How an MS MIS Degree Brings Technology and Business Skills Together

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The Collat School of Business has previously identified the top skills every graduate should have in order to succeed in the workplace. Along with a quality education, business skills are near the top of the list. The term “business skills” encapsulates many important abilities. Employees need to effectively communicate with coworkers and vendors as well as write clearly, noted Margot Lester for Students can apply these business skills in a number of different settings. They are becoming increasingly important for individuals looking to pursue a career in the IT field.

While a career in IT may be rewarding, individuals may be looking for the challenge of utilizing their technological understanding to help solve larger business problems. They may be considering going back to school for their master’s degree. Earning a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Alabama at Birmingham may give them a chance to move their career forward or to make a switch into a more strategy-oriented field. This degree also offers the benefit of being 100 percent online, so students have the flexibility to continue working and be with their families. This degree can bring technological and business skills together into several different careers. Here are just a few careers that graduates can pursue with an MS MIS degree:

Tech workers hold conference

Lead as a CTO

From a technological standpoint, a successful Chief Technology Officer will likely have a strong knowledge of the hardware and software the company relies on to achieve its monthly and yearly goals. They look forward to anticipate how new technologies may disrupt or assist them in their ability to hit their targets. As a CTO, graduates stand to make, on average, $152,000 annually, according to Payscale data. In addition to the technical understanding an individual must bring to this role, he or she must also bring strong business and interpersonal skills. CTOs manage teams and spearhead initiatives on an organizational level. Therefore, these individuals need to possess the ability to explain their directives clearly as well as incorporate management techniques to lead their teams effectively.

Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a Chief Technology Officer can apply their skills in a range of different environments, from large tech companies to retailers. A large component of reaching this executive position is the years of experience individuals bring to the table. An MS MIS degree may offer the added incentive for individuals deep into their career within IT to make that transition to a C-level position. The Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham looks to strengthen students’ technological understanding as well as provide resources to build their management and business skills.

Fix organization issues as a Computer & Information Research Scientist

Individuals who are interested in combining their technological expertise with analytical and critical thinking may enjoy applying their MS MIS degree to a career as a computer and information research scientist. Computer and information research scientists write software that can, among other things, help organizations minimize company inefficiencies. This role requires individuals who like problem solving using data.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that this sector would grow 11 percent from 2014-2024. This is a higher than the average growth rate of 7 percent. However, computer and information research scientists are concentrated in pockets of the U.S. There is a higher density of research scientists employed in areas of technological innovation, in states like California, in Silicon Valley and Seattle, Washington. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported, many research scientists work in Washington D.C. for state and federal agencies. Professionals in this field can expect to make, on average, approximately $110,000, according to BLS.

A Master of Science in Management Information Systems can help students prepare for this career: Students can choose to participate in classes focusing on Business Intelligence and strategic thinking and have access to leading professionals in the IT field: They can reach out to the Career and Professional Development Services and access DragonTail Jobs, a career management software for students and alumni, in order to see the biggest return on investment in their education.

Strengthen security as an IT Security Manager

IT security managers wear many hats: They must oversee teams that implement security measures and they must establish rules for how internal employees interact with technology, according to Payscale. In order to create protocols most effectively, IT security managers need to have an understanding of the business model and the goals leading executives have. For instance, as more companies embrace mobile technology and communicating with social media, managers need to create up-to-date protocols that take those changes into consideration. Security managers also become the main point of contact when problems arise – whether it is a network that goes off-line or a breach occurring. IT security managers can make, on average, $105,000, according to Payscale. U.S. News and World Report noted that IT managers are No. 3 in top technology careers and No. 13 in top-paying careers.

As part of the MS MIS core requirements, students earning their MS MIS degree could study information security management in depth. In addition, students can learn the most effective strategies for managing teams – a critical component of becoming a successful IT security manager.

Technology is quickly becoming an integral part of many successful businesses. As a result, companies must bring on individuals who have a strong technical background who understand how technology can contribute to short-term and long-term goals. Earning an online MS MIS degree can help prepare students for careers in the business world, whether it be as a Chief Technology Officer or an IT Security Manager.

Bring together technology and business skills with UAB

UAB’s 100 percent online MS MIS program can work for students with a background in IT or those interested in making a career change. Students coming from a non-IT background can take bridge classes to build their technical foundation. In addition, students may be able to transfer credits from other institutions to help them finish their degrees faster. Graduates also have the advantage of earning a degree from an institution accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1982. To learn more, reach out to an academic advisor today and see how an MS MIS degree with UAB can help move your career forward.

Sources:, 5 Skills Every Information Systems Student Needs To Succeed, Important Business Skills For New Graduates, Average Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Salary
U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Computer And Information Research Scientists
U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Geographic Profile For This Occupation 
U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Software Developers 
U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, Employment Of Software Developers And Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers By State, Average Information Security Manager Salary, What Is An IT Manager? 
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