January 28, 2022  |  Purdue Global

Information technology (IT) is often seen as the computer-repair arm of the business world. But it’s more than that. Being a leader in business means having knowledge of IT and the needs of the people who help keep businesses running.

Earning an MBA with an IT concentration can help fulfill your personal career goals as well as further your organization’s goals. An MBA focused on IT combines the traditional business knowledge of an MBA with courses on information security, telecommunications, and IT project management, to name a few.

>> Read 8 Reasons to Get an Online MBA With Purdue Global

Charles Kiriakou, PhD, CISM, faculty member at Purdue Global, spoke with us about what an MBA focused on IT is, whether this degree is worth it, and how this degree and concentration can give you the skills needed to manage both IT systems and employees.

What Is the Benefit of an MBA With a Concentration in Information Technology?

Business and financial operations jobs are projected to grow at about the same rate as the average for all occupations from 2020 to 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment in computer and information technology occupations is heating up, though, and projected to grow at a faster-than-average 13%, the BLS states.*

An MBA combined with relevant experience can enhance your marketability as a professional and increase the quality and quantity of job opportunities. Just factoring in growth potential, earning an information technology MBA can open up a wide range of opportunities.

“Not everyone who earns an MBA wants to run a company,” Kiriakou says. “But being able to contribute to your organization’s mission is a very important aspect of having an MBA, especially when you're in IT.”

Be on the Leading Edge

Earning a degree in IT can help you see what’s coming on the horizon of innovation and can prepare you to identify and master already-existing technology, from artificial intelligence to big data management to cybersecurity.

“There's so much new technology to know,” Kiriakou says. “There’s the cloud, new programming concepts, and infrastructure that we use for IT. There’s a lot to know.”

Information technology relies on creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness. A successful IT professional is primed to spot upcoming trends, prepare for their arrival, and potentially influence them.

Bolster Your Skills

By earning an MBA, you can develop skills in accounting, finance, strategy, and more, along with what you learn in an IT concentration. This knowledge will spill over into your daily work, helping you become a more effective team player and preparing you for new roles as opportunities arise.

The best IT professionals are said to be change agents who lead businesses in adopting new technology and improving processes.

Increase Your Confidence

IT leaders can step up to a higher level of confidence with an MBA. With the skills learned in pursuit of the degree, you can meet the new challenges ahead.

“In a general management leadership role, you learn strategic thinking, communications, accounting, and HR and business process analysis and improvement,” Kiriakou says. “IT might be the missing piece, helping you learn the language and principles of the field to have a good dialogue with the rest of the organization.”

Travel Where You Like for a Job

Information technology is growing everywhere. Around the country and the world, opportunities are available for those who back up their talent with demonstrable skills, certifications, and education. With an MBA and a concentration in information technology, you could open up your possibilities for a job almost anywhere.

You can choose to relocate to a preferred area or accept short-term contracts and go someplace new several times per year. Wherever you might want to pursue your career, business and information technology make it viable.

Set Yourself Apart

Although more people are entering the IT field and the competition is growing, you can still gain an advantage. Having a graduate degree can help you stand out in terms of evident qualification. With an information technology MBA, you could be in line to secure specific positions or contracts or to pursue an expanding new specialization.

“It’s important to have those MBA management skills,” Kiriakou says. “When you walk into a company, you have to be able to relate to the staff, and you must be able to lead them. If you understand them, you’ll be more successful as a manager of the technical staff.”

Work in a Number of Fields

With an MBA focused on IT, you could work almost anywhere in the public and private sectors. Remote jobs and in-person jobs are available, and you can take positions working alone or with a team.

IT careers rate highly for professional satisfaction, and this is one reason most frequently cited: they give you a stronger control over how you can shape your own contributions to the field.

>> Read 8 Questions to Ask When Considering an MBA Program

Who Is a Good Fit for an MBA With a Concentration in Information Technology?

An information technology MBA offers a greater understanding of e-commerce, management, and security. With an MBA, you can get a solid foundation in management skills along with a strong concentration in IT.

Kiriakou says most people pursuing an MBA with a concentration in IT are looking to gain skills in one of two areas: leadership management or career management.

“One benefit people look for is to move up in the organization and leadership,” he says. “The other one is to benefit the organization by excelling in a technical position or role.”

Leadership Management

“Moving into a supervisory management or leadership role within the organization usually requires new skills,” Kiriakou says.

He says you’ll need to communicate with higher-ups or manage those below you. “You just don't learn those things as much in IT,” Kiriakou says. “The MBA helps you get to that leadership level.”

He says that most organizations recognize that someone with an MBA focused in IT is more than just a person who knows how to program. “You understand the business, you understand what the leadership is thinking about. You understand how they think in terms of the strategic goals of the organization,” Kiriakou says. “That is a significant goal that the MBA with IT can help you meet.”

Career Management

Kiriakou says another goal is to benefit yourself and therefore the organization. “Being able to provide value to the rest of your organization is important,” he says. “By understanding what they do, you can design and build systems or program applications that meet their objectives.”

He says that having an understanding of other disciplines such as management analyst or computer analyst are valuable for doing a good job for the organization.

“That means being able to add value to your organization using your current background and skills,” Kiriakou says.

What Roles Can You Have With an MBA Focused on Information Technology?

There are some key technical roles you can pursue with an MBA with a concentration in IT, according to Purdue Global.

Management Analyst

In a position as a management analyst, you would conduct organizational studies and evaluations, design systems and procedures, implement measurement and work simplification studies, and prepare manuals on operations and procedures to assist management in operating more effectively and efficiently.

According to a 2021 job posting analytics data set from labor market data company Emsi, top posted job titles associated with this position include the following:

  • Business analyst
  • Business data analysts
  • Business operations analyst
  • Business process analyst
  • Data analyst
  • Human resources business analyst
  • Management analyst
  • Program analysts

Top skills for these jobs include the following:

  • Accounting
  • Agile methodology
  • Business process
  • Business requirements
  • Communications
  • Consulting
  • Data analysis
  • Finance
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Operations
  • Planning
  • Presentations
  • Problem-solving
  • Process improvement
  • Project management
  • SQL
  • Strategic planning

Computer and Information Systems Managers

This is another field someone with an MBA focused on IT could find themselves in. The computer and information systems manager position might be a good option for a student with an IT background who returns for their MBA with a concentration in IT with the intention of seeking career growth or advancement opportunities in the technical space.

The top posted titles for this field, according to a 2021 job posting analytics data set from Emsi, include the following:

  • Director of technology
  • IT manager or director
  • Program manager

Top skills for these jobs include the following:

  • Agile methodology
  • Auditing
  • Automation
  • Business process
  • Communication
  • Computer science
  • Finance
  • Influencing skills
  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation
  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Operations
  • Planning
  • Presentations
  • Problem solving
  • Project management
  • Risk management
  • Strategic planning
  • Technology solutions

Pursue an MBA in Information Technology From Purdue Global

Purdue Global offers an online MBA designed to give working business professionals the real-world tools they need to pursue leadership and management positions in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Learn more about the online MBA with a concentration in information technology or reach out for more information today.

About the Author

Purdue Global

Earn a degree you're proud of and employers respect at Purdue Global, Purdue's online university for working adults. Accredited and online, Purdue Global gives you the flexibility and support you need to come back and move your career forward. Choose from 175+ programs, all backed by the power of Purdue.

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*Job Growth Projections: National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual growth.

Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global does not guarantee employment or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience and opportunities for employment. Additional training and experience may be necessary for leadership positions. Additional certification or licensing may be required to work in certain fields.