MIS Programs: Master of Information Systems
Last Reviewed/Updated: December 6, 2019
Bridging the gap between information technology and the business aspect of an organization is information systems. Pursuing an education within management information systems will teach students how to build processes that helps an organization make data-driven decisions. While MIS is specifically geared for the managerial decisions within IS and IT, many of these higher education degrees will focus on all aspects in order to gain full understanding of their processes.
MIS: Master’s in Information Systems Degrees
The Masters in Information Systems is a graduate degree program that helps prepare learners for careers in software development, business information systems, data science, and end-user experience design. The skills taught within this degree program can help you become more knowledgeable of information systems within a wide variety of platforms, as well as provide you with the practical skills you require to exhibit your skills in different professional fields.
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Whether you have completed a bachelors program focusing on the different facets of computer technology or information systems or within a different field entirely, the Masters in Information Systems can be a great way for you to learn the skills relevant to assessing and developing helpful information systems in business, healthcare, technology, education, or even entertainment.
The Masters in Information Systems was developed for individuals that are interested in expanding their skills in web and software design, developing new technologies for data storage and retrieval, and combining popular fields such as business and technology. Universities all over the country currently offer the Masters in Information Systems both in a traditional in-person environment as well as online.
Our team of educational experts has researched this degree program in order to provide you with more information about what is included within it and where completing it can lead you professionally. Read more in our guide below to learn about this fascinating degree program and its constituents.
Online MIS Programs
The field of information systems often attracts individuals that have an interest in computer technologies and the internet. One way that colleges have found to better connect with learners in this field is through the implementation of online degree programs. These convenient and flexible degree programs can be inviting to new students that have current obligations or those that have been questioning whether or not entry into a graduate degree program may be their best option.
In the online setting, the Masters in Information Systems looks strikingly similar to its traditional program. Most institutions assign both online and in-person classes to the same instructors, streamlining the information learned in both settings. Another interested fact about online degree programs is that students can choose an enrollment status that works best for their personal schedule.
Online classes in information systems may require that students participate in weekly assignments, discussions, and exams, depending on the subject matter of the course. Online degree programs consist of asynchronous courses that can be completed at a student's preferred pace, and synchronous courses that may include online lectures or meetings that students are required to attend for credit.
In terms of reliability, students can often rely on online programs to provide them with the degree that they need to obtain hard-to-get positions in the field. The accreditation process for online degree program mimics what is required of traditional programs, making it a reliable resource for higher education.
Florida State University Master of Science in Management Information Systems
The College of Business provides an MIS degree that requires 11 courses to complete, with the core curriculum consisting of Database Development and Management, Corporate Information Security, and Business Intelligence. Four of those being reserved for electives that are also course options within the Master of Business Administration program. Prerequisites to get into the program include having two years of related work experience or an undergraduate degree that is within information technology and two years of general work experience.
For the application process, students must submit a personal statement, answer essay questions, an updated resume that clearly designates full or part-time work, at least one official transcript, GRE or GMAT scores, and two letters of recommendation. The GRE or GMAT scores can be waived for those that have at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA, or 3.2 GPA at Florida State or another school accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
University of Arizona Master's in Management Information Systems
The Eller College of Management provides an online MIS degree that focuses on enterprise data management and how to reimagine business processes for today. There is a prerequisite course in Fundamentals of Object-Oriented Programming (such as Python) that is required before taking the class. Core subjects include software design, securing information in the public and private sector, and gathering data for business intelligence. Courses are divided up into eight-week segments, with two courses being completed in each semester.
All courses are available online through the Desire to Learn (D2L) course management system, where instructors can utilize discussion boards, chat sessions, and all of the assignments are completed and submitted on the platform. The school offers an option to have a dual degree along with the Master of Science in Cybersecurity, which gives an emphasis on the importance in protecting our data in the digital age. The entire dual-degree program will take 30 months for students taking classes part-time.
University of Maryland - College Park Master of Business Administration - Information Systems and Business Analytics
The Robert H. Smith School of Business offers an online Master of Business Administration with six different concentrations, including one in Information Systems and Business Analytics. This area of emphasis focuses on the management and design of warehousing and how to utilize information systems efficiently within an organization. Graduates from the MBA program have been employed just over 27 percent of the time in a general management position, and opportunities within government and healthcare have been the highest industries.
Both the online and on-campus curriculum are the same, and has been accredited by the AACSB. There are two on-campus residencies required, one that opens the program and the other is part of the closing capstone project. The entire program can be completed within two years. Specific courses within the Information Systems and Business Analytics concentration are: Data Mining and Predictive Analytics, Managing Digital Business and Platforms, and Social Media and Web Analytics.
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign Master of Science in Information Management
The School of Information Sciences offers a Master's program within information management, which focuses on giving established professionals the leadership and managerial skills needed to succeed within the information technology sector. There are only three required courses, so the curriculum is fully customizable to tailor these managerial needs to any pathway. There are specific concentrations in Data Science and Analytics, and Knowledge Management and Information Consulting, but any mixture of electives can be explored.
Illinois utilizes the iSchool platform which has live virtual classrooms that encourages dialogue and collaboration with faculty and other peers. Nearly all of the courses are offered both online and on-campus for maximum flexibility, and students can choose a mixture of both. The curriculum has three required courses (Data, Statistical Models, and Information; Sociotechnical Information System, and Information Modeling) and culminates with a practicum that showcases what the student has learn and applies these skills to real-world scenarios.
What is Information Systems?
Information systems consists of the accumulative knowledge and skills required to comprehend the software and hardware required to transmit data through computers and other technological devices. Professionals within this field can participate in courses that teach them more about different computer languages, the development of software and hardware, and the process by which these factors communicate to create meaningful transmissions of data.
Information systems can be applied in nearly all settings in today's society, mainly because so many different sectors are utilizing technology as a means for managing large sums of data regarding their operation, storing customer information or purchases histories, and making and processing purchases via the internet. Professionals within this field can be helpful supports for organizations that use computer systems as a part of their daily services.
Students that choose to enroll in the Masters in Information Systems can also create their ideal portfolio by choosing specializations to accompany their generalist degree program. Specializations can allow students to learn more about how information systems are applied within a particular service area, which can prepare them for working in that particular field after graduation.
There are numerous specializations available at traditional and online degree programs all over the country. As more fields begin to use information systems for various purposes within their daily functioning, more degree programs specific to those areas may become available. Some of the most popular specializations for this degree program are provided to you in the list below.
- Data Science
- Artificial Intelligence
- Database Technologies
- Information Systems Management
- Information Security
- Health Informatics
- Internet Technologies
- Computer Forensics
While you search through available online Masters in Information Systems degree programs, it is likely that you can see a university’s expectations for enrollees on different degree web pages. Since this is a graduate level program, the most common expectation for incoming learners is an acquired bachelors degree from an accredited university.
The rise in popularity of information systems degree programs has influenced some institutions to create masters-level programs that are suitable for both experienced and inexperienced IS professionals. If you have a bachelors degree from an area unrelated to computer or information systems, you could still qualify for enrollment at select colleges with programs open to all undergraduates.
In some cases, you might see recommendations for prerequisite requirements that include specific course work. A few higher degree programs require that students take courses such as Database Management, Computer Programming, or Systems Analysis before being approved for enrollment.
The best way to prepare for a Masters in Information Systems degree program is to choose a bachelors program that complements your future work and learning. Some students can begin their journey towards this career at the bachelors level, making their transition and acceptance into masters-level programs a little easier along the way.
Typical MIS Courses
It takes a broad spectrum of courses to properly train upcoming professionals in the many different facets of information systems. Computers and other technological devices can be complex and require extensive training to operate them.
Our team has researched some of the most popular online Masters in Information Systems degree programs currently available in order to provide you with more information about what is involved in this degree program, as well as what may be expected of you as a student.
Through our team’s search, it was learned that many current programs in the field begin their course work in a sequence that follows-up to undergraduate programs in a computer or systems-oriented field. This can make it beneficial for you to complete an undergraduate degree program in information systems of computer information technology prior to moving forward into the masters program.
The course sequence for this degree program can also contain many diverse components related to the implementation of information systems services in the field. Some courses can focus on how this work is applied in the healthcare field, information security, business, and even general IT management.
In an effort to give you the most in-depth information available, our team of experts has provided you with a list of snippets from a course list in an actual online Masters in Information Systems program. Browse through the descriptions below to learn more about what can be covered during each course throughout your learning experience.
- Software Design and Integration: Students within this course can acquire skills related to software design and engineering. A key element in this course focuses on the development of relevant knowledge related to changing information systems, the development of new and high-tech systems, and the modification of current technologies to meet challenges related to end-user implementation and information security. Students may also be expected to write small to large programs using computer coding, as well as use design patterns to develop software architectural designs.
- Information Security Risk Management: The large number of businesses in society that utilize technology for purposes related to their business can pose a risk to the overall security of the data stored and used by these companies. IS risk management courses can help to train information systems professionals to scan for and identify risks, protect computer systems from current risks, and to provide helpful prevention software to safeguard clients from potential risks through their daily operation. This course can include components and requirements set forth by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), making it a reliable resource for upcoming security experts.
- Data Mining: Some professional fields within information systems may require current employees to explore large sums of data in order to gain information about what the data represents. Data mining is a skill that involves development of a system of interpretation for large sums of data, the actual mining process by which professionals gather this information, and the analysis process that provides helpful information for the organization’s purpose. This type of skill can be exceptionally helpful in areas that promote sales or marketing, since it can provide useful information about consumer activity and preferences.
MIS Scholarships for the Information Systems Program Area
Students that are intrigued by the field of information systems and are seeking methods to help fund their education can do so through exploration of scholarship opportunities for incoming students. A large portion of students attempt to utilize federal student aid as a means for paying for their program, while others seek out free scholarships based on their achievements and successes in undergraduate programs.
Through a search of available scholarship opportunities, our team was able to locate an abundance of current scholarships for students to consider. Scholarships provided by large-scale organizations such as Hyundai and Pepsi-Cola are available to students considering this type of educational program, with pay ranges between $1,000-$20,000 each.
Scholarships can also be available to you based on your excellence in undergraduate education within the field of information systems. These opportunities are usually open to graduates of Bachelors in Information Systems students and are determined through an application and transcript review process.
These types of funds are typically reserved for students that have shown great effort within their previous educational experiences, making it important to go the extra mile to obtain the highest grades possibly while in a college program. Other scholarship opportunities can also be available to students that have previously been involved in community outreach or support programs within their local areas.
Qualifications for these scholarships may include an application process, a GPA between 3.5-4.0, and certain undergraduate degree restrictions. There are numerous websites available on the internet that can connect you with open scholarship resources to apply to in order to fund your higher education.
Scholarships can also be found through local agencies within your community, so be sure to explore those resources close to home in order to maximize your chances of qualifying for this free money towards your education. Alternative options for paying for your degree include employer-paid tuition reimbursement and work-study programs through your university.
Important Organizations and Associations
The Association for Information Systems (AIS) has a goal to promote the ideas and concepts of information systems in every community and to have it become one of the leading professions in the workforce. Their goals include advancing education and creating scholarships to build more intrigue into IS. The organization is divided up into three regions across 100 countries, the first region including North, Central, and South America. AIS offers numerous awards to those that demonstrate their contributions into the field of information systems.
Another group is the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), a nonprofit with an emphasis in cybersecurity and protecting our digital world. Collaborating with others and networking within the organization will provide a pathway to influencing people and legislation on the importance of minimizing digital risk. The ISSA offers a fellowship program that will showcase some of the best achievements in this field. In order to gain fellowship status, members must have been part of the association for eight years, have professional experience for 12 years, and must be nominated as a candidate from within.
The International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) includes any organizations and professionals within IT, Software, and Hardware Asset Management. This type of position controls the inventory of software and hardware within the company’s IT department and will be responsible for implementing new innovations or increasing efficiency with different assets, and determining which assets are the best fit for the organization. This association provides training and certification within the job position, offers networking opportunity, and highlights how valuable the position is for companies.
MIS Careers: Where You Can Work
The hard work and effort that you put into a Masters in Information Systems degree program can lead you into a multitude of fields throughout your professional career. Some graduates of this degree program may be interested in staying within their current field after graduation, while others might be more intrigued by spreading their knowledge and skills to diverse areas in society.
Information systems can be used by public organizations such as healthcare systems and the government, making it necessary to have a knowledgeable staff of IS professionals prepared to assist with data management systems, troubleshooting, and information security. At the government level, professionals can assist in developing some of the most secure networks currently available, as well as be responsible for handling secure data on a daily basis.
This degree program can also prepare learners for working in areas that develop helpful software for everyday use, video game software, or marketing programs for a wide variety of organizations. Each of these areas may require you to be adept in computer programming languages and skilled in software design.
Popular companies such as Google, Microsoft, Blizzard Entertainment, and Amazon rely on the expertise of information systems specialists during their daily delivery of services and supports. As a graduate in this field, you can apply to open positions through any organization in search of IS experts.
The Masters in Information Systems can also contain some leadership elements that can assist you with getting management positions within any of these fields after graduation. Leaders in information systems can be project managers or be responsible for leading a teach of information specialists during their daily duties.
Oversees the technical aspect of an organization, making sure that all the systems are running smoothly. Typical duties can consist of updating computer systems and software to improve performance, and this can require programming skills for customized software for the company. They also keep up to date on the latest technical innovations and determine when and what to implement into company processes, and they will work with other employees to create a smooth transition. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer systems analysts make around $88,740 on an annual basis.
Manages an organization’s database and analyzes processes and procedures to detect any abnormalities and assures that all client and company information remains secure and obtainable. Also establishes any new programs that are implemented into the database and works with other employees in the organization to smoothly transition them to any new processes. Education in querying data and related software is needed, and a Master’s degree or significant professional experience is needed for administrative roles. According to Glassdoor, the average wage for database specialists is around $63,202 annually.
Creates the architecture for data warehousing and any customized software needed for the organization, ultimately developing the storage and processing of big data. They are responsible for the foundational aspects, creating the way data moves around, how it is accessed, and how it can be recovered. Other duties include optimizing the process and implementing any updates when needed, especially when it comes to the security of data. The national average wage in the United States for data engineers is around $151,000 annually.