Field of Study: Management Information Systems
Management information systems programs prepare people to design and maintain systems that collect and manage data. Students learn to analyze business needs for data collection. They also learn to manage staff and computer systems.
Computers are terrific at crunching data. They calculate, total, and average. But what is the meaning of all that data? That's what people in the business world call information, rather than data.
Information is what managers use to make decisions. And supplying that information is what you do when you work in management information systems (MIS). You use computers to gather, store, retrieve, and process information. You understand programming languages. You know how to represent business information in computerized formats.
When you study MIS, you learn a lot about computers. But that's not all you study. You get a good grounding in all aspects of business management. This helps you understand the kinds of information needed by the various departments of a firm.
A large number of colleges and universities offer a program in MIS. Sometimes it is a major, and sometimes it is a concentration within a business management major. With two years of full-time study beyond high school, you may get an associate degree instead. This may prepare you for work as a programmer or business systems analyst.
The four years beyond high school required for a bachelor's degree will provide better background in various business subjects. It will improve your job prospects and your chances of being promoted to information systems manager.
You may also consider getting a master's degree. This may be a master of business administration (MBA) or a master of information systems (MIS). This usually requires one or two years of study beyond the bachelor's. It is good preparation for a managerial position.
You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.
- Introduction to Business
- Computer Science and Programming
- Public Speaking
Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. Your bachelor's degree should be in management information systems or another business field. Or your bachelor's might be in computer science, with some business courses. Requirements for entering an MBA program usually are less demanding than for an MIS program. In fact, you may qualify with little formal education in business if you have business experience and a good background in computers.
Additional requirements at some schools include:
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE) (G) (for MIS)
- Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) (for MBA)
- Knowledge of a computer language
- Letters of recommendation
- Interview (for MBA)
Typical course work
This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:
- Business Finance
- Business Law
- Business Writing
- C++ Programming
- Calculus for Business
- Database Design and Administration
- Decision Support Systems for Management
- English Composition
- Introduction to Accounting
- Introduction to Management Information Systems
- Introduction to Marketing
- Introduction to Psychology
- Networks and Telecommunications
- Operations Management
- Principles of Macroeconomics
- Principles of Management and Organization
- Principles of Microeconomics
- Statistics for Business
- Strategic Management
- Systems Analysis and Design
Things to know
You learn computer languages in this program. You also learn spreadsheet and database software. It can be helpful to learn this software before you begin the program.
Business touches on all aspects of the culture, so you should take courses in non-business subjects. Good skills in writing, speaking, and critical thinking are needed for advancement in the business world. Remember that you will be communicating not just with computers and writing more than just code.
Some business courses in high school can be useful preparation for a career in management information systems. However, you should take only a few, so that your high school transcript shows that you are preparing for a demanding college-level program.
Similar fields of study
- Business Economics
- Business Management and Administration
- Computer Programming
- Computer Science
- Computer Systems Analysis
- Database Administration
- Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations
- Human Resources Management
- Industrial and Systems Engineering
- Information Science
- Information Technology
- Labor and Industrial Relations
- Logistics and Materials Management
- Management Sciences
- Operations Management
- Organizational Behavior
Careers you may qualify for
Accountants and Auditors
Computer Security Specialists
Computer Systems Analysts
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Operations Research Analysts
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Schools that offer program
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Hennepin Technical College - Eden Prairie , Located in Metro
Lake Superior College - Duluth , Located in Northeast
Lake Superior College - Online - Duluth , Located in Northeast
Metropolitan State University - Online - Saint Paul , Located in Metro
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Minnesota State Community and Technical College - Detroit Lakes , Located in Northwest
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