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MBA in IT Management vs. M.S. in IT Management

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Ready To Get a Masters Degree in IT Management?

Now more than ever, companies are looking for leaders who possess the IT knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in business. But there are different IT management degree programs to choose from, and it’s important to understand the differences. WGU offers an MBA in IT Management and a Master of Science in IT Management, and while both offer exceptional educational support for IT professionals, each degree will send students on a different career path.

MBA Information Technology Management

Earn the online college degree that can move your career into IT upper...

Earn the online college degree that can move your career into IT upper management:

  • Time: Graduates can finish in 12 months
  • Tuition: $4,755 per 6-month term
  • Courses: 11 total courses in this program

Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:

  • Chief technology officer
  • Director of IT services
  • Senior systems administrator
  • Management information systems director
  • Computer and information systems manager

Learn to navigate emergencies, execute strategies, and optimize systems with the competencies within this specialty MBA.

Information Technology Management – M.S.

A degree for experienced IT professionals ready to lead....

A degree for experienced IT professionals ready to lead.

  • Time: 72% of graduates finish within 20 months.
  • Tuition: $3,940 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 10 total courses in this program.

Included in your program—at no extra cost—is the opportunity to earn the valuable PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification.

There are many job titles this degree can prepare you for, including:

  • IT manager
  • IT director
  • Information systems manager

Maximize the opportunities that your IT career path has afforded you—earn your master's and keep moving up. 

Which IT Management Degree Is Right For Me?

MBA in IT Management

WGU’s Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management degree is a business-focused program that explores management solutions, leadership, project management, information technology management, technology strategic solutions, financial management, and more. The courses in this program include:

  • Marketing
  • Global Economics for Managers
  • IT Project Management
  • Managing Human Capital
  • Accounting for Decision Makers
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making
  • IT Strategic Solutions

Who Should Earn an MBA in IT Management at WGU?

An MBA in IT Management is a great option for those who have comprehensive knowledge of IT, a bachelor’s degree in IT, or considerable experience in tech and business. Those currently working in an IT career who want to advance their career with business skills will also benefit from this degree program, as will business strategists or people who already work in IT leadership or management. With an MBA in IT Management, graduates will have the background they need to advance into mid-level to upper-level IT management positions.

IT professionals who want to be involved in strategic business decisions and in leading technical teams can benefit from this program’s lessons in business concepts and management solutions. Students don’t learn technical skills here. The MBA in IT Management is best suited to IT professionals who already have solid technical skills but wish to advance their careers into higher-level leadership roles that require a stronger background in business.

"I realized that my job was in jeopardy due to working for a start up in Telecom. I immediately started my MBA in Information Technology and completed it in 5 months. That was a very aggressive pace and I was working full time. But with the help of my WGU Mentor I was able to keep to my goal and when I was laid off 8 months later I was sure glad I had my MBA. It was a deciding factor in me get employed in my next job."

—Dennis McKay,
MBA IT Management

M.S. in IT Management

Master of Science in Information Technology Management is an IT-focused degree program that explores technological foundations and concepts, as well as how to manage those types of systems. This degree program trains students in IT elements and processes and how they need to be managed so that they function as needed. The courses in this program include:

  • IT Management
  • Financial Management for IT 
  • Power, Influence, and Leadership
  • Project Management for IT
  • Technical Communication
  • Sourcing and Technical Globalization
  • Managing Technology Operations
  • Current and Emerging Technology

Who Should Earn an M.S. in IT Management at WGU?

An M.S. in IT Management is a great fit for students who have a business background and want to strengthen their knowledge of IT. This can include those who want to be more involved in the creation and execution of IT strategies, prospective IT professionals or business professionals who want to become stronger IT department leaders, or hobbyists who have obtained a bachelor's degree in another field and want to launch their IT careers.

For IT professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree, an M.S. in IT Management is a great choice for those who aim to advance their careers from mid-management to an executive leadership role within IT. By studying how to manage technical operations and innovations, IT technology and personnel sourcing, development and communications, current and emerging IT technologies, practices and methodologies and more, graduates can set themselves up for continued career success within the world of IT.

Certifications in M.S. IT Management

In the M.S. IT Management program, you won't just earn a degree, but you'll also earn a valuable industry certification along the way. The PMI Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification is a globally recognized cert that covers important project management experiences. Employers will value this certification and it can help set you apart. Additionally, the cost for preparing for and taking this exam is all covered by your WGU tuition. 

Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)

MBA in IT Management Career Options

Earning an MBA in IT Management opens many career paths for graduates, but some of the more common roles include:

  • IT Manager
  • IT Director
  • Management Information Systems (MIS) Director
  • Chief Technology Officer of a tech company
  • Chief Operating Officer of a tech company
  • Chief Executive Officer of a tech company
  • Computer and Information systems manager

M.S. in IT Management Career Options

An M.S. in IT Management offers a variety of rewarding and challenging roles for IT professionals of all kinds. Some career possibilities include:

  • IT Manager
  • IT Director
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Chief Technology Officer

Program Similarities

Both degree programs focus heavily on management within the category of IT, which is why the career outcomes can be similar between the two. Both the MBA in IT Management and the M.S. in IT Management offer master’s-level education that can help students advance their careers in IT management and emphasize business management and information technology skills. Of course, there are nuances that separate these programs, but IT professionals would be well served in their careers by pursuing either degree.

Program Differences

While each IT Management degree program offers strong educational support for those who wish to advance their careers, the MBA in IT Management has a much stronger focus on business practices and elements of management, preparing graduates to become leaders in their field. On the other hand, the M.S. in IT Management explores IT from the perspective of the organization the department is a part of and focuses management skills specifically as geared to an IT department. This is why an MBA in IT Management is a better choice for most IT professionals.

The MBA in IT Management does not contain additional certifications because it is a more business focused program, where the M.S. in IT Management is a more IT focused program, so it does contain an industry certification option.

Consider a professional who is running an IT organization or the IT division of a non-tech company. This person may need to understand some of the IT elements of their job, but most of their daily tasks may be focused on budgets, strategy, and achieving organizational goals. Or what about a chief technology officer who needs to manage the developers and IT systems in an organization that’s not tech focused? Not only are they on-call when websites go down or cyberattacks happen, but they’re also in charge of deciding the best software and system needs for the entire company and ensuring the company’s approach to cybersecurity is top notch.

An MBA in IT Management can teach both professionals the skills they need to meet these challenges. The MBA in IT Management has two specialized courses related to IT leadership, along with strategic-level explorations of business disciplines that prepare students for leadership roles. It combines strategy and execution to help executives to deliver on technology promises. By comparison, the M.S. in IT Management is more technical.

Why WGU?

Earning Potential

An IT management degree can dramatically impact your earning potential. After graduation WGU IT management students report earning $15,729 more per year.

*WGU Internal data

On Your Schedule

Competency-based education means you can move as quickly through your degree as you can master the material. You don't have to log in to classes at a certain time—you are truly in the driver's seat of your education

Entirely Online

The IT management master's degrees at WGU are100% online, which means it works wherever you are. You can do your coursework at night after working at your full-time job, on weekends, while you're traveling the world or on vacation—it's entirely up to you.

No matter which degree path you choose, you’ll have a wide variety of career opportunities available to you. There are also major benefits to pursuing a degree program with WGU, including a flexible schedule, coursework and lessons that are fully accessible online, affordable options for every student, and more. WGU can help you achieve your goals on your own time, according to your schedule.

"My ultimate goal was the graduate degree; once I made the decision to get it from WGU, there was no reason for me to wait."

—Rafael VanDyke
MBA IT Management


An Affordable Master's Degree

By charging per term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. The faster you complete your program, the less you pay for your degree.

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Pay less by completing your program faster

"I wouldn't trade the convenience and accessibility of WGU for any other institution. The process as a returning student totally seamless and I was able to move through my degree program without interruption."

—Courtnie Watson

Prepared for Success on the Job

*From a 2022 Harris Poll of 300 employers of WGU graduates.

97% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.*

95% of employers said that they would hire another WGU grad.*

99% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.*