Why Having a Master’s in Information Technology Management Means More Money

If you are looking to earn more in your IT Management career, looking into a Master’s in Information Technology Management maybe the road you should consider. Earning a Master’s Degree in Information Technology management increases your earning potential. If you want to pursue a profitable graduate degree, this might be the answer for you.

Consider the following facts regarding information technology management jobs.

Jobs in Information Technology Management

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the information technology field is projected to grow by 12 percent between 2016 and 2026. That translates to a lot of new jobs. The estimated growth projected is for around 557,100 new positions to be created.

Around 44,200 of those new information technology jobs are projected to be information technology managers.

Salary Basics in the Information Technology Management Field

According to the “Highest Paying Information Technology Jobs” article found on the news site Chron, information technology managers are some of the highest paying positions in the information technology field. If you’ve already got a bachelor’s degree in information technology and you’re looking at getting a master’s degree in information technology, it’s important to note that some information technology managers do have only a bachelor’s degree.

That said, information from the Chron article cited above also states that many firms prefer only to hire information technology managers who have master’s degrees. In many instances, the master’s degrees are in business administration to provide a framework for managing an information technology team in the business world. Their jobs can focus on connecting these two worlds, so having a solid grounding in both areas can be crucial to career success in this field.

If you’re serious about getting a master’s degree, an MBA with an information technology or information systems emphasis might be a good option. You might also search for universities that offer specific master’s degrees in information technology management. These specialized information technology management degrees are geared towards providing a balance of information technology and business management expertise.

As the need for cloud computing, data storage, and cyber/information security increases, so will the need for competent managers who understand these systems and how they relate to each other in the business world. Earning a master’s degree that covers both management and IT disciplines can make you a strong candidate for a high-paying job.

A Salary Comparison between Information Technology Managers and Other IT Careers

In May 2017, the annual median wage for computer and information technology jobs was $84,580. This exceeded the median annual wage for all IT Management occupations, which came in at $37,690.

Compare those amounts to an information technology manager’s median wages. During the same time period, information technology managers earned a median wage of $139,220, or around $66.93 per hour.

That’s up about $8,000 a year since 2015. It’s also more than one and a half times the yearly median amount for basic information technology wages. Dollar-wise, it’s a salary bump-up of more than $54,000 per year. To clarify it even further, an information technology manager earns around 64 percent more than other information technology careers that don’t require a master’s degree. There’s a lot of salary information to consider as part of making an informed choice in pursuing this field.

What Are Information Technology Management Jobs?

According to the Chron article cited above, the basic focus of an information technology manager is to oversee the computer and information technology systems in an organization. Of course, that’s a simplified explanation, and in can cover a lot of different types of work that are well suited for someone who has a master’s degree in information technology management and can translate data between information technology fields and the business world.

For example, an information technology manager in a start-up company might supervise a team of computer programmers and then report to executive officers. An information technology management position could also include analyzing and upgrading company IT systems, supervising a team of internet network professionals or managing data and systems analysts in large corporations that have their own information technology departments.

Having a master’s degree in information technology management can be beneficial for positions that require overseeing the costs of anything computer-related as well as dealing with data analysis, cybersecurity, and anything else related to a company’s hardware, software or networks.

Some startup companies have begun including a chief technology officer, or CTO, on their executive boards. Depending on the size and focus of the company, a CTO might oversee a variety of information technology aspects. This could include an in-house team of computer programmers, systems analysts, and company-specific computer support specialists. Their job is to make sure the company has all the information technology support it needs to move forward smoothly and increase profits.

There’s a lot of variety in the roles and responsibilities of information technology managers. For example, in May 2018, LinkedIn listed more than 7,900 available jobs in information technology management. They included the following:

  • An information technology manager for an executive coaching company in San Diego—this person would oversee computer and information security and manage the information and computer aspects of product development and support. Basically, this position was meant to manage everything related to computers and information in the entire company.
  • A position for an IT manager for a hotel in Syracuse, New York, was listed as part-time. This position was intended to keep all hotel computers running, develop a security plan, and handle infrastructure needs like telecommunications. This manager was to report to the company’s financial director.
  • A biomedical company in California was specifically interested in an information technology manager who could handle difficult security issues, including integrating computer systems between the company and local hospitals.

Getting a feel for the types of work responsibilities and different work schedules shows a possible variation in salaries for jobs even in information technology management, which could be due to whether or not the manager has a master’s degree.

It comes down to two things:

  • One, as technology develops, it’s put to use in the business community. There’s more to manage, which means more responsibility—and more pay for those who are willing to handle the workload.
  • Two, information can be a pricey commodity. Those who can gather it, manage it, analyze it and protect it can help keep our economy functioning and moving forward. Investing money in people who can perform those functions allows the businesses that hire them to grow.

Let’s take an in-depth look at information technology management salary ranges, by jobs, and companies.

An overview of national salary averages for Information Technology Managers

At the end of April 2018, the median annual salary for information technology managers in the United States was $122,496, according to salary.com. A typical range was $108,389 to $137,760 per year. The top ten percent were reported to make around $151,657 per year, and the bottom ten percent came in at around $95,546.

With a master’s degree, the projected salary range was $117,864 to $125,913 per year.

Research from the same site gets interesting when you start comparing years of experience with education levels. Job statistics show the bulk of information technology managers working now have at least five years of experience. It appears that almost a third of them have at least fifteen years of experience, so they might have been in these positions (or ones like them) for a while.

Those who have bachelor’s degrees make up most of the information technology managers workforce at 47 percent, followed by those who have master’s degrees at 21 percent.

Comparing the data indicates that having a bachelor’s degree was probably the norm when information technology managers were hired in the past.

Information technology management jobs vary in their responsibilities, time commitments, and pay scales—and it appears they vary with education degrees and years of experience, as well.

Because of the variation in experience, education level and responsibilities across the field, if you’re interested in a job with a higher-paying Master’s in Information Technology management salary, be prepared to do some research.

Consider reaching out to the HR departments of a few companies you might be interested in working at. Ask whether they require a masters’ degree in information technology management for their top-paying information technology manager positions. You can also ask about the years of experience needed and whether the company leans more towards a master’s degree or years of experience when they make hiring decisions. Things might have changed over the past fifteen years, and every company will have their own culture and trends to consider.

Contacting even a few of these types of companies could give you some solid information to help you make your decision about whether to pursue a master’s degree in information technology management.

Meanwhile, the following information and statistics could be worth a look.

A PayScale Poll: Information Technology Manager Salaries by Company

In order to get a feel for what information technology managers can make at different companies, look at this salary poll from PayScale.com. People who work for different companies have volunteered information about their salaries, job satisfaction and other position-related facts.

While one’s education level isn’t listed in this poll, viewing the types of information management jobs available by salary can give you an idea of the types of companies hiring information technology managers. Comparing each job to the $117,864 to $125,913 range described for information technology managers who have master’s degrees will give you an idea of whether this particular information technology management position might require a master’s degree.

Let’s take a look at the payscale.com research:

Accenture pays its information technology managers $122,000 to $153,000 per year.

Hewlett-Packard Company pays its information technology managers $96,000 to $125,000 per year.

The US Air Force pays its information technology managers $46,000 to $81,000 per year.

Capgemini pays its information technology managers $100,000 to $150,000 per year.

Deloitte Consulting, pays its information technology managers $135,000 to $161,000 per year.

Cisco Systems Inc. pays its information technology managers $108,000 to $151,000 per year.

Accenture Technology Systems (separate from the Accenture listed above) pays its information technology managers $91,000 to $125,000 per year.

Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. pays its information technology managers $96,000 to $128,000 per year.

Computer Sciences Corporation(CSC) pays its information technology managers $73,000 to $109,000 per year.

Amazon.com, Inc. pays its information technology managers $100,000 to $145,000 per year.

Verizon Wireless pays its information technology managers $112,000 to $153,000 per year.

The U.S. Army pays its information technology managers $67,000 to $126,000 per year.

The PNC Financial Services, Inc. pays its information technology managers $86,000 to $113,000 per year.

Capgemini Consulting (separate from the Capgemini listed above) pays its information technology managers $112,000 to $162,000 per year.[4]

Knowing what’s available salary-wise can help you consider whether a Master’s Degree in Information Technology management is worth the time and effort you’ll invest. There are other issues to think about, as well.

Information Technology Managers' Benefits

According to the same PayScale poll referred to above, people in information technology management positions were satisfied in their jobs (there was a five out of five ranking here) and had benefit packages that include health, dental and vision insurance.

Job satisfaction and benefits packages go hand-in-hand with attractive salaries. The possibility of good benefits can be a defining line between whether a master’s degree is worth pursuing or not.

Impressive IT Management Job Titles

Beyond benefits, you may want to consider potential titles. One more bit of data from that PayScale poll: among the people who gave information, 51 percent said their job title was ‘information technology manager.’

Twenty-seven percent were listed as chief information officers, and chief technology officers counted for another ten percent.

Some of the other job titles that were polled include the following: · Vice President (VP) of Information Technology · Director of Information Technology Services · Information Technology (IT) Director · Senior Project Manager · Senior Information Technology Manager · Chief Information Security Officer[6]

These examples are meant to help people interested in pursuing a Master’s in Information Technology Management decide whether it’s worth investing time and money in a graduate program. The titles might sound impressive—can you see yourself working in a position like that?

It’s also evident that there’s a wide range of job titles, responsibilities and pay scales for those with an information technology management background.

Of course, not all job titles, types and salaries can be listed here. Information technology management positions are continually developing along with new technology. Each company writes its own job description for information technology managers, too.

As you decide what path to pursue, watching the trends for jobs of information technology managers can be helpful.

An Overview of National IT Management Masters Salary Ranges by Region

Just as job salaries can vary with responsibilities and titles, they vary from region to region, too. In some areas of the United States, information technology managers can and do make higher salaries than in other places.

A Quick Glance at National Statistics

Looking at Information Technology Management jobs in United States as a whole from Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the mean annual wage as of May 2017 was $149,730, and the mean hourly wage was approximately $72. Around 365,690 jobs were listed as information technology management type positions.

There was a broad variation in salary ranges. At the low end, information technology managers made an average of $83,860 per year. At the high end, they made around $100 per hour or about $208,000 per year.

We’ll take a look at salaries by region now, focusing specifically on California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Louisiana.

California In California, the mean hourly wage from BLS data was $84.03 and the mean annual wage was almost $175,000. It ranked third for top paying states with this occupation.

California also had the highest ranking for employment level with this job title, with 53,270 employed as information technology managers.

According to salary.com, information technology managers with a master’s degree in California City, California were reported to have a salary range of $123,731 to $132,157. Hot Springs, California listed the same range.

Texas BLS data shows some parts of Texas (particularly the east side and a few spots around the upper central area) were heavy on information technology managers. The state ranked third in the nation for the number of people employed as information technology managers.

Texas also ranked in the same category as California by the annual mean, according to BLS data. That category ranges from just over $145,000 to nearly $188,000 per year for information technology managers.

Compare that to salary.com data for information technology managers with master’s degrees in Texas City, Texas : the range was listed as $111,649 per year to $119,251 per year, with a median of $117,749 per year.

Florida The BLS annual mean wage for information technology managers in Florida ranged from approximately $118,000 to nearly $128,000 per year. Compared to other states, Florida didn’t have a high number of people or a high concentration of people employed as information technology managers.

Salary.com information for Miami, Florida showed a median of $118,821 for information technology managers with a master’s degree. The range was $112,694 per year to $120,368 per year.

Illinois According to BLS statistics, Illinois ranked fifth for states hiring the most people as information technology managers. For metropolitan areas with the highest level of employment, the Chicago area ranked sixth.

The annual mean wage for this job in Illinois ranged from nearly $128,000 to almost $141,000 per year.

Salary.com information for Chicago, Illinois showed a range of $123,150 per year to $131,536 per year for information technology managers with master’s degrees and a median of $129,846 per year.

Massachusetts Massachusetts ranked fourth for the highest employment level of information technology managers, according to BLS statistics. It also ranked third for the highest concentration. The annual mean wage ranged from just over $145,000 to nearly $188,000 per year.

The median salary for information technology managers with master's degrees in Boston, MA was listed as $139,401 by salary.com, with a range of $132,212 per year to $141,215 per year.

New York BLS statistics showed that New York ranked second in the nation for the number of people employed and first in the nation for highest pay. The median annual pay range was $187,770, with an hourly mean wage of approximately $90.

For metropolitan areas, the New York, New Jersey and White Plains area had the highest number of information technology managers in the nation, according to BLS statistics. It was the third highest paying metropolitan area, too.

Salary.com information for New York, NY showed a range of $139,532 per year to $149,033 per year for information technology managers with master’s degrees and a median of $147,118 per year.

Louisiana Like Florida, Louisiana didn’t stand out much compared to some of the other states, according to BLS data. It didn’t have a high concentration or a high number of people employed as information technology managers. Its mean annual salary ranged from $79,670 to approximately $118,000 per year. Information from salary.com showed a median of $112,206 per year with a range of $106,412 per year to $113,667 per year for information technology managers with master’s degrees in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Why IT Management Masters Salaries Vary By Location

There’s a big salary difference between BLS statistics from Florida and New York. Even states next to each other, such as Texas and Louisiana, can have large discrepancies in the amount that their information technology managers get paid. The question is—why?

Looking at statistic maps and which states ranked highest, some patterns emerge. As a major center of business and with an enormous publishing hub, it makes sense that New York State is dependent on its computers and will pay top dollar for good information technology managers.

By the same token, California has Silicon Valley. Washington State, which ranked high on the pay range, has Amazon headquarters and Boeing. Texas has oil companies.

Where the computers are, the information technology managers will be. If the industries in a particular state are flourishing, local businesses can afford to pay more to fill those jobs.

What IT Management Salary Do You Need?

Keep these areas in mind as you think about whether you want a master’s degree in information technology management. Also, consider where you want to live.

Because of the difference in salary ranges across the nation, you have options. Do you prefer a place with high pay but also a lot of competition from other potential information technology managers? Or do you prefer starting out at a lower wage, but with lower competition and perhaps a gentler learning curve?

You’ll also need to consider how the cost of living in those areas could impact your salary, even with a master’s degree.

Is a Master’s in Information Technology Management Worth It?

The cost of obtaining a master’s degree varies depending on which programs you study and where you earn your master’s degree. Besides tuition and fees, you have to consider the cost of living and how long it will take you to earn your master’s degree in information technology management.

Some people opt to work toward their master’s degrees with online programs, and that can affect the total cost by allowing you to live anywhere. With an online program you could also work during the day so your student loans aren’t as high.

Regardless of how or where you obtain your master’s degree in information technology, there will be some costs associated with just the degree itself. A report on U.S. News about costs per credit for online master’s degrees in information technology ranged from $440 per credit up to $1,500 per credit hour, with a tuition total of $13,000 to $54,000.

To figure out exactly what it would take for you to graduate with a master’s degree in information technology management, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of housing, food, and travel, and whether or not you’ll have to take out student loans to finish the program. Many postgraduate students finish school with a debt of over $100,000.

Is the Return-On-Investment Worth It?

That depends partly on the starting level of your post-graduate job. Debt payments should take up to no more than ten percent of your income.

Suppose that you obtain a master’s degree and are able to start out at the median annual wage of approximately $139,000 per year. If nothing changes, in 30 years you’ll have made around $4,170,000. Will that be enough to have paid off your student loans, taken your dream vacations and lived where you want to live?

So, Is the Investment in an MSITM Worth It?

The answer depends on what you want. Starting out at about $84,000 a year isn’t bad, but six-figure salaries might be more your style. If so, a master’s in information technology management to boost your income potential might just be the way to go.

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