Earning an online master’s degree in information technology and information systems is one of the smartest, most efficient ways to land a secure, high-paying job. Capable and knowledgeable IT professionals are in high demand, useful in an array of industries. Technology is everywhere, which mean businesses need people who can understand, create, and fix it. Tech professionals who also have leadership skills can easily skyrocket into executive positions, even becoming Chief Information Officers at impactful corporations.
The best way to pursue this career path is to earn a B.S. in IT or computer science, acquire some work experience, and then return to school for a graduate degree. Thanks to the genius of distance education, graduate students can keep their current job, continue to benefit from on-the-job training, and supplement their experiences with advanced education – delivered completely over the internet.
Listed below are the 19 least expensive online colleges offering master’s degrees in information technology, information systems, or a related field. Tuition information was sourced from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Navigator database. Many of them include a management component, and all are fully accredited, affordable, and valuable. Listed in order of their tuition (from most to least expensive) you can conveniently scroll right to the portion of the ranking that fits your budget.
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Grantham University holds the distinct honor of being the cheapest school on this list. Students on a tight budget can earn their entire master's degree for just $3,900 a year. IT students at Grantham take 100% of their courses online, using virtual learning resources to study e-business, network design, telecommunications, data analysis, information systems, and several other areas essential to finding work in technology management. The university brandishes the Military Advanced Education label Top Military University, due to its special commitment to active duty military members as well as veterans. These individuals can often qualify for special scholarships or other financial aid to help them afford their online master's degree in information technology and information systems.
American Public University, an institution that also houses American Military University, offers an online master's degree in information technology and systems that's hard to beat in terms of both price and quality. Referring to itself as a pioneer in online education, APU provides asynchronous education that allows users to complete coursework whenever they want. Interactive training covers analysis and design, database systems, information systems architecture, security, and even computer forensics. In 2014, APU received an Online Learning Consortium Effective Practice Award for an unprecedented fourth time. In the past, the school has also earned honors from the Association for Continuing Higher Education, the Distance Learning Administration, and others.
Kaplan University if well-known for its affordable and accessible distance education programs. Its cheap online master's degree in information technology and systems only bolsters this reputation, costing students less than $8,000 a year to attend. Students first learn the theories and principles of information systems before applying their knowledge to complex problems. They analyze data, develop project management skills, think critically, and enhance their communication abilities - all through virtual classrooms. After completing their core courses, online learners can focus in on a particular area of interest to them, specializing in Project Management, Business Intelligence and Analytics, or Information Security and Assurance. In-house alumni surveys reveal that 85% of graduates think Kaplan's online education has prepared them for work in a global economy.
Dakota State University delivers a great online master's degree in information systems and technology through its formidable grad student program. DSU offers a multitude of IT and computer science degrees at every level of study, and even holds a Best Buy award from GetEducated.com for its online computer science department. One of the unique aspects of the information systems degree is that it features cross training, which prepares graduates equally for work in technology and business. Small classes and dedicated professors allow students to immerse themselves in the latest and greatest tech innovations, from Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) to Decision Support Systems (DSS). Students can also choose to specialize in either Data Management, Healthcare Information Systems, Application Development, or Network Administration.
Liberty University has a long history of excellence in distance education, and often appeals to working adults who want ot take advantage of their flexible programs. For example, the school offers ample credit for past work experience and has a liberal transfer policy. With cognates in both Information Assurance and Technology Management, this affordable online master's degree in information systems and technology prepares graduates for a wide range of careers. In the past, students have landed positions in software development, consulting, systems integration, data administration, information assurance, and project management. The program also serves as a solid stepping stone for future PhD candidates and college professors. Liberty hosts a number of servicemen and women each year, and has earned a Best for Vets stamp of approval from Military Times magazine.
Towson University's MS in Applied Information Technology offers a curriculum that goes beyond theory, grounding its education in the kind of real-world applications that are so important in IT fields. Students dive right into hands-on projects, developing databases, creating information systems capabilities for the web, designing software, and developing networks. Students can even take control of their own curriculum, strategically selecting their classes so as to earn one of six available graduate certificates, in addition to the standard online master's degree in information technology and systems. Many also complete internships and assistantships to strengthen their resume. U.S. News recently named Towson the 15th best public school in the nation and the 60th best Northern university.
University of Maryland University College offers one of the best online master's degrees in information technology and systems for students who want the ultimate in customizability. In addition to acquiring advanced knowledge in broad IT subjects, online learners can also choose to concentrate in one of eight specializations: Informatics, Systems Engineering, Homeland Security Management, Information Assurance, Telecommunications Management, Database Systems Technology, Software Engineering, or Project Management. Financial aid and scholarship programs bring down the cost of tuition considerably, and Maryland residents, military members, and federal employees enjoy particularly steep discounts. This is just one of the many reasons experts brand UMUC a Military and Veteran Friendly school.
Stratford University counts itself among the best online master's degree in information systems and technology, offering well-rounded IT education to current and aspiring management professionals. The school's unique approach allows students to both broaden and specialize their knowledge, examining advanced concepts in software engineering and systems management. The university is particularly proud of its Career Services department, which helped an impressive 80% of graduates find work in their desired field. This placement rate includes students who found positions in network administration, computer systems analysis, computer science research, and data communications.
Florida Atlantic University's top online master's degree in information technology and systems is housed within the College of Business - a clear indication of the department's emphasis in IT management. The AASCB-accredited university offers several cross-disciplinary programs in a flexible format, and the MSITM is no exception. Classes cover systems security, web-based development, and enterprise service, but also project management and global IT sourcing. Undergraduate students at FAU may want to consider the accelerated option, a 150-credit degree that shortens the graduate portion of the program to just 12 months. U.S. News, Princeton Review, and Forbes all place FAU on their top college lists, and Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education Magazine also praised the university for its high graduate rate of Hispanic students.
The University of Wisconsin is another large public institution with a well-developed online learning system. Dubbed the e-campus of UW, it offers a plethora of degrees to adult learners all across the country. Even out of state tuition is affordable, and those attending the online master's degree in information technology and information systems enjoy a particularly great deal. For less than $17,000 a year, IT students receive top-notch training in e-commerce, media technology, and visual communications. The program is based out of UW Stout, Wisconsin's Polytechnic University, and boasts a USDLA certification for superior distance education practices.
California State University at Fullerton is just one institution in the expansive network of public schools in the state. Because of its collaborative nature with other CSU and UC schools, Fullerton is able to offer students incredible resources at an unbeatable price. The cheap online master's degree in information technology is currently ranked 1st in the California, and also holds a Top 10 spot nationally on U.S. News' popular ranking website. The curriculum covers 30 units of coursework and bookends the program with initial Boot up Camp and end-of-year seminars. In between these events, students learn about programming concepts, managerial accounting, systems analysis, electronic commerce, business databases, and even advanced software development.
Colorado Technical University offers a wealth of programs to working professionals, all of which receive high ratings from both employers and alumni. Specifically, more than 95% of employers state that CTU information technology grads demonstrate problem-solving skills on the job and analyze data effectively. This is no doubt in part due to the comprehensive nature of the online master's degree in information technology and information systems, which offers available specializations in network, project, or security management, as well as a general track. Core classes cover everything from computer systems security foundations to enterprise systems architecture, allowing graduates to find work as software engineers, application developers, systems analysts, and more.
Marist, rated a Best Regional College by U.S. News, is a leader in both technical training and global business. Its master's degree in information technology and systems online also has a management component, training students to become innovators and thought leaders. The degree actually includes two tracks, one for IT professionals and the other for those interested in information systems. The former track has a greater technological focus and encourages hands-on problem solving. The latter option, on the other hand, explores additional business principles and is perfect for aspiring Chief Information Officers. Information Systems majors can choose an additional emphasis in reviewing, designing, analyzing, developing, implementing, or managing systems.
The 36-credit information technology program at Champlain College goes beyond theoretical instruction, teaching students how to solve real world problems. With innovation in the title of the degree, the school stresses unique approaches to everything from data management to cloud computing. Classes in this accredited online master's degree in information technology and systems also cover enterprise architecture, telecommunications, business intelligence, and technological convergence. You can even take a class called Managing Innovation. Students must also sign up for electives and complete an integrated residency experience. In Princeton Review's two most recent college rankings, Champlain has been named to the Best 379 Colleges and Guide to 332 Green Colleges lists.
Strayer University offers a compelling IT curriculum, with courses that the distinguished Committee on National Security Systems fully certifies. Classes cover the most current, relevant topics to the industry, and even assist students in preparing for the Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam. Graduates of Strayer's top online master's degree in information systems and technology often land hybrid roles, utilizing both their management and IT knowledge to improve organizations and create new technologies. The degree is equally customizable, flexible, and practical, and 87% of graduates say the program has helped them meet their career goals.
Students who attend the University of Massachusetts Lowell often choose this distinguished institution for its ability to provide both a strong public education and inexpensive public prices. As part of its continuing education program, UM Lowell offers an affordable online master's degree in information technology and information systems that is perfect for adult learners. The degree is contemporary and workforce-focused, primarily providing advanced education for current computer science professionals. Students choose core courses in systems infrastructure, network infrastructure, and software management, as well as elective classes. The many benefits of attending UMass have led to its Top 10 ranking from Computer Science Online, plus a Top 20 IT ranking from Thebestschools.org.
Franklin Pierce's master's of business administration degree in IT adeptly combines the best features of business and technology programs. Ideal for a broad range of advanced professionals, this online master's degree in information technology and information systems utilizes hands-on curriculum and collaborate projects to teach students. Learners mostly work in virtual teams and complete capstone courses, a design that uniquely prepares graduates for group business environments. Students who have the flexibility in their schedule can accelerate their degree and earn a diploma in just 12 months. Recently, Forbes included FPU on its list of America's Best Colleges.
Good technology integration and management practices are essential to the proper functioning of any organization. Florida Tech University's online master's degree in information technology and information systems prepares advanced students for executive positions at tech corporations. Learners develop specialized skills across a range of applicable subjects and prepare for competitive leadership roles. Graduates find jobs as information officers, systems and software managers, IT directors, and more. Florida Tech employs the power of the University Alliance (UA), an incredible technological system that facilitates enhanced online learning and collaboration with other colleges. Like other UA schools, Florida Tech consistently receives accolades from U.S. News, Forbes, and other top publications.
About the Author: Iris Stone began her writing career when she started working as a freelance writer and researcher in 2011. Her freelance business soon took off and she now owns and operates a writing and editing firm that works with clients all across the country. Despite the time it takes to run a business she still does much of the writing herself, and her work has included a variety of content related to education policy, colleges and universities, academic programs, and graduates’ careers. Her interests actually span far beyond writing, and she is currently studying to be a physicist! Check out her Google+ Profile.
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