Professionals who desire a dynamic career with many job opportunities and good salary may consider the engineering and information technology fields. Both of these industries are seeing strong job growth; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports all engineering occupations will see 7% growth through 2026, while all IT and technical professions will experience a 13% increase in jobs.
To increase your chances of landing a great job or improving your small business, getting a master’s degree in engineering or Internet technology could be a great idea. Here are 10 of the best master’s degrees to earn in engineering and IT.
#1 Master’s in Electrical Engineering
A master’s program in electrical engineering will teach you how to design, develop, test and supervise manufacturing of various types of electrical equipment. You will learn how to design new and innovative ways to use electrical power to improve the products of your company, or those of the company that you work for. See 5+ Online Electrical Engineering Degree Programs.
Why earn a master’s in electrical engineering?
- Degree covers many specialties. Most master’s in electrical engineering programs have various concentrations. At the very least, you will take courses in areas such as radio frequency engineering, signal processing, microelectronics, control systems, power engineering and telecommunications.
- Really understand how electrical products are built. Many graduates of this degree program like the fact that they understand how electronic products and components work. This may mean that you can build your own devices at home, or improve the manufacturing process in your company because you understand how devices are assembled and operate.
- The technology that an electrical engineer works with is always evolving. You will be working at the head of the industry and will be possibly inventing new products for your business or improving ones that you already have. Electrical engineers can work in fields as diverse as telecommunications, energy equipment and laser technology.
#2 Master’s in Software Engineering
A computer software engineer applies principles and techniques of computer science, mathematical analysis and engineering to design, develop, test and evaluate software and systems that allow computers to perform their various functions. See also 5+ Best Software Developer Degrees.
As the owner of a company or leader in your organization, you can benefit from a master’s in software engineering in these ways:
- With a master’s degree in software engineering, you will have the computer engineering skills to be a leader in any industry from finance to healthcare to aerospace. All industries require effective software to be competitive today, so you will have skills that you can apply to any business.
- Embedded software expertise. If you want to understand how your company can develop embedded software, earning this master’s is essential. Embedded software is used in many types of devices, including medical equipment, airplanes, autos and defense systems.
- Understand the software needs of your company. If you lead a company that is highly dependent upon effective software, you will benefit your entire organization by understanding the intricate details of software development and execution.
#3 Master’s in Electronics Engineering
Electronics engineering is a specific discipline of electrical engineering that uses nonlinear and active electrical components, such as semiconductors, transistors and integrated circuits to manufacture and design electronic circuits and various devices. This program is more focused on motherboards, microchips, and circuits, while electrical engineering centers on motors and power sources.
Benefits of earning this master’s degree include:
- Understanding of circuits. Any electronics engineering master’s program will have courses on understanding the ways and functions of RL, RC and RLC circuits. If your company designs products with this type of circuitry, you will enjoy great benefits of understanding how these systems are designed and built.
- Signals and systems understanding. This degree also will focus on how you can solve challenges in linear systems. You will understand convolution, modulation, sampling, z-transform, signal reconstruction and critical mathematical concepts.
#4 Master’s in Civil Engineering
A master’s degree in civil engineering will teach you how to design, build, supervise, operate and build major infrastructure projects. These include roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams and bridges.
What are some of the benefits of this engineering degree?
- Qualify for more government contracts. Many engineering companies work in the private sector but contract with state and local governments. With a master’s in civil engineering, you will have a better understanding of complex government projects for bridges, roads, dams, airports and buildings.
- Demand for water system improvements. If your company works in building and improving water systems, our growing population means there will be much need in the future for upgrading existing water systems.
- More renewable energy projects. Environmental concerns mean more public and private entities want to use renewable energy as much as possible. A business owner with a civil engineering degree may be able to qualify for work building wind farms and solar arrays.
#5 Master’s in Mechanical Engineering
With a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, you will understand how to research, design, develop, build and test mechanical and thermal sensors in tools, engines and machines. Some of the benefits of a master’s in mechanical engineering degree are:
- Broad degree. Mechanical engineering is considered one of the broadest engineering disciplines. This degree could be of great use to business owners that produce a wide variety of products, from medical devices to batteries. A mechanical engineering degree could be a great choice for a company leader in the fields of auto research, heating and cooling and robotics.
- Focus on many disciplines. Most mechanical engineering programs cover diverse subjects such as interfacing and data processing, nuclear reactor physics, fluid mechanics and continuum mechanics.
- Concentration on practical applications. Mechanical engineering programs are normally focused on practical applications and less on theory. Hands on experience can be invaluable for a company leader of an engineering company working with industries as diverse as healthcare, medical devices, automotive and housing.
#6 Master’s in Information Systems
A business owner who wants to increase their understanding of IT management can benefit immensely from a master’s degree in information systems. These programs are usually laboratory-based, hands on experiences that will enhance your knowledge of new and emerging IT systems. See also 5+ Best Information Systems Degree Programs.
Benefits of this master’s degree are:
- Choose from many concentrations based upon your business focus. Information systems are used in all industries today. You can often choose from such areas as artificial intelligence, data science, information systems, information systems security, information systems management, health informatics and project management.
- Understand how to safeguard company data and information. An urgent concern today is how to keep critical organizational data out of the hands of hackers and cyber criminals. You can learn how to secure your company’s information from dangerous outsiders with courses in network security, information security and disaster recovery techniques.
- Be able to lead and supervise IT system projects. As a business leader, you can greatly benefit from understanding IT projects in your organization with courses in IT strategy development, project management and lifecycle management.
#7 Master’s in Computer Science
A master’s degree in computer science will give you specialized knowledge in computer science theories; understanding of various program languages; grasp of computing architecture, and computing software and and tools. See also 5+ Best Computer Science Degree Programs.
Business owners with a master’s in computer science can enjoy these advantages and benefits:
- Understand in demand programming languages. Business owners with products and services that use major programming languages will benefit from understanding C##, Java and Python.
- Develop more knowledge of computer networks and the Internet; machine learning; fault tolerant computing; database management systems; object oriented design; computer security; computer graphics, and artificial intelligence.
- Computer scientists are needed in every industry. Whatever your company, you can benefit with more knowledge of computer science and how to solve complex hardware and software problems – healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, construction and much more.
#8 Master’s in Information Security
Inc.com reported recently that 2016 was called the year of the data breach in some quarters. Having a master’s degree in information security is highly desirable for executives and business owners. See also 5+ Best Information Security Management Degrees.
Related benefits include the following:
- Protect your company from security breaches. While many organizations and business leaders have information security handled by other staff, it is very helpful for a business owner to have a deep grasp of critical network and data security concepts. For example, with this degree, you can supervise penetration testing which is where your employees simulate attacks on IT systems to look for vulnerabilities. Given that a well publicized data breach can have a huge effect on market share and stock price, this is a great degree to have.
- Manage your company’s disaster recovery plan. Any company with IT systems needs to have a disaster recovery plan in place that all IT employees will follow if there is some kind of emergency. You will understand how to restore the functionality of your IT department and company in event of a cyber attack, natural disaster or terrorist attack.
- Understanding information security is important for every industry. Whatever industry your company is in, you need to protect it from hackers and cyber attacks. Industries where information security is becoming especially important today are finance, banking, healthcare, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.
#9 Master in Health Informatics
A master’s degree in health informatics is a vital degree for business owners that work in the healthcare technology space. This graduate degree will increase your understanding of the development, design, adoption and application of information technology in the delivery, management and planning of healthcare services. A health informatics degree is concerned with enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by making sure that data used for clinical and operational decisions are of the best quality. See also 5+ Best Healthcare Informatics Degrees.
Advantages and benefits of earning this master’s degree include:
- Understand and use electronic health records. As most healthcare records are being converted to electronic form, it is important for a business owner in the healthcare field to have a thorough understanding of EHRs. With this degree, you will be able to integrate EHRs with patient care and offer a better quality of care by having better management and availability of patient information.
- Legal compliance. Any organization that works with electronic health records needs to be in full companies with all current laws and regulations that apply to the management of patient information.
- Better understand health data management. A master’s program in health informatics teaches you about data management and database technologies, such as relational database systems and structured query language or SQL. The curriculum also may cover data warehousing and online analytical processing.
#10 Master in Business Analytics
Many companies in the 21st century are bombarded by a massive amount of data that comes from their customer list, sales and financial applications. Being able to dive into this ocean of data to find useful knowledge can be challenging, but that is why earning a master’s degree in business analytics can be so important for a business owner. See also 5+ Best Business Analytics Degree Programs.
Some of the major benefits of this advanced degree for business owners are:
- Faster insights for business leaders. The expression that is often said is ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ Words and numbers are useful when there is a need to get into details, but data visualization is a better way to find out what the key business trends are. Being able to use visual data can make your organization more agile. It also can help you find insights more rapidly to make decisions that improve the bottom line.
- Ingrain smart decision making. With so much information at your company’s fingertips, it is easier today to give a project team the power to make important decisions fast. Rapid movement and development is important if you want your company to stay a step ahead. Nothing can set a company back than starting a project that is based upon poor data. With a business analytics degree you can guide your company teams to make more informed decisions that will improve your company’s profits and market share.
- Avoid being left behind. The business world moves so quickly today because of technology. The ways that people buy products is evolving. Also, businesses are communicating differently. Business analytics can help your company to avoid falling behind with rolling forecasts of the market and business. With a master’s in business analytics, you will be able to stay on top of new business forecasts that can spark new ideas.
- Computer and Information Technology Overview. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm
- Software Engineering. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://drexel.edu/ece/about/software-engineering/
- Best Master’s Programs for the Tech Inclined. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/7-of-the-best-master-s-programs-for-the-tech-inclined.html
- 4 Key Benefits of Business Analytics. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.techopedia.com/2/30429/it-business/business-intelligence-bi/the-4-key-benefits-of-business-analytics