Washington, DC Information Systems Graduate Programs & Grad Schools

A career path in business information in systems is your ticket to pursuing an intoxicating, always-changing world of business technology, not to mention a vast array of potential career opportunities. You can pursue business information programs at the certificate, master’s degree, and doctorate degree levels.

Top Business Information Systems Grad Degrees

A Career In the Clouds

A growing career opportunity for a business information systems graduate is a Cloud Architect—These individuals keep the virtual world of information organized by using the latest BIS technology.

Graduate Programs in Business Information Systems: Overview

A Business Information Systems Graduate Program offers a curriculum for earning a master’s or PhD in business information systems. For those who want to pursue graduate studies in business information systems, a graduate certificate may also be an option.

These programs are designed for professional who want to develop a unique and in-depth understanding of business information systems.

What Is Business Information Systems?

Quite simply, an information system collects, organizes, stores, and communicates information. You’ll hear the term ICT, which stands for information and communication technology.

This term refers to the information system that a small, medium, or large organization uses to support management, operations, and decision making.

Application Information

Students typically need a bachelor's degree in business information systems from a regionally accredited college or university. Other required material may include letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a personal statement, and the completion of prerequisite courses. Be sure to check with your preferred program about the requirements needed.

Types of Business Information Systems Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in business information systems include master’s degrees, certificates, and

doctorate degrees.

Master’s and doctorate degree programs are structured to help professionals develop expertise in their field and enhance their international business and academic careers. On the other hand, a certificate program may be perfect for business information professionals who want to gain knowledge or skills in business information.

Business information graduate programs often appeal to professionals looking to study in the evening and on the weekends.

Below is a brief overview to help you make sense of the options.

A Master’s Degree in Information Systems

Students who are interested in a master’s degree in business information systems may choose from one of two types of programs:

  1. Master of Science in Information Systems (M.S.I.S.)
  2. Master of Business Administration in Information Systems (M.B.A.)

The MSIS program may ask students to choose a specific area of study, depending on what’s required in the program. That being said, program choices are many including such topics as Information Systems Security, Information Assurance, Project Management, and Technology Management. For those choosing an MSIS curriculum, you may study such topics as:

  • Systems Design
  • Project Management
  • Systems Analysis
  • Network Security
  • Data Communication
  • Database Design
  • Data Management and Analytics

Elective coursework may enhance the degree by focusing on such business-oriented concepts as

  • Information Forensics
  • Business Simulation
  • Modeling
  • Enterprise Systems
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Business Intelligence and Analytics

A Master of Business Administration in Business Information Systems (M.B.A.) program may focus more on general business practices such as Leadership, Management, Operations, Ethics, and more. Courses in Business Information Systems are usually emphasized through elective coursework.

In order to complete an M.B.A. or an M.S.I.S in business information systems program, expect to commit to one to two years of full-time study—or longer if you attend part-time.

You also may be required to complete a comprehensive exam or write a thesis at the end of the program. Ask about specific requirements and course details when choosing a business information systems graduate program.

A Doctorate Degree in Business Information Systems

If you’re into a more research-intensive program, a PhD in business information systems (D.B.A.) may be right for you. The PhD program curriculum typically is similar to a master’s degree but generally focuses on a deeper study of business information systems principles, theories, and applications.

If you choose to pursue a D.B.A. in business information systems, expect to commit to four to six years of full-time or intensive study to complete. You also may have to complete and defend a dissertation at the end of the program. Ask what’s required from your top program choices.

The Graduate Certificate in Business Information Systems

Students and working professionals may discover that a graduate certificate in business information systems will help them gain a broader understanding of business information systems. These programs are usually structured to provide an overview of BIS topics like databases, information security, and networking.

Most certificate programs take one year to complete and may appeal to students who do not wish to pursue a master’s degree or PhD in business information systems. (As always, check what’s required for your preferred graduate certificate program.)

Topics of Study in Business Information Systems Graduate Programs

While pursuing a master’s degree in business information systems, students may develop skills in a number of topics.

Here are a few examples:

  • Technology – Learn and gain a better understanding of new technologies, as well as learn how to innovate systems and applications
  • Management – New ideas on how to manage information systems to grow and promote a business
  • Research – Gain knowledge on how to conduct research and contribute to the ever-changing world of business information systems
  • Data Analysis – Uncover ways to use business information systems to collect an analyze data to help support and make decisions

What Skills Do BIS Pros Need on the Job?

Potential employers generally require some basic on-the-job skills from BIS pros.

Here are a few skills to think about and brush up on during your coursework:

  • Business
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Decision-making
  • Organizational
  • Analytical

Getting On the Business Information Systems Career Path

Once you’ve completed your masters in business information systems, you can find a variety of exciting job opportunities, including positions in management.

What Does A BIS Professional Do?

BIS pros filter, process, create, and distribute data per the needs of the organization, utilizing concepts of information management and information operations. A keen understanding of the processes that generate and consume the information as well as the information needs of a business is essential.

Want to Design and Build?

Along with collecting and organizing information, a BIS professional can design and build technical tools to solve problems, create solutions, and help grow a business.

The following are few examples of positions available for those with a master’s degree in business information systems:

  • Business Analyst
  • Applications Developer
  • Information Systems Manager
  • Network Systems Administrator
  • Systems Analyst
  • Information Security Analyst

With an advanced degree (MSIS or MBA) in business information systems and a few years professional experience, you may jumpstart your career into such positions as IT Director, Chief Information Officer, or Chief Technology Officer.

Earning Potential: Business Information Systems Salaries

Once you’ve earned a graduate degree or more in business information systems, you’re ready to reach out for a variety of career opportunities. Below are some examples of positions and their median annual salaries, according to 2017 BLS data:

  • Systems Administrator - $81,100i
  • Computer Systems Analyst - $88,270ii
  • Information Systems Manager - $139,220iii
  • Applications Developer - $103,560iv

Choosing A Graduate Business Information Systems Program

Now that you have the necessary information, it’s time to choose a graduate program in business information systems. True enough, you have a lot of options from which to choose, but you can easily narrow your choices and find the program you want. The first step is to either choose a preferred degree program or search for a program based on location.

Step two, make your choice. Then just use the on-page form to connect with that school—for free!

Sources: i bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/mobile/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm | ii bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm | iii bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm | iv bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm

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