Anyone who is considering a graduate degree in the tech sector is likely to be wondering whether a Master’s in Information Technology is worth the substantial monetary and time investments necessary for success. Does earning power increase if a person earns a Master’s degree in IT? If so, how much would an IT professional’s earning potential increase with this degree in hand?

There are many circumstances in which a Master’s in Information Technology can improve a candidate’s earning potential. Let’s take a look at some of the possible ways that a Master’s degree in IT could drastically increase a worker’s salary.

See our ranking of the Top 30 Most Affordable Master’s in Information Technology Degrees Online.

IT Salary Benchmarks

Before we dig into the pay increases possible with a master’s degree in hand, it’s important to understand what an IT professional’s earning potential is after having graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Earning a bachelor’s degree in IT tends to result in jobs such as database administrator, network administrator or computer support specialist.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, database administrators earn median salaries of $87,020 per year, and computer support specialists earn $62,340 per year.

IT Specialties That Pay Better Than the Benchmarks

Some IT Master’s degree programs allow each of their students to specialize in a financially rewarding area of IT that can lead to more lucrative job offers. A few of these possible concentrations include information systems management, project management, and cybersecurity.

Computer and Information Systems Management — Information systems management can be one of the most lucrative possible specializations for IT professionals who earn their master’s degrees. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers earn median annual salaries of $139,220. This is a dramatic pay increase over the typical IT professional’s salary.

Experts at the BLS have reported that many employers only hire computer and information systems managers who hold graduate degrees. A master’s degree is essential for giving candidates a chance to compete for the choicest jobs in this vocation.

Cyber Security — The BLS reports that information security analysts earn median annual salaries of $95,510 per year. On average, an information security analyst is able to earn about $15,000 more per year if s/he holds a master’s degree than if s/he only holds a bachelor’s degree, according to Elka Torpey, an economist working with the BLS.

It is possible for IT professionals in this specialization to earn salaries upwards of $153,000 per year. In 2016, Forbes reported that a chief information security officer (CISO) can command an average salary of $204,000 and that CISO salaries can top out at an impressive $380,000 per year in San Francisco.

Employers That Value Education

Some employers such as the federal government, healthcare companies, and academic institutions tend to place a high value on education; candidates seeking IT positions in these industries can often earn significantly more with a master’s degree than they can with only a bachelor’s degree. There are companies in virtually every industry that value education and pay their IT professionals more if they’ve earned more advanced academic credentials.

Anyone who is interested in receiving a higher salary for the work they perform in the information technology field would do well to consider how a master’s degree could influence their overall earning potential. Many IT professionals will find that a Master’s in Information Technology could, indeed, enable them to earn significantly higher salaries.