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Management information systems consistently prove critical to modern businesses, institutions, and government bodies. Digital systems that gather and store sensitive data support commerce, education, and government initiatives orienting our modern world. As a result, computer and information systems managers earn an impressive average annual salary of $139,220 nationwide, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
IT managers, along with network and database administrators, stand at the forefront of a consistently evolving professional landscape. For this reason, information systems managers continuously learn about new technologies and software systems on the market to stay current on industry changes. If you love technology, prioritize information security, and seek an intellectually stimulating career, a management information systems online degree might suit you.
Why Earn an Online MIS Degree?
Convenience proves the principal benefit of an online MIS program, as distance learners can take courses whenever and wherever; online students can access course materials, submit assignments, and sit for exams from their homes when it fits their schedule. This degree option particularly suits students juggling family and part- or full-time employment. Hand-in-hand with convenience is flexibility; as an online learner, you can take the courses you need at a speed you can sustain. You can orient your class schedule around your life and even accelerate your progress through synchronous or asynchronous coursework.
Another major perk to online learning is affordability; though online degrees typically cost the same as on-campus programs because of shared resources and instructors, students in `online programs save on housing and transportation expenses.
What Can I Do With an Online MIS Degree?
Online MIS degrees focus on various specializations in the field. Learners can study information security in preparation to work with sensitive data as cyber security administrators, specialize in software design to become information systems architects, or explore medical data systems to learn the intricacies of healthcare information management. A specialization does not limit your professional aspirations, but rather accentuates your natural skills.
Bachelor's graduates also qualify to pursue advanced education options if they aspire to earn an MBA or any other master's degree.
Skills and Knowledge Gained
Online MIS degree programs prepare students to work independently and manage employees to sustain and improve the information systems of a company or organization. Strong information management programs address topics like software design and management, network security , and IT finance.
Software represents a chief concern for information managers, who must understand which programs best fit their companies and how to maintain them. Students learn about popular systems on the market for financial, industrial, educational, and commercial companies and explore the inherent vulnerabilities of each system to better comprehend the nature of network security. A sensitivity to security proves vital to any modern operation and acts as a central component to coursework in information systems, including cybersecurity and troubleshooting tactics.
MIS students gain analytical skills as well. They learn how to interpret sensitive company metadata and financial reports. IT finance classes cover how to make prudent decisions regarding everything from the minutiae of daily support to large-scale, long-term projects. Accounting, budgeting, and financial projections all support information technology.
These fundamental subjects and courses benefit information managers across many fields. Read on to learn more about potential careers for MIS students.
Careers and Salary Potential
Information managers prove integral in many fields, and MIS graduates can choose from a variety of careers and specializations. For example, those with a particular technological focus might pursue careers in IT or computer systems architecture. Graduates who demonstrate interest in the communications side of information systems management might prefer database administration or systems analysis, which require periodic check-ins and interviews to determine quality.
These positions exist across several industries. Check out this list of the top industries hiring information systems managers, according to the BLS .
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services: In IT, information management translates into information security and optimal system functionality. Positions in this field rely on a strong understanding of hardware and software systems and a working knowledge of the latest issues in information security.
- Information: Data management in information acquisition companies prioritizes security and analysis. Use your interpretative skills to assess and improve data acquisition, interpretation, and projections for companies, institutions, and government agencies.
- Finance and Insurance: Another field deeply concerned with information security, the world of finance and insurance requires accuracy of sensitive data to operate and thrive. Rooted in statistical analysis and projections, this profession operates based on forecasts generated through information systems management.
- Management of Companies and Enterprises: At the managerial level, information systems produce important interpretive information about a company's growth, evolution, losses, and data breaches. Combine your analytical skills with strong leadership capabilities to lead a company or institution with strong production numbers.
- Manufacturing: Information systems in manufacturing orient and initiate product requests, sales, transportation, and delivery. Coordinate with outside buyers and clients, company production teams, and supply chain managers to organize and move manufactured products within a protected information network.
Computer and Information Systems Manager
Annual Median Salary : $139,220
Also called IT managers, these professionals deal with a broad range of computer needs for their companies or organizations. They analyze current systems and recommend upgrades or changes to improve efficiency, plan and direct IT professionals in analytical or development pursuits, and negotiate with software vendors to optimize company benefits.
Computer Systems Analyst
Annual Median Salary : $88,270
These professionals, also called systems architects, monitor and improve IT systems across their company or organization. This career requires strong interpersonal skills to coordinate improvements of systems for clients and employees. Analyze how systems work, design and implement improvements, and oversee installations and new configurations to ensure quality results.
Annual Median Salary : $87,020
Focus your attention on database construction, innovation, and protection as a database administrator. Merge old and new databases, back up and protect sensitive data, and maintain effective, secure, and user-friendly operating systems. Consistently test and reevaluate systems to ensure your company or organization uses the best database for its needs.
Information Security Analyst
Annual Median Salary : $95,510
Protect the sensitive data of your company and its clients by monitoring network systems and evaluating weaknesses. Avoid security breaches by installing encryption programs and firewalls and conducting penetration testing to gauge the strength of your company's security. In the event of a breach, IT security specialists intervene as quickly as possible by implementing new protective measures and program enhancements.
Network and Computer Systems Administrator
Annual Median Salary : $81,100
Work intimately with company employees as a network computer systems administrator. Monitor the day-to-day use of computer networks, troubleshoot issues, and reevaluate systems as necessary to continuously modernize and improve systems. As a liaison between computer systems and employees, network administrators need both good interpersonal skills and a wealth of technical knowledge.
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