Career path: How to become an information systems manager

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For people with a knack for technology or those who are fascinated by the power of a good computer, a career in information systems can be alluring. The right education can prepare students to pursue information systems management jobs that can lead to a lucrative and satisfying career.

Students aspiring to become a computer and information systems manager, sometimes called information technology managers or IT project managers, may find the Master of Science in Management Information Systems online program from the University of Alabama at Birmingham to be valuable. This program can help students gain the knowledge and abilities required to succeed in this type of role.

A female IS Manager sitting at her desk working.

Benefits of computer and information systems management

Experts in computer and information systems management are highly important to nearly every type of business, making this a sound career path. The job market in this field has the potential to remain strong for years to come, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The ability to manage technology and information is critical to many industries. Especially in today’s increasingly connected and digital world, it’s crucial that companies be able to manage their technologies and to protect their own and their customers’ data.

According to the BLS, the 10-year job outlook for computer and information systems managers has a 12 percent growth rate for 2016-2026. This is much faster than the average growth rate for all occupations, which is 7 percent.

The median salary of $135,800 for computer and information systems managers in 2016 is also above the national average for all occupations of $37,040. Analyzing data from 1,228 information systems managers, PayScale found a slightly less optimistic though still notably positive outlook for salary, reporting a median income of $81,611 and an overall range of $47,557-$125,474.

Computer and information systems manager job description

Computer and information systems managers have varied roles and duties. Generally, their objectives are to ensure that a company’s computer and network systems are effective, reliable, and safe. To achieve this goal, the manager might create, carry out, and oversee technology plans. They also identify software needs and work to fill those gaps in addition to implementing patches and upgrades as necessary. Additionally, information systems managers troubleshoot problems as they arise and offer technical support to a company’s various departments and teams.

Computer and information systems managers also assist in identifying the technology goals for an organization, then develop, coordinate, and implement the systems needed to reach those objectives.

Requirements for a computer and information systems manager

Computer and information systems managers should have sound analytical abilities and a willingness to solve problems, sometimes as they come up. They also should have a strong understanding of network systems and technology best practices.

Most computer and information systems manager positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, though the BLS noted that many professionals in these types of roles also have graduate degrees. For this reason, professionals who are aiming for this career path may find great benefit in the master’s in MIS online program.

University of Alabama at Birmingham prepares students for careers in information systems

Students who earned their Bachelor of Science in Information Systems degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham are on the right track to pursue a Master of Science in Management Information Systems, but even prospective students who didn’t earn this degree can begin working toward their MS MIS qualification through the school’s bridge program. This program consists of two courses that aim to bring students up to speed in their understanding of networks, computers, and databases:

IS 591: Introduction to Networking and Computer Programming
Students who don’t have a background in enterprise systems and programming will get a close look at the environment in which developers create software.

IS 592: Systems Analysis and Database
Geared toward students who don’t have experience with systems analysis or database administration, this course gives individuals an understanding of how information technology, data storage, and data retrieval come together to create information systems.

Management Information Systems Core Courses
Once students have a sound grasp on these concepts (whether by way of the bridge program or a bachelor’s degree in MIS), they move on to the Management Information Systems core courses. These cover important topics like:

● Cyber security
● Data science
● Information technology and IT project management
● Business strategy and how it relates to information technology
● Social media and how virtual communities have changed business
● IT governance and management

Beyond the six core courses, students in the Collat School of Business’ master’s in MIS online program will choose a concentration in either Cyber Security Management or IT Management.

Both concentrations require students to take IS 621: Incident Response & Business Continuity, which teaches essential skills like how to manage potentially damaging cyber security events, how to prepare for the unknown, how to create and implement a recovery plan, and how to adjust the plan as necessary. Additionally, it teaches students how to recover from such an event and get their businesses back on track.

Beyond this course, students who follow the Cyber Security Management path will take courses related to mitigating threats and maintaining strong cyber security, managing information security policies and resources, and digital forensics.

Students who advance in the IT Management concentration can learn about web analytics and how to interpret data, how to plan and budget for technology upgrades and advancements, and leadership in information technology.

To learn more about how pursuing your master’s in MIS online through the University of Alabama at Birmingham can support your career path in information systems management, reach out to an enrollment advisor today.

Recommended Readings:
Business courses you can take within the UAB MS MIS program
Master of Accounting or Management Information Systems degree?

Bureau of Labor Statistics
UAB MSMIS Course Descriptions
UAB Master of Science in Management Information Systems