What is Management Information Systems?
Management Information Systems (MIS) is the study of people, technology, organizations and the relationships among them. MIS professionals help firms realize maximum benefit from investment in personnel, equipment, and business processes. MIS is a people-oriented field with an emphasis on service through technology. If you have an interest in technology and have the desire to use technology to improve people’s lives, a degree in MIS may be for you.
Businesses use information systems at all levels of operation to collect, process and store data. Management aggregates and disseminates this data in the form of information needed to carry out the daily operations of business. Everyone who works in business, from someone who pays the bills to the person who makes employment decisions, uses information systems. A car dealership could use a computer database to keep track of which products sell best. A retail store might use a computer-based information system to sell products over the Internet. In fact, many (if not most) businesses concentrate on the alignment of MIS with business goals to achieve competitive advantage over other businesses.
MIS professionals create information systems for data management (i.e., storing, searching and analyzing data). In addition, they manage various information systems to meet the needs of managers, staff and customers. By working collaboratively with various members of their work group, as well as with their customers and clients, MIS professionals are able to play a key role in areas such as information security, integration and exchange. As an MIS major, you will learn to design, implement and use business information systems in innovative ways to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your company.
A common misconception that MIS only concerns programming. However, programming is just a small part of the MIS curriculum. While programming concepts represent some of the founding concepts and information systems development, implementation and use, many jobs in MIS do not utilize programming at all. A large portion of the MIS degree focuses on data analysis, teamwork, leadership, project management, customer service and underlying business theories. These aspects of the degree are what set the MIS professional apart from a computer science specialist.
- Do you enjoy working with people?
- Would you enjoy the chance to work on global problems with people from all over the world?
- Do you enjoy analyzing and solving problems?
- Do you want to create innovative, cutting-edge technology solutions?
- Do you want to learn how to make businesses more efficient, effective and competitive?
Then you should consider as your major the field that is experiencing a critical shortage of professionally trained individuals. A field where demand is skyrocketing with projected growth rates of 38 percent – the fastest of any business discipline (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
MIS professionals make business better
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding careers in MIS. This information will help you learn more about a career in MIS and to better understand the opportunities such a career may have in store for you.
What kinds of people pursue MIS degrees?
The profiles of MIS professionals are varied, but in general, such individuals possess many of the following traits:
- good problem solving skills
- ability to effectively manage time and resources
- a clear vision of “the big picture” as well as the “small details”
- a desire to work closely with other people
- excellent communication skills
- ability to think strategically about technology
- a desire to take responsibility for developing and implementing their own ideas
What are typical career options for MIS professionals?
- IT Consultant
- Web Developer
- Information Systems Manager
- Business Intelligence Analyst
- Network Administrator
- Business Application Developer
- Systems Analyst
- Technical Support Specialist
- Business Analyst
- Systems Developer
Why should I choose to major in MIS?
- Job satisfaction
- High placement rate
- High salaries
- Exciting field
- Challenging field
- Hands-on problem solving
- Innovation and creativity
- Global opportunities
- Great chance for advancement
- You can have an impact!
What is an average salary for an MIS professional?
From 2002 to 2009, MIS undergraduate starting average salaries for Mays Business School graduates rose from $42,165 - $56,000. Though the economy has taken a downturn, our spring 2011 MIS graduates received average starting salaries of $55,990 with some students receiving salaries as high as $70,000.
The following table shows a comparison of average starting salaries for graduates from each of the six undergraduate majors at Mays Business School over the past several semesters: