Obtaining your degree in information systems will arm you with technical skills that can be extremely important in many rewarding careers. Skills and knowledge in software, hardware and current information technology will be useful for making a good salary in many industries and occupations.
But to get a firm idea of the potential salary you may earn, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Level of information systems degree
- Type of computer or technical career you choose
- How many years of experience you have
- The industry you work in
Once you have this information, you can get a better idea of the type of salary to expect with an information systems degree.
Level of Information Systems Degree
It is generally true that professionals with a master’s degree MIS in information systems will earn more than those with a bachelor’s degree in information systems over their career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found in 2013 that the median wage for all workers in the US with a master’s MIS degree was $68,000. The median wage for all workers in the US with a bachelor’s degree was $56,000. This is a difference of $12,000 per year. The amount of salary increase will vary widely on field, however.
BLS data shows that the following fields related to information systems will see various increases in salary with a master’s MIS degree.
- Mathematicians and statisticians: $60,000 with bachelor’s, $80,000 with master’s
- Network and computer systems administrators: $70,000 with bachelor’s, $88,000 with master’s
- Web developers: $61,000 with bachelor’s, $75,000 with master’s
- Information security analysts: $85,000 with bachelor’s, $100,000 with master’s
What To Consider with an Information Systems Degree
- Know yourself: There are a variety of jobs that you can get with an information systems degree. You will probably have opportunities to work on a solo basis or as a member of a team. You also will be able to work in many jobs, such as information systems, programming, researcher, software engineer, computer systems analyst and more. There are many options available in this growing field, and the better you understand your strengths, weaknesses and desires, the more likely you will choose a good occupation in computers and technology.
- Select a career with a long term future: Generally, employment in all computer and technology occupations will grow by 20% or so in the next several years, BLS reports. But some professions are going to grow more rapidly than others. Some technical positions, such as programming, may be sent off shore, so it is always a good idea to choose career paths where demand is likely to be strong domestically for years to come.
- Get highly marketable skills: It is highly preferable to gain technical skills in the most in demand and current computer and information systems programs and technology. Technology gets dated quickly, so choose a degree program with the most cutting edge technology being taught.
- Get hands on experience: You should try to work on a lot of hands on projects while in school. Work on various student projects, do volunteer work and get information systems internships.
Types of Information Systems Careers
Earning a degree in information systems will help you to earn a good living, but the exact career path you choose will make a major difference on your salary level.
Below are some of the most common professions that you can choose with a bachelor’s or MIS master’s in information systems.
Information systems manager
This is the most common position that you can obtain with this type of degree. Information systems managers may be referred to as IT managers or IT project managers. They are responsible for planning, coordinating and directing all the computer activities in a company or organization. These workers will help to decide the information technology goals of the company, and are generally responsible for implementing the information systems needed to meet company goals.
The median salary for information systems managers was $135,800 in 2016, according to BLS. The range was between $82,000 and $208,000, which was largely dependent upon the degree and level of experience. Median wages in this profession were as follows in these fields:
- Information: $150,100
- Computer systems design and related services: $143,000
- Finance and insurance: $142,800
- Manufacturing: $139,500
- Management of companies and enterprises: $136,000
Payscale.com also notes that the median salary for information systems directors is $102,000.
Other related careers to information systems and their corresponding salaries are as follows:
- Chief information officer: Responsible for the information and technology goals of the company; may focus on a certain area such as electronic data processing or information systems: $162,200.
- Chief technology officer: In charge of evaluating new technology and determining how it can help their company. If there is a CIO and CTO in the company, the latter usually has a higher level of technical knowledge: $231,000.
- Computer and information research scientist: Design and invent new approaches and methods with computing technology and determine best uses for current technology: $111,800.
- Computer hardware engineer: Research, develop, design and test computer components and systems: $115,000
- Computer programmer: Write and test software code that allows applications and software to properly function: $79,800
- Computer systems analyst: Study the computer systems for an organization and design new solutions to help the company to operate in a more efficient manner: $87,200.
- Information security analyst: Plan and execute security measures that program the computer networks and systems for a company. Responsibilities are continuing to expand as the number and complexity of cyber attacks increase: $92,600.
- Computer forensic investigator: Identify and research information in various types of computer systems, often with the intent of using it in a criminal trial: $64,000.
- Data modeler: Creates data designs and defines relationships between various types of data fields: $103,000.
- Software developer: Creative minds that are behind most computer programs. Some are responsible for developing applications, and others develop the systems that operate the devices: $102,200.
- IT director: In charge of the IT department of a company, and responsible for supervising large number of employees: $68,400.
- Web developer: Responsible for designing and creating websites. Responsible for the look and feel and also for the technical parts of the site, including capacity and performance: $66,100.
Information Systems Work Experience
Work experience will always be a major factor in your salary level. This is true in information systems as in most career fields. Payscale.com reports the following salaries for information systems managers with various levels of experience:
- Less than five years of experience results in an average salary of $62,000 based upon 191 reported salaries.
- Five to 10 years of experience results in an average salary of $78,000 based upon 244 reported salaries.
- 10-20 years of experience results in an average salary of $89,000 based upon 348 reported salaries.
- 20+ years of experience results in an average salary of $99,000 based upon 145 reported salaries.
- Overall average salary for information systems managers is $81,608.
For director of information systems, below are salaries based upon level of experience, according to Payscale.com:
- Less than five years of experience results in an average salary of $62,000 based upon 18 reported salaries.
- Five to 10 years of experience results in an average salary of $91,000 based upon 41 reported salaries.
- 10 to 20 years of experience results in an average salary of $108,000 based on 158 reported salaries.
- 20+ years of experience results in an average salary of $123,000 based upon 91 reported salaries.
Information Systems Industry
Working in information systems will generally result in a good salary, but you will earn more money in some industries than others. For example, in the business field, many MBAs tend to gravitate towards investment banking, finance and hedge funds. The reason is that these industries pay more than others, such as utilities, human resources or healthcare.
Similarly, the information systems field also has different salaries based upon the industry that you choose. According to BLS, the median wages for information systems managers can vary quite a bit in various industries:
- Information services companies: $150,100
- Computer systems services and design companies: $143,00
- Insurance and finance companies: $142,800
- Manufacturing organizations: $139,500
- General management companies: $136,600
Another good example is a position in healthcare that is similar to information systems managers: health informatics manager. This job covers the implementation of technology in various healthcare system settings. This professional is responsible for things such as training staff on how to use information systems, managing health and patient data accurately and securely, and improving the efficiency and performance of information systems. The median salary in this field is $61,050 per year, which indicates that the compensation for this job in the healthcare field is lower than what you would see in other industries for an information systems management position. See best online health informatics degree options.
The information systems field is one that is full of exciting job opportunities. By considering all of the above factors, you will be able to plan your education and career so that you can earn the highest possible salary.
- Computer and Information Systems Managers. (2015). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm
- Should I Get a Master’s Degree? (2016). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2015/article/should-i-get-a-masters-degree.htm#STEM
- Five Realities to Consider for Computer Science Degree. (2012). Retrieved from: https://insights.dice.com/2012/04/02/five-realities-to-consider-for-a-computer-science-degree/
- Health Informatics Jobs. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/health-informatics-jobs