Management Information Systems, General  Program Description

 
 

Insider Info

dotAre you some kind of computer whiz who also wants to go into business? Are you torn between these two callings? Consider a degree in management information systems (MIS).

"An MIS program is a program within a business [school] which teaches students to combine knowledge and practices of both information technology and business," says Blaize Horner Reich. She is an associate professor of information technology (IT).

MIS teaches students how companies can best use communication technology to achieve their goals. Here's one way of looking at it -- if management and computer science got married, their child would probably be called MIS.

You'll find plenty of MIS programs at the bachelor's level. Those who want to continue their studies for another two years can receive a master's degree. It would take an additional three to five years to earn a PhD.

Commerce professor Carson Woo says the course load is similar to that of most other commerce options. The first year is dedicated to building a solid foundation for studying business. It includes English, economics and math courses.

"We also recommend that students interested in pursuing the MIS program take first-year computer science courses," he says.

The main expenses are tuition and books. But you may want to purchase your own computer. "The two primary reasons for this are accessibility and skills development," says Woo.

Horner Reich says students considering a career in MIS can take high school courses such as math, social sciences and English. She adds that studying a wide range of courses would be an advantage.

"Our students are not hard-core [computer] programmers at all. So in high school, they are probably getting good grades in a wide array of courses, working with other people in clubs and on teams and using the computer for their school and hobbies."

Horner Reich also says any type of business or work experience is also great.

"Work experience in several settings is useful, since MIS people will be liaisons between IT and business."


Links

Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Engineering and Natural Sciences Managers

MISQ Central
Website of MIS Quarterly magazine

CIO Online
The site of CIO magazine

CNET
Great source of IT links and info

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this program is about? Check out Just the Facts for a simple description.