Information technology occupations have been steadily increasing in availability and are projected to continue growing through 2024, according to a career planning professional at The Balance Careers. In fact, the expected job growth between 2016 and 2026 is 13 percent, which equals over 557,000 jobs, per data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. With the continual evolution of technology, demand for experts who can create and implement software and information systems will be high, making this an appealing field for those looking to pursue a technology-based career.
Individuals interested in any IT profession should have a strong technical background, including familiarity with at least some of the popular programming languages, experience in the field and the right education. For those who didn’t earn an undergraduate degree in IT or computer science or for those who did but are looking to broaden their IT knowledge to stay relevant and grow their current skillset, a master’s degree can help develop the right competencies to be successful.
Saurabh Pant, a graduate of the Arizona State University Master of Science in Information Technology program shares, “my undergraduate program gave me a lot of theoretical knowledge, but I didn't feel that I was ready for the industry. I could do a college-level project, but to be able to build something that customers can actually use — something that is scalable and meets the requirements of the changing industry — I never felt ready for that. That’s probably because undergrad was more theoretical and focused on learning a lot instead of mastering very specific things.” Conversely, of his graduate program, Pant says, “I mastered the things that I worked on. Cloud computing, networking, databases — I know the advanced things well.”
An online Master of Science in Information Technology degree can help students improve their technical skills, preparing them for opportunities in today’s cyber system infrastructure. Typically focusing on a core set of courses covering networking, cybersecurity and information systems, an MS in Information Technology may also allow students to branch out through specific elective tracks focusing on computer architecture and information security or information systems management and systems development. Specializing in these areas of IT can help prepare graduates to advance their careers in some of the most attractive IT fields where they’ll be able to seek opportunities with increased responsibility and leadership in a broad range of industries.
Several IT careers that combine management with technical skills are featured below. These positions touch on steadily growing areas of information technology, including security, databases, data management and networks. The potential for growth and the need for individuals with the right combination of education and technical competency make these opportunities ideal for candidates who are well-versed in the latest IT developments and can implement them in a business environment.