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Degree Overview: Master’s Degree Program in Information Systems Management

Majors Overview May 12, 2015

Get information about master’s degree programs in systems management and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education and certification choices.

Overview of Information Systems Management Programs

Individuals interested in pursuing a career wherein they can facilitate more effective utilization of technology by businesses would benefit by enrolling in a master’s degree program in information systems management.

Students enrolled in these programs are usually required to have related experience and hold a bachelor’s degree. Enrolled students learn about examining current systems, making necessary updates, and configuring network connections. They also learn how to monitor database activity and create information security policies.

Schools commonly offer these programs in management information systems or information systems in order to make students adept at improving business operations by choosing the most efficient technology to implement across the company. Graduates become adept at identifying technology-related business problems and in recommending potential solutions.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold bachelor’s degrees. Applicants with undergraduate degrees in related fields, such as information systems, information technology, or computer sciences, are preferred by some schools. Other schools may accept applicants with unrelated undergraduate degrees provided the incoming students have prior job experience or technical training. Completion of prerequisite courses, such as statistics and calculus, is required for admission to many programs.

Coursework

Coursework in most master’s degree programs in information system management includes topic areas such as technology, communications, and business. These programs are devised to teach students how to analyze the short-term and long-term technology needs of organizations. Through training, they can also learn to organize ongoing technology projects, maintain information systems, and help users with troubleshooting problems. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Governance and compliance
•Information systems management
•Corporate systems infrastructure
•Business database technology
•Information security
•Project management
•Information systems policy
•Data communication and networking
•Business systems analysis
•Data management

Career Choices

With a master’s degree in information systems management, graduates can seek upper-level positions with consulting companies, computer program manufacturers, or business technology departments. They may choose from popular career options such as:

•Information technology project manager
•Information technology director
•Chief technology officer

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2014, information technology directors brought in an annual wage ranging between $56,219 and $171,654. During that year, chief technology officers earned between $83,231 and $240,621 on average, while most information technology project managers banked between $52,722 and $129,470 per annum on average.

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of 15% has been predicted for computer and information systems managers, including information technology directors and chief technology officers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

A master’s degree in the field may suffice for information systems professionals to seek employment. However, those who wish to pursue a career in research or academia may have to earn a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems. Coursework in these programs typically include independent research specialized courses and may commonly require students to complete a dissertation.

Gaining the certified information systems management professionals credential can help graduates demonstrate their skills and knowledge in the field to potential employers.

Certification related to hardware components, information security management, or specific software programs may also be considered. Manufacturers and trade organizations often provide certification; applicants may be required to become members of some organizations before they are allowed to take certification exams. Post certification, continuing education coursework may be required to be taken by certified professionals to enable them to stay abreast of changes in the industry.

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