Computer Science

How Much Will You Make With a Master’s in Information Technology?

How Much Will You Make With a Master’s in Information Technology?
You may opt for a more general information technology degree to allow for greater flexibility in the job market or decide you have a specific job in mind that requires a more targeted concentration. Image from https://unsplash.com
Lucy Davies profile
Lucy Davies December 29, 2022

Technological devices are a ubiquitous part of our lives. Looking around the room right now, you'll likely see several devices created and maintained with information technology (IT) support. The demand for experts in IT looms large as well, and those who enter the field can expect to be compensated handsomely.

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Technology is a gargantuan industry and has been growing exponentially for decades. Between Q1 of 2020 and Q1 of 2022, the U.S. sub-industry representing technology (data processing, internet publishing, and other information services) grew by 47 percent. The overall GDP grew only 18 percent during the same period of time.

IT professionals work in nearly every industry, including healthcare, finance, insurance, and manufacturing. As a result, job opportunities for computer systems analysts, software developers, database administrators, and information systems managers are numerous.

The job market has opened up across a broad range of industries for what CompTIA calls the four pillars of an IT framework. These four “bedrock components” of a company’s vision outline IT professionals’ roles in technical operations for small to large firms: infrastructure, development, security, and data. In addition, job opportunities in project management, cybersecurity, software engineering, and computer technology flood business domains outside traditional tech industries—tech is now everyone’s business.

IT jobs are in demand, from entry-level opportunities to managerial and executive positions. The former is attainable with a bachelor’s degree, but higher-level positions may require a graduate degree like a Master of Science in Information Technology. A master’s degree can also further your career path and qualify you for jobs in a higher salary range.

This article answers the question how much will you make with a master’s in information technology? It also discusses:

  • Master’s degrees for IT professionals
  • IT jobs
  • Online IT master’s degrees
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Master’s degrees for IT professionals

Indeed.com lists one hundred master’s degrees to consider for information technology jobs, including information management, information systems, computer science, data engineering, software engineering, cybersecurity, and information networks.

Many master’s degrees and certifications are worth pursuing; one may fit your career goals better than others. Payscale.com, Indeed.com, and other sites list job postings with specific and related degrees for job openings, with master’s degrees listed as a frequent requirement from employers. You may opt for a more general information technology degree to allow for greater flexibility in the job market or decide you have a specific job in mind that requires a more targeted concentration.

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“I'm Interested in Computer Science!”

“Typically the additional income from a master’s degree over a lifetime is worth the sticker price you pay for it.” (source)

A master’s in computer science can open countless doors from coast to coast. It will expand your knowledge and can help you advance your career, opening doors to management and leadership roles and increasing your earning potential. Jobs are plentiful around the country in a wide variety of industries, from healthcare to finance, entertainment to manufacturing.

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IT jobs

Depending on your level of education and years of experience, you’ll find a range of employment opportunities available in IT. Entry-level positions and their average annual pay include IT technician ($51,569), support specialist ($58,536), and quality assurance tester ($65,518).

Bachelor’s degree holders with professional certifications can snag jobs and average salaries in positions like web developer ($67,854), IT security specialist ($71,818), and computer programmer ($73,218). As job descriptions move from support roles like network administrator or systems administrator into information technology management positions, the annual salary range changes, with IT directors making $111,971 per year. Directors and IT management positions usually require master’s degrees, as do positions such as data scientist ($102,312) and computer scientist ($108,521). These higher-level jobs require a deeper understanding of data science, information science, and business strategy, and a few more years of work experience.

Average salary across IT jobs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) outlines projected growth and percentage of computer and IT jobs held by degree level. The rate of a range of occupations in IT is markedly higher for advanced degree holders over those with a bachelor’s degree, particularly in chief executive and management positions.

Salary ranges demonstrate a step up in pay for master’s degree holders. The national average base salary for bachelor’s degree holders in IT is $74,000 per year while master’s degree holders in IT average $107,000 per year.

Remember that calculating an average salary means considering a few variables. For example, the median wage for any job title in the IT industry is calculated differently by region and cost of living considerations. Also, consider the years of experience required when researching pay. This number can impact income as much as degree level or certifications.

Highest-paying IT jobs

Some of the highest-paying IT jobs have titles like CIO and CTO, but not all executive-level salaries are paid out to the C-suite.

Chief information officer and chief technology officer are two top titles for computer and information systems managers, who take home a median annual wage of $159,010, with top salaries paying $208,000 per year. These IT managers help pair business strategy with IT project planning to meet projected goals. Computer and information research scientists make an annual median wage of $119,166, and computer network architects make $120,520 on average, with the top ten percent earning $168,890 per year. Both positions research new technologies and emerging trends and their impact on business strategy. Software developers ($120,730) and security analysts ($103,590) also rank as top paying IT positions.

Lowest-paying IT jobs

Lower-paying entry-level IT jobs can be a good way to make a start in the wide world of information technology. Job titles include computer programmer ($93,000), web developer ($61,104), computer network support specialist ($53,049), and network administrator ($62,103). Professionals with salaries below the six-figure mark can often boost pay with added certifications and training in information technology programs.

IT jobs for candidates with a master’s degree

For those who have completed their master’s level degree program training, salaries tend to be higher. The BLS reports that master’s degree holders make more on average than workers without an advanced degree, and while many positions won’t require one, many top roles will.

Senior software engineers make an average of $121,972 per year with the highest paid positions making as much as $162,000 per year. IT directors can make up to $176,000 per year, with an average base salary of $122,735 per year. These professionals guide tech decisions and translate business needs into tech-based solutions. Top positions with these responsibilities also include IT vice presidents (VPs), who can make over $200,000 per year.

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Online IT master’s degrees

IT students can earn their master’s degrees without interrupting a career in progress. Online and hybrid master’s degree programs provide working professionals with great flexibility by offering synchronous and asynchronous classes, rolling start dates, full and part-time schedules, and short-term on-campus immersion experiences. These flexible options are helping to increase the popularity of online degrees.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the top online graduate degree programs in information technology can be found at:

(Last Updated on February 26, 2024)

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About the Editor

Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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Computer Science Programs You Should Consider

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