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Management Information Systems

Management Information Systems (MIS) professionals bridge the gap between business and technical minds. They use technology to create business value and help management make strategic decisions. Professionals who work in the management of information systems work in a wide variety of functions. Considering just how technologically savvy, creative or customer-focused you are you may find yourself working in any of the following functions. 

  • Application Development or Programming
  • Business Analysis
  • Consulting
  • Customer or End-User Support
  • Data Analysis / Big Data
  • Database Design and Data Mining
  • Data Visualization
  • E-commerce
  • Enterprise Application Implementation
  • IT Architecture
  • IT Security and Assurance
  • Multimedia
  • Networking
  • Quality Assurance
  • Project Management
  • Product Management
  • Systems Development and Analysis
  • Technical Sales
  • Web or Digital Design

MIS professionals find work in a varied set of industries, from public to private and from large to small. In essence, any organization in any industry has technology needs. MIS is different from computer science in that computer science professionals tend to develop the technology used, while MIS professionals use these technology solutions to create business value. MIS professionals make organizations more efficient and effective by their use of systems, hardware, data, software and procedures.

On your way to the CIO (Chief Information Officer) or CTO (Chief Technology Office) position, you may have many roles and responsibilities. This field is more dynamic than most as the technology and client needs change exponentially faster. Some entry level roles include:

  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Database Developer
  • E-Commerce Specialist
  • Information Security Specialist
  • Network Administrator
  • Systems Analyst 

Job Outlook

Statistics show there is a shortage of trained candidates for technical positions in the U.S. Job growth in IT careers is on the rise, especially in healthcare and big data predictive analytics. The top 10 Fastest growing jobs in the US according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012-2013, the Computerworld IT Forecast 2012 Survey and the Occupational Outlook Handbook Salary Data 2012 include:

  1. Mobile Application Developer:  Growth: 32% (much faster than avg.) 
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 292,200 • Average Salary: $94,000
  2. Database Administrator:  Growth: 31% (much faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 33,900 • Average Salary: $82,000
  3. Software Engineer / Developer:  Growth: 30% (much faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 270,900 • Average Salary: $90,000
  4. Video Game Designer:  Growth: 30% (much faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 270,900 • Average Salary: $80,000
  5. Network Administrator:  Growth: 28% (much faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 96,600 • Average Salary: $69,000
  6. IT Security Specialist:  Growth: 22% (faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 65,700 • Average Salary: $87,000
  7. Computer Systems Analyst: Growth: 22% (faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 120,400 • Average Salary: $79,000
  8. Web Developer (web 2.0):  Growth: 22% (faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 65,700 • Average Salary: $91,000
  9. Health Information Technician:  Growth: 21% (faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 37,700 • Average Salary: $46,000
  10. Technology Manager:  Growth: 18% (faster than avg.)
    New Jobs 2010-2020: 55,800 • Average Salary: $111,000

Salaries vary by level, type of job, candidate's background, and geographic region. New graduates from UB have ranged from mid $40K's to low $100K's. The above salaries do not depict starting salaries, but average salaries of professionals working in that field. For more information, go to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

Skills Necessary for Success

In addition to the technical skill required, employers will ask for a variety of business skills from applicants, depending on the type of work. These soft skills help MIS professionals implement and administer systems, processes and solutions. In many of the roles you see advertised in MIS, the following skills and traits tend to be requested:

  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving and change management skills
  • Decision-making
  • Adaptability
  • Ability to understand and respond to user/customer requirements
  • Ability to learn quickly and independently
  • Business acumen
  • Time management
  • Organizational skills and ability to multi-task
  • Persuasion, ability to influence others
  • Initiative
  • Creativity
  • Confidentiality and sensitivity
  • Patience

Certifications

Some employers request and encourage certification in your specific field to stay current in the newest technologies. This shows the ability to adapt, quickly learn and take the initiative. Fore more information, refer to top 25 IT certifications being asked for recently.

Big Data Getting Bigger

Big data is not to be ignored. The volume of data being produced, saved and mined is mind-boggling. Today, companies use data collection and analysis to create more logical business plans. This trend will only continue in all industries.  Explore these worthwhile articles about the field and careers within:

Technology Organizations and Professional Associations

Magazines or Trade Journals

MIS Job Search Resources

  • Dice.com: The leading online Information Technology (IT) job board with high tech permanent, contract and consulting jobs. 
  • InfoWorld.com: News, articles, career resources and job search databases. 
  • ITCareers: Search for a job.
  • Job-Hunt.org: These websites specialize in computer programming, Internet development and other technology positions.
  • SystemzJobs: Browse the hottest jobs in the enterprise computing industry. Great for those on mainframe career path, for either entry-level and experienced. You must create an account in order to view opportunities.
  • Technical Consulting and Staffing Firms: Assessing Their Value [PDF]

Academics

To learn more about the Management Information Systems(MIS) areas and courses included within the concentration or program, please refer to the academic curriculum.