Today’s businesses use any number of computer systems to store, retrieve and process data, and the development, maintenance and secure operations of those systems are generally known to be management information system (MIS) activities.
MIS practitioners assess the interactions among individuals, organizations and technology to improve business processes and help companies to achieve competitive advantages in the market place. Success in this field requires working knowledge of fundamental business principles, technical systems, organizational behavior and interpersonal skills.
The knowledge and skills that are related to the MIS discipline have been in such high demand for the last two decades that most reputable colleges and universities include either a concentration or major in the subject as part of their line up of degree offerings. Here are some of the careers for which MIS graduates qualify to fill.
Information Systems Manager
Each organization’s computing needs are different based on its mission, size and the industry in which it operates. Information systems managers evaluate their companies’ requirements for technology products and services, and they recommend information technology (IT) products that help their companies to achieve their strategic objectives. Information systems managers must have deep knowledge of unique company processes, procedures and culture. These business professionals must also keep abreast of the latest technology. The results of their work is the acquisition of high performance information systems that are user friendly, scalable and compatible with other IT systems in use within organizations.
IT Project Manager
Once a technological need is identified, project managers are often selected to ensure that corresponding solutions are developed or integrated properly. When the recommendations from information system managers are implemented, it is the project manager who conducts the purchase of off the shelf products, generates interface requirements, modifies code and delivers the completed information system that meets business needs, functional requirements and performance specifications. Those who hold this position manage people as well as material resources, and many of them hold specialized project management certifications in addition to degrees in MIS.
Computer Systems Analyst
Many commercial IT solutions do not function according to companies’ requirements right out of the box. Usually, some modifications are needed to make the product work as expected. It is the job of computer systems analysts to make the needed modifications. Some projects require new systems, and computer systems analysts help to design, develop, integrate and test those systems.
Computer Systems Administrator
Today, nearly all company computers are linked via networks, and it is the job of computer systems administrators to manage network operations. Computer systems administrators also trouble shoot network issues and even conduct drills to make sure that the networks on which company computers run are secure.
MIS offers business and technology professionals plenty of variety in career paths. Practitioners can choose jobs that allow them to work closely with numerous corporate stakeholders, or they can opt for careers that require them to apply their analytical skills to improve the performance of computer systems. The job outlook for graduates who have MIS degrees is a little rosier than that for many other degree holders.