MIS Degree Programs and Majors

Management information system (MIS) degree programs prepare individuals for work as analysts or managerial positions. MIS programs are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels.

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Essential Information

Bachelor's programs in MIS are often offered as a Bachelor of Science in MIS or as Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in MIS. Graduate degree options include a Master of MIS, a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in MIS, and a Ph.D. in MIS. These programs can be taken online, especially at the master's degree level.

Bachelor's Degree in Management Information Systems

In such a program, students can learn to design, implement and maintain a technology-based system to meet the needs of an organization. Relevant management skills, including human resource management, marketing and financial accounting, are commonly covered. Students may be asked to select an area of concentration within the broader program, such as computer programming, network engineering or database administration.

The minimum requirement for admission is typically a high school diploma or GED. Some colleges and universities may also require a basic understanding of computer software applications and programming prior to enrollment, which may be demonstrated through prior coursework, experience in the field or by passing an entrance examination.

Coursework can focus on the theory and practical aspects of information systems management, computer programming and networking. Project-based coursework, such as information technology and web development, can teach students to develop software programs, websites and functional databases through an in-depth analysis of the needs of the customer. Standard program coursework can include:

  • Database management systems
  • Information systems design and analysis
  • Computer algorithms
  • Networking
  • Operating systems and system testing
  • Project management

Master of Science in Management Information Systems

These two-year degree programs can provide students with the practical and analytical skills to design and maintain complex information systems in the modern business world. Students can learn to master modern industry technology by taking courses in computer operating systems, software applications and Internet applications.

For any master's program in MIS, individuals must typically hold a bachelor's degree to enroll. These programs can also require applicants to have completed undergraduate coursework in relevant areas, including accounting, statistics and operations management. Applicants may be asked to demonstrate a proficiency in a high-level computer programming language, such as Java or Visual Basic.

A variety of advanced information system concepts can be covered through master's degree programs, including programming languages and supply chain management. Common coursework for a master's degree program in MIS can include:

  • Computer hardware
  • Databases for business and database systems
  • Systems development and analysis
  • Data communications
  • Programming and business applications
  • Java programming

Ph.D. in Management Information Systems

Ph.D. programs typically take four years to complete, and are research and teaching-oriented. An institution may require a student to work as a teaching assistant or a research assistant during the completion of the doctoral program. Additionally, a student may be required to co-author a publishable research paper. Students can receive the necessary instruction to hone their methodological and conceptual skills in the field, which can allow them to start on leadership careers in the field.

Students must typically have a master's degree in MIS to enroll, and may also need to have prior work experience in the field. Other factors for admission may include satisfying a minimum GPA requirement and the ability to program in a high-level language.

In a Ph.D. program in MIS, students are given the opportunity to specialize in an area of interest. Students are generally required to take seminar courses, which could discuss current published papers focusing on MIS. Coursework may include:

  • Management of a database
  • Service-based systems
  • Networking and data communications
  • Methods of behavior research
  • Univariate and multivariate statistical methods

Popular Career Options

Many professional organizations require the skills of an individual who knows how to manage computer and information systems. Possible career options could include:

  • Database administrator
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Computer systems analyst

Graduates of a Ph.D. program may pursue research or academic careers concerning information systems. They may also obtain administrative, executive or research positions in various industries. Potential career titles may include:

  • Management consultant
  • Educator at the postsecondary level
  • Executive

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that employment of database administrators was expected to increase by 11% from 2014-2024 (ww.bls.gov). In May 2015, the median annual wage for those individuals was $81,710.

The BLS reported that employment of computer systems analysts was expected to increase by 21% from 2014-2024, while computer and information systems managers were expected to see a 15% growth rate. In May 2015, computer and information systems managers earned a median annual salary of $131,600 according to the BLS.

Depending on the desired level of employment, students who are interested in MIS degrees may enroll in bachelor's, master's and/or doctoral programs. Bachelor's and master's degree programs may prepare students for careers in systems programming, management and analysis, while a Ph.D. may prepare students for consultant, academic and executive careers.

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