The Most Lucrative Information Technology (IT) Jobs And The Degrees That Can Prepare You

Information technology professionals are the bedrock on which many modern industries rely. From establishing internet connections to all of our homes, to massive server farms that hold the data of the largest sites online, IT professionals are employed. In fact, information technology is one of the most widely common career paths in vastly different fields. IT features prominently in the medical system, in schools, in business, in governmental jobs, in defense jobs, and pretty much every other establishment type you can think of.

While many individuals think of the “help desk” as the primary location of employment for information technology professionals, there are actually a wide range of positions that fall under IT.

These positions include:

Cyber Security Positions

Field Technician Positions

Developer Operations Positions

Engineering Positions

And Many Others

As you seek to start or continue your career in information technology, you should be aware that there are many ways to get your “feet wet” in these fields. Many don’t require a great deal of formal higher education, but rather rely on industry certifications. This guide is meant to provide you with information on both the most lucrative IT career opportunities, as well as many of the programs that can help you land your dream position.

The 20 Most Lucrative Information Technology Careers

Information Technology is a vast field. There are many areas you can build skills and eventually thrive in. Here are some of the major sectors of IT :

  • Technical Support
  • Cybersecurity
  • IT Engineering
  • Network Administration
  • Project Management

Let’s look at the highest paid positions in Information Technology:

1

Internet of Things Engineer

Average Salary

$165,082

An IoT engineer is an engineer that works on technologies and applications of IoT. The Internet of Things refers to computers, machines, and other devices that can transfer data via networks automatically. They don’t require human-to-human or human-to-computer communications. IoT can be used to regulate homes, clothing, roads, vehicles, and much more. Some IoT Engineer duties might include:

Developing IoT software

Building communication services

Doing quality assurance

Designing development and support tools

Problem-solving remote deployments

IoT engineers generally work 40 or more hours a week, and can be called upon to do much more depending on the project or organization they’re working on and for. They must be adaptable, excellent problem-solvers, and thrive under deadlines and obstacles. The average salary for IoT Engineers is $165,082 annually.

2

Site Reliability Engineer

Average Salary

$130,713

SRE work began in the early aughts at Google. SREs helped guarantee the functionality and optimization of large-scale sites like Netflix and Amazon. Today it’s an IT domain of its own. SREs work to automate operations like performance, disaster response, on-call monitoring, and more. SRE job duties include:

Bridging development and operations

Using software engineering to handle system administration

Develop systems and software that boosts performance

Work on operations/on-call duties

Balance operations with system development effectively

Google wants its SREs to spend no more than half their time on operations and believes any more would indict a system. SREs build systems that will eventually make their jobs redundant, according to Google. They can work 40 or more hours a week. The average salary for Site Reliability Engineers is $130,713, which is significantly more than that of other engineers due to the wide range of duties and responsibilities involved in these roles.

3

DevOps Engineer

Average Salary

$127,070

DevOps Engineers intimately understand how an organization’s technology impacts its operational issues. They research and analyze how systems function and measure their performance. They make vital calls on operational priorities, project objectives, and design solutions to pressing problems based on evidence and assessing alternative methods. Some of their job duties include:

Researching new technologies

Scaling crucial applications

Understanding and mitigating limitations

Marrying infrastructure builds with application deployment

Designing, evaluating, and analyzing automation systems and scripts

DevOps engineers need a broad grasp of technology, operations, and an intuitive knack for anticipating and resolving problems before and as they arise. Hours in these roles can vary drastically, but engineers can be called upon at any time. They can expect long hours generally, and the average salary for DevOps Engineers is $127,070.

4

Information Technology Managers

Average Salary

$122,921

IT Managers lead their organizations on any computer or digital-related objectives and activities. They decide organizational IT needs and are responsible for implementing them. They might work on telecommunications and other electronic support systems outside of computer networks. IT Manager duties include:

Leading large IT projects

Designing and implementing new IT systems and services

Define and create IT strategy, infrastructure, architecture, and processes

Analyze the business implications of IT needs

Problem-solve and troubleshoot software and hardware issues

IT Managers often work in lower IT positions before they leap to management. They’re versatile leaders and technicians who have significant experience with network and systems administration, databases, data storage systems, computer systems, and more. They can easily work more than 40 hours a week and must be on call to solve pressing issues. The average salary for IT Managers is $122,921.

5

Security Architect

Average Salary

Security Architects design, create, test, and run security systems that govern the IT network of an organization. They must have a comprehensive understanding of IT systems, the threats to them, and the most current security standards. Security Architects are continually researching and updating authentication protocols, security products, and anything else that impacts security for diverse systems. Job duties include:

Testing systems regularly and continuously monitoring network security

Reviewing security measures, recommending improvements and implementing them

Creating timelines for system upgrades

Composing disaster recovery protocols and breach tests

Quickly and effectively responding to security violations

Security Architects protect data and systems and raise awareness in organizations to encourage best practices among diverse employees. They help determine who has access to what within an organization and delineate credentials. People in these roles work 40 hours or more a week, but can be on call at any time in the event of a breach or disaster situation. The average salary for these roles is $122,676.

6

Cloud Solutions Architect

Average Salary

Cloud Solutions Architects are IT experts that oversee an organization’s cloud computing system. The cloud virtually holds a vast array of organizational and end-user data. Cloud Solutions Architects work on the design, planning, systems, and anything else that governs cloud storage. They are sometimes called Cloud Developers or Cloud Systems Administrators. Job duties include:

Creating and implementing an effective cloud strategy

Adapting that cloud strategy

Frequently assessing cloud hardware, software, and applications

Advise and guide infrastructure movement techniques

Identify and deploy efficient cloud architecture solutions to meet organizational goals and needs

Cloud Solutions Architects understand operating systems, networks, programming languages, and security. They work on the front and back ends of platforms. Cloud Solutions Architects work at least 40 hours a week, if not more, but are well compensated for their efforts. The average salary for Cloud Solutions Architects is $110,663.

7

Computer Network Architect

Average Salary

Computer Network Architects design and build the networks responsible for data communication. These include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and more. These networks connect everything from small offices to global organizations with complex communication systems. People in these roles must understand how their organization’s business runs, and build structures to help it achieve its goals. Job duties include:

Create a plan and structure for data communication networks

Build networks with information security in mind

Make choices about hardware locations and implementation

Research new technologies to decide what’s best for their organizations

Present and convince management of their choices

They also create models that anticipate upcoming network needs. They analyze current traffic and data needs, and how increases might impact networks. Computer Network Architects work full-time, and a significant portion work over 40 hours a week. The average salary for Computer Network Architects is $107,227.

8

Hardware Engineers

Average Salary

Hardware Engineers handle the physical properties of computers and systems. They design, test, and improve computer hardware. They build models, test existing hardware and systems to solve problems, and improve efficiency in a variety of environments. Some job duties include:

Technical writing to document their work and findings.

Create blueprints of systems Build or oversee production and assembly of prototypes

Use math and technical skills to troubleshoot

Make decisions on power supply, data storage, physical infrastructure, and much more

Hardware Engineers train and supervise engineers, designers, technicians, and others. They improve the components, design, and layouts of computers to improve productivity and results. They make sure computers and other hardware are cost-effective, compact, and efficient. They typically work 40 or more hours a week. The average salary for Hardware Engineers is $105,245.

9

Embedded Systems Engineer

Average Salary

Embedded Systems Engineers develop and install software for systems like routers, televisions, smartwatches, hybrid vehicles, and more. They help build code, test products and implement them. Embedded Systems Engineer job duties include:

Setting goals and deadlines

Meeting with clients and software designers to define software expectations and parameters

Maintaining software programs Fixing bugs and optimizing systems

Testing software structure and scalability

Embedded Systems Engineers are great communicators, incredibly critical thinkers, able to program, understand operating systems, and much more. These versatile engineers work with a wide range of professionals and clients to create and maintain effective products. People in these roles work full time and can work long hours on specific projects. The average salary for people in these roles is $105,000.

10

Applications Architect

Average Salary

Applications Architects are vital to designing and analyzing software projects. They build new applications, improve existing ones, test software, create product prototypes, and much more. People in these roles work in corporate IT departments, software development firms, computer manufacturing organizations, among other companies. Applications Architect job duties include:

Technical Writing

Offering technical support and training

Work in disaster recovery, security, and data integrity

Supervise application software design

Solve pressing problems with apps and fix bugs in existing software

Applications Architects understand client obstacles and issues and have end-user experience in mind at all times. They’re technical experts and thriving business people. People in these roles work full time, if not longer. The average salary for Applications Architects is $102,871.

11

Systems Engineer

Average Salary

Systems Engineers balance problem-solving and management to design and supervise complex systems as they’re implemented and evolve. They define needs and ensure the functionality of products or services. They coordinate testing, analysis, and different teams to design, develop, and produce top quality systems. Job duties include:

Risk assessment

Testing performance

Scheduling projects and determining budgets

Project Management

Monitoring and managing systems and infrastructure

People in these roles wear many hats. They create and follow the standard operating procedure for their organizations. They improve design methods. Most importantly, they look at every stage of operation and ask why and how. Their roles may change from project to project. People in these roles work full time or more. The average salary for Systems Engineers is $101,812.

12

Information Security Analyst

Average Salary

Information Security Analysts design and implement the security measures that protect an organization from cyberattacks. They work with computer networks, systems, and more. Their roles are frequently expanding with the variance in cyber attacks. Some of their duties include:

Checking organizational networks for breaches

Investigating breaches after they occur

Installing software including firewalls and data encryption programs that protect information

Testing networks for vulnerabilities

Analyzing and reporting on the damage done to networks and systems

Information Security Analysts need to keep up to date with developments in cybercrime and protection measures. They work full time and can be on call at any moment in case of an attack or disaster. The average salary for Information Security Analysts is $98,350.

13

Solutions Architect

Average Salary

Solutions Architects design applications and services for organizations. They balance technical and business skills to overcome obstacles and create value for their organizations. They lead development teams to do their work with business outcomes in mind. Job duties include:

Scaling services and applications for future profit

Deciding on platforms, frameworks, and other methods to solve problems

Analyzing risk

Deciding the details of applications, modules, services, and more

Coordinating business and technical professionals

You’ll work full time, with some overtime required depending on the project you’re working on. You’ll likely be involved with programming, testing, and integration of software systems and devices that run them. They typically work full time. The average salary for Solutions Architects is $92,621.

14

Database Administration

Average Salary

Database Administrators supervise and maintain the efficiency and security of databases. They plan them, develop them, and problem solve whenever database issues present themselves. Some of the job duties for Database Administrators include:

Supervising and guiding application developers and assistant administrators

Installing and maintaining software used by organizations

Monitoring and improving database security and efficiency

Recommending improvements to networks and systems

Writing and implementing patches

People in these roles are excellent problem-solvers and critical thinkers. They have excellent time management skills, are incredibly organized, and great at communicating with and coordinating staff in various positions. They generally work full time. The average salary for Database Administrators is $90,070.

15

Computer Systems Analyst

Average Salary

Computer Systems Analysts (or Systems Architects) look at an organization’s current computer procedures and systems then improve them. They work to make organizations more effective and efficient by bridging gaps between IT and business sensibilities. Job duties in these roles include:

Working with managers to define how IT systems will function in an organization

Researching new technologies and software that might improve organizational efficiency

Creating new ways to make computer systems more functional

Choosing new hardware and software that improves systems and creates new ones

Test systems to ensure they work as expected

People in these roles generally specialize in specific types of computer systems, like engineering computer systems, or financial computer systems. They interface with business professionals and technical professionals. They use data modeling and design principles in the service of their organizations. Computer Systems Analysts work full time, and some work more than 40 hours a week. The average salary for Computer Systems Analysts is $88,740.

16

Data Architect

Data Architects help install and build organizational databases. They are responsible for their upkeep as well. They report on the status and efficiency of databases, supervise systemic migrations, and use data analysis to measure their effectiveness. Job duties for this role include:

Designing and installing databases that store and access organizational data

Determining database necessities in terms of client services, programming, and other applications

Guarantee organizational functionality through information systems

Educate staff on best practices with databases, database needs, and their importance to pertinent organizational goals

Solving database issues quickly and efficiently

Data Architects use modeling and work with languages like SQL and databases like Oracle. They work full time, or potentially more when getting a new database up and running. The average salary for Data Architects is $86,639

17

Systems Administrator

Average Salary

Systems Administrators handle network setups, server maintenance, and other IT-related infrastructure. They guarantee functionality for any organization that relies on servers to operate (the vast majority). Job duties include:

Setting up and handling any issues related to LANs, WANs, and network segments

Works to help employees integrate their computers, emailing, and other essential technologies and functions within a server

Helps implement security tools

Maintains an uninterrupted internet connection for an organization

Monitors server performance

Systems Administrators are responsible for troubleshooting and helping a wide range of employees with connectivity issues. They optimize processes and take the lead on improvements. People in these roles work full-time. The average salary for Systems Administrators is $83,579

18

Server Administrator

Average Salary

Server Administrators work with computer networks. They guarantee that they’re running smoothly through updating software, implementing new systems, monitoring activity, and auditing security. They may need to do physical work related to installation. Job duties include:

Being on call to deal with server issues

Guaranteeing best practices are maintained

Track server activity, upgrade software, maintain hardware

Answer technical questions from staff Train staff and users in server usage

In the case of disaster, Server Administrators aid in data recovery. They work full-time and are on call when needed. The average salary for Server Administrators is $81,912.

19

Network Administrator

Average Salary

Network Administrators also work to maintain computer networks. They solve everyday problems, install systems, consult with clients, and much more. People in these roles work for government agencies, financial companies, software developers, and any other organization that requires a network. Job duties include:

Working with IT support personnel

Maintaining existing software and hardware

Upgrading platforms when necessary Budgeting for equipment and assembly needs

Create documents that aid in technical support for staff and clients

Network Administrators usually have years of previous experience in computer science. People in these roles work full time, or more if necessary. They can be called to solve problems at any time. The average salary for Network Administrators is $70,365.

20

Computer Technical Support Specialist

Average Salary

People working in these positions answer questions and solve problems from end-users. They run diagnostic tests to determine causality and troubleshoot issues. They may schedule repairs and are often in technical customer support positions. Job duties include:

Working remotely

Understanding the ins and outs of computers, software, scanners, printers, and more

Provide in-house support to an organizations’

IT staff Maintain a friendly, helpful demeanor

Document user data, issues, and more to solve problems

People in these roles diagnose, prescribe, and refer customers, clients, and staff through issues; however a situation requires. They work part or full-time, depending on organizational needs. There are hundreds of thousands of these roles available. They may work unusual hours. The average salary for Computer Technical Support Specialists is $50,980.

Working in Information Technology

As you can see, there’s a wealth of high-paying positions in IT. Some roles, like IoT engineering, didn’t exist a few years ago, and there will likely be more roles that emerge in the coming years. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that computer and information technology positions are predicted to grow 12% between 2018-28, creating approximately 546,200 new jobs. Currently, there are well over 4.5 million Americans working in IT and computer science.

Here are some of the skills associated with even higher demand than the baseline for IT professionals:

  • Data Storage
  • Cloud Computing
  • Data Collection
  • Cybersecurity

The median annual wage for all IT and computer science roles was $88,240 in May 2019, up from $86,320 in May 2018. This is much higher than the median wage for all other occupations $38,640 and $39,810 respectively.

However, despite the demand for qualified IT professionals, there isn’t enough supply. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone enticed by the field.

So how do you know if you’re right for one of these roles? A ton is up to you. Can you buckle down and learn new skills in a structured, credentialed program? Where will you be accepted? Can you afford it? How much time do you have to commit to gaining a certification or degree in IT?

Perhaps just as important is grappling with your abilities and limitations. Not everyone is cut out to work in IT, and there’s no use forcing it if you’re not a good fit. Let’s look at some of the qualities that predict and contribute to success in IT :

What Skills and Attributes Lead to Lucrative and Fulfilling IT Careers?

Information Technology is a field of hard skills. To be successful, you’ll need measurable results in programming, network administration, technical support, or elsewhere. Many of the tasks and duties in the field can be learned regardless of your background and natural intellectual gifts. However, certain qualities will go a long way. Let’s look at some of the most essential :

  • Logic Skills: Much of IT involves intuitive reasoning. Are you great at determining the root causes of problems and the quickest, most efficient ways to solve them? If so this might be the field for you.
  • Strong Memory: Information Technology builds upon itself. The more experience you have solving problems, and the more concepts and skills you master, you’ll find they build upon themselves, delivering you through more complex issues and skillsets.
  • Persistence: You’ll face failure constantly in IT. How’s your natural patience? What about your tolerance for frustration? These are factors that will play large roles in your IT career. Remember, anyone can thrive when success comes easily, but accomplishments through adversity matter more, especially in information technology.
  • Ingrained Mathematics: Not all roles in IT require strong math skills, but many do. If you’ve always struggled with math, this might not be the field for you.
  • Imagination: Many of the greatest successes in IT came from professionals who took new approaches, or invented products, services, and processes that weren’t considered.

Does this sound like you? Are you good with machines? Have you loved computer systems, platforms, programming, or another area of IT? If so, this is a great area to study. The next step is applying to and entering an excellent school to earn an IT credential or degree:

The 20 Best In-Person Schools for Information Technology

While there are ways to break into IT without a certification or degree, you’ll be doing yourself and your career a massive favor by earning one. Top IT programs have world-class faculty, the latest equipment, and technical experiences, and stake their reputations on creating elite IT talent. You’ll also get significant networking opportunities at and through these schools.

On this list, we’ve cultivated schools with superb in-person IT programs. They may offer undergraduate, graduate, or certification programs, in addition to online, full-time, and part-time delivery options. Regardless of what you want to study in IT you’ll likely find some great options here.

We ranked the schools on his list based on graduation rates, the average salary for graduates, national rankings, and more. Let’s get into it:

1

Washington University of Saint Louis

Graduation Rate

92%

Average Grad Salary

$62,000

Washington is a private university in St. Louis, Missouri. It was founded in 1853. It’s known for elite offerings in Medicine, Social Work, Design, Law, and Computer Science. Outstanding graduates include William H. Webster, Petter Sarsgaard, and many others. It’s also known for a nationally ranked hospital and its coveted art collection. Its offers programs in IT like:

A Master’s in Information Systems Management

A Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Management

The Master’s can be taken full or part-time. These programs are offered through Washington’s McKelvey School of Engineering, which has over 30 years of experience preparing graduates to work in information technology. It combines two previously separate programs, a Master of Information Systems and a Master of Information Management, to create a more complete degree program and certificate.

2

Johns Hopkins University

Graduation Rate

92%

Average Grad Salary

$56,500


Johns Hopkins is a private university based in Baltimore, Maryland. It was established in 1876. Hopkins is known for world-renowned programs in Medicine, Education, Engineering, and Computer Science, among others. Its notable alumni include Gertrude Stein, Rachel Carson, Woodrow Wilson, and Michael Bloomberg. Its IT programs include:

A Master’s in Cyber Security / Security Informatics

A Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security / Security Informatics

These programs have a wide range of focus areas, like Security and Privacy, Cryptography, Computer Forensics, Software Vulnerability Analysis, Intrusion Detection, Cloud Security, Security Analytics, Ethical Hacking, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Financial Issues in Managing Secure Operations, Network Security, and Global Cybersecurity Trends and Practices. Regardless of what you want to do in Cybersecurity, Johns Hopkins has a program for it. Working professionals can take these programs part-time in three tracks: Systems, Networks, or Analysis.

3

Georgetown University

Graduation Rate

94%

Average Grad Salary

$60,000

Georgetown is a private university in Washington, DC. It was established in 1789. It’s known for phenomenal programs in Business, Public Policy, Medicine, Law, Nursing, Health, and Information Technology. Famous graduates include Bill Clinton, Patrick Ewing, Maria Shriver, Bradley Cooper, and many more. Its IT offerings include:

A Master’s in Technology Management

A Graduate Certificate in Competitive Business Intelligence

Students may pursue these programs full or part-time. Graduates will be prepared to use data analysis to become technological and business leaders. These programs bridge classic business and management education with technical coursework. Throughout, students will learn from industry experts and top organizations by working with clients, attending guest lectures, attending networking events, and through case studies.

4

University of Southern California

Graduation Rate

92%

Average Grad Salary

$56,000

USC is a private university in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1880. It’s one of the more desired schools in America. USC boasts a very successful athletics department, and outstanding programs in Medicine, Social Work, Engineering, Law, Education, and Information Technology. Its notable graduates include George Lucas and Judd Apatow, among many others. USC’s IT Program offers undergraduate majors in:

Data Science (BA)

Cyber Operations (BA)

In total, the USC Information Technology Program (ITP) offers 75 courses from faculty who have worked in the industries they teach. Students can opt for 13 distinct minors and specialization programs as well. No matter what program you opt for, you’ll gain experience with programming tools and languages, honed problem-solving skills, insight into the impact of technology on society, improved visual, written, and oral communication skills.

5

Carnegie Mellon University

Graduation Rate

90%

Average Grad Salary

$81,500

Carnegie Mellon is a private university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie. It’s known for academic achievement in Business, Engineering, Information Technology, and its vital research. Notable alumni include 20 Nobel Prize winners, actors Ted Danson and Ethan Hawke, among many others. Its IT Master’s Degree offers pathways in:

Information Technology Management

Business Intelligence & Data Analytics

Information Security & Assurance Cybersecurity in Washington, DC

Carnegie Mellon offers both in-person and online options. Its IT programs have been highly ranked for years. These programs can be taken part-time, asynchronously, and are designed to serve working professionals. The range of students and networking opportunities in these programs often connect early career professionals with experienced executives.

6

University of Virginia

Graduation Rate

93%

Average Grad Salary

$56,500

The University of Virginia is a private university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. UVA is known for its programs in Education, Business, Law, Medicine, and Engineering and Applied Sciences. Its notable alumni include Tiki Barber, Katie Couric, and Edward Kennedy. Its IT offerings include:

A Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program in Information Technology

Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Analysis

Graduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Management

IT Certifications

The Bachelor’s program requires students to take 18 credits, broken into five required IT courses, and one elective IT course. Required courses include Basics of Web Design, Strategic Business Value of IT, Enterprise Systems Architecture and Design, Web Application Development – Building Dynamic Websites, and Database Management and Business Intelligence/Analytics.

7

Georgia Institute of Technology

Graduation Rate

87%

Average Grad Salary

$55,000

Georgia Tech is a public school in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in 1885. The school is known for its range of student activities and programs in Business, Engineering, and much more. Its notable alumni include Mike Duke, Bobby Jones, Nomar Garciaparra, and many others. Its IT programs include:

Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems

MBA in Information Systems

Ph.D. in Information Technology Management

MBA Certificate in MOT

The MBA program comes in full-time, evening, and executive formats. Students at Georgia Tech are doing vital research in areas like Software Development, Social Media, Emerging Technologies, Enterprise and Supply Chain Systems, Business Analytics, Distributed Network, and Database Design, and much more. Georgia Tech’s programs blend a business education with IT, and teach students how organizations create value with their use of technologies.

8

New York University

Graduation Rate

85%

Average Grad Salary

$54,000

NYU is a private university in the heart of Manhattan, NY. It was founded in 1831. The school is renowned for programs in the Arts, Business, Law, Medicine, Social Work, Education, and Information Technology. Notable alumni include Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, and many others. Its IT programs include degrees like:

Master’s of Science in Information Systems

Master’s of Science in Computer Science

Master’s of Science in Computing, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation

Students will take computer science courses and business courses in these programs. Graduates have gone on to become product managers, systems architects, strategic technology consultants, and executives at leading IT organizations. Sample courses include Operating Systems, Fundamental Algorithms, Distributed Computing, Intro to Cryptography, and many others.

9

Brandeis University

Graduation Rate

88%

Average Grad Salary

$51,500

Brandeis is a private university in Waltham, Massachusetts. It was established in 1948. It’s known for programs in English, History, Social Policy, Management, and Information Technology. Notable alumni include Thomas Friedman, Debra Messing, Angela Davis, and many others. Its IT offerings include a:

Master of Science in Technology Management

Students can take this program part-time. It has six required courses and four electives. Graduates will be ready to leverage innovation to solve problems, develop and lead technical teams, and make operational decisions that govern organizational investments in technology. Sample courses include Managing Change and Innovation, Communication for Effective Leadership, Strategic Information Technology, and more.

10

Northeastern University

Graduation Rate

85%

Average Grad Salary

$59,500

Northeastern is a private university in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1898. It’s known for programs in Management, Marketing, Business, Social Sciences, Engineering, and more. Notable alumni include Albert Sacco, Shawn Fanning, and Wendy Williams. Its IT programs include:

A Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Master of Science in Computer Science

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Students can delve into areas like development, implementation, analysis, applied design, and management of IT systems. Courses tackle programming for the web, mobile applications, networking, database, and information security. Students will understand the overlap between business needs and technological realities and utilities.

11

Bentley University

Graduation Rate

88%

Average Grad Salary

$61,000

Bentley is a private university in Waltham, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1917. It’s known for majors in Finance, Marketing, Business Administration, Accounting, and IT, among others. Its notable alumni include Jay Leno, Gail Huff, Charles Taylor, and more. IT programs include a:

Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems

Master’s in Digital Innovation

Bentley offers students access to its CIS Sandbox, a collaborative space in which students can tutor each other, present technology and educational events, and more. Mostly they’ll build new things with “cool people using cool technology,” according to Bentley. Graduates have worked as business analysts, systems analysts, application developers, among other roles.

12

Boston University

Graduation Rate

85%

Average Grad Salary

$51,500

Boston University is a private school founded in 1839. It’s also one of the largest nonprofit schools in the country. BU is known for its programs in Law, Medicine, Education, Management, Engineering, and more. Its notable alumni include Martin Luther King, Jr., Tipper Gore, Howard Stern, Julianne Moore, and many others. Its IT offerings include:

Computer Science

Bachelor’s Completion Program

Computer Information Systems, Master’s with IT Project Management Concentration

Computer Information Systems, Master’s with Web Application Development Concentration

Computer Information Systems, Master’s with Security Concentration

Computer Science, Bachelor’s Degree

Computer Science, Master’s Degree

Among other options Students can opt for part-time, full-time, online, in-person, or hybrid delivery formats. Some of these programs are offered through BU’s Metropolitan College. For those interested in working in Cybersecurity, BU has qualified as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

13

University of Washington-Seattle Campus

Graduation Rate

83%

Average Grad Salary

$69,500

The University of Washington is a public school founded in 1861. It’s one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. It’s known for programs in Business, Engineering, Medicine, and more. Its notable graduates include Bruce Lee, Jay Inslee, Bill Gates Sr, and Joel McHale, among others. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Informatics that comes in the following concentrations:

Biomedical & Health Informatics

Data Science Human-Computer Interaction Information Architecture

Information Assurance and Cybersecurity

Student-Designed Concentration

Students will learn to use IT to help people, organizations, and society at large. These programs prize the overlap between human values and technology. Students will be nurtured and practice analyzing and solving difficult problems by designing and implementing user interfaces, mobile technologies, information systems, social media efforts, and more.

14

Unitek College

Graduation Rate

94%

Average Grad Salary

$55,000

Unitek is a private college with seven campuses in California and one in Reno, Nevada. It was founded in 2002. It’s primarily focused on healthcare and nursing. The school offers career training, clinical placements, employment assistance, and professional development for its students. It offers an:

Information Technology (IT) Program

This program can be finished in 9 months in Concord, California (or online). Graduates will receive a diploma in this certificate program. The program covers the fundamentals of computer technology and helps students analyze software and hardware issues. You will complete lab exercises, a supervised externship, and take courses in supporting and securing networks.

15

University of Richmond

Graduation Rate

83%

Average Grad Salary

$46,000

The University of Richmond is a private school in Richmond, Virginia. It was founded in 1830. Top major areas include Business, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Psychology, Social Sciences, and Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies. Notable alumni include Kenny Atkinson, Sean Casey, Dave East, and many others. Richmond’s IT offerings include a:

Bachelor’s Degree in IT Management

Bachelor’s Degree in Information Security

Certificate in Information Security

Certificate in Information Systems

Students will take courses in areas like Local Area Networks, Big Data Analytics, History of IT, Computer Programming, Systems Analysis and Design, and much more. The Management program focuses more on business development and how it relates to IT, while the Information Security program tackles data protection and integrity in the face of disaster and attacks.

16

Virginia Tech University

Graduation Rate

85%

Average Grad Salary

$51,000

Virginia Tech is a public university in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1872 and was once a military-technical institute. Today it’s known for majors in Social Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Business, Engineering, and more. Its notable alumni include Michael Vick and Hoda Kotb. Virginia Tech offers:

An Online Master of Information Technology

Online Graduate Certificate in Information Technology

These programs can be completed entirely online. They were designed for working professionals. Both combine courses in Business and Engineering. Students can also choose a dual degree with a Master’s in IT and an MBA. Courses include Cybersecurity Governance and Risk Management, Healthcare Data Management, Advanced Database Management Systems, Cognitive Computing for Smart Services, and much more.

17

Stevens Institute of Technology

Graduation Rate

83%

Average Grad Salary

$69,000

Stevens is a private school in Hoboken, New Jersey. It was established in 1870. It’s known for its programs in Science, Engineering, and Liberal Arts. Notable alumni include Frederick Winslow Taylor and Alfred W. Fielding, who helped invent Bubble Wrap packaging material. Stevens’ offers an Information Systems Master’s Program with specializations in:

Business Intelligence & Analytics

Business Process Management and Service Innovation

Cybersecurity Risk Management

Project Management

This program can be taken online or on campus. Students will study areas like security, analytics, cloud-based systems, mobile networks, compliance, and more. Graduates will be prepared to work in technology integration, IT strategy, and digital innovation.

18

Brigham Young University

Graduation Rate

87%

Average Grad Salary

$50,000

BYU is a private university in Provo, Utah. It was founded in 1875 and is affiliated with the Church of Latter-day Saints. The school is known for programs in Business, Education, Social Sciences, Engineering, and more. Notable alumni include Aaron Eckhardt, Jon Heder, Mitt Romney, Stephenie Meyer, and more. Its IT offerings include:

Bachelors’ Degrees in Cybersecurity and IT

An IT Minor

A Master’s of Technology

Students can opt for emphases in areas like Mobile & Web Development, User Experience Design, Internet of Things, System & Network Administration, Penetration Testing, and Digital Forensics. The Master’s program is ideal for professionals who want to gain extensive experience in a specific area of IT or Cybersecurity.

19

Pennsylvania State University

Graduation Rate

86%

Average Grad Salary

$51,000

Penn State is a public university in University Park, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1855. The school is known for its programs in Agriculture, Education, Engineering, and more. Notable alumni include Valerie Lame Wilson, John Cappelletti, and many others. Penn State’s IT offerings include: Residential:

Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate Programs

Certificates

Minors

Bachelor of Science (five distinct areas)

Master of Science in Informatics

Ph.D. in Informatics

Online:

Bachelor’s and Associate Degrees (two Bachelors and one Associates)

Master of Professional Studies Degrees (three distinct degrees)

Graduate Certificates (three certificates)

As you can see, Penn State has a wealth of IT degrees that can be taken online. Bachelor programs in IT include Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations, Data Sciences, Human-Centered Design and Development, Information Sciences and Technology, and Security and Risk Analysis. Integrated programs include a BS in Information Sciences and Technology/MS in Informatics, a BS in Security and Risk Analysis/MS in Informatics, and a BS in Security and Risk Analysis/MIA in International Affairs.

20

Gordon Cooper Technology Center

Graduation Rate

91%

Average Grad Salary

$40,000

Gordon Cooper is a public career and technology education center in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It’s a member of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education system. Gordon Cooper began serving students in 1970. It’s known for programs in Business Education, Aviation Maintenance, Automotive Service, and more. Its IT program is a:

Computer Network Technology Certification

This program is intended for upper-level high school students and adults. Students will learn to use software and hardware in several ways. They’ll build, manage, and do upkeep on the essential parts of IT systems. The curriculum covers operating systems, network performance maximization, assisting network and end-users, and more.

Undergraduate Vs. Graduate Information Technology Programs

This can be solved simply for some: if you haven’t earned an undergraduate degree, you’ll want to start there to expand your IT credentials and further or begin a career in the field. IT allows students a wide breadth of areas and facets they can specialize in even at the undergraduate level.

Students that complete an undergraduate program in Information Technology can expect much higher starting salaries than is standard across American occupations. They can also study in areas with much higher job security than the typical American worker enjoys. IT is a field where the ability to do the work is prized beyond any credential, but you’ll likely need an official voucher of some kind that validates your ability to do the work a specific role requires.

Keep in mind that many IT workers have a certification instead of a degree. Depending on what you want to do in the field a certificate might be a feasible way to break in.

However, if you want a longterm, high-powered career in information technology, you’ll eventually want to earn a graduate or doctoral degree. Especially if you’re going to work in academia, management, or other IT leadership positions, do vital research, or work on the vanguard of burgeoning technologies.

We’re not done helping you find the best degrees in information technology at all levels:

The 10 Best Online IT Schools

An online IT degree might be the right choice for you. It can save you time and money, and allow you to maintain your current work and social obligations. Most importantly, it lets you earn degrees at schools anywhere in the country or world.

Much of the work IT professionals do happens virtually, making an online IT degree or certification much easier to complete online. Some roles might require in-person work, but if the one you want to enter doesn’t, you should consider receiving your IT education on the Internet.

We’ve ranked the schools below based on their graduation rates, the average pay for graduates, and their rankings from esteemed sources like US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. We chose only schools that offer online IT degrees from the schools we ranked earlier:

1

Johns Hopkins University

Graduation Rate

92%

Average Salary At Graduation

456,500

Johns Hopkins is a private school in Baltimore, Maryland. It was founded in 1876. The school is known for excellence in Education, Engineering, Public Health, Medicine, Computer Science, and more. Its Online IT programs include:

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Post-Master’s Certificate

These programs offer focus areas in networks, systems, and analysis. They can be studied in-person or in a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. Graduates will be prepared to protect and defend information from attacks. Coursework includes Cryptology, Foundations of Algorithms, Intro to Programming Using Java, Data Structures, and more.

2

Georgetown University

Graduation Rate

94%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$60,000

This private university is based in Washington, DC. It was founded in 1789. It’s known for degrees in Business, Public Policy, Medicine, Law, and Information Technology, among others. Its online IT Master’s is in Technology Management. Its concentrations include:

Health Information Technology

Information Security Project Management

Systems Design and Management Comprehensive Track

The Comprehensive Track lets students select courses from the other concentrations to make one of their own. All tracks lead to a Capstone. This program can be completed full-time with three courses in fall and spring, then two in the summer, or part-time with one to two courses per semester.

3

University of Southern California

Graduation Rate

92%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$56,000

USC is a private university headquartered in Los Angeles, California. It began serving students in 1880. It’s known for degrees in Medicine, Social Work, Engineering, Education, Law and Information Technology. USC’s online IT offerings include:

Computer Science, MS.

Computer Science (Computer Security), MS.

Computer Science (Data Science), MS. Computer Science (Scientists and Engineers), MS.

Computer Science (Software Engineering), MS.

Graduate Certificate in Software Architecture

Graduates of these programs have worked in Aerospace and Defense, Software Design, Computer Simulation, Consulting Firms, Architecture, Programming, and much more. While there are different focuses for students to pursue, the online computer science degrees at USC prioritize an interdisciplinary approach that will serve graduates throughout the economy.

4

Carnegie Mellon University

Graduation Rate

90%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$81,500

Carnegie Mellon is a private university based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1900. The school is known for its incredible degrees in Business, Engineering, Information Technology, and more. Its online Master’s in Information Technology offers core courses in:

Database Management

Telecommunications Management

Object-Oriented Programming in Java

IT Project Management

Among others

This program pairs technical skills with management knowhow to allow graduates to exceed business goals and expectations. Students may work full-time while earning this degree part-time. Carnegie Mellon understands the need for flexibility in both the curriculum and program structure, so students have a vast array of elective course choices in this degree.

5

University of Virginia

Graduation Rate

93%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$56,500


UVA is a private university based in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819. UVA is known for degrees in Engineering and Applied Sciences, Education, Business, Law, Medicine, and more. UVA offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology completion program with the following required courses:

Strategic Business Value of IT

Basics of Web Design

Enterprise Systems Architecture and Design

Database Management and Business Intelligence/Analytics

Web Application Development – Building Dynamic Websites

Students will choose between electives like Programming with Java, Agile, Project Management, Information Assurance Fundamentals, and Business Analytics for Decision Making. There’s a range of credits need to earn in other areas outside of IT to earn their Bachelor’s, so make sure to check out the UVA requirements to ensure you receive your degree.

6

Georgia Institute of Technology

Graduation Rate

87%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$55,000

Georgia Tech is a public institution based in Atlanta, Georgia. It was established in 1885. It has popular majors in Business and Engineering, among others. Georgia Tech offers an online Master of Science in Cybersecurity with tracks in:

Information Security

Energy Systems

Policy

Students will complete ten courses in 2-3 years (32 credit hours). The program is entirely online. They will understand the weaknesses of networks, software, and computer systems, and what can be done to mitigate them and protect data, as well as physical systems. They will also study how corporations and governmental policies and interventions make war on cybercrime so that they can carve out their organizational roles.

7

Brandeis University

Graduation Rate

88%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$51,500

Brandeis is a private university headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1948. Brandeis has stellar degrees in English, Management, History, Social Policy, and Information Technology. Its online Master of Science in Technology Management features required courses like:

Communication for Effective Leadership

Perspectives on Information Technology

Strategic Information Technology: Operational Strategy

Strategic Information Technology: Organizational Strategy Organizational Leadership and Decision Making

Managing Change and Innovation

Students will also choose from electives, including Legal and Ethical Practices in IT, Managing Technology Professionals, Negotiating and Conflict Resolution, and Foundations of Project Management. Brandeis graduates have worked at illustrious organizations like Raytheon, Cisco Systems, EMC, and many others in roles like System Specialist, Vice President of Database Infrastructure, Network Engineer, and more.

8

Northeastern University

Graduation Rate

85%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$59,500

Northeastern is a private university headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. It was established in 1898. It boasts coveted programs in Management, Marketing, Social Sciences, Business, Engineering, and more. It offers an online Master’s in Informatics with concentrations in:

Information Security Management

Analytics

Cloud Computing Application and Management

Leading and Managing Technical Projects

Human-Centered Informatics

Required courses include Foundations of Informatics, Database Management Systems, Information Technology Strategy and Governance, Information Systems Design and Development, and Information Technology Project Management. This program can be completed in 1.5-3 years. Students will gain competencies in diverse areas like IT management, enterprise architecture, cloud computing, and web services, data analytics, human-computer interaction, and more.

9

Boston University

Graduation Rate

85%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$51,500

Boston University is a private school that began serving students in 1839. It’s known for programs in Education, Law, Medicine, Management, Engineering, and more. BU offers online IT programs like: Master’s in Applied Data Analytics Master’s in Computer Information Systems Master’s in Software Development And a wide range of concentrations and certificates Students can earn a certificate or concentration in areas like Advanced Information Technology, Computer Networks, Data Analytics, Database Management & Business Intelligence, Health Informatics, Information Security, IT, Medical Information Security & Privacy, IT Project Management, and Web Application Development. As you can see, BU has a healthy roster of online offerings for students to choose from.

10

Virginia Tech University

Graduation Rate

85%

Average Salary Upon Graduation

$51,000

Virginia Tech is a public university in Blacksburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1872. It features excellent majors in Business, Social Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, and more. Its online IT programs include:

A Master of Information Technology

Graduate Certificate in Information Technology

They’re both 100% online programs designed for working adults. Students will take courses in Engineering and Business in both programs. Virginia Tech has received the NSA Designation as a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations. This program started more than 20 years ago and is aimed at producing graduates ready to battle and conquer technological challenges in areas like Analytics & Business Intelligence, Big Data, Business Information Systems, Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Management, Cybersecurity Policy, Decision Support Systems, Health Information Technology, Networking, Software Development, Software Engineering, and more.

Rapidly Growing Areas of IT

The future of IT is malleable. However, there are some areas experts agree will require more workers and play larger roles in the overall field. These include artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, and cybersecurity.

Automation has been accelerating, but there’s still far more development expected in that field.

The more we rely on digital information to house records, control physical spaces, and help make decisions that impact society, the more critical it becomes to close vulnerabilities and protect data. There’s an incredible deficit of trained cybersecurity and information assurance professionals relative to the demand for them.

IT professionals and computer scientists are working to integrate homes, vehicles, roads, the clothes we wear and many other physical items and spaces with the Internet and virtual communication. This collective effort is called IoT. Far more people will be employed in roles related to these efforts in the future than are today, so it might behoove you to get an education that will position you to work in this area.

Information Technology workers can be found throughout private organizations, government agencies, doing vital research, and teaching at all levels of education. All that’s missing is you!