Management Information Systems Degrees: Bachelor, Associate & Online Info

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What kind of job can you get with an associate or bachelor's degree in management information systems? Find out degree program requirements, online options and info on courses and management information systems training programs.
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Studying Management Information Systems: Degrees at a Glance

The management information systems (MIS) practice involves the application of computers to business activities, the integration of new technologies and the management of data security. Specialists in the industry analyze computer systems and make recommendations for improvement, build data warehouses to store complex information and provide hardware and software support. MIS personnel possess communication, analytical and technical skills.

Colleges and universities provide training in programming concepts, business tools and networking theories. The associate degree will prepare you for entry-level support or programming opportunities in a number of settings. The bachelor's degree provides the education required to pursue management positions, with the appropriate experience.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipated that most career paths in this field should go through average to faster than average job growth from 2010-2020. However, database administrators were expected to see much faster than average job growth. Reasons for the expected 31% surge in employment of database administration professionals include the increased need for specialists to manage database security concerns.

Associate Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? Individuals interested in entry-level technical support positions in multiple sectors People who want to pursue a career in information systems management
Common Career Paths (with approximate mean annual salary) - Computer support specialist ($52,000)*
- Computer programmer ($76,000)*
- Database administrator ($77,000)*
- Computer systems analyst ($82,000)*
- Computer information systems manager ($126,000 - people with more than five years' experience earned this salary)*
Time to Completion 2 years, full-time 4 years, full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Roughly 60 credits
- Capstone project
- Roughly 120 credits
- Internship
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Yes Yes

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

Associate in Management Information Systems

An associate degree in management information systems provides a foundation in business operations and supporting technology. You will learn a range of technical support concepts through core courses in computing, marketing and liberal arts. Programs place emphasis on scientific subject matter and schools usually award an associate of science degree. Some programs provide the educational framework required to pursue industry-standard certifications. Courses in mathematics and the sciences, prior to enrollment, will ensure you start with a solid foundation.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Positions in the industry offer competitive salaries, e.g., computer programmers earned a mean annual wage of $76,000*
  • Some computer support positions only require some college, so a completed degree will increase your marketability
  • The business and technology curriculum will make job opportunities in multiple industries available

Cons

  • Since some employers prefer higher education, competition against graduates of a bachelor's degree program may be keen
  • Seeking the appropriate certification will extend your training and create an additional expense over the lifetime of your career
  • Advancement to management opportunities may require that you continue your education

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2011 statistics.

Common Courses and Requirements

The associate degree provides general training in a number of technical concepts. Programs require roughly 60 credits in general education, business and technology core and elective courses. You will learn to apply technology as a solution to common business problems and establish systems that support business objectives. Some programs require a professional internship. Following are some common courses offered by these programs:

  • Computer programming
  • Spreadsheets
  • Operating systems
  • Personal finance
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Database management
  • Systems analysis

Online Degree Info

Locating an online MIS program may prove difficult. You may find it easier to locate online associate degrees in information technology or a related discipline. The information technology major offers a broad knowledge of computer systems and may offer an MIS concentration or group of electives. With an associate in information technology, you will qualify for entry-level support opportunities.

Stand Out with This Degree

Experience and programming expertise - combined with certification - may offer the best employment prospects. Employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree, although proven skills in common programming languages supported by certification, - such as Microsoft's Certified Desktop Support Technician or CompTIA's A+ credentials - will demonstrate your knowledge and can help you land a job. Taking additional electives in business topics may also improve your marketability. In addition, participating in field experiences, collaborative projects or professional internships will provide valuable experience.

Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems

The bachelor's degree offers a combination of advanced business, organizational management and information technology courses. Programs emphasize business process improvement, program design and the development of software systems. In addition, the degree offers an industry area of emphasis, which provides the knowledge required to enter a specific field, such as finance, and execute industry-specific systems design. You will learn to use application development tools, design and implement database systems and cultivate business software using modern programming techniques.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Management careers in information systems paid competitive salaries (computer information systems managers earned an annual mean wage of $126,000) with the appropriate experience*
  • Strong job growth for database administrators (31%) and computer systems analysts (22%) was projected for 2010-2020**
  • Curriculum flexibility will make job opportunities available across sectors and in various occupations

Cons

  • Some salaries are comparable to those earned by associate degree holders (computer programmers earned a mean annual salary of $76,000 vs. database administrators who earned $77,000)*
  • Employers may prefer management candidates who possess a Master of Business Administration and competition against master's degree holders may prove challenging
  • Learning the newest technologies will present the best job prospects, although continuing education coursework and certifications require a lifelong commitment

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2011 statistics, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Common Courses and Requirements

The bachelor's degree offers a broad education in liberal arts coupled with business technology concepts. Programs require roughly 120 credits in general education, subject matter and elective courses. You will take a number of upper-division electives outside the MIS major and a combination of guided and free electives. You will learn to support businesses through courses in production management, international business, financial accounting, business law, web programming, microeconomics and infrastructure. Some programs require a seminar and professional internship.

Online Degree Info

Several schools offer the MIS bachelor's degree through a distance-education program. Keep in mind that some programs require the completion of an associate degree with transferable credits prior to enrollment. Online programs offer coursework quite similar to campus-based classrooms and you may encounter programs that offer an accelerated learning structure.

Stand Out with This Degree

Experience and professional certification will make opportunities for advancement attainable. Most employers require substantial experience for chief technology officer opportunities. Despite this, you can gain the appropriate experience by taking lower-level opportunities, seeking jobs at smaller companies and taking jobs in the industry in which you intend to manage. In addition, taking courses that will prepare you for the appropriate certifications will boost your marketability. Professional internships will help you garner the initial experience required for some positions.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Colorado State University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - Management Information Systems and Business Analytics
      • BS - Information Technology
      • BS - Business Management
      • BS - Organizational Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems
      • Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Information Systems
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems
      • BA in Business Administration/Management
  • Campus and Online Programs
    4. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Music Business
  • Online Programs Available
    5. New England College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems
      • BA in Business Administration/Business Analytics
      • BA in Business Administration/Management
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Purdue University Global

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BSBA in Information Systems Management
      • BS in Analytics
      • BBA: Project Management
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Technology Management
      • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S.s - Management Information Systems
  • Notre Dame, IN

    University of Notre Dame

  • Athens, GA

    University of Georgia

Featured Schools

Colorado State University Global

  • BS - Management Information Systems and Business Analytics
  • BS - Information Technology
  • BS - Business Management

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Business Information Systems

What is your highest level of education?

Florida Tech

  • BA in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems
  • BA in Business Administration/Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Music Business

What is your highest level of education?

New England College

  • BA in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems
  • BA in Business Administration/Business Analytics
  • BA in Business Administration/Management

What is your highest level of education completed?

Purdue University Global

  • BSBA in Information Systems Management
  • BS in Analytics
  • BBA: Project Management

Which subject are you interested in?

Herzing University

  • Bachelor: Technology Management
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration

What is your highest level of education?

Keiser University

  • B.S.s - Management Information Systems

What is your highest level of education?