Today, most businesses rely on technology. As the digital transformation continues to progress, the trick is to find ways for C-suite leadership to work side-by-side with IT departments, so together technology can be used to meet organizational goals. More and more, companies are looking for leaders who possess the IT knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in the business industry. But what exactly does a career in IT management look like?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average annual salary for information systems managers is $139,220 as of May 2017. Salaries can change depending on the industry where you work, and how long you’ve been with a company. Additional perks may be stock options, bonuses, and expense accounts.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that job opportunities for information technology managers will grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026. If you are willing to put in the work to get a degree and land a job, it appears that job security is strong.
While many IT managers work longer than 40 hours a week, it’s important to note that their work culture often allows for remote work as well as professional in-office time. From small companies to global corporations, the types of job available to IT managers are limitless.
Now that you understand what a career in IT management can look like, you have to decide what degree to get. WGU offers two master’s-level programs that can help you advance your career in IT management: a Master of Science in Information Technology Management (MS ITM) and a Master of Business Administration–Information Technology Management (MBA ITM). Both graduate degrees emphasize business management and information technology skills, but which degree is right for you?
The Masters of Science route helps prepare you for really collaborative careers. Having prior IT background knowledge and experience can be really helpful with this degree. In fact, many people with an IT background initially choose this degree.
The MBA route is really more for business professionals who are hoping to lead an IT team. The curriculum is focused, making the degree great for people with some IT background who are hoping to move into business.
Let’s take a deeper look at both of these degrees and how they can help you advance in IT management careers.
The Master of Science in Information Technology Management is ideal for professionals with a bachelor’s degree who want to advance their careers from mid-management to an executive leadership role in IT. This degree program provides practical and relevant coursework in managing technical operations and innovations, IT technology and personnel sourcing, development and communication, current and emerging IT technologies, practices and methodologies, leadership, finance, and project management with a global perspective.
This program can be completed in three terms and includes the industry-recognized Certified Associate Project Management (CAPM) certification. Graduates of this program will be prepared to fill professional roles including: CIO, CTO, computer and information systems manager, management information system (MIS) director, IT director, information technology manager, and IT consultant.
Note: Applicants to this degree program must hold a bachelor’s degree, but are not required to have a background in IT.
The Master of Business Administration–Information Technology Management is specifically designed for experienced business professionals who have comprehensive knowledge of IT and want to gain the business acumen necessary to advance their career and take on mid-level to upper-level IT management positions in business, the IT industry, or nonprofit organizations.
This degree program provides practical and relevant coursework in management, communication, economics, accounting, leadership, project management, finance, and strategy. Graduates of this program will be prepared to fill professional roles including: project manager, CTO, computer and information systems manager, director of information technology services, senior systems administrator, and technical services manager. This degree program can be complete in four terms.
Note: Applicants to this degree program must hold a bachelor’s degree, and have at least three years of significant work experience in business, the IT industry, or at a nonprofit organization.
Whichever degree you choose, there will be a wide variety of career opportunities open to you. Either the Master of Science program or the MBA program in IT management from WGU can help you achieve your goals—it really just depends on your experience, and where you want your future to be.