Overview of a Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems
A management information systems degree (MIS) is about more than just managing the technology that a business uses. It's also about organizations and business operations, 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 analysis. Even so, there are still online options for those who would prefer to take some or all of their classes online, or who has no option but to attend through an online bachelor's degree or other online learning options.
Most people in the U.S. and around the world rely on information systems to some degree or another. From online banking and finance to ordering items from online stores and even attending classes online, we have a close (and sometimes uneasy) relationship with information technology.
Professional businesspeople who find employment opportunities in the management information systems (MIS) field often have education and/or experience in management information systems and business analytics. They will have the ability to use a combination of business intelligence tools to make data-driven decisions and might have the real-world, professional experience to find employment as a management analyst or information systems managers. Management information systems graduates and information systems project management specialists may start in an MIS program or they might earn a business administration degree full of core business concepts, such as communication skills and data analytics tools, and complete a curriculum in which they study coursework including some of the following.
- Organizational Behavior
- Business Analytics
- Project Management
- Data Analytics and Data-Driven Decisions
- Business Administration
- Business Systems and Information Systems Management
- Financial Management
- Business Processes and Technical Skills
- Internship Opportunities
- And More
MIS graduates and 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. This will use a combination of business management information systems and business analytics knowledge to pull off.
Once full-time students graduate and leave campus, they’ll have plenty of opportunity to land a lucrative career and hope for employment growth in the current business world. Just about everything is being stored online these days; therefore, your knowledge and accumulated professional experience will make you marketable. You may work to design intelligence solutions for various existing and new businesses, utilize systems analysis, and apply ethical and legal principles to US-based or international companies.
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 may 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, take classes during the summers, or take online courses while you take your main course load, you may be able to earn a certificate online, along with your bachelor’s degree in management information systems. Even with only an online 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 an online certificate in a topic that’s a little bit broader, such as business analytics.
What Management Information Systems Bachelor’s Degrees are Available Online?
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). Depending on the school you choose, you may be able to find some or all of these courses online.
Other online MIS degrees might be given a different name, such as 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, GED or MIS associate 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. You will have to send all documents to the school of your choice, whether you attend online or on-campus.
How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online 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:$83,800
- 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:$68,400
- 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:$69,500
- 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:$71,900
- 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:$86,600
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 degree in management information systems, 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 Online 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 online 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
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a degree in management information systems?
It can be confusing to see all the many degree options out there these days. Some of them don’t seem to correlate directly with a job at all, and that is how management information system degrees feel to some people. However, these degrees can prepare you for several types of supervisory positions within a business or IT company. These degrees train you to work with computer systems that are necessary for the efficient operating of many businesses. You’ll know how to streamline business policies and processes and how to integrate computer technology and systems into those processes. This can put you in a good position to lead a team or entire department in a variety of businesses and industries.
What will I learn in an MIS degree?
In one of these degrees, you’ll be able to learn a lot about both business itself and database and IT project management. You should learn how to create and manipulate systems for storing data (a vital skill in today’s business world), how to maintain computer security both through database management and cyber security principles, all about computer networks and systems, database administration, systems analysis and design, and security management, business process design, business analytics, and project management, and much more.
Will I need to go on and get a master’s in MIS if I have already earned a bachelor’s in the field?
Whether or not you earn a master’s in the same field as your undergraduate degree, or if you earn one at all, is completely up to you. A bachelor’s alone will give you access to job opportunities that can mean earning a salary around $80,000/year. However, it is clear from the numbers that earning a master’s degree can increase your opportunities for new career options and upward movement. In the end, whether you earn a master’s or not is dependent on your career needs and path, but it doesn’t hurt anything to stay open to the idea.
Is there less math in MIS than in computer science?
Management Information Systems (MIS) and Computer Science (CS) are related fields, but they have different focuses and require different levels of math. MIS is a field that combines business and technology to manage and analyze data, develop and implement information systems, and improve organizational performance. The curriculum for an MIS program typically includes courses in business, management, and information systems, with less emphasis on the math and technical components.
Computer science, on the other hand, is a field that focuses on the theoretical and technical aspects of computation and computer systems. The curriculum for a computer science program typically includes courses in algorithms, data structures, programming languages, and computer systems, with a stronger emphasis on math and theoretical concepts.
That being said, both fields may require some math, especially in the areas of data analysis and modeling. It's a good idea to check with the specific program you are considering to get a sense of the math requirements and to see if the math coursework aligns with your strengths and interests.
Is an MIS degree useful?
Management Information Systems (MIS) is a useful degree as it provides a strong foundation in both business and technology, which include skills that are essential in today's economy. Graduates with an MIS degree are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to manage and analyze data, develop and implement information systems, and improve organizational performance. The field of MIS is also broad and encompasses a variety of disciplines and professions including business analysis, data analysis, project management, and information systems management. This means that graduates with an MIS degree can find employment in a variety of industries including healthcare, finance, retail, and manufacturing.