Master of Science (MS): Information Systems Degree Overview

Oct 21, 2019

Individuals interested in advancing their formal IT education can earn a master's degree in information systems. This program is typically designed for students who have a bachelor's degree in the field and may be offered online for working professionals.

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Essential Information

A Master of Science in Information Systems program typically encompasses systems analysis, development and management. Students learn to implement new technology, repair errors and create systems. Students learn the skills necessary to meet the goals of a business. These programs are generally designed for students with a strong IT background. At the end of the program students may complete a final project or present a thesis on a topic they've researched during their studies. A bachelor's degree in Information Technology or related field of study is required for application. Some programs are offered online, and many allow for part-time studies.


Master of Science in Information Systems

Most courses in an information systems program focus on computer science with additional courses in business-related topics. Some programs may allow students to choose business courses within a specific business track, such as human resources, healthcare or accounting. Coursework may include subjects like:

  • Web-based systems design
  • Systems analysis
  • Database and organization management
  • Computer networking
  • Statistics
  • Marketing and finance

Popular Career Options

Upon completing a Master of Science in Information Systems program, individuals will have the opportunity to work in a variety of industries that utilize information systems. Some possible job titles include:

  • Application developer
  • Systems architect
  • Chief Information Officer (CIO)
  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Salary Information and Job Outlook

Data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates that in 2018, the median annual salary for applications software developers was $103,630. Systems architects, according to the website PayScale.com, earned a median yearly wage of $108,571 in September 2019. Also at that time, the site reported a median income of $158,103 per year for CIOs and $158,456 per year for CTOs.

The BLS projected that employment opportunities for applications software development will increase by 26% from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than average. Openings for chief executives, such as CIOs and CTOs, are expected to decrease 5% during that time.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates of master's degree programs may choose to continue their education by enrolling Ph.D. programs in information systems, which may be available as independent programs or as concentration options within broader business administration programs. Such a program would typically focus on research in this field, and could require a student to attend seminars, complete a research project and compose a doctoral dissertation before graduation.

Students with an undergraduate background in information technology or a related field should consider applying to a master's program in information systems. These programs will help students better apply their IT knowledge to business settings and careers.

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