United States Business Information Systems Masters Degree
While earning a masters in business information systems degree (aka a BIS degree), your courses look at how to effectively analyze data, as well as the development and implementation of computer-based information systems. Additional topics in BIS may include the concepts of database management and network security. Typically, you can choose to earn your BIS masters degree in one of three different learning formats. These are online, on-campus, and hybrid, which combines the two formats.
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Masters in Business Information Systems: Basics
As business and technology rely so heavily on one another in the modern business world, many business information systems masters programs combine a number of business courses with information systems requirements. This aims to help students develop leadership skills as well as a complete understanding of the technological components of business operations.
Some of the strategic planning that programs may cover include some of the topics listed here.
- Planning and directing computer-related activities of an organization
- Analyzing an organization’s computer needs and making recommendations
- Ensuring the security of a company’s network
- Assessing and justifying the costs of new technological projectsi
Admissions Requirements for BIS Masters Programs
In order to pursue a masters in business information systems, schools ask that you have earned a bachelors degree from an accredited university. Other requirements may include those listed here.
- Statement of Purpose
- GRE or GMAT Scores
- Minimum GPA
Some schools may have stricter admissions requirements than others. For instance, some programs require that you maintained a higher GRE or GMAT score or had a higher GPA while earning your bachelors
degree. Other schools may ask that you take additional courses if you didn’t earn your bachelors degree in computer science, information systems, or a related degree. You can check with a few different schools to find one that matches your goals.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Masters in Business Information Systems?
Most full-time students can earn their masters in business information systems degree in two years or less. However, this may depend on the specific structure of the program and when courses are available. Typically, it takes part-time students two years or more to earn their degree.
Information Technology: Masters Degree Requirements
Upon completing all required courses, many schools ask that you complete a capstone or thesis project to earn your masters degree in BIS. Typically, these projects allow you an opportunity to show a complete understanding of information systems and all of the components that impact the strategic planning of a company.
What Are Information Systems?
Information systems are the collection of multiple pieces of equipment used in the dissemination of information. Some of these pieces include those listed below.
- Computer System Connections and Information
- Information System Users
- A System’s Housing
Normally, information systems refer to basic computer systems. Therefore, it involves resources for the collection and sharing of information, as well as the people who manage the system. This may include how to acquire, store, and use data and analytics to help the different departments of a business create long-term goals and strategies. As a result, users are an important part of information systems.
What’s the Difference Between Management Information Systems and Business Information Systems?
Typically, there is no difference between management information systems (MIS) and business information systems. As a result, when it comes to masters degrees in the field, some schools choose to name it BIS, while others choose MIS. Some schools may choose other, similar names for their masters degree programs. Typically, these programs have a similar focus and like-minded goals to business information systems. However, check with a few schools to find a perfect match for you.
Management Information Systems: What You’ll Learn
While earning a masters in business information systems, programs strive to develop your critical analysis skills through an information-based and technology-driven business curriculum. This includes how companies may leverage computer-based information systems to improve efficiency and decision-making.
Important Topics in Business Information Systems
Business management and information technology continue to combine as an entity that influences the modern business world. Therefore, while pursuing a masters in business information systems, courses look at developing a complete knowledge of the latest technology and enhancing your financial and problem-solving skills to properly disseminate data.
Some of the other topics you may study while earning your IT masters degree include those listed here.
- Manage Risk for Enterprise System
- Drive Strategic Decision-Making Through Data Modeling
- Implement and Evaluate Software Applications
- Anticipate Future Technological Trends
Each school may have a different design and course of study. Therefore, specific topics may vary, especially if you choose a concentration. Be sure to check with the school.
Concentrations for Masters in Business Information Systems
Some schools offer a number of concentrations to apply to your masters in business information systems degree. By choosing a concentration, you may tailor your course of study so that you may spend more time analyzing one particular area of information technology. These may help prepare you for specific career paths upon earning your degree.
Check out the list below for some of the concentrations that may be available.
- Data Analytics
- Health Informatics
- IT Management
- Information Security
- Business Decision Making
- User Experience Design
- Systems Analysis and Design
- Web Systems
Some schools may even allow you the option to build your own concentration. Typically, this is achieved by choosing a number of courses that have a common thread in a specific area. The schools that provide this option normally ask that you receive your advisor's approval first.
Keep in mind that each school has a unique design and some schools may not offer any concentrations. If you’re looking for a specific concentration, check with a few options to find one that matches your aspirations.
Common Business Information Systems Courses
The courses you may take while earning your business information systems masters degree analyze how to integrate technological solutions with strategic business goals. This may include a number of courses that look at how emerging technologies can influence disruption and provide companies with a competitive advantage.
For some of the common courses in business information systems, check out the list below.
- Information Technology and Project Management
- Business Database Systems
- Enterprise Computing and Systems Integration
- Fundamentals of Information Technology
- Analytics, Data Management, and Knowledge Management
- Leading a Global Information Technology Enterprise: Systems and Security
- Operations Management and Technology
- Management of Information Technology
- Applied Information Systems Architecture
- IT and Global Sourcing Strategy
Your specific curriculum may vary depending on the school and whether or not you choose a concentration. In addition, specific courses and their titles may vary from school to school.
Different BIS Masters Degree Formats
Many schools offer you three different formats for your BIS masters degree. However, not all colleges offer all three options, so check with a few schools to find the perfect fit for you. The three formats are listed below.
- Business Information Systems Masters Degree Online
- Masters Degree in Business Information Systems On-Campus
- Hybrid Masters in Business Information Systems
BIS is all about how technology and computer-based systems can influence the long-term strategies that businesses develop. As a result, some students may want to earn their degree online or in a hybrid format, which combines both online and on-campus aspects, to develop or enhance their technological and online communication skills.
Other students may prefer to earn their degree on-campus, where you may have access to high-end, expensive equipment you may otherwise not have been able to work with. Research a few schools to find the best format for your masters degree.
What Can You Do with a Masters in Information Systems?
After earning your masters in business information systems degree, some students choose to pursue a career as a computer and information systems manager. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the number of these systems managers to increase by 15% during the ten years between 2014 and 2024.ii
Check out the list below to see the industries with the top median annual wages for computer and information systems managers in 2016.
- Information: $150,190
- Computer Systems Design and Related Services: $143,040
- Finance and Insurance: $142,890
- Manufacturing: $139,540
- Management of Companies and Enterprises: $136,690iii
Typically, in order to become a computer and information systems manager you need to have earned a bachelors degree and have a number of years of experience. However, many companies require that computer and information systems managers have a graduate degree as well.iv
Take the Next Step!
Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page to take the next step to earn your masters in business information systems. You’ll find program descriptions and specific requirements. You can even reach out to your favorites directly to request more information.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-2 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-6 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-5 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-4
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