The difference between an MBA and an MS in Information Technology

August 7, 2018

Few industries are experiencing as much change as the Information Technology (IT) field.

From blockchain to cybersecurity to the continued growth and deployment of AI, IT is in the midst of big changes. Those changes have a tremendous impact on the business world, with IT being a critical component of many businesses, large and small.

If you’re wondering what’s the best way to stay ahead and grow in your IT career, the answer could be pursuing an advanced degree.

Capella University offers two master’s programs with a focus on information technology—a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Science (MS). An MBA is best if you are interested in managing and overseeing an IT organization within a business. An MS can help you become an expert in your area of IT study.


The MBA self-designed specialization provides an introduction to foundational business disciplines, including IT-focused management of a business. Analytics and leadership are woven throughout the program to help you build leadership skills and use data to share organizational decisions. Graduates learn how to lead projects and teams to accomplish objectives such as new technology integrations and business analytics reporting.

Because the self-designed option allows students to choose their own elective courses, graduates are exposed to numerous facets of business. MBA candidates will learn how to:

  • Apply foundational knowledge and an understanding of business systems, processes, and technology within and across core disciplines.
  • Integrate information across disciplines and from differing perspectives.
  • Lead and collaborate in virtual, global, and culturally diverse environments.

Ideal for: Professionals who have comprehensive knowledge of IT and are seeking general positions that require both business and IT expertise.

MS in Information Technology

The MS degree builds technical expertise as well as helps students learn to make sound business decisions within IT settings. Graduates leave the program ready to take responsibility for their firm’s information technology solutions and use information technology to solve business problems. Master’s students will learn how to:

  • Design and construct optimal information technology solutions.
  • Communicate technology issues and solutions effectively with a range of audiences.
  • Incorporate collaboration, teamwork, and problem-solving strategies into information technology practice.
  • Work in the specialties that align with their career goals, including analytics, cybersecurity, project management, cloud computing, and more.

Ideal for: People who have knowledge and experience in IT and would like to pursue senior IT technical management roles.

With the IT industry continuing to evolve, those who wish to excel must be committed to ongoing education. New skills learned in advanced degree programs can help develop your existing and future IT career.

Learn more about Capella University’s onlineMBA orMS in Information Technologyprograms.

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