People who strive to build successful careers in information systems must develop certain hard skills that can help them solve problems and make smart decisions to advance their organizations. These skills include IT governance, web analytics, the basics of computer programming, and more. This can help give professionals a comprehensive body of knowledge that can guide decisions and contribute to collaboration within an organization.
The skills that contribute to a strong career in information systems come with dedicated practice and study and are perfected over time. The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree program is designed to give students a comprehensive understanding of the many hard skills that will be essential to their careers in information systems.
Here are eight hard skills students working toward their MS MIS degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham can develop:
1. Computer programming basics
Students pursuing their master’s in MIS should understand the basics of networking and software development. People who earn their Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from the University of Alabama at Birmingham can learn about these concepts during their undergraduate education. Students coming into the Collat School of Business’s MS MIS program without an information systems background will have the opportunity to grow their knowledge in these areas through the bridge program.
The bridge program consists of two important courses, both intrinsic components of the BS in IS degree.
The first course is IS 591: Introduction to Networking and Computer Programming. This class will get students up to speed on how application developers create software. Understanding this type of environment is an important base upon which more advanced concepts throughout the master’s in information systems degree program will build.
2. Systems analysis
Students working toward their master’s in MIS should also understand database administration and systems analysis. The second course in the bridge program is IS 592: Systems Analysis and Database. This connects the dots between information technology, data storage, and data retrieval, as well as explains how these components all contribute to the overarching concept of information systems.
3. Social media
Students will learn to view social media and networking platforms in a new light when they take IS 615: Social Media and Virtual Communities. This course covers new social media tools and how to use them to a business’s advantage, including making use of filters to easily collect relevant information. In this course, the goal of social media becomes the collection and advancement of business knowledge.
4. IT business strategy
The role of information technology in business has evolved and expanded. Today, IT experts need to understand how information systems and technology affect a company’s value. In IS 611: Information Technology & Business Strategy, students will explore what the overlap between IT and strategy means for organizations. They’ll learn about what goes into creating a strategy and how to identify competitive advantages in a company.
5. IT governance
IT governance has become a necessary aspect for organizations, largely as a result of legislation passed in the 1990s and early 2000s, CIO reported. These laws were devised in the aftermath of several cases of fraud and deception; their intention was to protect consumers’ sensitive data, as well as to inform consumers about how their personal data is being used.
The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, passed in 1999, requires financial institutions to disclose to customers how client information will be shared, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Additionally, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed in 2002, is designed to reduce corporate fraud and auditing errors. The law also created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to supervise the accounting industry, The Balance explained.
In IS 612: IT Governance & Management, students can learn how to put together a governance framework, apply those frameworks to an organization, and manage multiple governance structures. These skills can help future professionals understand the importance and the nuances of keeping information protected and consumers well informed.
6. Data science
Businesses today rely on information about their consumers, competitors, and emerging opportunities in their industries. Data collection is the first step toward uncovering valuable information, but it needs to be properly organized and managed to be useful to a business. In IS 617: Data Science for Business, students will gain an understanding of knowledge generation, transfer, and sharing. They’ll also explore how to apply knowledge in an organization.
7. Web analytics
Students who pursue the IT Management concentration will take IS 616: Web Analytics as a part of their curriculum. This course will review the technologies and tools used to gain information about websites, how they’re perceived and used, and who can access the content on a website. Students can learn how to collect and understand data like web traffic and details about the people who visit their websites. This type of information can help inform business strategies, marketing campaigns, and initiatives to benefit a company’s most avid followers.
8. Digital forensics
The Cyber Security Management concentration gives students the skills to manage security teams tasked with protecting sensitive information. Part of this task requires understanding what happens in the aftermath of a cyber attack. IS 644: Digital Forensics gives students a unique view into the investigation process following a cyber crime. Students can learn about how investigations are conducted and how to preserve evidence.
University of Alabama at Birmingham’s MS MIS curriculum develops critical skills
Earning a Master of Science in Management Information Systems degree can put professionals on the right path to become CIOs, information systems managers, IT directors, and more. However, to be successful in these roles, students need more than a degree; they need hard skills that will drive their decisions and support their initiatives.
Students who pursue the MS MIS degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham will have many opportunities to develop critical skills like IT business strategy, IT governance, systems analysis, and more. For additional information about the Collat School of Business’s online MS MIS program, reach out to an enrollment advisor today.