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Overview

Do you like Information Technology, but want a more management-based career? Then you might consider a graduate program in Management Information Systems (MIS). MIS involves applying information technology to business problems in order to find a solution. You’ll learn about hardware and software, various information systems, and how to transmit and store data. You’ll learn how to design, analyze, and implement information systems. You’ll learn about data—-what it’s made of and how it works. Finally, you’ll learn how information systems apply to the real world—-to actual businesses and marketplaces-—and how to best utilize the systems that are available.

Your studies in MIS will also include management strategies and theories, how management can best use information systems and applications, and security. You’ll learn how skillful use of information systems can lead to business solutions, help decision-making, and improve the corporation. Your studies will also involve databases and telecommunications.

Finally, since the goal of a graduate program in MIS is to prepare you to enter the management field, your studies will help you understand, first and foremost, why we need information technology at all. A sincere appreciation for its importance and usefulness is vital to your success when you begin to design, analyze, and improve that technology in the workplace.

Degree Information

The M.S. in Management Information Systems is the most common program available. Some schools also offer a Ph.D. in MIS, but this is primarily intended for students interested in pursuing a career in academia or research.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program

  • What are the pre-requisites for entering the program?
  • If you don’t meet the pre-requisites, can you take them at the same time as your graduate courses? Or, must you take them before starting the program? How much will this extend your program?
  • What are the research interests of faculty and graduate students?
  • How many students have work experience? Is this considered a plus by the program?
  • Does the program help students with job placement after they complete the degree? What sorts of jobs do graduates go on to have?

Career Overview

MIS specialists are highly sought after—-every business, whether small or large, needs information technology and someone to manage it. There are a variety of opportunities for MIS specialists, and graduates of MIS programs usually go on to work in business and industry as information managers, telecommunications specialists, technology managers, help desk technicians, project managers, systems analysts, and database managers. No matter what the job, MIS specialists are involved in some way with creating, analyzing, implementing, designing, and managing information systems. Graduates holding doctorates often go on to careers in teaching and research.

Career/Licensing Requirements

There are no specific licensing requirements for MIS careers.

Salary Information

Since most MIS graduates go on to work as managers of some kind in business and industry, salaries generally fall in the $40,000-$50,000 range to start. However, this number varies widely; many MIS graduates have previous work experience and pursue graduate work mid-career, so their salaries could very well be significantly higher.

Related Links

Information Resources Management Association
The Information Resources Management Association is committed to promoting "the understanding, development and practice of managing information resources" among professionals in the field.

Society for Information Management
The Society for Information Management provides information and a community of shared experience among professionals.