MBA in Information Systems Vs. MBA in Management

Apr 04, 2019

The biggest differences between an MBA in Information Systems or Management are the concentration courses and career outcomes. Compare and contrast the programs, their courses, and how to apply.

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Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs typically offer a wide range of concentration areas, including those in information systems and management. Since these subjects are both concentration areas for an MBA, there are many similarities between programs, but there are some unique features as well. Explore some of the standout features of each program here.

MBA in Information Systems vs. Management

Master of Business Administration in Information Systems

MBA programs with a concentration in information systems are available in on-campus, online, and hybrid formats. Within this concentration, some programs may allow students to choose from a managerial or technical focus and some of these programs may require as few as 30 credits and be completed in as little as 16 months. These programs may conclude with a capstone course and/or research project that requires students to examine an industry-specific problem and provide possible solutions. In addition to the core courses that are common to most MBA programs, students may take concentration courses that discuss topics including networks, data management, project management, systems analysis, information systems strategy, and systems development. Graduates of this degree and concentration may take on leadership and managerial roles in business-related technology positions, with job titles such as information systems analysts, information systems managers, or database managers.

Master of Business Administration in Management

MBA programs with a concentration in management are often offered as a professional or working professional program; these programs normally provide students with flexible schedule options, such as courses in the evenings or on alternating weekends. These degree programs are also available in online formats and may offer students the chance to earn a dual degree, such as the MBA in Management with a Master of Science in Management or a Master of Science in Engineering Management. Some of these programs can be completed in as little as 18 months and may range from about 33 to 49 credits. Besides the core MBA courses, students in these programs take concentration courses in focused topics like leadership, critical thinking, human resources, managing ethical and legal issues, organizational behavior, project management, and quality management. Graduates of this concentration are specifically prepared for leadership and managerial roles, but these positions can be in a variety of business-related areas, such as finance, quality control, or project planning.

Common Entrance Requirements

Admission requirements for MBA programs typically vary by institution, but not so much by specific concentration. Students applying to MBA programs must hold a bachelor's degree and may need to meet a minimum GPA requirement. It is also fairly common for these programs to require students to take the GMAT or GRE and submit their scores to the institution. Some MBA programs may require students to have professional work experience and/or may include an interview round during the admissions process. Many MBA applications require students to include their transcripts, resume, essay or personal statement, and/or at least 1 letter of recommendation.

MBA programs in information systems or management may be completed in similar amounts of times and can both usually be taken on-campus or online. These programs both prepare students for management positions, but the management concentration is broader, while the information systems concentration prepares students for technology-related positions.

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