Earning a master's degree in information systems management can prepare an individual for a career that involves helping businesses utilize technology more effectively. Most universities require master's degree applicants to hold bachelor's degrees. Some programs prefer applicants who hold undergraduate degrees in related fields, such as computer science, information technology, or information systems. Other programs may accept applicants with unrelated undergraduate degrees, provided that applicants possess technical training or job experience. Several programs also have required prerequisite courses, such as calculus and statistics.
Master's Degree in Information Systems Management
Most master's degree programs in information system management cover topics about business, communications, and technology. Enrolled students learn to examine current systems, make necessary updates, configure network connections, organize ongoing technology projects, maintain information systems, and help users troubleshoot problems. They also obtain skills in monitoring database activity and creating information security policies. Core coursework in these programs might include:
- Data management
- Information security
- Business systems analysis
- Business database technology
- Corporate systems infrastructure
- Governance and compliance
Graduates typically possess the skills necessary to identify technology-related business problems and make recommendations on potential solutions. They often enter upper-level positions with business technology departments, computer program manufacturers, and consulting companies. Some job titles might include:
- Chief technology officer
- Information technology director
- Information technology project manager
Career Outlook and Salary Information
Most information technology directors made between $60,560 and $155,751 per year as of 2016, as reported by PayScale.com. During this time, the majority of information technology project managers earned $53,971-$120,197, and the usual annual salary range for chief technology officers was $84,727-$220,656, according to Payscale. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a job growth rate of 15% for computer and information systems managers, including information technology directors and chief technology officers from 2014-2024.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Information systems professionals may not need to progress beyond the master's degree level for work in the field, but an individual interested in research or academic work could choose to complete a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems. These programs are typically composed of specialized coursework and independent research, and commonly result in the completion of a dissertation.
Individuals can show employers their levels of expertise by becoming certified. Information systems management professionals may consider certification related to specific software programs, hardware components, or information security management. Trade organizations and manufacturers often provide certification, although some may require that applicants become members prior to taking certification exams. After becoming certified, many organizations require that certified professionals take continued education coursework to stay on top of industry changes.
Students with an interest in both technology and business practices can look into Master's degree programs in systems management. These programs will allow students to pursue a variety of careers in information technology and systems management.