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Kayla Matthews
Tech journalist

March 10, 2021

Tech-related master’s programs tend to pay extremely well.

In 1964, The Paris Review published a composite interview of Pablo Picasso. In it, the artist is quoted to have said that computers are useless, because "they can only give you answers." Whether Picasso's assessment still holds true (or ever held true) is debatable. It's been 50+ years since his words were published, and (for better or worse) information technology hasn't stopped evolving—giving rise to more more questions, more answers, and more jobs dedicated to figuring all of those things out. (What a transition, amiright?)

Nearly every company on the planet today needs IT professionals to manage their hardware, software, and networking. In other words, the job market is strong. If you want to learn how to use technology to benefit a wide range of businesses, earning a master's degree in information technology might be the best path.

Here's why.

1. You could fill a skills shortage Information technology is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States, and projections show that the need for IT professionals will continue to grow over the next several years.

This extraordinary growth has caused a skills shortage in IT, with more jobs available than there are professionals to fill them. With a master's degree in information technology, you'll be prepared to meet this pressing need.

2. A master's degree proves you're a high performer With increasing frequency, today’s IT companies are identifying high performers and giving them enhanced opportunities to excel through specialized training programs. Employees who stand out from their peers and colleagues have the chance to earn more money and take on additional responsibilities.

Getting a master's degree in information technology shows employers that you have what it takes to reach high levels. By distinguishing yourself in the workplace, you will increase your chances of being offered responsibilities (and salary) beyond your current job function.

_(Pardon the interruption, but What Can You Do With a Master's in Information Technology?)_

3. More jobs than ever require a master's degree Analysts have noted a shift in the number of occupations that require higher education at the entry level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of entry-level jobs requiring a master’s degree will grow 16.7 percent by 2026.

Getting a master's degree now could make it easier for you to find fulfilling work in the future.

4. Who doesn't want to grow their professional network? In a 2016 LinkedIn study about networking, nearly 80 percent of respondents identified professional networks as being important to their career success. Additional surveys have shown that 70 percent of those hired in 2016 already had some connection to the company that hired them.

Earning a master's degree in information technology is an excellent way to increase your professional network. A master’s program will put you in the presence of driven, like-minded people—many of whom will continue working while in school, growing your list of professional contacts.

5. A master's degree could help you make an international move If you're fascinated by the idea of working internationally, an information technology master's degree could help you get there.

Technical skills such as coding and information security are among the most in-demand hard skills in European markets. Many U.S.-based companies have branches in other countries, too. With a master’s in IT, You may be able to start working domestically before being transferred to an overseas office.

Asserting your candidacy in a foreign market can be a challenge, but if you’re up for it, your pursuit of higher education could pay off in life as an expatriate.

6. A master's degree could increase your salary While some degrees influence salary more than others, tech-related master’s programs tend to pay off extremely well. For example, a person with a master's in information technology earns an average of $87,000 per year, according to PayScale.

_(Required reading! How Much Can You Earn With a Master's in Information Technology?)_

Specialized certifications can also boost your earnings in the information technology field.

7. You can earn your degree at online In December 2018, the Urban Institute released a paper exploring the rise of master’s degrees and identifying the ways in which these programs have changed over the years. On the whole, master’s programs are becoming more diverse and are appealing to a wider range of industries, from construction trades to visual and performing arts.

One significant percentage identified in this paper is that more than 50 percent of master's students completed at least some of their coursework online in 2016.

If your personal obligations and work schedule might preclude driving to campus each day, online study could be ideal. There are an increasing number of fully accredited online master’s in information technology programs available for you to choose from.

8. Feel the satisfaction of educational achievement If you're someone who takes pride in academic achievement, earning an information technology master's degree might increases your sense of self-worth. Goals are motivating. A master's degree will have long-term payoffs if your goal is to be better trained as an IT leader.

9. You'll be eligible for specialized, senior-level positions While earning your master's degree, you may have the opportunity to specialize in related subjects such as cybersecurity or cloud computing. You will also be equipped for senior positions that involve management and prestige. Many openings in IT leadership have master's degrees or equivalent experience as prerequisites.

10. Ever thought about teaching? If you've thought about teaching but don't have a degree in education, an information technology master's degree may be seen as a comparable credential.

To appeal to employers who are hiring teachers, bolster your resumé with a master’s degree. They’ll be impressed by your combination of academic knowledge and real-world experience.

So why get a master's in information technology? On the whole, individuals who choose this option want to become more competitive in an evolving workforce. In the world of information technology, a master’s degree will help you get ahead.

Questions or feedback? Email editor@noodle.com