Why earn an online master of information systems?
Develop an interdisciplinary skill set
Combine technical, data, and digital expertise with business knowledge and managerial education.
Prepare for leadership
Learn how to improve process efficiency, design for innovation, and drive effective decision making.
Hone your career advantage
Build highly marketable skills that are in demand in a broad range of roles and industries.
Browse online master’s in information systems programs New
What is an information systems degree?
An information systems degree is an educational program that focuses on the use of technology to manage and leverage information within organizations. It focuses on how the strategic application of technology can solve business problems and inform process and operational decisions. Information systems (IS) are the tools and processes that organizations use to gather, process, store, and distribute data and information. IS involves both technology (like hardware and software, data, and the cloud) and the way people use that technology to achieve business goals. An IS degree is not solely about coding or fixing computers and tech. While technical skills are important, an IS degree also emphasizes how technology fits into an organization's overall strategy and how to manage IT projects effectively. It's not just about theory — it's practical and prepares you for real-world business challenges.
What is an MIS degree?
A master's in information systems (MIS degree) is a graduate-level program that deepens your knowledge of IS. It equips you with advanced skills in areas like data management, cybersecurity, software development, and IT strategy. It also often includes modules or courses in business and management to help you bridge the gap between technology and business needs. An MIS degree teaches you how to harness technology to solve problems, make informed decisions, and lead in the tech-driven world of business.
Admission requirements for an MS in information systems online
Admissions for online master’s programs usually ask for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or institution. Some master’s information systems online programs will have no GRE or GMAT requirement, but scores can be included if you believe they will enhance your application. You may also qualify for a GMAT waiver, depending on past work experience, licensure, and academic history. Most online master’s degrees in information systems will have a minimum GPA requirement and will use your official transcripts to assess your suitability. A résumé, letters of recommendation, and proof of completion for any prerequisite courses may also be requested.
How to apply
Visit each online MIS degree page to explore specific application instructions to ensure you meet the specific requirements. You can fill out a form showing your interest in a particular program or request that an admissions advisor contacts you to discuss the program, admission requirements, and your goals. Take note of any deadlines, submission formats, and supplementary materials requested by the institution to complete your application accurately and efficiently.
Online MIS degree curriculum
The curriculum of a master of science in information systems program is designed to cover the integration of technology, business processes, and data management, and equip you with tools to effectively address organizational challenges and support business goals and operations. As well as general strategic, analytical, and leadership skills, you will also have the opportunity to explore emerging technologies and study toward a specialization.
Some typical courses in an MIS degree include:
Business statistics and data analysis focuses on statistical methods and data analysis techniques to make data-driven decisions.
Database management teaches the design, creation, and maintenance of relational databases, as well as the importance of data integrity and security.
System analysis and design covers techniques like data modeling and system modeling.
Cybersecurity and information assurance explores topics such as network security, encryption, risk management, and incident response.
Project management shows you how important it is to initiate, plan, execute, and close IT projects efficiently.
Enterprise architecture delves into designing, integrating, and managing complex IT infrastructures within organizations.
IT governance and compliance unpacks the regulatory frameworks, legal aspects, and ethical implications of IT.
Data warehousing and business intelligence provides concepts and tools for extracting and analyzing data to support business intelligence and decision making.
Strategic IT management shows how to align IT strategies with an organization's business objectives.
Information systems capstone allows you to showcase your knowledge to solve a complex, real-world IT problem.
An online MS in information systems could be the right option for you, if you’re looking for a curriculum that allows you to learn data management as you develop executive-level business leadership and management skills. For this learning path, ensure that you can show proof of previous academic or work experience if you are interested in learning information systems online with no GMAT.
For something that is more technically oriented, you could look into a program that allows you the opportunity to learn information technology. At a graduate level, the online master’s in information technology shares many of the same areas as an MIS but also includes advanced IT skills like programming, networking, and subjects to help you learn cybersecurity.
Master of Science in Information Systems online specializations
A Master of Science in Information Systems program often offers various specializations or concentrations to cater to your specific career interests. While the available specializations can vary between universities, common ones include: business intelligence, cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, data science and data analytics, healthcare informatics, IT and IT project management, app development, e-commerce, and digital marketing.
These specializations allow you to tailor your online MIS degree to your specific goals and interests. It's essential to research the offerings of different universities and institutions to find a program with a specialization that aligns with your aspirations in the field of information systems.
Information systems careers
Information systems play a crucial role in most industries and fields and an online MIS can prepare you for a range of information systems careers, each with distinct responsibilities and areas of expertise. An online master’s in information systems degree equips you with business fluency and technical skills to design business applications, build databases, leverage data, and improve networks.
Specific job roles may include:
Software designer/developer: Create and code software applications, websites, or systems to meet specific user needs or business requirements.
Systems architect: Design and oversee the high-level structure of complex IT systems, ensuring they meet business objectives and integrate effectively.
Database administrator: Manage and maintain databases, ensuring data integrity, security, and availability.
Technology executive: Oversee an organization's technology strategy, ensuring alignment with business goals and efficient technology utilization.
Chief technology officer (CTO): Lead technology-related strategies and innovations within an organization, driving technological growth and competitive advantage.
Chief information officer (CIO): Manage an organization's overall technology infrastructure and information systems, aligning them with business objectives.
Business analyst: Analyze and improve business processes, often using technology solutions to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.
Data analyst: Collect, analyze, and interpret data to provide insights and support decision making.
Systems analyst: Assess and design information systems to meet specific business requirements and improve efficiency.
Business intelligence analyst: Gather and analyze data to provide actionable insights for business decision making.
Computer support manager: Oversee a team that provides technical support and assistance to end-users and resolve IT issues.
Cybersecurity analyst: Protect an organization's digital assets by monitoring, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity threats.
eCommerce specialist: Manage online sales platforms and strategies, optimizing user experience and driving revenue in the e-commerce sector.
Help desk manager: Supervise a team that provides technical assistance and support to end-users.
Mobile applications developer: Create mobile apps for various platforms, ensuring functionality and user experience.
Network manager: Manage an organization's network infrastructure, ensuring reliability and security.
IT project manager: Plan, execute, and oversee IT projects, ensuring they meet objectives, timelines, and budgets.
Quality assurance manager: Ensure the quality of software or products through testing and process improvements.
UX/UI designer: Focus on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design to create visually appealing and user-friendly digital products.
Web analytics/web developer: Analyze website data and optimize web content or develop web applications and websites.
Frequently asked questions
With a master's in information systems, you can embark on an array of career paths. Your MIS degree equips you with skills to bridge technology and business, making you valuable in solving complex organizational challenges and enhancing efficiency. Information system jobs include IT manager, business analyst, data analyst or data scientist, IT consultant, project manager, cybersecurity analyst, database administrator, cloud solutions architect, and health IT specialist.
MIS professionals are in demand across various industries and information systems job salaries will vary according to experience, field, and location.
A master's in information systems combines technology and business, strategically applying IT to solve organizational challenges, including IT management, data analytics, and business processes. In contrast, computer science (CS) is more technically intensive, emphasizing algorithms, software development, and advanced computing theory, delving deep into computing fundamentals. While both overlap in areas like data science and Artificial Intelligence, MIS integrates technology into the broader context of business, whereas CS focuses more on technical aspects and software development.
A master's in information systems degree focuses on the strategic use of technology to address organizational challenges. It combines technical and business knowledge, emphasizing IT strategy, data management, and systems integration. In contrast, a master's in information technology (MIT) degree is more technically oriented, concentrating on advanced IT skills like programming, networking, and cybersecurity. While the coursework in both degrees may overlap, MIS leans toward the management and strategic aspects of technology, while MIT is more hands-on and specialized in technical proficiency.
Whether or not a MIS is worth it will depend on your career goals and plans. An MIS degree can lead to rewarding career opportunities. However, it also depends on the program's quality, and the industry's demand in your region. It's advisable to research, evaluate your goals, and assess the return on investment before pursuing an MIS degree.
Information systems offer diverse career paths, including IT management, where you oversee technology strategy, and business analysis, focused on process improvement. Data analysts/scientists extract insights from data, while IT consultants provide expertise to businesses. Project managers lead IT projects, and cybersecurity analysts protect organizations from cyber threats. Database administrators manage data systems, cloud solutions architects work on cloud-based solutions, and health IT specialists optimize healthcare systems. Additionally, careers in supply chain analysis, entrepreneurship, academia, and finance/investment analysis are possible.
Admission requirements for an online MIS program vary by university. Many online MIS programs do not mandate the GMAT or GRE, especially for applicants with relevant work experience. Some programs might require these standardized tests for candidates who don't meet certain GPA or experience criteria, while others may offer them as optional. It's vital to research the specific program's admission requirements and contact their admissions department for clarification. Each program has unique policies, so verifying whether the GMAT or GRE is needed for your application is crucial.