For over 100 years, Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs have produced managers and business leaders who can transform organizations from the inside out. With today’s businesses (as well as government agencies and nonprofits) utterly reliant on information technology to operate and thrive, pairing business acumen with advanced technological skills makes more sense than ever before.
Indeed, combining information technology and management skills is critical to improving outcomes in the modern world. By leveraging the power of information technology in its many iterations—data science, information security, network administration, and database management, among others—in strategic business execution, MBA in information technology graduates are poised to work at the frontlines catalyzing change.
According to the 2022 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey, 92 percent of recruiters and 95 percent of staffing agencies expected to hire new MBA graduates during the year. Earning these credentials places graduates in the fast lane to well-paying managerial jobs with plenty of opportunities for growth and impact.
So, what sort of information technology MBA jobs and salaries can an IT MBA expect? This article explores that question by discussing:
Information technology MBAs bring together advanced knowledge from IT and business disciplines to instill skill and knowledge needed for advanced technology-focused roles. Undertaking an MBA degree of any type provides graduates with skills in business management, ethical leadership, finance, human resource management, marketing communications, operations management, and accounting, among others.
By pursuing an information technology specialization, students gain additional skills in areas such as computer science, cybersecurity, systems analysis and design, and other important topics. Pairing both sets of knowledge creates well-rounded, strategic graduates who know how to navigate in the business world while also leading institutional change around technology.
When it comes to MBA specializations, every school offers a unique curriculum. That said, many share similar coursework. At Campbellsville University, for example, online MBA IT students complete coursework in project management, information systems infrastructure, and information systems security. At SUNY Polytechnic Institute, online MBA in Technology Management students further specialize in either accounting and finance, health informatics, human resource management, marketing management, or business management.
MBA programs typically conclude with a comprehensive capstone project. These can vary based on student interests but typically include a business simulation allowing learners to demonstrate their newfound business and IT knowledge.
The amount of time students spend working towards their Master of Business Administration in Information Technology depends on several factors. When attending b-school, learners can choose from full-time, part-time, and accelerated learning formats. Traditionally, MBA programs require two years of full-time study, but part-time options exist for busy working students who need three years to graduate. Accelerated programs, frequently offered online, allow learners to graduate in just 12 months.
I.T. encompasses a vast spectrum of systems and applications. They include common networks most of us use every day, such as telephone and point-of-sale systems. At the other end of the spectrum are comparatively obscure, poorly understood systems like blockchain, used in cryptocurrencies and other transactions. In between lie background systems such as databases and inventory management, crucial to businesses, corporations, and government agencies. (
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the computer and information technology job market should grow by 15 percent between 2021 and 2031, creating more than 682,000 new jobs. Earning a Master of Science in Information Technology builds skill sets in critical areas that include cloud computing, algorithms, big data, business intelligence, cybersecurity, data science, machine learning, and IT management, among others. ( )
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Graduates of information technology MBA programs can choose from a wide spectrum of well-paid roles in myriad industries and sectors.
Average annual salary: $142,891
Job description: Data science managers use their extensive knowledge of big data and data processing to glean insightful information that senior business leaders use in decision-making. They oversee other data science associates to define processes, oversee projects, and monitor deliverables for quality and usability.
Average annual salary: $171,562
Job description: Chief information officers (CIOs) possess a combined skill for management and information technology, making them well-rounded professionals. CIOs oversee all information technology activities within their companies, setting strategic plans for leveraging data, developing policies for how data is safely handled, setting project goals and deliverables, and identifying ways of using information to strengthen company earnings.
Average annual salary: $170,475
Job description: Chief technology officers (CTOs) work at the same level as CIOs but focus their expertise on technology development and improvement. Common responsibilities include identifying areas where technological services can be improved, implementing new software and hardware, staying up-to-date on emerging technologies to consider whether they can benefit the company, and managing staff members under their purview.
Average annual salary: $146,206
Job description: Software engineering managers oversee teams of software engineers that design, develop, test, and release new software products. They also address any software malfunctions or bugs in existing software and work with security experts to address any hacking concerns. They typically work under the supervision of CTOs.
Average annual salary: $158,120
Job description: IT directors work to lead their departments by overseeing IT technicians and other staff members. They communicate with other departments within their organizations to assess technical needs and direct their team to establish a timeline for improvements and installations. They also maintain relationships with technology vendors and develop training programs for staff members.
Attending business school and earning an information technology MBA provides graduates access to higher average salaries, exciting career paths, and job opportunities unavailable to them with only an undergraduate degree. It also puts them on the radar of recruiters looking for qualified professionals to fill open positions.
The cost of earning an MBA can vary substantially, with Poets & Quants reporting that Stanford University currently charges the highest total cost at $244,353 as of 2022. Many schools offer programs costing substantially less, especially when it comes to online MBA programs. At Louisiana Tech University, for instance, online students pay just $7,740 in total for their MBA. In addition to lower tuition, online MBA graduates save money on cost of living and commuting fees.
Earning an MBA in Information Technology can substantially boost earning potential and broaden career prospects. While other routes to advancement in IT exist—a Master of Science in Information Management, for example—an IT MBA delivers a unique blend of technical and management skills.
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