Cutting-edge, in-demand, well-compensated: careers in Information Technology are as hot as ever.
Globally, the field of Information Technology is growing. Many people working in the field already are going back to school, either on their own or through their companies’ tuition reimbursement programs. One way colleges are adapting to the growing demand for flexible graduate degrees in Information Technology is through offering an increasing number of those degrees 100% online.
For this ranking, we narrowed our focus to online degree programs because many graduate students in Information Technology already work full time in their field. The results are the culmination of a multi-dimensional metric system, which uses data compiled from individual program sites and IPEDs program explorer (government data on programs and outcomes). With that information in hand, we focused on three major objectives. First, we wanted to determine the academic prestige of the institutions we sampled. Second, we looked at whether the school offered flexible options to accommodate student needs, like fast-track options or multiple specialities. And finally, we wanted to know whether or not the school’s tuition made it a viable choice for online students. You can find a more thorough explanation of the methodology we used below.
- Academic Prestige (1/3): Each institution’s rank according to national data.
- Flexibility (1/3): The range of flexible options in the program, including the ability to accelerate degree completion, work part-time, choose different concentrations, get credit for prior experience, and other unique degree options.
- Affordability (1/3):Tuition per credit hour.
1. Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College
Heinz College is a private graduate college of some the nation’s best public policy and information schools. Part of their prestige comes from the innovative approaches Heinz College takes to education. By integrating fields of statistics, information systems, operations research, and organizational behavior into many of their degrees, Heinz produces well-rounded and versatile graduates.
Heinz’s distance education allows students to earn a Master of Science in Information Technology fully online. They also offer 3 specialties within Information Technology degree, including: Information Technology Management, Information Security and Assurance, and Business Intelligence and Data Analysis. Besides being fully available online, Heinz distance education courses include multimedia video lectures and a state-of-the-art Learning Management System. Heinz also allows students to transfer up to 24 credits from previous graduate work, helping to shorten a student’s time to degree.
- Heniz College Information Technology
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $475
2. Colorado State University
Colorado State University is a public research university in Fort Collins, CO and the flagship university of the Colorado State University System. With more than 37,000 students, CSU can offer the type of flexibility students needs, especially online. As a Tier 1 research university that is committed to investing more and more in research, students can be sure that their professors are some of the best in their fields.
CSU Online offers a Masters in Computer Information Systems that can be completed in a year and a half. The program also offers a lot of flexibility, allowing online students to study full or part-time. That means students can complete their degrees in as little as 3 semesters, or can be stretched out over 5 years to accommodate students’ hectic schedules. With nearly 100% of its students getting jobs in the IT field, and at some of the highest starting salaries of all CSU majors, the Information Systems Masters is a great value.
- Colorado State Computer and Information Systems
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $500
3. Colorado Technical University
Founded in 1965, Colorado Technical University is a for-profit, primarily online university focused on business, management, and technology. With just over 25,000 students, CTU can offer a range of resources for its online students. For all of its programs, students can also save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster by gaining credit for their life experiences and prior knowledge.
When it comes to Information Technology, CTU offers four specialities at the masters level including: general IT, network management, project management, and security management. In addition to their Fast Track options that allow students to take exams to earn credit for life experiences, CTU also allows transfer credit from other institutions that can help to further shorten the time to degree. Besides helping to cut costs through these credit programs, CTU also helps to reduce costs by participating in active duty military tuition assistance programs, Corporate Alliance Grants, and other forms of Tuition Reimbursement.
- Colorado Technical University Information Technology
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $585
4. University of Denver
The University of Denver is a 4 year university and the oldest independent private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. That means they bring years of experience to educating their students. With about 6,000 graduate students, Denver professors can offer the type of individual educational experiences their students need.
Designed for busy students, online masters degrees at the University of Denver account for a student’s demanding schedule. In the field of Information and Communications Technology, Denver offers 9 different masters degrees ranging from database design, to app construction, to systems security. With so many options, students have the ability to earn a degree that more closely aligns with their interests.
- University of Denver Information and Communications Technology
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $660
5. Florida Institute of Technology
Founded in 1958 as an engineering college, Florida Institute of Technology is a private research university known for its focus on STEM fields. Florida Tech is consistently ranked as one of the best and most affordable research schools in the South. As such, it works hard to uphold its mission of providing high-quality education to culturally diverse students. That mission carries over to their online programs as well.
Florida Tech Online offers the same nationally ranked programs and highly qualified faculty but in a more flexible program. They offer several specializations in their Masters in Information Technology program including cybersecurity and database administration. With 8 weeks per course and 11 required classes, students typically finish their degree in 2 years. Florida Tech also offers several flexible options, including 6 different start dates that allow students to start their degree when it works best for them.
- Florida Tech Information Technology
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $777
6. University of Cincinnati
The University of Cincinnati is a public research university and the second largest university in Ohio. That means they can offer a lot of options to meet all of their students’ needs. Thanks to its size, Cincinnati can also spend a lot of research—$400 million per year in fact. Such an investment in research means UC invests a lot to ensure that their professors are some of the best in the nation, which translates to a higher quality education for its students.
UC online allows its Masters in Information Technology students to pick from four focus areas: Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Game Development, and Mobile/Social Applications. These choices let students have the flexibility they need to specialize in an area that will work best for them. Students also have the option of developing a project for their degree capstone that often serve as the basis for a new business or a launch pad for their career. In other words, students can start their career before their degree is even finished.
- University of Cincinnati Information Technology
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $724
7. Northeastern University
Northeastern University is a private research university in Boston. As a Carnegie Classified Tier 1 research university, Northeastern students can be sure they are getting a great education. Northeastern also offers over 30 online graduate degree programs, which means students can get the same quality education but in a flexible degree path that works for their busy schedules.
One of Northeastern’s online options includes a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems. This program teaches students to use GIS in healthcare, public safety, environmental management, transportation and operations technology, real estate, and public utilities. With such a diverse range of application, a GIS Certificate from Northeastern opens a lot of potential for its graduates. Northeastern also allows for students to transfer up to 9 credits from another institution, which helps cut costs and time to degree.
- Northeastern University Geographic Information Systems
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $646
8. Virginia Tech University
Popularly known as Virginia Tech, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is a public, land-grant, research university is Virginia’s 3rd largest university. It works to fulfill its mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership by using its $513 million research budget to produce a rigorous educational environment. Virginia Tech Online holds true to this mission, but through options catered to working students like flexible schedules, small class sizes, and individual relationships with faculty.
Virginia Tech Online’s Master of Information Technology is highly ranked by national organizations for providing quality education to its students. The program offers 8 areas of study that students can mix and match with their core courses. That means students can specialize in what works best for them while also exploring other interests. Besides offering flexible curriculum, Virginia Tech also allows students to pace their degrees as needed. So students can take up to 4 courses a semester and finish faster, or take as long as 5 years if they need it.
- Virginia Tech Information Technology
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $925
9. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit university established in 1932. With over 200 career-oriented degree programs, SNHU has really thought out the needs of its many online students. With so many online programs, SNHU also offers online educational services like an online library, tutoring, and 24/7 tech support.
SNHU Online offers a lot of options when it comes to masters degrees in Information Technology. For the MS in Information Technology, SNHU offers 7 focus areas, and if that isn’t enough, students can also explore SNHU’s 4 other masters degrees in the field of Information Technology and their many speciality areas. That means students not only have flexibility within the MSIT degree, but they also have the flexibility to change their degree path if they want.
- Southern New Hampshire University Information Technology
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $627
10. Columbia University
Located in New York City, Columbia University is one of the world’s most prestigious universities. As the oldest university in New York and the 5th oldest in the United States, Columbia has a long history of providing high quality education. Today, they continue their commitment to excellent education through their online programs that are also geared to creating professional development and continuing education opportunities for a wider range of student.
Columbia University Online offers several options at the masters level for students in the field of Information Technology. As part of their School of Professional Studies, Columbia offers both an Executive Masters and a Masters of Science in Technology Management. Columbia’s offers are specifically designed to give students the technical knowledge they need and to become a leader in their field. Besides having multiple degree options, Columbia also offers flexibility within those degrees, with the MS in Technology Management also offering 6 different focus areas, including cybersecurity and entertainment technology management.
- Columbia University Technology Management
- Avg. Out-of-State Undergraduate Tuition: $1936