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Information Technology Major

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Information Technology

7,824 Master's Degrees Annually
62 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#30 in Popularity (Master's)
$92,030 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Information Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many information technology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 7,824
Graduate Certificate 1,078
Doctor’s Degree 62

What Information Technology Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, IT majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for IT Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in IT should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Skills for IT Majors

A major in IT prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for IT Majors

As you progress with your IT degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Information Technology Major?

People with a IT degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Computer and Information Systems Managers 12.0% $142,530
Computer Network Architects 6.5% $109,020
Computer Network Support Specialists 8.2% $62,770
Computer Systems Engineers/Architects 9.3% $90,270
Computer User Support Specialists 11.3% $50,980
Database Administrators 11.5% $90,070
Document Management Specialists 9.3% $90,270
Geospatial Information Scientists and Technologists 9.3% $90,270
Information Security Analysts 28.5% $98,350
Information Technology Project Managers 9.3% $90,270
Loss Prevention Managers 8.0% $107,480
Network and Computer Systems Administrators 6.1% $82,050
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Security Managers 8.0% $107,480
Software Quality Assurance Engineers and Testers 9.3% $90,270
Supply Chain Managers 8.0% $107,480
Telecommunications Engineering Specialists 6.5% $109,020
Web Developers 14.9% $69,430
Wind Energy Operations Managers 8.0% $107,480
Wind Energy Project Managers 8.0% $107,480

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Information Technology?

7,824 Master's Degrees Annually
26% Percent Women
25% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
Information Technology runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #30 out of all the graduate majors we track. In 2019, about 7,824 graduates completed their master’s degree in this field. This major tends to be male dominated. About 74% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of IT majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of IT Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 439
Black or African American 896
Hispanic or Latino 452
White 2,114
International Students 3,376
Other Races/Ethnicities 547

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in IT, too. About 43.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • China
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria

How Much Do Information Technology Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that information technology students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $89,300 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $78,700 (25th percentile) and $90,300 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to IT.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $75,580 to $111,130 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to IT. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Information Technology Major  ( 75580 to 111130 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with IT may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to IT have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.2%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 4.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 8.3%
Some College Courses 6.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 12.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 53.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 5.1%
Master’s Degree 9.8%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.5%
Doctoral Degree 0.2%

Online Information Technology Programs

In 2018-2019, 1,107 schools offered a IT program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 636 101
Certificate (1-2 years) 420 44
Certificate (2-4 Years) 51 4
Associate’s Degree 711 132
Bachelor’s Degree 116 49
Post-Baccalaureate 636 101
Master’s Degree 223 113
Post-Master’s 12 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 10 6
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Information Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a IT grad is $92,030 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 131% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,042,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to IT.

Major Number of Grads
Computer Information Systems 17,155
Computer Science 12,884
Information Science 7,072
Computer Software & Applications 2,830
Computer Systems Analysis 772
Computer Systems Networking 713
Other Computer & Information Sciences 486
Computer Programming 147
Data Processing 73
Data Entry 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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