The information technology master's degree for this career combines business management practices with tech skills.
Lead Software Engineer
This position is more technical than some of the other jobs listed. The lead software engineer often works closely with the application architect and delegates the programming work to different teams. It requires expertise in a variety of coding languages and the ability to troubleshoot and think of innovative ways to solve problems. While they do not do much of the actual programming, the lead has the final say on the language and overall strategy for the project.
Data Analytics/Database Administration
Some of the biggest advancements in technology are being made in data collection and analysis processes, so this IT master's degree specialty is in demand across nearly every industry including finance, medicine, and transportation. These professionals help companies identify how they can use new data technologies and set up the necessary systems. After the initial phase, database administrators and data analysts help maintain the system and interpret the results.
Information Security Analyst
Getting a master's degree in IT with a concentration in security opens doors in a variety of areas from the government to international corporations. With more information accessible online, the threat to sensitive data becomes increasingly significant. This position involves first analyzing a system for weaknesses in security and then implementing solutions. As hacking technology is continually evolving, constant monitoring and preventative measures are necessary.
While it is possible to advance in IT with experience alone, getting an advanced degree shows interviewers that a candidate is ambitious and has a high-level understanding of the field. A master's degree in information technology can lead to positions that allow for more independence and creativity as well as higher salaries.