Overview of a Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems
Management Information Systems is about more than just managing the technology that a business uses. It is also about organizations, people, technology, and how they all connect to each other. This is a field that focuses more on people than it does on computer and information systems.
Most people in the U.S. and around the world rely on information systems to some degree or another. From online banking, to ordering items from large, online stores and even attending classes online, we have a close (and sometimes uneasy) relationship with information technology.
Business Degrees & Career Paths
MIS professionals focus on the security of their information systems. You’ll learn this important function early in your college classes; in anything you do, the security of the information you are handling must be secure. You’ll learn how to focus on the design and structure of a database system, so the data entered has high integrity and workability.
Once you graduate, you’ll be able to land a lucrative career. Just about everything is being stored online these days; therefore, your knowledge and accumulating experience will make you marketable. You’ll work to design intelligence solutions for various businesses, utilize systems analysis, and apply ethical and legal principles.
Because you’ll be responsible for ensuring the integrity of a company’s computerized information system, you’ll be dealing with a lot of responsibility.
You’ll be stressed, especially if you are a manager. Company managers will come to you if the system crashes or has been hacked. If you don’t know how to handle the stress that comes with this role, you’ll have a steep learning curve.
A position in this field isn’t necessarily a nine-to-five job. You may go in at seven in the morning and stay at the office for 12 to 14 hours.
Associates vs. Bachelor's
Why think of this as an either/or situation? If you can stay in school a little bit longer, or take classes during the summers, you may be able to earn a certificate along with your bachelor’s degree in management information systems. Even with only a bachelor’s degree, you’ll likely have more than one company looking to hire you. A four-year degree in MIS means you have accumulated a healthy amount of knowledge of this field.
If you plan to work in one particular system, such as Microsoft, the university you choose may have a certificate program, such as Microsoft Dynamics. Or you may prefer to earn a certificate in a topic that’s a little bit broader, such as business analytics.
What Management Information Systems Bachelor’s Degrees are Available?
After earning your Management Information Systems (MIS) bachelor’s degree, you should have a good command of IT systems. You should also know how to use the information those systems give you so that your company can stay at the top.
You should check to see if you will be able to focus on any MIS concentrations, such as IT Management or Project Management. Some of these bachelor’s degrees are named Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems (BSMIS) but at other schools you may only find this as a concentration within the computer science degree. In those schools, you may take your classes from the computer and mathematical sciences department, rather than in the business department or school. However, you will still take business core courses, which may require that you satisfy roughly 20 credits. Along with the computer information system core requirements, you’ll also take MIS electives (you’ll be able to choose particular electives that will allow you to satisfy the 20+ required credits).
A second MIS degree from another school is named the Bachelor of Business in Management Information Systems (BSMIS). Here, you’ll learn about information systems development processes, enterprise architecture, web technologies, and other MIS topics.
To be admitted to the university of your choice, you’ll have to complete several requirements for admission. First, you’ll likely need to present proof of graduation from a high school or GED program. You can get an official transcript from the administration office of your school or school district.
You should have either a 2.5 GPA on a scale of 4.0 or an ACT math score of at least 19 and reading score of at least 19. The school you apply to may have slightly different scoring requirements, or they may be looking for SAT scores rather than ACT. Submit all of your required admissions documents in a timely manner.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems?
Universities usually require their undergraduate students to earn between 120 and 130 credits to graduate. Whether you take an online program or attend your classes on-campus, your requirements will be the same.
If you decide you want to finish your credits within the four-year mark, you should try to take 15 credits per semester. However, if you have other commitments, such as a job, then strive for at least a 12-credit schedule every semester. In this case, you’ll be in school for four-and-one-half years.
All of these requirements should include your general education courses, business courses, IT courses, and business electives.
Potential Careers in Management Information Systems with a Bachelor’s
When you graduate, you’ll need to start looking for a career. Here are some of the possibilities for you to consider. As you consider your future career options, keep in mind your interests and passions.
- Information Systems Manager:
You’ll be working in a managerial role, giving you more responsibilities than a non-management MIS specialist. Your main job functions consist of planning and managing all IT-related operations within your employer’s company. You’ll also direct and participate in design, development, and implementation.
Average annual salary:$111,000
- Network & Computer Systems Administrator:
You are responsible for managing the computer networks used in your company. Because these systems are becoming more and more complex, you may find yourself involved mostly with troubleshooting for both software applications and hardware. Expect to work with a team of systems engineers if you work for a large company.
Average annual salary:$72,000
- Computer Systems Analyst:
You’re responsible for helping your employer to establish and implement an information system. You’ll also get involved in integrating business and technology so that they work well together. You may become involved in the design and creation of all documentation that is associated with a particular information system, as well as the technical equipment your employer uses.
Average annual salary:$92,000
- Software Developer:
You work to customize applications and systems. You’ll work very closely with computer programmers and engineers. If you enjoy designing and executing workflow processes, you’ll fit well into this position. Your daily tasks include writing, modifying, and debugging software, as well as working with content producers and designers and writing code.
Average annual salary:$104,000
- Software Engineer:
Your primary responsibilities include developing and integrating software systems for an organization. You’ll be working with programmers as you create user applications (apps). You’ll also evaluate the systems and programs that an organization may use. You’ll work alongside designers to help consolidate various functions so that they work as a seamless whole.
Average annual salary:$84,000
Options to Advance
After working in the MIS field for a while, you may want to advance in your profession. In order to do this you’ll likely need to add to your education. Consider returning to school for your master’s in MIS, or even your doctoral (PhD) degree.
If you’ve kept up with your skills and education in this field, you may realize that at the bachelor’s level you’re reaching the top career-wise. It may be time for you to advance yourself, your knowledge, and your career by returning to school for your master’s degree. You’ll refine your leadership, communication, and technical competence skills during your master’s program. All of these are things your employer wants to see as you demonstrate your readiness to become a manager.
A doctoral degree in the MIS field will enable you to continue refining your management and leadership skills. If you prefer, you may choose to teach or go into the applied research field.
Best Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems (MIS) Programs
University of Tampa
Billing itself as a richly diverse learning community, the University of Tampa is globally connected in the center of a beautiful, southeastern city. The university is private, providing more than 200 academic majors. The faculty strives to make sure each student succeeds in their field.
- Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University is private, non-profit Christian institution. Students benefit from a wide range of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, on-campus and online. GCU welcomes students from all denominations and backgrounds, striving to help them reach their potential.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems
University of South Florida
This university was established in 1956 and has since become a Young Universities leader. The administration isn’t afraid to exercise innovation and progress so that its students have the best possible opportunity to learn. The faculty and administration believe that, if students are given the opportunity, they will succeed.
- Bachelor of Science in Information Studies
University of Dayton
The University of Dayton is a Catholic research university, encouraging faculty and students to search for truth. Students and faculty see the world changing and know they need to adapt to meet its ongoing needs. Students are encouraged to dream big and take bold action.
- Bachelor of Science, Management Information Systems
Xavier University’s academic reputation is high due to its challenging learning environment. As a Catholic, Jesuit university, Xavier stresses the value of a rigorous education. Students are allowed to sample classes in different disciplines even as they find ways to integrate them into their majors.
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Traditional Schools Offering a B.S. in Management Information Systems
Washington State University
As a land-grant university, Washington State University educates students from all areas and traditions. Today, WSU is a technologically advanced university, knowing that this means its students will be well-prepared to face their futures.
- Bachelor of Science, Management Information Systems
St. Louis, Missouri
After its founding, this private college has striven to reach out and make itself student-centered, making education a more-accessible goal for students. In 1872, the university was founded by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, originally a French order established by women who knew the importance of education. They still reach out to women and underprivileged youth.
- Online Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems
Champlain College focuses on career-minded students, which you’ll see if you look at their degree programs. The faculty are nationally recognized, giving students exceptional academic support at every stage of their degree programs.
- Online Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems
Western Governors University
All bachelor’s and master’s degrees are competency-based. The school is a non-profit, focusing on delivering the best online education possible. All online courses have been developed with the assistance and input of leading employers around the U.S.
- Bachelor of Science in Business-Information Technology Management
Columbia College is connected to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). However, it is a nonsectarian school. Founded in 1851, the college has worked continuously to help students to advance their lives through higher education.
- Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems