Boosting The ROI Of Your IT Degree - InformationWeek
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Michael Goul
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Boosting The ROI Of Your IT Degree

A technology-focused master's degree can be the key to a better job.

Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM)

MSIM degrees prepare students for management roles in an IT environment. Students learn the business skills needed to help their company leverage IT to gain a competitive advantage in the global economy. Also available as an online program, the classes cover a wide variety of cutting-edge issues in information management, including business-process management, business intelligence, enterprise systems, IT valuation and project management. Students learn to recognize and evaluate emerging technologies that have the potential to radically alter today's markets and industries.

Who should try for this degree? Current IT professionals with two or more years of experience who want to take the next step up the technical or managerial career ladder.

Master in Business Administration (MBA) with a dual MSIM degree or a specialization in Information Management

Providing a comprehensive business foundation, these specializations offer the knowledge of a traditional MBA combined with a specific focus on information management. Both the two-year dual degree and specialization programs are designed to provide knowledge of the strategic and managerial dimensions of IT. The specialization develops skills in enterprise modeling, database systems, electronic commerce, and data warehousing and business-process analysis to create shareholder value. The program prepares students to help shape organizations in a rapidly changing, globally competitive and technologically sophisticated environment.

Who should try for this degree? Professionals with an average of four years of work experience who plan to leverage IT across the landscape of business processes as they move into management and leadership positions.

The need for an advanced education is more important than ever in helping candidates stand out and gain valuable, practical skills they can implement in their current and future jobs. My advice for students interested in an IT master's degree is to identify their current skill set and strengths, and the type of role or organization in which they would like to work after graduation. Then they should choose a program that pushes the envelope to teach the latest industry technologies and skills that graduates need to be competitive in the work force.

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