Why Earn an Information Systems MBA? + Online Options

The Information Systems MBA, also known as Management Information Systems (MIS) MBA, is one of the newest concentrations in the field of business administration and one that is proving to be very popular. With this program, you will gain an in-depth understanding of the various elements of business, including marketing, human resources, and finance, emphasizing various leadership styles and proven management techniques. At the same time, however, you will focus more specifically on MIS, building your knowledge and understanding of hardware and software, database systems, and network administration. You will become an expert manager with advanced technological knowledge that enables you to make any organization you work for more efficient overall.

Often, when you study towards an Information Systems MBA, you can also subspecialize in certain areas, including health informatics, information systems development, and so on. As a reasonably new program, not many schools offer this concentration yet. The result of this, and particularly because there is such a high demand for those with advanced MIS skills, is that university admissions can be hugely competitive. That said, if you do get admitted and finish the program, you are almost guaranteed a job.

Why Earn an Information Systems MBA?

One of the main reasons why you should complete an Information Systems MBA degree is because demand for your skills will be so high. However, the same could be said if you complete a Master of Science in MIS. The difference is that, with an MBA program, you will take part in a collaborative, experiential, applied learning environment that teaches you not just the fundamentals of MIS, and also the fundamentals of business management.

Some of the key benefits of completing this program include:

• That you will learn to become a true leader, regardless of what type of organization or department you manage
• That you will become a true strategic thinker, being able to handle uncertainty and rapid change
• That you will be able to manage people, helping them to develop to their full potential and to the benefit of the organization as a whole, all the while merging human skills with those of information technology
• Have in-depth knowledge of crucial business areas, including technology management, sustainable and social enterprises, management, international business, information systems, human resources, and finance.

Admission Requirements

Each school has its own set of admission requirements. Additionally, as previously stated, the degree is reasonably new but in high demand, which has enabled many schools to make their admission criteria even more competitive. A good example of a common set of requirements is provided by Tennessee Tech, whic looks for students who:

• Currently hold a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution
• Have a GPA of 2.5 minimum
• Have a satisfactory score on the GMAT or GRE test.
• Are proficient in presentation software, spreadsheet software, and word processing software
• Have passed TOEFL/IELTS or another test proving English proficiency if they are non-native English speakers.

Curriculum and Courses

Just as admissions requirements can vary between schools, so can the curriculum. This is one of the reasons why it is very important that you choose an accredited school and preferably an accredited program as well. In doing so, you will have a guarantee of the right educational standards, as will your future employers. You also need to consider where your main point of interest lies, as some schools mainly emphasize the business administration element, and others emphasize the MIS element. The curriculum presented at University of Maryland – Robert H. Smith School of Business offers a balance between the two, with the following subjects:

• Data models and decisions
• Entrepreneurship
• Financial management
• The global economic environment
• Introduction to financial accounting
• Leadership and human capital
• Managerial accounting
• Managerial economics and public policy
• Marketing strategy
• Operations management
• Strategic information systems
• Supply chain management
• Action learning projects
• Ethical leadership
• Executive powers and negotiation
• International business
• Organizational change
• Strategic management
• Data analytics
• Managing digital businesses and platforms
• Social media and web analytics
• Consumer behavior
• Customer equity management
• Co-creating customer experience

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

When you have completed an Information Systems MBA, you will have a lot of career opportunities available to you. This is because you will be able to fully manage information systems, including their construction and implementation, and use this to improve overall productivity in the organization that you work for. You will use both simple planning methods that can be delegated to your team, and complex but efficient transaction processing. You will be equipped with both technical skill and knowledge, and managerial and leadership skills, allowing you to take on a variety of positions in management, information systems, and information technology. Some of the most common job titles are:

• Corporate manager
• Systems consultant
• IT strategist
• IT manager
• Technical project manager
• Business systems analyst
• Information systems manager
• IT consultant

Job Salary & Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has reported that computer and information systems managers earned an average annual salary of $131,600 per year as of May 2015, at the bachelor’s degree level. Statistics has shown that those who hold an MBA can expect a salary increase of $15,000 per year, meaning that you could earn nearly $150,000 per year with this degree. The BLS has also reported that there will be a 15% increase in demand for these professionals by 2024, which is a growth much faster than the national average.

Scholarships and Grants

• The Mary Elizabeth Lockwood Beneventi MBA Scholarship, which is offered to MBA students so long as they maintain a GPA of at least 2.25, attend an AACSB accredited institution, and agree to send in numerous pieces of documentation.

• The Robert J. Yourzak Scholarship Award, which is a one time $2,000 award for MBA students who demonstrate financial need and have an aptitude for leadership.

• The Miller Coors U.S. Education Leadership Fund, which is a renewable award of $3,000 for Hispanic students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 minimum. Attendance at the annual leadership summit is also a prerequisite.

• The Gates Millennium Scholarship, which is offered by Bill and Melinda Gates, and is an award of up to $10,000, given to 1,000 students each year. Applicants must show financial need and excellent leadership skills.

Additional Resources

The Association for Information Systems
Information Systems Security Administration (ISSA)
Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
Membership, Guidance and Certification for IT Professionals