Area of interest: IT management vs. cyber security management

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People who want to pursue a career in information technology often turn to programs that teach them about the role of technology in business. A bachelor’s degree in information systems is a good start in moving toward this goal, but to qualify for top roles it can be valuable to earn a master’s in information technology.

Students working toward their MS in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama at Birmingham will have to choose whether they want to concentrate on cyber security management or information technology management.

Both concentrations give aspiring IT professionals ample knowledge and in-demand skills relating to key business functions. In many ways, they are very similar; of the 10 courses every MS MIS student in the Collat School of Business will take, seven are key for both concentrations. However, the remaining three courses dive into targeted areas of cyber security or IT management.

Pointing at a computer screen of code

Details of the cyber security management concentration

Students who follow the cyber security management path can learn how to lead security teams tasked with keeping sensitive information protected against malicious cyber attacks.

Professionals with this expertise are highly important in today’s business environment. Data hacks have become common, and consumers want to know their personal information is safe. Sensitive business information must also be secured against criminal activity.

Three courses specific to the cyber security management concentration include:

IS 613: Information Security Management

In this course, students will explore relevant security management issues that affect today’s enterprises. They’ll discuss the concepts of developing technology policies and information resource management.

IS 620: Cyber Attacks & Threat Mitigation

One way of anticipating potential problems is stepping into the shoes of your adversary. In this course, students will look at networks and seek vulnerabilities through the lens of a hacker. They’ll learn about innovative cyber attacks, as well as how to detect and remedy weaknesses in networks. Further, they’ll dive into related legal issues and learn how to design, build, and maintain network systems.

IS 644: Digital Forensics

A cyber attack is harmful in itself, but it also sets off a series of processes aimed at catching the criminal, recovering from the breach, and responding to consumer concerns. In this course, students will learn about digital forensics investigation, as well as how organizations identify and track criminals.

Details of the information technology management concentration

Earning a master’s degree with a concentration in IT management gives aspiring professionals the tools they need to manage teams and utilize technologies to benefit a business.

Three courses specific to the IT management concentration include:

IS 616: Web Analytics

A business’s website is an important point of contact with customers. Collecting and analyzing data that explains who is accessing the website, when, from where, on which type of device, in which language, and more can all help inform a business about how it is perceived and who finds its services valuable. This information can help a company make strategic decisions to benefit the customer. This course will teach students the basics of collecting and managing web data for the advantage of the company.

IS 640: Technology Planning & Capital Budgeting

To keep up with technology trends and updates, companies will need to invest in new technologies and systems. Smart enterprises do this strategically, with specific goals and outcomes in mind. Students in this course can learn how to:

● Measure return on investment for IT products and strategies
● Define and quantify anticipated benefits from a new system
● Manage an overall IT investment portfolio
● Create a budget for current and future IT-related expenditures

IS 641: Leadership in IT

To be an effective manager, professionals must develop the skills and knowledge to be an engaging leader. This course lays the foundation for aspiring IT professionals to develop leadership skills that can be applied in organizational settings.

UAB’s MS MIS program can lead to rewarding opportunities

Students working toward their master’s in information technology can gain a plethora of valuable skills and information that may contribute to a successful career in IT. Choosing a concentration that focuses on IT or cyber security management provides a deeper look into a particular aspect of IT careers and helps develop specific skills related to students’ future professional goals.

To learn more about the nuances of the IT or cyber security management concentrations, reach out to an enrollment advisor today.

Recommended Readings:
5 Key characteristics of an effective MIS leader
Information security management: What you can learn at UAB

UAB MS MIS Course Descriptions