The IT field is one of the fastest-expanding employment sectors in the U.S., with 13% job growth projected from 2016 to 2026 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This demand largely stems from recent advancements in cloud computing, data storage and analytics, and information security, which have created a variety of opportunities for candidates with the right combination of technical skills, knowledge, and real-world experience.
Assembling the core competencies you need to pursue high-level IT roles can be challenging, which is why many mid-career professionals obtain a Master of Science in Management Information Systems from an accredited university. These advanced degrees feature hands-on curricula that cover a range of relevant topics, from IT governance and technology planning to digital forensics and desktop analytics, allowing students to explore several areas of the tech field. The broad scope of MS in MIS programs make them ideal master’s degrees for career changers and those seeking leadership roles. But who should consider earning a management information systems degree?
Professionals who are well suited to an MS in MIS program
Most MS in MIS degrees are designed for tech-savvy professionals who already have some experience in the IT field, though recent graduates from bachelor’s programs can also benefit from enrolling. Depending on your specific occupational goals, a management information systems degree can help you develop the specialized skills you need to remain competitive in the modern job market. Some of the occupations that might want to consider pursuing an MS in MIS include:
Professionals in this role are responsible for writing and testing computer applications and software programs that help businesses operate more efficiently. They transform program designs into final products and resolve code errors to ensure newly created applications work as intended. This attention to detail and technical expertise is essential to high-level IT positions, especially those that oversee ongoing development projects.
This profession stores and organizes sensitive business data using specialized software, providing authorized users with direct access to the information they need. They also develop and maintain comprehensive backup and restoration protocols to prevent data loss in the event of a system outage. Experience with data structures and error resolution is extremely valuable to companies that aggregate massive volumes of information to support real-time analytics.
Information security analysts
In a time when data breaches are increasing in frequency and intensity, this occupation often represents the last line of defense for enterprise systems and networks. Information security analysts plan and implement IT security procedures to insulate companies from cyberattacks, such as malware, SQL injections, and credential exploitation. They manage firewalls and data encryption programs, ensuring all security standards are updated when new threats are identified. Performing these duties requires foresight and collaboration, but directing large-scale cyber security projects entails a good deal of business savvy as well.
Computer network architects
As the need for reliable connectivity has continued to grow, this IT role has become increasingly important to an organization’s operational efficiency. Computer network architects build robust data communication networks and cloud infrastructures that directly support a company’s business goals. They design local area networks, wide area networks, and intranets that facilitate internal and external communications at the local, national, and global levels. The reason why many study MIS after working in this field is to assemble the organizational and management skills they need to supervise connectivity projects and allocate appropriate resources from a company’s IT budget.
This position is responsible for designing and creating commercial and nonprofit websites, ensuring they’re functional, engaging, and error-free. Web developers often maintain a website’s performance and capacity over the long term, making incremental changes to keep up with traffic volume and user needs. They also create and test new applications and design frameworks, write HTML or XML code, and integrate multimedia content. Professionals in this field pursue management information systems degrees to prepare them for administrative and management positions that allow them to have more direct input about a company’s online communication strategy.
Other professions that may benefit from an MS in MIS include computer systems analysts, software developers, and web or mobile developers in marketing-centric roles. But what career opportunities exist post-graduation?
How an MS in MIS can help advance your career
The master’s degree in management information systems online program from the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers mid-career professionals and aspiring students the technical expertise and business savvy they need to obtain high-level IT roles. The MS in MIS degree features two specialized concentrations, Cyber Security Management and IT Management, and provides comprehensive instruction on several key topics, such as business intelligence, data science, systems analysis, and technology planning and budgeting. Some of the potential career outcomes include:
- Computer and information research scientist
- Information systems manager
- Chief information officer
- Chief technology officer
- IT security manager
- IT director
One reason why the MS in MIS program can be a valuable master’s degree for career changers is that students are encouraged to utilize their existing IT knowledge and experience to support their learning objectives. For example, database administrators can leverage their understanding of information storage and organization to help them develop IT governance and management competencies that will make them desirable candidates for higher-level positions. Obtaining a management information systems degree may also prepare students to take on leadership roles that require effective communication and relationship-building skills.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in cyber security or IT management, reach out to an enrollment advisor for more information.