Universities provide students who are interested in graduate studies different degree programs, two of which are a Master of Science in Information Technology -- or MSIT -- and a Master of Business Administration, the MBA. The MSIT is a focused one- or two-year program in business and information technology, while the MBA is a much more general program in business and management, which has approximately two years of course work.
The MSIT program teaches students the skills to succeed in a variety of administrative careers in computer communications and networking. It is ideal for students who already have an undergraduate degree in software engineering, computer engineering or computer science and want administrative training in information technology. Furthermore, the MSIT degree is also a good option for students who are interested in switching careers and entering the field of information technology and organizational communication for the first time. While many enrolled students do have undergraduate coursework in computer science and engineering, a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science is not required. Most MSIT programs do not have any undergraduate prerequisites except for an undergraduate degree.
Requirements for MSIT programs vary across universities, but many require students to take courses in business, technology and administration. Unlike MBA programs, which tend to be broader in scope, MSIT programs are narrowly focused on information technology and its relationships to other areas of business management. Most programs require students to take a certain number of required courses and electives. Examples of required courses are programming concepts for information technology, business data communications, systems analysis and information resource management. Examples of possible electives are accounting information systems, e-commerce and data warehousing.
The MBA program is a professional program that focuses on the applications of economic theories to the realities of today's business world. An MBA is ideal for students who want to pursue managerial or administrative positions in any number of fields including health care, education, private industry and nonprofit work. MBA programs typically do not require students to have a specific bachelor's degree in business, marketing or any other business-related major. However, many MBA programs do require students to have taken undergraduate courses in statistics, economics and calculus or have thorough knowledge of these subjects prior to enrolling in graduate studies.
Although requirements vary across MBA programs, most require students to take a certain number of core courses during their first year and a certain number of electives in their chosen area of specialization. Examples of core courses include statistics, organizational behavior, marketing and accounting. These courses give the students a broad education in business and administration, creating a foundation for the second-year electives. Examples of possible specialization options are finance, real estate, health care administration, marketing and entrepreneurship.