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Online Master’s In Information Systems Program

Earning an online master’s in information systems might be a good way to get a head start in pursuing an IT career. This degree is intended for students who want to combine

strengths in research and leadership with knowledge of cutting-edge developments in information technology. After earning the degree, graduates could have the possibility of pursuing a position in management or in research and development.

What Are Some Skills You Might Need to Pursue a Career in Information Systems Management?

According to O*Net, people who work in information systems need a broad range of skills in order to meet the demands of their profession. Some skills for a computer and information systems manager to develop may include[i]:

  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management  Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Production and Processing  Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Personnel and Human Resources  Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control and operation of telecommunications systems.
  • Economics and Accounting  Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.

Prospective students should note that not all of these skills have to do with computers. Some of them also have to do with human interaction. An online master’s in information systems may also educate and train students in project management and human-computer interaction. This human element could be an important part of working in the IT field.

What Might a Typical Curriculum Look Like?

Different schools have different approaches to the curriculum for an online master’s in information systems. A typical curriculum for a master’s degree might start with core courses in management, networks and systems analysis[iii]. It could go on to a series of more advanced courses such as the following[iv]:

  • Project Management Operations
  • Human-Centered Computing
  • Network Security
  • Health Informatics
  • E-Commerce
  • Data Mining
  • Information Architecture
  • Enterprise-Wide Computing

Once these courses are completed, students may have the choice to write a thesis as a capstone to their online master’s in information systems program. Students choose a topic of interest to them and develop it in detail. The thesis track could be a smart choice for people who might want to go on to earn a further degree involving research and writing, such as a Ph.D in information systems or a related field. Producing a capstone thesis may also be a valuable experience for people who may want to pursue potential careers that might involve writing research articles, reports or professional grants for information systems development.

Potential Benefits of Earning of a Master’s in Information Systems

Degrees in information systems programs are different from degrees in information technology programs. Information systems degree programs generally focus on practical applications of information science rather than purely theoretical concerns. For people who prefer to get out there and solve problems rather than spending years researching solutions, this kind of program could be an ideal choice.. The multifaceted training and education that may be offered by this type of degree program may help prepare students for the constantly changing demands of the tech industry.

Possible Salary Prospects in Information Systems

According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in this field in May 2014 was $127,640[v]. The median wage for professionals in computer systems design and related services industries was higher, at $135,190[vi]. These figures are well above the national median wage of $47,230 at the same point in time[vii].

The typical level of education for an entry-level job in computer and information systems is only a bachelor’s degree. This means that people with a master’s degree have an additional level of training to bring to a possible career in information systems. The rate of job growth for professionals in computer and information systems management is currently projected to be 15 percent from 2014 through 2024.

If you love working with computers and you’re interested in the future of human-centered computing, a master’s in information sciences could be an ideal choice for you. Consider getting in touch with the school of your choice to find out more about enrollment options and financial aid information.


[i]onetonline.org/link/summary/11-3021.00 [ii]business.gwu.edu/programs/specialized-masters/m-s-information-systems-technology/academic-program/courses/ [iii]onlinems.umbc.edu/admissions/degree-requirements/ [iv]onlinems.umbc.edu/admissions/degree-requirements/ [v]bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-5 [vi]bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-5 [vii]bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#00-0000 [viii].bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm [ix]bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm