An MBA in information technology is a lucrative career option for those looking to find a technical and managerial job.
Those looking for a satisfying career focused on managing both systems and employees often find the perfect fit through obtaining an MBA in information technology.
Information technology continues to skyrocket as a system of operation and expansion for most businesses. Today, most companies have experienced an influx of hiring the right cross-trained individuals to keep their business and employees performing well and reaching goals.
What is an MBA in Information Technology?
Combining the business acumen of an MBA and the technological understanding of IT infrastructure, this MBA program prepares students to excel in technological innovation and team leadership.
Information technology MBA programs equip students with the skills and experience for information management within a company and the team members who create and maintain the systems.
An MBA in information technology teaches students both the breadth and depth of IT management, including:
Financial management: Students will learn the skills needed to manage the finances and budget of large-scale IT systems–from materials to employee salaries to security costs.
Database management and administration: students pursuing an MBA in information technology leave the program prepared to configure, troubleshoot, and monitor IT systems within a company to ensure the systems remain functioning and secure.
Analysis and design of business systems: Identifying key performance indicators, setting goals, and pinpointing steps to achieving these are key parts of an MBA in information technology.
Marketing management: How do the overall IT goals fit into a company’s overall services, goals, and marketing initiatives? An information technology MBA will prepare students for working with marketing goals and marketing teams.
Technology innovation: Becoming educated on trending topics–and how to stay current – is a core development in an MBA information technology degree program.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP): System administration application programming ERP is taught in IT MBA programs.
Ethics & human resources: MBA degrees in information technology teach students aspects of the profession beyond logistics, including managing teams and adhering to a code of ethics.
Entrepreneurship: Critical skills like spotting up-and-coming opportunities and leading teams to success are key elements of an accredited MBA program in information technology.
The curriculum topics above are not an exhaustive list of the curriculum covered in an MBA in information technology program. The specific curriculum will depend on the school and the student’s career goals.
Another cornerstone of a credible MBA program in information technology is the field experience offered to students. One of the primary forms of field experience is through internships.
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, employers seek job candidates who have completed an accredited MBA program and those who have experience in the field and working in a hands-on environment with employees and projects.
Field experience and internships are not included in most information technology MBA programs. Since field experience can help job candidates stand out in the job market, students in any MBA program are encouraged to secure internships during their course of study to apply their academic knowledge to real-world scenarios. This is especially important when pursuing a career focusing on team member management, budget management, and marketing management.
While most MBA programs in information technology do not formally offer internships as part of their curriculum, programs at accredited institutions provide student resources that may help find, apply, and secure an internship in a student’s desired field. Moreover, most student resource centers will also offer cover letter and resume writing assistance.
Many MBA programs also offer the schedule flexibility needed to excel at an internship or part-time position, including online learning opportunities.
How to Choose an MBA Program in Information Technology
Choosing the right program to obtain an information technology MBA requires evaluation of several different factors. The most and least important factors will vary from student to student in terms of their lifestyle and career goals.
Curriculum: The curriculum of an MBA in information technology is one of the most important factors to consider. Students should first identify their specific career goals and shape their curriculum/program choice to achieve them.
Accreditation: Students must choose an accredited institution from which to receive their MBA in information technology. Not only does this mean that employers and other educational facilities will acknowledge the legitimacy of the program, but it also tells potential employers that the student has completed material of a particular academic calendar.
Cost: As with any educational endeavor, students need to consider the cost of an MBA program in information technology and decide if this falls within their budget. The cost of an MBA in information technology can range from $20,000 to over $100,000. However, more expensive programs do not necessarily mean a better education or a better fit for a student’s career goals. Students who have a lower budget may still find ways to obtain their desired education.
Many schools offer work-study, payment plans, financial aid, fellowships, scholarships for a student’s desired program. Contacting the school’s financial aid office and the department directly is the best place to start for students looking for financial resources.
Students who complete a fellowship, teaching assistantship, or work-study may find a discounted tuition and beneficial experience in their field that could complement or replace an internship.
Learning Style: Some students prefer to learn in a classroom setting, with hands-on experience and professor feedback. Other students prefer to learn online with the flexibility to work, complete an internship, or raise a family alongside their degree completion. Students should carefully consider the environment where they will be most successful before applying to/enrolling in the best MBA program for their lifestyle and learning preferences.
Online MBA Programs in Information Technology
Many accredited institutions offer the option for an MBA in information technology to be completed online. Others provide a hybrid option of learning online and on campus. Others still provide only campus-based learning opportunities for their students.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to choosing a program that can be completed solely online. The extent to which these factors act as advantages or disadvantages depends on a student’s preferences and lifestyle.
One advantage to pursuing a degree online is the flexibility that it offers students. Many students choose to continue to work during a graduate program, and many have already started raising a family. The flexibility to complete courses online can work well with these situations.
Another advantage to online learning is cost: because the program is not paying for overhead like building space, utilities, and other needs for students, they can offer a lower rate of tuition for online programs compared to their programs that take place in a brick and mortar location.
Access to programs for people who live in rural areas or live in another city/state from their desired program will also benefit from online learning.
However, some students find disadvantages to online learning programs. Since online learning programs are not face-to-face, students may find a critical element missing from their education: interaction with their peers and instructors on an in-person and more frequent basis.
Moreover, some students excel when they can ask questions in real-time. Finding internships and networking can be more difficult through an online program if students prefer to build their network face to face.
Deciding whether to enroll in an MBA program in information technology based on campus or offers online learning is a factor that students should consider before moving forward.
MBA in Information Technology Career Track and Job Outlook
Earning an MBA in information technology is a lucrative and promising career path for graduates. There are many exciting career paths for outstanding job candidates, including those at the cutting edge of technological innovation.
Job candidates with the technical skills of information technology and the ability to manage a team are highly sought after, especially in today’s fast-paced world of information sharing.
Some positions that graduates excel in include:
- Data analyst
- Product owner
- Project manager
- Help desk manager
- Program manager
The rare candidates who can balance the managerial and technological requirements are paid well because of their diverse and meaningful skill set. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that computer and information systems managers make an average of $151,000 per year. As they gain experience in their field, students can earn higher incomes.
Not only can an MBA in information technology lead graduates to a lucrative career, but one that is projected to grow 10 percent over the next decade, much faster than average, according to the BLS.
Earning an MBA in information technology opens the door to a host of exciting, rewarding, and well-paying job opportunities for job candidates in today’s market.
MBA in Information Technology FAQs
Completing an MBA in information technology generally takes students between one to two years. This timeline will, of course, vary based on the credits taken and the pace of the programs. Some part-time MBA programs, for example, can take longer than two years. Many other MBA programs offer an accelerated program that can be completed in one year to expedite the learning process.
There are many career paths that require candidates to possess a business’s project and employee management aspects. It is often crucial that a candidate has formal education in both areas. Someone can start at a company and work their way up, but earning an MBA in information technology is a direct and faster solution for other situations. Also, students who pursue an MBA in information technology also benefit from courses outside of technological innovation, such as human resource courses, business ethics, and even entrepreneurship.
It is essential to identify career goals, learning styles, and other objectives before looking for the MBA in information technology program that is the best fit. A comprehensive search can be a great way to construct a shortlist of programs that fit budgets, time commitments, curriculum, and learning styles. Another excellent starting place for finding the right MBA program can be through a student’s alma mater or even other schools in the city where they live. Even though schools may have physical campuses in a student’s city, the school may also offer online learning opportunities, so students should not discount a brick and mortar location if they are only interested in online MBA programs.
A bachelor’s degree or higher is required to be accepted into an information technology MBA program. Other admission requirements will vary from school to school. These requirements typically include some combination of GPA, entrance exams such as the GRE or GMAT, and sometimes specialized requirements such as an essay or statement of purpose. Pursuing an MBA in information technology can lead graduates into fulfilling careers that offer exciting opportunities to be at the forefront of technological innovation as they manage team members and large-scale tech initiatives. With high average pay in the field, a wide range of opportunities, and exciting growth, it is easy to see why an MBA in information technology is a popular choice.