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An online MBA in information systems will give you the tools and skills you need to advance into managerial positions. This program usually takes two years if you enroll on a full-time basis. Some programs offer an accelerated option. Both online and traditional degree programs will teach you new strategies and methods of managing sensitive company information and large data sets.

What Does an MBA in Information Systems Cover?

An online information systems MBA is designed for professionals and/or recent college graduates. These individuals should be interested in learning more about managing the informational and organizational systems used by nonprofit and for-profit companies. You will also learn how to improve the technical efficiency of certain organizational structures that companies employ. Once you complete the required online courses for an MBA in information systems, you should be able to better assess the overall system operations of a company. You will gain the knowledge and skills to write quarterly reports on how to reach optimal systems usage and efficiency within a company. Furthermore, you will learn how to address information system problems. Advanced courses will help you develop small scale systems on your own. To excel in this particular program, you should have some experience or knowledge in programming languages and concepts. Work experience in the field is not necessary for some online Information Systems MBA programs. However, the rigorous course load of an MBA in information systems may require you to work at a fast pace. Thus, already having knowledge about certain subjects can be beneficial. Some of the courses you will take for the degree program are networking concepts, database administration, database applications in e-commerce, business intelligence systems, Java programming, enterprise data management, C++ programming, IT outsourcing and information programming. Most Information Systems MBA programs will also require you to complete an advanced group project/seminar.

Getting Into an Information Systems MBA Program

Students who wish to enroll in an Information Systems MBA program need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. A business bachelor’s is not necessary, but those who earned their undergraduate degree in a field other than business may need to take several foundation courses before they begin their MBA program. Most schools will accept only those applicants who earned an undergraduate GPA of 2.7 or higher. Those who do not meet this minimum may be able to submit GMAT or GRE scores to gain admittance. Some schools may also ask for the following documents:

  • letters of reference
  • professional resume detailing work experience
  • statement of intention
  • official transcript

Why Should I Get an AACSB Accredited Information Systems MBA?

Make sure that your program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB is an internationally recognized association that provides accreditation for business and accounting programs at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral level. Schools are required to go through self-evaluation and peer-review processes to maintain and meet university standards as well as the association’s expectations. The AACSB also assigns a mentor who works with the university as it goes through the accreditation process. The mentor makes sure international curriculum standards are met by both traditional and online programs. There is also a five year check to make sure the program is not falling behind on its requirements. Because the AACSB offers both institutional and specialized accreditation, you may want to ask potential employers whether they expect both accreditations from applicants’ Information Systems MBA programs.

What Jobs Can an MBA in Information Systems Online Get Me?

  • Chief technology officers (CTOs): Chief technology officers evaluate the latest technological developments and devise means of implementing them. They are responsible for adopting new technology with the aim of improving their companies’ technical issues while upgrading strategic standards. When a new tool has been recommended to a company’s IT department, it is the CTO who determines implementation strategies, cost-benefit and return on investment analyses. The CTO is charged with presenting those strategies to upper management. The CTO also supervises information systems managers and other members of the company’s technology unit.
  • Information Systems Manager: This manager is in charge of information management within an organization. Information systems managers play a vital role in implementing and administrating the technology within their organizations. In large companies, information systems managers may delegate responsibilities to lower level managers, while in smaller or mid-level firms, they may take on the responsibility of creating plans, coordinating them and directing computer-related research for businesses. While working with other managers, they help determine the needs and goals of an organization and implement the necessary technology to meet them.
  • IT Managers: Information technology project managers are responsible for developing requirements, budgets and schedules for their organization’s information technology projects. IT managers also help coordinate the transfer of those projects from the development nest to the implementation floor. IT managers work with the firm’s other IT workers, vendors and clients, as well as with consultants. Their efforts are crucial to the technological health of a company, as they are becoming increasingly involved in projects that bolster information security.

Top Industries for Jobs

Chief Technology Officer:

  • Financial Services: $108,556-$197,155
  • Internet and New Media: $99,192-$193,579

Information Systems (IS) Manager:

  • Informational Technology Services: $64,003-$103,470
  • Retail: $67,407-$102,498

IT Manager:

  • Financial Services: $72,679-$111,158
  • Insurance: $67,172-$101,266

How Do I Find Online Information System MBA Programs

You can search for the best online MBA information systems programs on various websites. When looking at rankings, you may want to see whether the same ranking applies for the online and on-campus programs of a particular brick and mortar university. For example, Drexel University is one of the top universities featured on the U.S. News & World Report List of Best Colleges for 2011. The virtual distance program of the university has also received significant praise and recognition. The university received the Sloan-Consortium Award for Excellence in Institution Wide Online Education for its comprehensive online learning curriculum. To find out more about online Information Systems MBA rankings based on total enrollment, you can:

  • Check out general online MBA rankings.
  • Explore the program’s courses and requirements. Do you think you will be able to use the course material from an online MBA in information systems for future jobs? If you are unsure, do further research on information systems MBA careers and salaries.
  • If you know which employers you would like to work for, find out about their requirements for their IT managers and directors. Will your program meet their requirements?
  • Read the list of AACSB accredited institutions.

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