Technology is unavoidable in the business world today. Because of tech’s inseparability from business operations, there’s increasing demand for professionals who are experts in business management and technology implementation.
The need for computer and information systems managers is expected to increase 12 percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, well above the projected job outlook for all professions in the same timeframe of 7 percent.
Rising demand is one reason Kiplinger’s called management information systems one of the most lucrative majors a college student can pursue. With an average starting salary of $57,900 and 2.6 million jobs posted online every year, it’s easy to see the allure of graduating with a bachelor’s degree and jumping into the industry.
However, earning an advanced degree may open up even more doors of opportunity. The Master of Science in Management Information Systems program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham gives students an in-depth look into cyber security, data science, IT project management, leadership, IT governance, systems analysis, and more.
Popular careers in MIS
Professionals who earn an MS MIS may have access to a wide range of employment opportunities. Some common possibilities include:
The IT director of a company plays an important role in the organization’s information security and technology strategy. This professional conducts security audits, reviews system performance, and helps develop plans to improve network operations. The average salary for IT directors is $100,860.
IT security manager
IT security managers are responsible for keeping business information safe. They do this by developing and implementing network and computer security measures. They also have oversight of IT infrastructure, which plays a large role in cyber security defenses. The average salary for IT security managers is $58,387.
Computer and information research scientist
Computer and information research scientists focus on the development and improvement of computing technologies. Their goal is to find innovative ways to advance technology and share those ideas with others by publishing their research in academic journals and collaborating with other technology specialists. The average salary for this career path is $102,190.
Information systems manager
Information systems managers strive to improve their companies’ technology operations. They analyze the current technology portfolio and goals of a company, as well as plan, coordinate, and implement strategies and computer systems to reach those goals. The average salary for information systems managers is $120,950.
Industries that need MIS professionals
Virtually every industry needs MIS professionals. As companies’ operations are increasingly digital and cloud-based, technical experts are needed to manage the plethora of information and systems that are now ingrained into everyday business functions.
That said, certain industries have a greater need for MIS professionals than others. Some areas that may have rising demand for MIS experts include:
Nearly four-fifths of Americans have made an online purchase, and 15 percent do so on a weekly basis, according to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey. As convenient as online shopping is, some risks arise when entering personal and financial data into websites.
Cyber crime is a concern, which is why experts who have studied the many ways to avoid and recover from an attack are needed. Professionals who graduate with an MS MIS will have studied common cyber threats and the methods of detecting them. Additionally, they’ll learn how to recover and move forward after an attack.
Financial services, such as banks, lenders, and other institutions, have a wealth of highly sensitive information in their databases. As such, cyber criminals seeking ways to steal consumer information and money may view these entities as viable targets. This industry needs cyber security and database experts to keep all this information locked down. Additionally, people who studied MIS have the knowledge necessary for data processing and hosting, which are important for these companies.
Like financial institutions, health care organizations hold a large amount of sensitive information about individuals. These details include not only specifics about their health concerns but also financial and insurance information, among other types of data.
Concerns about hackers targeting hospitals and health care companies have come to light as a result of prominent attacks, ABC News reported. One instance of ransomware, called WannaCry, shut down 65 hospitals in the U.K., leading to MRI and refrigerator malfunctions. Individuals who are knowledgeable in MIS are valuable to health care organizations because they can work to prevent or minimize the damage done by cybercriminals.
University of Alabama at Birmingham prepares professionals for the world of MIS
The demand for talented and knowledgeable experts in IT, IS, and other computer-related positions likely won’t wane anytime soon. Students who wish to get a strong start to their careers in IT may benefit from pursuing an MS MIS. The degree program offered through the University of Alabama at Birmingham is well-rounded and carefully crafted using input from a dedicated IS advisory council composed of IT professionals. Students will be introduced to real-world problems and the skills needed to solve them. To learn more about earning an MS MIS online through the Collat School of Business, connect with an enrollment advisor.