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What Can I Do With a Management Information Systems MBA


With the precipitous rise of connectivity and digitally-enabled organizations, so too comes a rise in our need for talented individuals to manage information systems.

Unlike information technology, computer science, or related degrees, management information systems degrees are unique in that they don’t focus on building technical systems and software. Rather, management information systems build off of the backs of more technical disciplines to study ways in which information systems can be leveraged to accomplish organizational goals.

Management information systems professionals also spend a great deal more of their time focusing on the human component of information systems. Management of individuals and how information systems fit into human contexts like organizational goals are often central to MIS professional roles.

What’s more, while many low-level technical roles have found themselves in danger of outsourcing and automation in recent years, decision making positions within technical organizations need more managers than ever.

If you may be interested in a management information systems MBA program, be sure to check out our ranking of the best online management information systems MBA degree programs today!

If you’re starting your search, or want to gather information more information, be sure to continue reading our guide detailing what you can do with a management information systems MBA degree.

Table of Contents

If you think you might be interested in a management information systems MBA, MBACentral has crafted a range of rankings that include a number of MIS programs. These rankings include:

If you already know the type of MBA you want to pursue, be sure to check out our rankings. If not, proceed down our guide to find out more about MIS MBAs.

What is a Management Information Systems MBA?

Management information systems MBAs are traditional — non-executive MBA programs — this means that they are open to seasoned professionals and those just out of undergraduate programs with a small bit of experience.

Management information systems MBAs begin with a core set of courses common to nearly all masters of business administration programs.

The goal of these core requirements within an MBA are to provide a broad basis for understanding a variety of business disciplines. Generally speaking, very similar courses are offered in most traditional MBAs for core requirements.

A sampling of the type of subjects one will likely study within core requirements for an MBA include:

  • Marketing
  • Analytics for Business
  • Strategy
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Accounting
  • Economics for Business
  • Statistics for Business
  • Operations or Supply Chain Management
  • Leadership
  • Global Business

Core requirements within an MBA are graduate-level courses, but still fairly broad. For students that wish to specialize in one discipline, concentrations, focus areas, or specializations are available in many MBA programs.

Management information systems is one such specialization area. To gain an MBA in management information systems you must sign up for an MIS-track within your program, complete 3-5 courses (commonly) in management information systems, and in some programs submit a research paper or a capstone project.

While concentration courses may vary quite a bit between programs, common management information systems courses include:

  • E-Strategy and Management of Information Systems
  • Business Analytics
  • Data Management and Governance
  • Enterprise Systems
  • Security Controls
  • Special Topics for MIS
  • Legal and Ethical Perspectives in Cyber Security
  • Data Visualization and Decision Making

MIS MBAs can typically be completed in 1-3 years depending on if your program is accelerated (1 year), full-time (2 years), or part-time (3 years).

As we mentioned above, MIS MBAs are traditional MBAs as opposed to executive MBAs. Executive MBAs are meant for students who already have over 5 years of experience in a managerial role. While executive MBAs are great degrees, they start with more advanced topics than traditional MBAs and often progress through them quickly. This does not leave many executive MBAs with any additional time for concentration courses. Thus, almost all management information systems-centered MBAs are traditional MBAs.

If you think you might be interested in a management information systems MBA, MBACentral has crafted a range of rankings that include a number of MIS programs. These rankings include:

If you already know the type of MBA you want to pursue, be sure to check out our rankings. If not, proceed down our guide to find out more about MIS MBAs.

MIS MBA vs. Related Degrees

Management information systems is firmly situated between technical and business disciplines. This leaves many students choosing between more technical or more business-centered academic disciplines when choosing between an MIS degree and others.

Some of the related degrees on the technical side include information technology degrees, computer science degrees, and engineering degrees.

The main difference between an MIS degree and more technical degrees is that while MIS degrees teach students how to utilize technologies, they do so with a focus on what organizational and human-centered outcomes the technology provides.

While a computer science or engineering degree will prepare students to build and manipulate various technology types, an MIS degree will teach students how to facilitate efficient interactions between technologies and teams, or align technology use with organizational goals.

Where information technology degrees provide students with an in-depth working knowledge of IT, MIS degrees are more focused on choosing the right tool, organizing teams around technology use, and ensuring the right information systems are augmenting the right team in their work.

When compared to business degrees — say a master’s in finance, accounting, or marketing — MIS MBAs are unique in that they provide foundational knowledge in these topics, but primarily focus on how information systems can positively impact outcomes in any business setting. This is to say, MIS MBAs are very much business degrees, but they don’t dive as deeply into specific areas of business as graduate degrees in one particular business discipline.

If you think you might be interested in a management information systems MBA, MBACentral has crafted a range of rankings that include a number of MIS programs. These rankings include:

If you already know the type of MBA you want to pursue, be sure to check out our rankings. If not, proceed down our guide to find out more about MIS MBAs.

Can I Get a Management Information Systems MBA Online?


What better place to learn about efficient interactions between information systems and organizations than online, right? MIS MBAs seem to think so, with a large proportion of such degree programs offered entirely online.

Masters in business administration have always been at the forefront of innovative delivery methods and academic programming. As incubators for future business talent, many programs realize they need to stay updated with the times. Additionally — to a greater extent than most other graduate degrees — MBAs are often attended by students who are working full-time and trying to juggle a busy work and life schedule.

This has led many MBA programs to implement various flexibility-granting components to their academic programs.

When choosing between various in-person and online MBA programs, a few terms you should be aware of include:

  • Synchronous delivery MBAs provide courses at set times during the week. Courses are online but are “live” in that all students and the instructor will log into the same location and be presented with a live video and sound feed of each other. This MBA type is perhaps the most interactive and reminiscent of traditional education.
  • Asynchronous delivery MBAs provide course materials including quizzes, pre-recorded videos of lectures, tutorial services, and other media. There is no set time that students must log in to “attend” class. Rather students work through course materials on their own time. With this said, there is still plenty of potential interaction through scheduled phone or video chats with instructors, small group tutorials, and forums. Additionally, though there is no set time that students must log into class, there are still due dates for assignments.
  • Hybrid MBAs offer a range of online coursework and support but require some in-person visits for students to graduate. The in-person program requirements can vary greatly between different programs. With some hybrid MBAs requiring students to meet in-person most weekends, while other hybrid MBAs may just require one annual weekly meeting or something of that order.
  • Fully Online MBAs will often be clearly labelled as such on promotional material for the program. If a program notes that it is offered online, but does not specify what percentage of the program is online, be sure to inquire.

While more students than ever can attest to the additional opportunities for schooling and quality of instruction present in online degrees, many students returning for an MBA have never taken an online course.

Though many students prefer online program delivery, online MBAs aren’t for everyone.

Students should talk with admissions counselors, sign up for demo classes, and make sure all of their concerns are addressed before enrolling in a program.

Some of the most common benefits of online MBAs cited by graduates include the following:

  • Lower program cost
  • No commute
  • No reason to move
  • Almost all support services offered online
  • Attend course when you want (for asynchronous courses)
  • The same degree as in-person programs

Some of the most common complains noted by online MBA graduates include:

  • Online MBAs require more of a self-start mentality
  • Lack of access to on-campus events
  • Difficulty in getting to know class mates and professors
  • Not the full “university” experience

With all of that said, online MBAs work for many students. Potential applicants should weight their options and know that most locales have both online and in-person MBA programs available nearby.

If you think you might be interested in a management information systems MBA, MBACentral has crafted a range of rankings that include a number of MIS programs. These rankings include:

If you already know the type of MBA you want to pursue, be sure to check out our rankings. If not, proceed down our guide to find out more about MIS MBAs.

How do I Gain Admissions to a MIS MBA?

Gaining admission to an MIS MBA is the same as gaining admission to an MBA program. Generally speaking, students may note which concentration they would like to pursue when they begin their application process. Alternatively, many programs allow students to choose specializations once they have already taken some of the program’s core courses.

So how does one gain admission to an MBA with a management information systems component? Most MBAs require the following items for an application:

  • Recent GMAT scores
  • Transcripts
  • Recommendation Letters
  • Any required application information and essays
  • Your Resume
  • A statement of purpose
  • A federal financial aid application (if you plan to apply for financial aid)

Working down the above list, GMAT scores are required of most programs. Though there has been a recent move away from standardized test scores as an applicant requirement at many schools. If you prefer not to take the GMAT before business school, be sure to check out our ranking of the best no-GMAT MBA programs.

For schools that do require the GMAT, there is generally a minimum score for the test that is accepted. Additionally, information on the average, 25th percentile and 75th percentile GMAT scores of successful applicants are often published online.

Even if they aren’t consulted to determine a minimum GPA, undergraduate transcripts are required for admission to all MBA programs simply to ensure that you hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college of university.

Additionally, many MBA programs have a minimum GPA component to admissions. Most commonly the minimum undergraduate GPA accepted for entry into an MBA program is 3.0. For more competitive programs, this number may be 3.25 or even 3.5.

Recommendation letters from educators or coworkers are generally accepted for MBA admissions purposes. These are great portions of an application to showcase skills and experience that don’t show through in traditional measures like transcripts and standardized tests.

Essays and statements of purposes are required in many MBA application packets (though not all). Just as you don’t want to start a potentially expensive degree and drop out due to an unfortunate fit, so too do business schools want to ensure that you are firmly dedicated and that the degree aligns with your career and life goals.

Resumes are required by many programs as many MBAs cater to students who have been out of school for some time. Resumes allow candidates to showcase excellence in work if they’ve been out of school for some time. Additionally, some traditional MBAs specify that they are looking for applicants with 1-3+ years of experience at work.

Finally, many schools like to ensure that students have funding figured out before they endeavor upon a degree program. As a professional graduate degree, students attending a program at a regionally accredited university are eligible to take out (up to) the full cost of attendance at the program in Federal student loans. Federal student loans typically have lower interest rates and more protections than private student loans. To qualify for federal financial aid, students must fill out the FAFSA. Other common payment arrangements for MBAs include employer aid, scholarships, and self pay.

If you think you might be interested in a management information systems MBA, MBACentral has crafted a range of rankings that include a number of MIS programs. These rankings include:

If you already know the type of MBA you want to pursue, be sure to check out our rankings. If not, proceed down our guide to find out more about MIS MBAs.

What Can I Do WIth a Management Information Systems MBA?

Now that we’ve talked about what exactly a management information systems MBA is, let’s talk about some of the roles you can pursue once you gain the degree.

First off, MBAs, in general, are some of the most versatile of graduate degrees within business. More CEOs of large corporations in America hold MBAs than any other degree type. Short of C-Level positions, MBAs are generally good preparation for management roles within a wide range of business disciplines including human resources, marketing, accounting, finance, logistics, and more.

While MBAs can be used to move into a variety of managerial positions, most students pursue a concentration in a field they’re trying to advance in.

For management information systems professionals, common roles after graduation could include:

  • IT Project Management
  • Software Project Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Engineering Manager
  • Or Program Manager

IT project managers are typically tasked with managing existing infrastructure, researching the best policies for its use, managing cybersecurity concerns, and helping to implement IT infrastructure improvements.

Depending on the organization, an IT project manager could be in charge of IT goings-ons in a single building, or within a department. An IT project manager may also be in charge of a given service, such as an IT help desk, or a center for IT reporting.

One note about IT project managers as they contrast with software or engineering managers is that IT project managers typically utilize existing technologies and are not focused on developing new technology-based solutions. Rather, they monitor existing infrastructure, plan for future improvements, and are often measured by reporting measures such as up-time of key services, number of requests handled, and so forth.

IT project managers are in great demand among a wide range of large organizations. Depending on the organization, the technology stack, as well as working conditions, will vary.

Common settings in which IT project managers work include large health care organizations, universities, government organizations, engineering firms, and most large employers.

The average salary for IT project managers is presently $82,626.

Software project managers differ from IT project managers through the fact that they are — more often than not — developing new products or incrementally improving on existing projects.

Business school can be a great preparatory step for software project managers, who often employ agile management frameworks that often aren’t learned or used in non-technology centered industries. Agile management frameworks are built around clearly defined projects in which team members perform short sprints to build out functionality. Once new features have been rolled out, input from stakeholders and those using the software are incorporated into the next round of sprints. In this way, agile methodologies seek to incrementally improve software build outs in a data driven way.

Software project managers are in high demand in a wide range of fields, and often get tons of hands-on experience with building new and exciting projects.

The average salary for software project managers is presently $96,733.

Product Manager perform a similar task to software project managers, though centered around a product that may or may not be software related. Many product managers (or product owners as they are sometimes called) have hands-on experience in the manufacturing or development of new goods or services. This is a great role for MIS graduates that have some technical experience already.

One key difference between product managers and software project managers is that product managers may be involved with the intersection of a given product and many business disciplines including marketing, accounting, finance, or human resources. This can be a great fit for MBA graduates who have been exposed to coursework dealing with most major business disciplines.

Product managers are employed in a wide range of fields and currently gain an average salary of $91,648.