Masters In Information Technology Salary: Key Facts

masters in information technology management salary

If you’re looking at a possible career in information technology and are thinking of how to get the most out of your experience, then you’ll want to consider the benefits of earning your master’s degree in IT.

By earning an advanced degree, you’re able to specialize within an IT field or further supplement your technical experience – making you a more viable candidate for higher level positions as well as a higher salary.

Just as importantly, advanced degrees allow you to specialize in fields that you find more engaging or interesting. While higher salaries can be a measure of success, they may not be worthwhile if you’re committed to a career path that you find to be frustrating or unfulfilling. Attaining an advanced degree can help secure you a career path where you’ll be well-compensated and fulfilled.

The Need for Information Technology Professionals

The need for IT professionals across all industries continues to grow at a steady rate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has positive projections for information technology job opportunities. The BLS forecasts that employment from 2020 to 2030 will grow by:

The growth for all of these computer science and IT careers is much faster than the projected 7.7% average growth for all occupations. This translates to a projected 247,900 job openings every year across all of these positions over the next decade. While the there is a lot of opportunity within the IT field, its popularity means there’s also heavy competition for positions – so it’s important to find a way that you can stand out as a job candidate.

The Importance of Education When it Comes to IT Management

When it comes to positioning yourself as a stand-out candidate for IT positions that pay a good salary, you can promote your prior experience, your level of education or a combination of both.

According to the BLS, STEM occupations such as computer systems analyst and computer programmer will often provide a wage premium for master’s degree holders. In addition, firms and organizations often prefer to hire IT managers who have master’s degrees.

This preference comes from an increasing need for competent managers who are able to specialize in certain IT areas, such as cloud computing, data analysis, data storage and information security systems, in addition to having at least a basic understanding of how these areas relate to each other in the business world.

Any accredited master’s degree program in information technology management should be geared towards providing knowledge and skills necessary for taking a managerial role in information technology. Depending on the focus, some degrees may also teach business management skills and can be beneficial for positions that require an expertise in administration.

Earning a master’s degree that covers both management and IT disciplines can provide a framework for managing an information technology team in the business world, making you a strong candidate for a high-paying job. The actual degree requirements will depend on the program and the areas that you would like to focus on. Possible relevant programs include an MBA in IT, a Master of Science in IT or a Master’s in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship.

Information Technology Management Salaries

Higher salary positions are often those that require specialized skills and knowledge, though even when a position is open to any level of degree, the candidate with the higher level degree will usually be hired at a greater rate of pay. A 2015 report by the BLS showed that, where an average worker aged 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree would earn $56,000 per year, the average master’s degree holder would earn $68,000 per year.

All salaries are offered in a range of pay, which will vary depending on location, industry and a candidate’s level of experience. Education is considered to be one of the variables, and when comparing average salary of those with a bachelor’s degree vs. those with a master’s the results can be rather significant.

Salaries below are sourced from payscale, ziprecruiter and glassdoor. Amounts are estimates based on level of education as listed on these sites as of December 2021. Actual salaries will vary based on level of experience and geographic location.

Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s Degree
Web Developer$61,000$75,000
Information Security Analyst$85,000$100,000
Network Computer Systems Administrator$70,000$88,000
IT Manager$87,000$122,000
IT Support Specialist$43,000$59,000
Software Developer$60,000$100,000
Senior Program Analyst$89,000$92,000

Why Information Technology Job Salaries Fluctuate

It’s important to remember that outside of a job candidate’s background and experience, all salaries and employment opportunities fluctuate due to multiple factors, mainly:

  • Industry type
  • Local market conditions
  • Employer size

Information technology salaries will vary based on the job responsibilities, time commitments, and pay scales relative to that specific industry. For example, a 2020 BLS review of salaries paid to “computer and information systems managers” found that salaries for that position varied significantly across different industries:

Industry Annual Mean Wage 
Insurance Carriers$159,750
Monetary Authorities – Central Bank$162,780
Computer Systems Design and Related Services$170,080
Software Publishers$180,470
Scientific Research and Development Services$192,870
Investment Pools and Funds$199,900

Geographic location is also an important factor, as areas with flourishing industries that are dependent on IT will have more positions available, local businesses can afford to pay more to fill those jobs, and the higher competition can drive up salaries. Conversely, metropolitan areas will carry a higher cost of living compared to non-metropolitan areas. Here’s how the annual mean wages compare according to the BLS:

Metropolitan AreaAnnual Mean Wage 
San Jose | Sunnyvale | Santa Clara$235,040
New York | Newark | Jersey City$201,320
Washington | Arlington | Alexandria$177,840
Boston | Cambridge | Nashua$167,500
Dallas | Fort Worth | Arlington$162,180
Chicago | Naperville | Elgin$156,960
Non-Metropolitan AreaAnnual Mean Wage
Central East New York$160,560
Northern New Hampshire$147,340
Northwest Virginia$140,460
Northwest Colorado$137,750
Southeast Minnesota$118,790

The 2020 BLS study also compared the annual mean wage of computer and information systems managers across different U.S. states as a whole:

StateAnnual Mean Wage
New Hampshire$149,290
Illinois$153,900
Massachusetts$165,710
Virginia$176,060
New York$193,180
California$198,210

Of course, the company itself will greatly determine the salary range of a position. A company’s size will play a role, as larger corporations have access to more capital and can make higher offers. Some salaries may also be matched with certain benefits, such as insurance, perks or stock options. The following is a list of openings for computer and information systems managers, featuring a selection of companies from different industries and locations.

Job opening and salary ranges sourced from glassdoor as of December 2021.

Company LocationsSalary (Estimate or Range)
AppleCalifornia, Texas$240,730
NVIDIACalifornia, Ohio$180,568
BirlasoftIndiana, New Jersey, California$134,853
NTT DataTexas, New York, Virgina$191,665
Elite Educational InstituteTexas, California$65,823
GoogleCalifornia, Texas, Washington$149k – $207k
Applied Energy GroupNew York$127k – $143k
Weiss CapitalMassachusetts$156k – $208k

How to Increase Your Information Technology Salary

Companies are looking to invest in a sure thing, so you need to present confidence that you can bring the skills and knowledge that they’re looking for. Beyond your working experience, there are additional steps you can take to present yourself as the most attractive candidate.

  • Obtain a postgraduate degree to specialize in your chosen area:
    • An MBA in IT combines business management skills with an advanced understanding of programming, engineering or information architecture.
    • An MSIT adds business acumen, management and targeted problem-solving skills to a strong background in computer science and computer engineering.
    • The MITE degree is designed for those seeking new market opportunities or leadership roles in technology or industries heavily impacted by changes in IT technology.
  • Obtain relevant and respected IT certifications to further bolster specific knowledge:
    • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
    • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
    • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner
    • Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
    • Project Management Professional
    • Certified Information Security Manager
    • Certified in Risk and Information System Control
  • Obtain specialized skills related to web development and/or database administration:
    • C# and C++ development
    • Hyperion
    • Java, .NET and SAP development
    • SharePoint and Microsoft SQL Server
    • Oracle Database
    • Content management systems (CMS)
    • Cisco network administration
    • Linux/Unix system administration

Consider Your Career Goals to Determine Your Education Path

The most important factor of all is that you’ll go further and achieve greater success if you pursue an education path that you feel passionate about. Real value will come from doing what you do well, and then searching for the resources that will allow you to build your knowledge and refine your skills.

If you’re interested in being purely a software designer or engineer, look for MS in IT Management programs. If you’re thinking of launching a career as an entrepreneur within the realm of IT or are looking to start up product development within the growing tech field, then you are encouraged to consider the MITE degree.

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