Managers with in-depth knowledge of information systems play a crucial role in guiding company plans and strategies, as well as developing new products and services. Information systems managers made a median annual salary of $142,530 in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This number testifies to the premium that today's businesses place on professionals with managerial and information systems skill sets. An MBA in information systems (IS) can open the door to an array of business and IT careers in many industries.
What Is an MBA in Information Systems?
As a business administration degree, an MBA in information systems covers multiple business areas, such as finance, marketing, accounting, and management. Students also learn about technology infrastructure and the role of technology in making business decisions. Master's in information systems programs usually include courses on business and IS strategy, auditing information systems, data management and visualization, and cybersecurity.
Graduates with an online MBA in information systems can pursue careers as information systems analysts, computer and information research scientists, and computer hardware engineers.
What Can You Do With an MBA in Information Systems?
Geographic Information Systems Analyst
GIS analysts work with large datasets, converting information into visual displays, such as user-friendly maps and graphics. Responsibilities for this career include GIS data entry and validation, GIS database design and maintenance, and presentation of GIS databases to various audiences. GIS professionals often work independently, but they do coordinate with team members and conduct some fieldwork in groups. GIS analysts possess advanced skills in information technology, GIS techniques, and computer programming. PayScale reports that GIS analysts make an average salary of $54,305.
Information Systems Analyst
IS analysts coordinate IS operating procedures, analyze systems, perform data queries, and present findings and suggestions to managers. These professionals also program technical solutions and may use statistical data analysis and modeling to address larger business goals and problems. IS analysts also play a role in IT management, process development, and automation guidance. These professionals need advanced analytical skills, computer programming experience, and at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. IS analysts make an average salary of $65,338, according to PayScale.
Human Resources Information Systems Analyst
HRIS analysts design, implement, test, and update digital human resource systems and networks. These professionals often perform employee data entry and design systems and procedures for data entry. HRIS analysts also set up and update payroll systems and ensure the safety of sensitive HR data. Technical knowledge and skills prove essential to this position, which usually requires at least a bachelor's degree in IT or a related field. These professionals must pay attention to detail and communicate effectively. PayScale data shows that HRIS analysts make $66,354 per year, on average.
Computer and Information Research Scientist
Employed in various arenas, including science and business, computer and information research identify computing issues and develop computing theories, models, software, and hardware systems. They may develop complex algorithms and cutting-edge technologies, such as cloud computing and machine learning systems. These professionals require advanced IT and computer science skills. Computer and information research scientists made a median annual salary of $118,370 in 2018, according to the BLS. Given the projected job growth rate of 16% between 2018 and 2028, the career outlook for these professionals appears promising.
Computer Hardware Engineer
These engineers design, develop, install, and update computer systems and hardware. Hardware components may include storage devices, circuit boards, processors, and routers. These activities often involve considerable trial and error and require constant testing, so computer hardware engineers need considerable patience, persistence, and technical skill. Computer hardware engineers often collaborate with software developers, creating these interconnected features in tandem. Hardware engineers may also supervise the manufacturing of their designs. Computer hardware engineers enjoy a median salary of $114,600, according to the BLS.
Why Should You Get an Online MBA in Information Systems?
The knowledge and skills gained during an MBA in information systems makes graduates extremely marketable. An online MBA in information systems allows professionals to earn their credentials from home, usually during convenient, after-work hours. MBA students already working in IT or business professions often use this degree as a tool for promotion or career transition. MBA graduates make an average of $87,000, according to PayScale.
Online MBA in Information Systems Salary
Online MBA in information systems graduates qualify for lucrative careers in various industries. Graduates make an average of $92,000 annually, according to PayScale. In contrast, professionals with only a bachelor's-level business administration degree in information systems make about $67,000 per year, on average.
Common positions held by MBA in information systems graduates include information systems analyst, computer and information systems manager or scientist, and computer and/or network architect or engineer. PayScale data indicates that starting salaries for IS analyst careers, such as geographic information systems analyst and human resources information systems analyst, typically range between $40,000-50,000 per year. However, experienced professionals in these careers often earn yearly salaries close to $100,000.
Comparison of Average Annual Salary by Occupation and Degree Type
Senior Software Engineer (MBA)$116,000 Occupation
Software Engineer (Bachelor's)$85,000
FAQs About MBA in Information Systems Careers
- What certification should I get in addition to an MBA in information systems?
Depending on their career goals, information systems MBA graduates may pursue certifications such as certified security analyst, certified information systems auditor, or certified data analyst. Professionals interested in CIS engineering may opt for the engineering manager professional certification or software or hardware development certifications. MBA in IS graduates interested in cybersecurity can choose from certifications in cybersecurity analysis, ethical hacking, and penetration testing.
- What are the job opportunities after an MBA in information systems?
This degree can lead to computer and information systems manager positions or more technical roles, such as network architect, software developer, or hardware engineer. Graduates can also pursue research careers, such as computer and information research scientist.
- Is an MBA in information systems better than a master of information technology?
A master of information technology emphasizes technical skills rather than business management skills. As managers responsible for leveraging information systems to enhance business outcomes, information systems managers often rely more heavily on MBA-based skills than on the technical skills cultivated by master of IT programs.
- Is an MBA in information systems worth it?
An MBA in information systems positions graduates for lucrative, in-demand roles, making it a worthwhile degree.
Professional Organizations for Information Systems
The professional organizations below offer networking events and online forums, educational programming, and career resources. Many professional organizations also offer scholarships, discounted memberships, and local chapters for students.
- Society for Information Management Dedicated to advancing information management research and facilitating knowledge exchange, SIM provides a nexus for IT leaders seeking networking and educational opportunities. SIM provides leadership forums, roundtables, and other conferences where professionals can share new ideas and discuss topics of interest. SIM's several publications also keep professionals current in their field.
- Association for Information Systems Devoted to advancing information systems research, education, and practice, AIS connects IS professionals and organizations through online platforms, local AIS colleges and chapters, and several eminent IS conferences. AIS also provides a job index, an AIS eLibrary, and career services resources useful to professional development.
- Information Systems Security Association An international nonprofit for international cybersecurity professionals, ISSA supports professional development and improves risk management and information security systems. ISSA features publications, networking opportunities, and educational forums, including an annual international summit.
- Association for Information Science & Technology A major leader in information science research and practice, the ASIS&T provides events, education, and publications that help professionals advance their careers. ASIS&T members include professionals in diverse fields, including medicine, education, data science, and law.
- American Health Information Management Association Committed to improving health recordkeeping since 1928, AHIMA boasts over 100,000 members and 52 affiliated state associations. AHIMA sets professional standards, provides education and credentialing programs, and hosts events and other networking opportunities.