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Earning a master’s in information systems can open the door to many information technology jobs. As technology has become increasingly crucial to everyday life, professionals and consumers rely more and more on databases, search engines and digital financial systems.
Individuals with master’s degrees in information systems help make these systems efficient, effective and functional. This guide explores master’s in information systems degrees, including details on admission requirements, common coursework and career pathways.
What Is a Master’s in Information Systems Degree?
A master’s in information systems covers the planning and implementation of new technologies, typically with a business focus in non-technical courses. These programs usually comprise 30-45 credits and take two years to complete, though some schools offer accelerated pathways. Coursework focuses on data management, information visualization, predictive business forecasting and IT infrastructure.
Along with core classes, enrollees can also complete electives in areas like organizational behavior, business conditions analysis and marketing strategy in the global environment. These degrees prepare graduates for information management roles at public and private organizations. Some programs focus on how business leadership intersects with technology, preparing students for advanced IT roles.
Master’s in Information Systems Admission Requirements
Admission requirements for master’s in information systems degrees typically include official transcripts, resumes, letters of recommendation and statements of purpose.
Most universities require a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, though some programs evaluate each applicant holistically without specific GPA requirements. More competitive schools may have higher GPA minimums. Some colleges require candidates to submit GMAT or GRE scores.
Master’s in information systems programs may also require or prefer candidates to have prior work experience. Seasoned professionals may be exempt from GMAT or GRE requirements.
Courses in a Master’s in Information Systems Program
Enrollees explore ways to gather and organize large datasets for business professionals. This course considers ethics, law and policy related to big data, along with methods of storage and use in professional contexts. Coursework bridges the gap between generating concepts and implementing those concepts in real-world business environments.
Students consider how people seek information within large datasets in content management systems to improve usability and effectiveness. Learners analyze existing information structures and become comfortable with deploying and overseeing new content management systems.
Social Media as a Tool
Students consider how to use social media platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, to recognize market changes and examine consumer trends. Using social media user data requires organized, searchable databases. Enrollees explore content management systems and the database software used to collect and organize big data.
Digital Business Success
This course focuses on contemporary IT topics like cloud computing and storage, e-commerce integration and data organization methods. Enrollees hone their leadership skills to deliver innovative solutions in real-world tech scenarios. This class prepares students to analyze business data as strategic decision-makers in the workplace.
Enrollees learn to develop scalable infrastructures for organizations. IT infrastructure is composed of three pieces: hardware, software and networking. Learners explore how physical devices, including routers and personal computers, use software to deliver proper functionality in digital communication.
Coursework considers how modern businesses record large datasets in many different contexts, which requires accurate organization. Though IT infrastructure once focused entirely on on-site, physical storage, many companies now use cloud hosting or software-based infrastructure.
In this elective course, degree-seekers learn to draw conclusions from large sets of data. Instructors delve into data mining methods and statistical analysis approaches that best suit business leadership environments. Enrollees may also consider machine learning techniques for pulling and organizing data.
Careers with a Master’s in Information Systems
Computer Systems Analyst
Median Annual Salary: $99,270
Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030): +7%
Job Description: Computer systems analysts increase their organizations’ efficiency by researching and implementing new technologies. These professionals improve existing networks by creating hardware- and software-based solutions in information technology. They need technical knowledge relating to data storage, programming and computing power to accurately develop plans and see them to creation.
Most systems analysts tailor their work to their organization or sector. They handle a broad scope of work, with some analysts focusing on data modeling to create entire systems and others performing practical work relating to testing, debugging and writing code.
Mobile Application Developer
Median Annual Salary: $105,310
Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030): +19%
Job Description: These developers design and create applications for mobile platforms like Android and iOS. While there is some overlap, operating systems usually use different coding languages, allowing mobile application developers to specialize in core languages or platforms.
With the shift to mobile communications over the last decade, businesses have increasingly sought the work of these developers to create functional, efficient and user-friendly mobile software.
Median Annual Salary: $120,520
Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030): +5%
Job Description: Cloud architects handle organizations’ remote data storage. These IT professionals plan and implement cloud storage for companies that store all data on-site. They may also improve existing systems for businesses that have adopted remote storage. Cloud architects must ensure that all parts of a network function properly together, including data management, identity and access management and development of the software itself.
In addition to strong knowledge of cloud computing, this advanced role requires professionals to possess strong communication and collaboration skills. Cloud architects work in teams and may need to assign responsibilities to other IT professionals involved in remote data storage efforts.
Median Annual Salary: $93,000
Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030): +14%
Job Description: These professionals analyze organizations’ procedures to provide advice on areas of improvement regarding efficiency, profits and employment. Also known as management analysts, management consultants problem-solve to create solutions for businesses looking to increase profitability.
Most management consultants work for organizations as third-party contractors. They observe businesses and speak with employees to determine areas for improvement before recommending changes.
Median Annual Salary: $98,860
Projected Growth Rate (2020-2030): +8%
Job Description: Database administrators develop systems for digital information storage and organization. Professionals who use large datasets rely on this work, which ensures proper functionality and intuitiveness for quick, accurate access. Database administrators oversee existing databases and create new architecture when necessary.
Database administrators in smaller organizations may handle all database-related responsibilities. Within larger companies, these professionals typically specialize their work. For example, some focus on specific applications, like employee performance or customer service software.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Information Systems
What do information systems professionals do?
Information systems professionals can handle information security and computer science responsibilities in many different roles. They may safeguard sensitive information for public and private organizations, build websites or analyze computer systems for efficiency.
Does a degree in information systems require coding?
Degrees in information systems typically do not require coding, though experience with writing or testing code may help. Information systems coursework focuses on the big-picture aspects of networks and businesses rather than covering specific coding languages.
What degree do you need for information systems?
Most information systems roles require at least a bachelor’s degree. However, employers may prefer master’s-level candidates for more senior roles in the field.