3 Ways an MS in Management Information Systems Degree Can Make You an Asset to Any Company

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Stronger security is essential in today’s marketplace.
The business world is constantly evolving and presenting many exciting opportunities for companies as they move toward doing more transactions and interactions in the cloud. Even with cloud computing being a great opportunity, it also poses a greater risk, in terms of security, for businesses. Earning a Master of Science in Management Information Systems can give students a chance to learn more about how companies can move forward and keep up with these technological advances while making their customers’ lives easier.

Deepening one’s knowledge of the relationship between technology and business is only one of the benefits of earning an MIS degree. Individuals can bring their expertise into a number of different roles. For example, as a Chief Information Officer, graduates with an MIS major could be responsible for making sure that their companies are within compliance of technology standards. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that this role, which falls under the title of Top Executive, will grow by 6 percent from 2014 through 2024, offering opportunities for more candidates to enter into the marketplace.

In addition, students with an MS MIS degree can continue working toward roles such as Computer and Information Research Scientists. These individuals are responsible for developing computer algorithms to fix technological problems. This role will become increasingly important as computer and information research scientists must incorporate new and expanding technologies like cloud computing. The need for computer and information research scientists is expected to grow, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 11 percent from 2014 through 2024. Due to the advanced level of knowledge necessary, these computer scientists make, on average, $110,000 annually.

Students that are fascinated by the growing challenges in security and technology may enjoy a career in information security management. Individuals in this field can work for a range of companies, from financial institutions to healthcare companies. They are ultimately responsible for overseeing frameworks that help keep a business’s information protected. Like many other technology careers, this area will see a large increase in the number of jobs, growing at a rate of 15 percent from2014 to 2024, according to the BLS.

Here are three additional ways an MS MIS degree can make you an asset to any company:

1. You can have a greater understanding of the “big picture”

Businesses in the past used to be siloed – marketers did not need to know about sales and IT did not need to address larger business concerns, so insights stayed locked within one department. However, much has changed, with businesses striving to increase interdepartmental communication to create a more cohesive business strategy. This cross-departmental approach requires individuals who are interested in learning about all aspects of the business. Studying management information systems can give students the opportunity to manage IT teams and see how they can shape a business’s outlook with technology.

In addition, technology has taken on a more prominent role in the workplace. Security has risen to the forefront of top concerns for businesses. Companies are transitioning to software as a service and the cloud is offering a challenge for software and mobile developers. The market for apps is exploding, according to Sensor Tower, and will likely grow to 5 million apps in the app store. With businesses looking to engage with customers via gamification, they need developers that understand not only how to create apps, but how they contribute to a greater business strategy. How can an MIS major help? An MIS degree offers graduates a chance to hone those abilities by offering both Web Development and Web Analytics classes. They can apply what they have learned in those classes – and in the workplace – in their final two semesters at the University of Alabama at Birmingham when they can complete a situational analysis and problem solve for a business. UAB’s MS MIS degree can prepare graduates to think about businesses as complex entities and offers solutions to develop and maintain long term relationships with customers. Graduates can understand how technology can contribute to this strategy, which means they could make greater contributions in their current career while also developing the skills to focus on a new career path.

2. You can improve security

As we conduct more and more of our business online, all of our information could be at risk as we type in our passwords, our credit cards and our personal information, without a strong security system. With a Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree, graduates can learn to manage and assist companies in protecting themselves. With Yahoo getting hacked twice in 2016, business leaders know that no company, large or small, is safe. Thor Olavsrud, writing for CIO magazine, predicted computer breaches will increase in frequency and expose a wider amount of personal information to hackers in the coming year. One of the most exposed industries has been retail – and with mobile shopping expected to grow 15 percent over the next year, according to Internet Retailer magazine, companies will have to crack down to make sure their customers’ data stays safe.

A Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree can also give graduates an opportunity to study the best way to manage security teams. Individuals may choose a concentration that lets them dive deeper into information security, through classes in business continuity and incident response. In addition, individuals can study for all 10 CISSP domains in anticipation of taking the security exam. Armed with this certification, graduates may be able to earn a higher MIS salary in the IT field and feel prepared for any potential breaches that may take place.

Earning an MS MIS degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham also carries approval from The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency. Both identified UAB as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research. One of the goals of the program is to educate professionals in cyber defense to better protect informational infrastructure.

3. You can be a better team leader

MS MIS degree graduates can examine how to maximize efficiency between people and the technology they use every day. When stepping into C-suite roles like Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer, they must find a balance between hiring the right people and investing in the proper technology to reach goals that can help move the business forward. As part of their degree with UAB, individuals can receive more in-depth training about how a strong IT department can assist upper management in their goals.

Students can specifically choose to earn a concentration in IT management. As part of this program, individuals learn the elements of strong leadership and how they can be most effective in organizational settings. Individuals can apply those lessons in a number of different career fields, like Information Systems Managers. In this role, individuals must organize and coordinate computer-related initiatives within their company. This career can offer MS MIS degree graduates a challenge as well as a competitive salary: According to Payscale, the average pay is $82,000.

An IT Director position could also offer graduates the opportunity to put their management skills to the test. In this role, individuals must manage a team to handle internal security concerns. For larger companies, IT Directors may also be responsible for speaking with outside vendors – a role that requires strong, clear communication skills. Individuals in this role could make more than $111,000, according to Payscale.

UAB’s Online MS MIS Degree

Earning a Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree can help move an IT career forward. With a program like this at UAB, individuals can build the curriculum around their needs and budget. Students earn their MIS degree 100 percent online – and can complete it in less than two years. The program is flexible enough to attend classes while also working full time.

Students can earn their degree from an AACSB-accredited institution, which ensures rigorous academic standards. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is also ranked one of the top 25 “Best Online Graduate Business Programs” and the MS MIS degree is ranked #19 among the “Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs” in 2017, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Students with an already existing bachelor’s degree that do not have a background in IT can begin working on their MS MIS degree by taking bridge classes. These courses can familiarize students with the necessary IT knowledge to give them a strong foundation in subject matter expertise. Graduates can feel confident that they are prepared to handle the challenges that are coming in the world of technology and business with an online degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.