Bachelor's and master's degree programs are both available with some programs being offered online. Programs at the master's level are intended for students interested in both technical and management positions working with information systems and computer networks. Students may specialize in Information Security, Health Information Systems, and Network Management.
Admission to a bachelor's program requires a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some programs require previous coursework in software, programming, and business before taking MIS classes. Candidates for a master's program must have a bachelor's degree, and proficiency in math and English may be required. In addition, many graduate programs require applicants to submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Management Information Systems
Bachelor's degree programs, such as the Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems, provide the technical knowledge needed for a career working with information systems. Students learn to use technology to solve business problems. The management information systems curriculum combines business topics with technology. Coursework often includes the following:
- Operating Systems
- Business applications
- Systems development
- Database development and management
Master's Degree Programs in Management Information Systems
Master's degree programs in MIS cover both business and technology skills. Some programs allow students to pursue areas of concentration, such as information security, health information systems, or network management. Prerequisite coursework, such as programming, systems analysis, accounting, business law, and database design can be completed before moving on to the core coursework. Students can also complete coursework for this degree program online. Course topics found in most programs include the following:
- Systems analysis
- Systems design
- Database management
- Information management
Popular Career Options
A degree in management information systems opens up a variety of career opportunities. According to the BLS, top employers include systems design services, management companies, insurance firms, and software publishers. Job titles may include business analyst, software designer, software developer, systems analyst, programmer analyst and technology consultant. Some career options for leadership roles include:
- Systems administrator
- Database administrator
- Chief technology officer
- Project manager
- Network administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov, employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow at a faster than average rate of 15% for the 2014-2024 period, as the use of technology increases. The median annual salary for these workers was reported at $131,600 as of 2015.
Continuing Education and Certification
Individuals with bachelor's degrees in management information systems might consider pursuing master's degrees in MIS or in business administration. Regardless of whether individuals pursue a degree, continuing education is beneficial because the technologies used in this field are constantly evolving. Industry certifications are available to those who want to maintain technical competency in face of changing technologies.
While certification is not a requirement, there are many professional organizations offering general certifications, as well as many technology manufacturers offering certification for their specific products. Continuing education might be required to maintain certifications. Some businesses require their employees to participate in continuing education programs to stay current with the changing technologies.
With job growth exceeding that of the national average, pursuing management information systems programs is a common way to get prepared for a career in this field. Bachelor's degree programs tend to focus on technical skills, while master's degree programs emphasize management and business principles.