Management Information Systems Careers: Job Description & Salary Info

About this article
Learn about careers in management information systems. Get job description, salary and education requirement information. Get straight talk about the pros and cons of a management information systems career.
View available schools

Pros and Cons of a Career in Management Information Systems

Management information systems revolves around the use of technology to improve the efficiency of companies and organizations. Professionals in this field use computer networks, systems and databases to organize, store and analyze data relevant to business practices. There are many ways to enter to the field of management information systems, with some options including careers as a computer and information systems (CIS) manager, network and computer systems administrator and database administrator. You can learn more, at a glance, here:

Computer & Information Systems Manager Network & Computer Systems Administrator Database Administrator
Career Overview Computer and information systems managers oversee the information technology activities and goals of an organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a company's computer networks and systems. Database administrators store, organize and supply secure data for organizations.
Education Requirement Bachelor's degree required for entry, but master's degrees are common Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree required; master's degree preferred by larger companies
Program Length 4-6 years Four years 4-6 years
Certification None Voluntary certification offered through software vendors, like Microsoft and Cisco Certification available through software vendors
Experience Requirement More than five years None; entry-level 1-5 years
Job Outlook for 2012-202250,900 additional jobs expected (15% increase)*42,900 additional jobs expected (12% increase)*17,900 additional jobs expected (15% increase)*
Mean Salary (2014)$136,280*$79,770*$82,280*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Computer & Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers, also known as information technology (IT) managers, perform computer-related activities for an organization. Duties include analyzing computer needs, ensuring network security, determining personnel needs, negotiating with vendors for new technology and assessing costs. Types of computer and information systems managers include Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), IT directors and IT security managers. Such professionals held approximately 307,900 jobs in 2010, according to the BLS. Most worked in the computer systems design and related services industry, but opportunities are also available in finance, manufacturing and government. The BLS estimated that roughly one-quarter of CIS managers worked more than 50 hours per week.

Requirements

While many computer and information systems managers possess graduate degrees, a bachelor's degree in computer or information science is the entry-level requirement. Courses in software development, mathematics and computer programming are vital. Work experience also plays an important role in employment and advancement for this career field. While employment as a lower-level manager can be gained with only a few years of relevant work experience, most managers need at least five to ten years of experience before they can advance to this role; however, the required amount of work experience varies by employer and organization. Professionals can advance to higher positions within an IT department. For instance, an IT director can become a CTO, while a CTO can advance to the role of CIO, and so on.

In December 2012, some employers of computer and information systems managers were looking for the following:

  • An internet services company in New Jersey wants to hire a computer information systems manager with either a bachelor's degree and five years of work experience or a master's degree and six months of experience. Acceptable fields of study include business administration, engineering, science and computer science. Duties include coordinating electronics data processing, directing hardware and software planning, implementing applications, planning systems analysis and working with Unix.
  • A financial information services agency wants to hire a computer systems manager to act as a lead systems analyst at a New York office. Duties include ensuring that all software meets architecture quality requirements, reviewing technical designs, testing units and maintaining basic documentation. Candidates must have a minimum of six years of experience and a master's degree in computer science. Three years of experience with computer systems development, systems programming or data telecommunications is essential.
  • An Internet services firm in California wants to hire a computer systems validation manager with ten years of hands-on experience in quality and compliance. Candidates must have experience working with FDA-regulated environments, reviewing system test scripts, writing necessary documentation and working with software development lifecycle (SDLC) and change control. Duties include assessing computer processes at client sites, developing validation strategy documents, guiding validation activities, approving work products and overseeing testing activities.

Standing Out

While job prospects in this field are favorable, many employers claim that it is exceedingly difficult to find applicants who have the education and experience requirements necessary for this position. Therefore, to stand out as a computer and information systems manager, you may wish to pursue an advanced degree. In addition, by staying abreast of technological trends, you could gain a competitive edge over other applicants. The healthcare industry is also experiencing significant growth, so by specializing in this field you may find improved job prospects.

Network & Computer Systems Administrator

Network and computer systems administrators manage the computer networks and servers of an organization. Duties include determining network needs, installing both hardware and software, maintaining computer system security, collecting data, training users and troubleshooting problems. Some professionals design network models and provide tech support. According to the BLS, these professionals held about 347,000 jobs in 2010, and 90% of all network and computer systems administrators worked full-time, though many work overtime and unusual hours. The majority were employed by the computer systems design and related services industry.

Requirements

Network and computer systems administrators must have bachelor's degrees in computer or information science or in a related field, like computer or electrical engineering. Alternatively, lower-level positions sometimes require only an associate's degree or certificate in a major related to computers coupled with relevant experience. Continuing education courses for this constantly evolving field are also necessary. Some employers even require that you advance your education by earning a master's degree.

In December 2012, some employers of network and computer systems administrators were looking for the following:

  • A distributor of consumer electronics in Oklahoma wants to hire a network administrator to provide IT support and education to employees and enable effective IT operations. Responsibilities include acting as a contact point for the IT Department, troubleshooting software, monitoring system performances, applying software updates and assisting with technology planning. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in management information systems or computer science with roughly one to three years of relevant work experience. In addition, proficiency in various programming languages is essential.
  • A software development company in Virginia wants to hire a senior network systems administrator with current top secret clearance and at least eight years of experience with virtual private network management and network or systems administration. A bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics or electrical engineering is required, as is experience with Linux, VMware-based virtualization servers and Microsoft software. Experience working in a government environment is essential. Duties include managing the infrastructure, Microsoft Active Directory, Linux server and network security.
  • A manufacturing company in Iowa wants to hire a network administrator with a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as computer science or engineering. Candidates should also have two to three years of experience working with server, laptop or desktop hardware. In addition, strong communication skills and knowledge of Microsoft Active Directory and enterprise resource planning (ERP) packages is essential. Duties include working with an infrastructure team to maintain Windows servers, troubleshoot problems and implement new systems.

Standing Out

The increase in importance of IT security for hospitals is expected to pave the way for improved job prospects. By gaining experience in the healthcare industry, you could be at an advantage. Additionally, certification in software products commonly used in this profession is preferred by some employers. Software vendors, like Microsoft and Cisco, award certification to IT professionals who pass exams on their products.

Database Administrator

Database administrators utilize software to secure, store and organize various types of data, such as financial information or customer records. These professionals create, modify, test, merge, backup and restore databases to ensure the efficiency of data administration. In addition, you may oversee the work of data analysts and ensure the integrity of the database. In this profession, you can choose to specialize in either systems or applications, although many choose to be general purpose database administrators. Many work full-time, though about one-quarter worked overtime in 2010, and the majority were employed by the computer systems design and related services industry, according to the BLS.

Requirements

A bachelor's degree in an information- or computer-related field is essential for a career as a database administrator, although many employers who have large databases prefer to hire candidates with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Knowledge of database languages, such as SQL, is required. Work experience is often required before advancing to this position. Many perform roles as database developers and data analysts before becoming database administrators.

In December 2012, some employers of database administrators were looking for the following:

  • A government contractor in Virginia wants to hire a database administrator with public trust clearance and a bachelor's degree in computer science. Candidates must have at least 13 years of work experience with databases and at least five years working with Oracle. Experience with database creation, PeopleSoft Data Mover and troubleshooting is required. Duties include providing database administrative support, implementing database object maintenance, resolving database performance and capacity issues, applying upgrades and providing guidance to users.
  • In Baltimore, a computer services company wants to hire a database administrator with a bachelor's degree and 11 years of IT experience. Responsibilities include providing mainframe performance review and working with the application development team. Candidates must have experience with Omegamon for DB2 and appropriate database certifications.
  • A software development company in San Francisco wants to hire a database administrator to collaborate with development teams and system administrators to troubleshoot Oracle clusters and databases. Additional duties include building new databases, maintaining recovery plans, writing shell scripts and staging data replication from production to development. Candidates must have a bachelor's degree in management information systems or computer science as well as three to five years of experience with Oracle database administration.

Standing Out

You can stand out in this field by gaining experience with new technology and database security. In addition, as the healthcare industry increases the use of electronic medical records, these workers will be needed to organize and sustain the required databases used to store patient information; therefore, having experience in the healthcare or medical fields would be beneficial. Like other IT professionals, these workers can also demonstrate proficiency in industry-specific computer software by obtaining certification from product vendors and software firms. As December 2012 job listings reveal, these positions often require working with Oracle products, so certification from this vendor may be beneficial.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
      • Doctor of Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • DBA: Healthcare Management
      • DBA: Marketing
      • DBA: Project Management
      • DBA: Human Resources
    Master's
      • MA: Communication
      • MS: Criminal Justice
      • MA: Professional Counseling
      • Master of Arts in Public Policy - Public Administration
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology
      • MA: Applied Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology
    Bachelor's
      • BS: Psychology
      • BS: Psychology - Christian Counseling
      • BS: Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: Early Childhood Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: Elementary Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
      • BS: Information Systems
  • Campus and Online Programs
    2. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
      • MS - Game Design (Campus)
      • M.S. - Entertainment Business
      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
      • BS - Media Communications (Campus)
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Walden University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - Online Teaching in Higher Education
      • PhD in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Evaluation
      • PhD in Education - Learning, Instruction & Innovation
      • PhD in Psychology - Teaching
    Master's
      • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
      • MS in Education - Self-Designed
      • MS in Education - Elementary Reading & Literacy (Grades PreK-6)
      • MS in Education - Elementary Reading & Mathematics (Grades K-6)
      • MS in Education - Mathematics & Science (Grades K-8)
      • MS in Education - Mathematics (Grades 5-8)
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
      • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
      • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
      • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Higher Education Leadership
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
      • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
    Master's
      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Elementary Education
      • M.Ed. in Early Childhood
      • M.Ed. in Educational Administration
      • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
      • BS in Early Childhood
      • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)
      • B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
      • B.S. in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Teaching and Learning
      • Master of Project Management
      • Master of Finance
      • Master of Professional Accounting
      • Master - Information Technology Management
      • Master - Human Resource Management
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Human Services
      • BS - Accounting
      • BS - Project Management
      • BS - Marketing
      • BS - Healthcare Admin and Management
      • BS - Business Management
    Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management
      • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management
      • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
      • Graduate Certificate - Cyber Security
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
      • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
      • MBA: Health Care Management
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
      • Bachelor of Business Admin
      • BSBA - Investment
      • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
      • Bachelor: Nutrition Science
      • Accelerated MS in Finance Option
    Associate's
      • AASBA in Business
      • AAS in Legal Support and Services
      • AASBA in Food/Hotel Management
      • Associate: Business Admin. - Office Mgmt
      • Associate: Criminal Justice
      • Associate: Accounting
    Certificate
      • Medical Assisting Certificate
      • Medical Office Administration Certificate
      • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
      • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
      • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
      • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Advanced Accounting
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Health Care Administration
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Leadership
      • Business Administration, MBA - Emphasis in Project Management
      • Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. - Emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    Bachelor's
      • Communication Studies, B.A.
      • Criminal Justice, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S.
      • B.S. Applied Psychology: Biblical Studies
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
      • Psychology, A.S.
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
      • Business Administration, A.S.
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.
      • Human Resource Management, A.S.
  • Campus and Online Programs
    8. The Chicago School

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
      • Ph.D. Business Psychology, Consulting Track
      • Ph.D. Business Psychology, I/O Track
      • Ph.D. International Psychology
      • Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis, Credential Track
    Master's
      • M.A. Psychology
      • Dual Enrollment: Master of Health Service Administration and Master of Public Health
      • M.A. Behavioral Economics
      • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
      • M.A. Forensic Psychology
      • M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: ARP Track
    Certificate
      • Certificate in Forensic Psychology - M.A. Non-Licensure Track to Licensure Bridge Program
      • Child and Adolescent Psychology Certificate
      • Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Instructional Design Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA
      • MBA Dual Concentration: HR & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA Dual Concentration: BS Mgmt. & HR
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Business Mgmt & Project Mgmt.
      • MBA: Technology Management
      • MBA Dual Concentration: Accounting and Project Management
    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
      • B.S. - Business Management: Entrepreneurial Studies Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • Bachelor: Health Care Management
      • Bachelor: Accounting
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
    Associate's
      • Associate of Science - Business Management
      • Associate of Science - Business Studies
      • Associate: Health Information Management
      • Associate: Healthcare Management
      • Associate of Science - Information Technology Admin and Management
      • Associate of Science - Accounting
    Certificate
      • Diploma: Medical Office Admin
      • Diploma: Medical Assisting
      • Diploma: Bookkeeping and Payroll Accounting
      • Networking Systems Certificate
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Regent University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Biblical Counseling
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Grief Counseling
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Human Services Counseling
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - Human Services/Student Affairs
      • Ph.D. in Counseling & Psychological Studies - International
    Master's
      • Master of Divinity - Interdisciplinary Studies
      • Master of Divinity - Old Testament
      • Master of Divinity - Christian Theology
      • Master of Divinity - Church and Ministry
      • Master of Divinity - Biblical Languages
      • Master of Divinity - Church History
    Bachelor's
      • B.A. in Communication
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Journalism
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Organizational Communication
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
      • B.A. in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
      • B.A. in English - Communication

Featured Schools

Liberty University

  • Doctor Of Education - Leadership
  • MA: Communication
  • BS: Psychology

What is your highest level of education?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development

What is your highest level of education?

Walden University

  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
  • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
  • MS in Education - Self-Designed

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
  • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Teaching and Learning
  • BS - Human Services
  • Graduate Certificate - Human Resource Management

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Colorado Christian University

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice in Visionary Leadership
  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Communication Studies, B.A.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

The Chicago School

  • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
  • M.A. Psychology
  • Certificate in Forensic Psychology - M.A. Non-Licensure Track to Licensure Bridge Program

What is your highest level of education completed?