Enterprise Systems Management: Masters, PhD & Online Degree Info

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What will you learn in an enterprise systems management degree program? Read about program requirements, the pros and cons of a master's and doctoral degree and potential careers.
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Study Enterprise Systems Management: Degrees at a Glance

An enterprise is a group of people, technology or policies that work together for a common goal. The process of overseeing the operation of those enterprises is referred to as 'enterprise systems management'. The field of enterprise systems management has applications in many different industries, including information technology, engineering and general business. A degree in the field can lead to a management position in information technology, engineering or operations.

Master's Doctoral
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in management positions in a business or other organization Individuals interested in conducting research to design enterprise systems
Common Career Path (with approximate mean salary) - Computer and information systems manager ($126,000 - for professionals with more than five years of experience)*
- Architectural and engineering manager ($130,000 - for professionals with more than five years of experience)*
- General and operations business manager ($114,000 - for professionals with related experience)*
- Same as those for master's degree program graduates
- Computer and information research scientists ($103,000)*
Time to Completion 1-2 years, full-time 4-5 years after the bachelor's degree
Common Graduation Requirements 30-40 credit hours
- Capstone course
- Final project
90-100 credit hours
- Qualifying exams
- Dissertation
- Submission of article to academic journal
Prerequisites - Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, perhaps with a minimum GPA
- Letters of recommendation
- Some schools may recommend that applicants have at least one year of work experience
- Master's degree from an accredited institution
Online Availability Yes Rare

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 report)

Master's Degree Programs in Enterprise Systems

You can find several types of programs that cover enterprise systems management topics, such as the Master of Science (M.S.) in Enterprise Risk Management, M.S. in Enterprise Project Management or M.S. in Engineering with a concentration in enterprise systems innovation and management. The curriculum for these programs will vary based on the focus area; however, you can expect to complete at least 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. Typically, you will need a bachelor's degree or a solid background in a related area, such as engineering or microeconomics, to apply to these programs.

Pros and Cons


  • A variety of programs are available, allowing you to select the field of study best suited to your career goals
  • You can find online program that allow you to attend classes while working or on your own schedule
  • Degree leads to a career in a growing field; 22% projected employment growth for all computer occupations between 2010 and 2020*


  • Lack of programs specifically focusing on general enterprise systems management requires that you identify your career goals prior to selecting a program
  • Careers in architectural and engineering management are expected to see only moderate growth (9%) between 2010 and 2020*
  • A master's degree is not needed to work as a computer and information systems manager, meaning that you could be competing for jobs with bachelor's degree holders who have more experience

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

Your curriculum will primarily depend on the area of focus of the program. For example, in an enterprise risk management program, students take courses in topics like risk research tools, business policy formation, operations management and risk assessment controls. An enterprise project management program includes classes in organizational behavior and design, process innovation, strategic management and project analysis. Students in an enterprise business management program may take classes in business law, electronic commerce and human resources management. Despite their differences, these programs often require students to complete a final project, capstone course or thesis prior to graduation.

Online Degree Options

Master's degree programs related to enterprise systems management are available online. You may be able to complete 100% of the program online or take some of your classes online while doing the rest of your studies on campus. Generally, the curriculum and other requirements of these programs are the same as their on-campus counterparts. Also similar to campus-based programs is the variety of programs available. For example, you can find online programs that emphasize the engineering or business aspects of enterprise systems.

Stand Out with This Degree

To stand out with your degree, consider completing courses about the designing of enterprise systems. Many times, entrepreneurs seek enterprise managers to help them design their new business's operations. Therefore, this skill could be helpful when seeking a job.

Also consider completing courses in the use of computers for analyzing and modifying enterprise systems. According to the BLS, established, large companies often hire managers with graduate degrees to oversee their operations. Skills in analyzing current enterprise systems and identifying ways they could better function may be attractive to these types of employers. You can also demonstrate these skills through professional certification, such as the Certified Enterprise System Design Associates credential from Esri.

Doctoral Degree Programs in Enterprise Systems

Doctoral degree programs that focus on enterprise systems management are rare. However, you can complete studies on enterprise systems through programs like the Doctor of Philosophy in Enterprise Systems or Doctor of Computer Science with a concentration in enterprise information systems. These programs emphasize research, and often allow students to focus on a specific area, such as enterprise architecting and managing for systems engineering. Studying enterprise systems at this level will prepare you to apply research in laboratories or other facilities.

Pros and Cons


  • Students are usually able to select their dissertation topic, allowing them to conduct research and write a paper on an area of their interest
  • The research orientation of these programs prepares graduates to conduct research in the field, knowledge of which bachelor's and master's degree program graduates may lack
  • You should have a variety of job prospects if you pursue a computer and information research science career


  • Programs specifically in enterprise systems management are rare at this level
  • A doctoral degree is not required to work in the fields commonly associated with enterprise systems management, meaning that graduates may be competing with bachelor's or master's degree holders for jobs
  • Due to the limited number of online programs, you may be unable to work while completing your doctoral studies

Courses and Requirements

These programs require approximately 90-100 credit hours of study. Classes focus on the analysis and design of enterprise systems, support for operating systems, system strategy and engineering requirements; however, these topics may vary based on the program. In addition to coursework, students must usually conduct research in areas related to enterprise systems and enterprise information systems. You will also be required to meet other graduation requirements, such as qualifying exams, submission of a paper for an academic journal or a dissertation.

Online Degree Options

Similar to campus-based programs, online doctoral programs in this field are very rare. In the available online programs, you may find a similar curriculum and program requirements common for on-campus programs. For programs that require you to complete your studies on campus, you may still be able to work in an off-campus facility, such as a library, to complete the research or writing components of your program.

Stand Out with This Degree

The BLS notes that for computer and information research scientists it can be helpful to have training in a specialized area. To stand out with your degree, consider completing a project in the devising and development of an enterprise system. Being able to research the different types of ways in which an enterprise can be established and how to implement that enterprise may be a skill that impresses employers.

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