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Master’s In Information Technology: A Sampling Of Courses
If you’re looking for an advanced degree that will exponentially increase the number of job opportunities available to you, then you’re looking for a Master’s in Information Technology (MSIT).
While much about the future job market remains uncertain, the one thing we can be sure about is that people who are trained in some aspect of technology will be better positioned to thrive. Why?
The technology sector is growing, and tech jobs remain unfilled. Organizations are struggling to find qualified candidates to fill the more than 263,000 IT jobs currently vacant. Rapid changes in the tech field along with the growing information technology (IT) demands businesses are facing are the primary reasons for unfilled jobs.
The combination of technology and business competencies provided by the MSIT program can be applied in every industry. Now, just about every company is a technology company in one way or another, thanks to technological progress that is heavily impacting the way we work. Graduates with an MS in Information Technology will find employment in every part of the country, in every industry, including insurance, health care, financial services, and manufacturing.
You can land a job almost anywhere. Tech training and experience are needed in every state as well as most countries around the world.
At Bentley, we’ve designed a Master’s in Information Technology program that meets the needs of employers today yet is still flexible enough to appeal to students’ individual interests. Let’s take a closer look below at how our course offerings satisfy those requirements.
Bentley’s Master Of Science In Information Technology Program Courses
Wendy Lucas, director of the MSIT program at Bentley, says the program has morphed over the years—and will continue to evolve—based on three factors:
Skills that employers are currently looking for.
Skills everyone with a graduate degree in IT needs to have.
Skills you want to focus on in your future career.
Skills Employers Want
According to Lucas, the IT faculty shapes the program in part based on feedback from employers. The team conducts focus groups regularly to ask about skills that are lacking in the field and skills that employers would like to see developed. The program is then adjusted to reflect those insights, giving Bentley graduates a leg up when applying for jobs.
The current courses in Bentley’s MS in Information Technology program emphasize the following based on feedback from employers:
- A deep understanding of IT. Lucas says that business executives want employees with an understanding of the field that goes beyond simply working with one particular platform or technology, who can also see the bigger picture of how to configure systems and how components interact. This type of deep understanding produces leaders who know how to solve business problems with IT solutions. For instance:
- Data Management Architectures focuses on the infrastructure of the cloud and how to work with cloud-based storage, rather than on pure development.
Business Intelligence Methods & Technologies teaches students about the infrastructure of data warehouses, how to mine large data repositories, and how to configure databases to maximize efficiency—not just how to write queries.
- Excellent communication skills. Business executives across the board agree that there is a need for better communication skills among IT professionals. “They want someone who can explain technology to everyone from the CEO, to the technical people, to whomever else they are interacting with, both within and outside the organization, in terms they’ll understand,” says Lucas.
To address this skills gap, several courses now have additional oral and written communication requirements. Students work together on several written reports and presentations and must learn to explain things well to a varied audience. Numerous courses incorporate writing effectively to improve students’ ability to address technical issues through writing. In the Global IT Project Management course, students work in agile teams and communicate virtually. Oral communication skills are emphasized through class participation—simply raising your hand to answer questions is not good enough; it’s all about contributing meaningfully to class discussions.
- Agile development. An alternative to traditional project management, agile development is the most current way of managing technology and product development. It focuses on incremental and adaptive development and utilizes cross-functional team collaboration. Students learn how to manage agile development projects through techniques taught in courses like Systems Analysis and Design and IT Project Management.
- IT security. A new course, Network & Systems Security, was recently added in response to high interest from employers. It teaches students about relevant security issues, technologies, and approaches related to information, computer, and network security. Students learn to recognize and understand threats to confidentiality, integrity, and availability; they also become knowledgeable about best practices for defense.
Basic Skills For IT Professionals
The areas of emphasis above are intended to give graduates an edge over the competition, but without certain expected IT skills, you won’t get far with recruiters. The first three courses in the program teach what Lucas considers “critical” IT knowledge, including:
Programming fundamentals using the Java programming language.
Databases, including proven techniques for modeling system data requirements and organizing and managing organizational data resources using SQL.
System infrastructure, including architecture and design.
If you’re an experienced professional, chances are you won’t have to take one or more of these courses, which means you’re free to substitute higher-level electives.
In addition to those, three more courses make up the core course requirements:
Enterprise Architecture—design, selection, implementation, and management of enterprise IT solutions.
Global IT Project Management—technical knowledge and skills for managing and executing globally distributed IT projects.
Object-Oriented Systems Analysis & Design—theory and methods of object-oriented modeling.
Your Individual Focus
Beyond those six core courses, you decide what you want your focus to be by choosing the appropriate electives.
There are eight electives offered within the master’s in information technology program, which can be used to tailor your education to focus on particular areas of interest:
Web-Based Application Development
Data Management Architectures
Mobile Application Development
Business Intelligence Methods & Technologies
Information Technology Management & Policy
Computer Information Systems Internship
Business Process Management
Special Topics Seminar
Many students mix some of these IT-specific electives with electives from specific functional areas, such as accounting and finance. Some take managerial courses, like negotiation skills. Still, others are interested in a combination of business analytics and IT and choose to complete the requirements needed to earn a certificate in business analytics.
Interested in a master’s in information technology degree from Bentley?
Graduating with an MS in information technology from Bentley opens many doors for your career. Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide variety of businesses, including Amazon, Dell, and the “Big Four” accounting firms. And students who take advantage of our combined MBA+MSIT program—which requires just two additional courses—have a distinct competitive edge with employers.
Take a look at our website to read more about the master’s in information technology program overview and curriculum, or reach out to our graduate school admissions office for more information about how to apply.
When Brenden Botelho ‘20 and Jonny Boains ‘18 took internships in the Mass. Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, what was the biggest community problem to tackle? Adapting to climate change.