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Posted On: September 19, 2018 by Henry R. Steele

A management information systems (MIS) degree focuses on the study of people, technology and organizations to help organizations realize the maximum benefit from their investments in personnel, equipment and business processes. Students who earn a degree in management information systems are focused on people as well as service through technology. If you have a keen interest in technology and want to use it to enhance the quality of people’s lives, an MIS degree could be a good choice.

What Is Management Information Systems?

Businesses use information systems in many ways at many levels to collect, process and store data and information. Management is responsible for aggregating and disseminating this information that is needed to carry out the regular operation of business. MIS is used to create reliable information systems for management for the storing, searching and analyzing of data. Also, MIS is about the control of complex information systems to meet the needs of staff, customers and management. MIS professionals work on a collaborative basis to play an essential role in integration, exchange and information security.

Opportunity

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states there is a strong market for professionals who are skilled in management information systems and related fields. Generally, employment for computer and information technology occupations including MIS will rise by a healthy 13% from 2016 to 2026. This rate of growth is faster than average than for other professions. Altogether, these occupations should add approximately 557,000 jobs. Demand for MIS and other technology workers will come from the healthy growth of technology use in all sorts of companies, as well as the increased use of cloud computing.

Career Paths

BLS reports there are approximately 367,000 computer and information systems managers in the US today, which is related to the MIS occupation. The largest employers of computer and information systems managers are:

  • Computer systems design and related services: 22%
  • Information: 11%
  • Finance and insurance: 11%
  • Management of companies and enterprises: 10%
  • Manufacturing: 8%

These are some of the other job titles that you may explore with a management information systems degree:

  • Systems administrator
  • Senior consultant
  • Project manager
  • Programmer analyst
  • Systems analyst
  • Network administrator
  • Information technology manager
  • Software engineer
  • Account manager
  • Operations manager
  • Business analyst

Salaries

The median annual salary for computer and information systems managers and MIS managers was $139,000 in May 2017, with the top 10% earning more than $200,000. Some of the top industries for salary were the following:

  • Information: $153,000
  • Computer systems design and related services: $146,500
  • Finance and insurance: $146,300
  • Manufacturing: $141,300
  • Management of companies and enterprises: $140,900

Employers

If you want to earn your degree in management information systems, you may want to know where you can work when you receive your bachelor’s or master’s degree. Below are some of the best sectors to work in with an MIS degree are:

  • Healthcare and hospitals: The global hospital information systems market is worth more than $13 billion as of 2015 and will increase to $40 billion by 2025.
  • Airports and air travel: The global aviation industry now employs more than 62 million people around the world and 11 million indirect jobs that includes IT workers and MIS professionals.
  • Financial services: Online banking and financial management are more popular than ever, and businesses want faster and more streamlined ways to accept payments and do other financial transactions. The fintech or financial technology industry will be employing more MIS and IT professionals as money and finance are managed more through online technologies.
  • Manufacturing: The US manufacturing sector is worth $2 trillion as of 2015, and much of that money is being spent on analytics and logistics, as well as AI and automation technologies where MIS professionals are needed.

Online Degree

Students who are working full time and want to earn their MIS degree online have many options available to them. Earning your MIS degree online allows you to attend the program from the comfort of your home, and also lets you attend programs that are not necessarily in your area.

Southern New Hampshire University has an online Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems that combines a robust foundation in computer information systems with the management and business knowledge you need to enjoy an exciting career in this field. At SNHU, you can select the online MIS degree program by itself, or tailor your degree program to your specific career goals with a concentration in IT management or project management.

The IT management concentration focuses on the managerial aspects that are related to information technology service management, and infrastructure management. The project management concentration centers on the proper and practical application of skills, knowledge, and techniques to execute and manage projects.

MIS and computer-related courses include:

  • Structured Query Language
  • Computer Platform Technologies
  • IT Service Management
  • Enterprise Information Systems
  • Electronic Business
  • Business Intelligence and Reporting
  • Management Information Systems Capstone
  • Data and Information Management

Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree in management information systems, such as at the University of Atlanta, will provide you with the solid grounding in current information issues and applications that you need to start your MIS career. The curriculum of this four year, accredited program includes courses in systems development, analysis,, and design, database and telecommunications, as well as project management and state of the art information systems. This program will provide you with a good understanding of the uses and roles of information systems in different functional areas of modern companies.

Required computer related courses in this program are:

  • Foundation of Information Systems
  • Theory of Programming and App Design
  • Graphics and Multimedia Design
  • Strategies and Technologies on the Internet
  • Database System Concepts
  • Managing Information Technology
  • Applied Management Information Systems

Master’s Degree

Students with computer-related work experience and a bachelor’s degree may want to earn their master’s degree in management information systems. A possible option is the Master of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Arizona. This two year, on-campus degree program will prepare you for a challenging career in the analysis, design, and implementation of computer-based information systems. This program will give you a foundation in these areas:

  • Use of information technology to support business processes and the strategic needs of the company.
  • Enterprise data management.
  • Business processes analysis for possible automation and redesign

This master’s program does not require you to have a computer science or MIS bachelor’s degree. But you should have a good grasp of major programming languages such as Java and C++. Also, it helps to have an understanding of Javascript, HTML, and PHP.

Admission Requirements

Entry requirements for an MIS degree at the master’s level will vary by institution. Typical conditions for this type of master’s degree are:

  • 0 GPA or higher
  • GRE scores may be required
  • Official college transcripts
  • Professional and academic recommendations
  • Resume
  • Writing samples

Curriculum

The core MIS classes for the master’s program at the University of Arizona are:

  • Software Design and Integration
  • Business Communications
  • Business Consulting
  • Healthcare Information Systems
  • Web Computing and Mining
  • Social and Ethical Issues of the Internet
  • Business Foundations for IT
  • Information Technology Audit
  • Systems Security Management
  • Information Security Risk Management

The curriculum for your program could vary based upon the university that you choose.

Financial Assistance

There is a strong need for MIS and IT professionals across the country, so you can often find scholarships and grants to help with your educational expenses. Below are some awards that can be used at most universities in the US. Also, check with your specific university if they have scholarships available for your degree program:

  • AACE International Competitive Scholarships
  • ExCEL Computing Scholarships
  • CyberCorps Scholarships for Service Program
  • Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship
  • Sarder Scholarship
  • SMART Scholarship
  • AFCEA Cyber Security
  • Electronic Document Systems Foundation Scholarship
  • Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship
  • Betty Stevens Frecknall Scholarship

Certifications

These certifications can be helpful to improve your career prospects with your management information systems degree:

  • Microsoft Certified IT Professional or MCITP
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist or MCTS
  • Security+
  • Microsoft Certified Professional Developer or MCPD
  • Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert or CCNA

Associations

Students and professionals who want to increase their education and networking potential in IT and MIS may consider joining these organizations:

  • CompTIA
  • Association for Information Systems
  • Association for Computing Machinery
  • Association for Women in Computing
  • Computing Research Association
  • International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology

Earning your MIS degree will set you up for a well-paid career in information management systems, and you should be able to find a good job in almost any field and industry.

References

Henry R. Steele
Henry R. Steele
Managing Editor
Henry is Managing Editor of BusinessStudent.com. He is a seasoned business professional who regularly consults with local business's throughout Southern California. Henry pursued his undergrad in Business and Economics at the University of San Diego and gained valuable life changing experience through a unique internship upon graduation.Follow on Twitter.com

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