Online MBA in Information Systems

Information systems refers to the technological, societal, and organizational systems that are used to collect, store, and distribute information. An online MBA in information systems includes the study of information technology, social science, business intelligence, and information management. In addition to a concentration on information systems, online MBA students learn the business skills they need to take on high-level management positions.

Students who earn an online MBA with a specialization in information systems have a variety of career options available to them. While many choose to work in the field of technology, others may choose to pursue top-level executive positions or open their own consulting business. Some of the careers that graduates of this program can choose from include top-level executive, analyst, information security analyst, and information technology manager.

What is an MBA in Information Systems?

Students who are interested in preparing for a career in information systems might want to consider furthering their education by enrolling in an online MBA program with a specialization in information systems. By enrolling in an online MBA program, students are equipping themselves with the skills they need to succeed in a variety of information systems careers and high-level management positions. Many graduates move on to succeed in roles with high pay and growth potential.

Students in online MBA programs in information systems learn the necessary skills to meet common day-to-day challenges head on. They graduate with knowledge on topics that include information technology and telecommunications, business intelligence, safe storage of information, and database management. Additionally, they graduate with expertise in the foundations of business management including personnel management, accounting, bookkeeping, ethics, and administration.

When considering an online MBA in information systems, there are many students who may compare the benefits and drawbacks of obtaining an MBA instead of a master’s degree. While master’s degree programs prepare students thoroughly for a career in information systems, master’s degree programs don’t provide the education needed to take on top-level management roles.

Prospective students who are considering an online MBA program in any discipline should first consider the pros and cons of online study. While online MBA programs offer students the opportunity to study at their own pace, they require impeccable time management skills, determination, and focus.

Online MBA in Information Systems Curriculum

Online MBA programs in information systems prepare students for real-world scenarios in the information systems industry and help them plan for unexpected events they might encounter on the job. The curriculum is specifically designed to provide students with the tools they need to succeed in their careers.

Most online MBA programs require prospective students to have an undergraduate degree in a similar field and at least one year of career experience. There are many schools that want students to apply with high GMAT scores, but in recent years, many schools have chosen to waive the GMAT requirement so they can attract more students to their online MBA programs.

Students who are enrolled in online MBA programs in information systems usually cover the following topics throughout their time in the program:

  • Information technology
  • Computer programming
  • Business systems
  • Business intelligence
  • Data structures
  • Data and communication

Additionally, all online MBA programs include a variety of courses that teach students the foundations of business management. Topics covered in these courses include:

  • Business law
  • Human resources
  • Ethics
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • Communication

Although the specific course titles and the curriculum of each course may vary depending on the institution, the list below is a small sample of some of the classes online MBA students who specialize in information systems can expect to enroll in.

  • Human Roles in Information Systems: Students learn the importance of the human side of information systems and information management. This includes the role humans play in developing the software and hardware systems that store data, as well as the role of the end user and how and why information is most frequently accessed.
  • Project Management: Students in this course typically take on a case study and learn the importance of proper project management procedures from the start of a project to the finish. This includes instruction on how to effectively delegate and manage peers, as well as how to follow up with tasks to ensure timely completion.
  • Information Security: Students in this course learn to adequately protect information using modern technologies. They also learn to monitor systems for security breaches and adjust programs to further secure information.
  • Systems Design: Students learn how to create efficient data storage systems. The course includes the practice of systems methodologies, as well as the specific elements that are involved in developing and implementing new systems.

What Unique Career Paths Can I Pursue With an MBA Specializing in Information Systems?

Students who graduate with an online MBA in information systems can choose from a variety of career paths. Upon graduation, they possess a variety of information management skills, including the ability to program and monitor the technology that’s commonly used to safely store and distribute data. This is a skill that’s in high demand in this day and age.

Many graduates of online MBA programs with a concentration in information systems go on to become top-level technology managers for major corporations. Others choose to take on roles that offer them the opportunity to work hands-on with information and technologies.

The list below offers just a few ideas of career paths that are available to those who graduate with an online MBA in information systems.

Chief Information Officer/Chief Technology Officer

Chief information officers and chief technology officers are top-level executives3 who work on small management teams. They’re responsible for devising company strategies and policies that help their company operate smoothly. They supervise upper-level managers and are responsible for coordinating all information-based activities within their organization.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics4, top-level executives earned an average income of $189,600 per year in 2018. Job opportunities for this role are expected to increase 8% by the year 2026, which is about average.

Operations Research Analyst

Operations research analysts5, also sometimes referred to as data analysts, are responsible for using mathematical and analytical methods to solve problems and increase efficiency. They’re often responsible for obtaining and reviewing data, as well as preparing reports and making recommendations to upper level management. Operations research analysts are typically required to solve complex issues and identify problems within an organization.

As of 2018, operations research analysts earned an average income of $83,390 per year. This career is in high demand, and opportunities for this job are expected to increase 27% by the year 2026. People who are employed in this role often have the opportunity to grow into higher management-level roles if they possess an online MBA or a similar degree.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts6 are responsible for implementing and monitoring security systems that protect their employer’s computer systems and information storage systems. On a daily basis, they’re expected to respond quickly to security breaches and monitor systems for unexpected events.

As of 2018, the average information security analyst earned a wage of $98,350 per year. This is a career that’s in high demand. Job opportunities for this position are expected to grow 28% by the year 2026.

Computer and Information Research Scientist

Computer and information research scientists7 work behind-the-scenes to design new approaches to computer technology. They’re responsible for solving complex problems with new technology and are often employed in industries such as business, science, medicine, and production.

The average computer and information research scientist earned an income of $118,370 as of 2018. This field is experiencing growth at an above-average rate. Opportunities for this job are expected to increase 19% by the year 2026.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers8 plan and coordinate all computer-related activities within their company. Their daily tasks usually include delegating tasks, project management, and monitoring technology systems.

As of 2018, computer and information systems managers earned an average income of $142,530 annually. Job opportunities for this role are expected to increase 12% by the year 2026, which is faster than the average job.

Computer Systems Analyst

Systems analysts9 are responsible for solving data processing problems and improving computer systems within an organization. They typically work in fields such as science, engineering, and business. Day-to-day duties usually include analyzing user requirements, managing workflow, scheduling limitations, and implementing new computer systems and procedures.

As of 2018, the average computer systems analyst earned a wage of $88,740 per year. This job is in high demand and employment opportunities for this role are expected to increase 21% by the year 2026.

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Should I Get an Online MBA in Information Systems?

If you’re thinking about getting an online MBA in information systems, it’s important to ask yourself some questions to make sure it’s the right choice.

Online MBA in Information Systems vs. an online MBA in Information Technology

While information technology falls under the information systems umbrella, the programs are actually quite different. An online MBA in Information technology is the study of the hardware and software systems that store and distribute information, while the study of information systems is more general. It includes the study of technology but also includes the study of other systems that are used to obtain, store, and distribute data.

Are you comfortable working with technology?

As technology evolves, more of the systems that are used to store information are technology-based. People working in the information systems field are required to be comfortable working with technology and may be required to program computer networks or software.

Do you have enough time in your schedule to complete the coursework that comes with an online MBA program?

Online MBA programs are a huge time commitment. If you’ve got an already busy schedule, it might be difficult to complete your coursework within the time allotted by the program. Make sure that you can commit several hours a few days a week to your studies before you enroll in an online MBA program.

Are you confident in your math skills?

Information systems is a science that’s based largely in both social science and mathematics. A lot of the coursework you’ll complete in an online information systems MBA program includes technology and computer programming, which requires excellent math skills.

Are you hoping to obtain a promotion with your current employer?

Many employers look to promote from within. Those who have advanced degrees, such as online MBAs, are often placed at the front of the line when it comes to promotion opportunities. If you’re hoping to be considered for a position in upper management, obtaining an online MBA in information systems is a great stepping stone.

How long does it take to complete an online MBA in information systems?

Most online MBA programs allow students to complete coursework at their own pace, provided the entire course is completed within a period of two years. This time frame may vary between institutions and in some cases, programs can be fast-tracked and completed in a period of six to eight weeks.

Are all online MBA programs in information systems accredited?

A quick search for online MBA programs in information systems is likely to yield a long list of results, and while some of the programs you’re likely to find while conducting such a search are accredited, many aren’t. If you’re considering an online MBA program, it’s important to conduct a quick background check to ensure the program you’re applying for is accredited. This can be done online by checking the United States Department of Education’s database of accredited programs10.

Is it better to obtain an MBA in information systems in a classroom?

Some students find that classroom learning is the best option because it provides the opportunity to learn with the help of peers and individualized attention from course instructors. On the other hand, other students find classroom learning distracting. The preference depends on the student’s individual learning style, as well as their work and family schedules. Those who have other obligations may prefer the freedom and flexibility that comes with online study.

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