Management information systems (MIS) is an umbrella term for computerized information process systems used to manage business operations. Students with an MIS major study how companies and individuals can use systems and the generated data in decision-making processes. This major differs from information technology and computer science because there is more of a focus on people and service through technology.
What Is a Management Information Systems Degree?
Students who complete a program with a major in management information systems earn a management information systems degree. Most business schools and colleges offer an MIS major at the associate's bachelor's, master's, and doctorate levels.
- Associate Degree in Management Information Systems: An associate's degree with a specialization in management information systems is not a common degree, but you can find some schools that award an MIS degree at the associate's level. This is an entry-level degree program that typically takes two years to complete.
- Bachelor Degree in Management Information Systems: A bachelor's degree in management information systems is the common starting point for students who want to major in this field. Some students also choose to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree with a major in MIS. Both programs take three to four years to complete.
- Master Degree in Management Information Systems: A specialized master's degree in management information systems is a popular option for individuals in this field. Many schools also offer an MBA program with a concentration in MIS. Program length can vary but typically ranges from 11 months to two years. An 11-month program is considered an accelerated program and may not be available at some schools.
- Ph.D. in Management Information Systems: A Ph.D. is the highest degree that can be earned in the management information systems field. Alternately, students can earn a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in MIS. Programs usually take at least four years to complete if not more. This degree should be reserved for students who want to work in research or go on to teach at postsecondary schools (i.e. colleges and universities).
Other degree options include 3/2 programs, which result in a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in management information systems after five years of study, and dual degrees that result in an MBA/MS in MIS. Some schools also offer undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate MIS certificate programs.
Do I Need a Management Information Systems Degree?
You do need a degree to work in most jobs in the management information systems field. MIS professionals are the bridge between business and people and technology. Specialized training in all three of these components is essential.
A bachelor's degree is one of the most common degrees among MIS professionals. However, many individuals choose to pursue additional education at the master's level to qualify for more advanced positions. A master's degree can be especially helpful for people who want to work in consulting or supervisory positions. Individuals who want to work in research or teach at the university level should pursue a Ph.D. in management information systems.
What Can I Do With a Management Information Systems Degree?
Business majors with a degree in management information systems have knowledge of business technology, management techniques, and organizational development. They are prepared for a wide range of careers. The type of job that you can get is very dependent on the level of your degree, the school you have graduated from, and previous work experience in technology and management fields. The more experience you have, the easier it is to get an advanced job (such as a supervisory position). The following is just a sample of some of the jobs in the management information systems field.
- Business Analyst: A business analysts uses analysis to help improve an organization's efficiency and effectiveness.
- Computer Systems Analyst: A computer systems analyst uses analysis to design, develop, or improve computer systems and solutions for organizations.
- Database Administrator: As the name suggests, a database administrator creates, administers, and maintains databases, such as information or financial databases, for organizations.
- Information Security Analyst: An information security analyst analyzes, monitors, and protects an organization's computer networks and systems from cyber attacks.
- Web Developer: A web developer designs, creates, improves, and maintains websites and web application for individuals and organizations.