The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nearly 45,000 new computer and information systems manager positions will be available over the next decade. The continued digitization of business processes requires workers knowledgeable in systems design, telecommunication networks, and cybersecurity strategies. An associate degree in management information systems equips students with the expertise required to launch a career in this industry.

After only two years as a full-time student, students can graduate with their degree and pursue entry-level positions as IT managers, software developers, or IT architects. According to PayScale, the average salary for IT professionals with an associate degree is $56,000, and entry-level IT managers can earn $63,991. Completing an associate degree also allows easy transfer into a bachelor's program.

Should I Get an Associate Degree in Management Information Systems?

An associate degree in management information systems provides the necessary training for entry-level IT positions in schools, health facilities, or corporations. On-campus, online, and hybrid deliveries are available, with each modality offering different advantages. Online programs offer flexibility and convenience for students employed full time or with family obligations. On-campus associate in management information systems programs allow recent high school graduates to develop professional networks with faculty. Hybrid programs, which use in-person and online courses, allow students to mix these two learning styles together.

Online and on-campus associate in management information systems programs equip students with valuable professional knowledge, regardless of instructional delivery. Students enrolled in these programs learn about IT project management, business systems analysis, and application programming. While earning their degrees, students can attend campus job fairs, a valuable chance to network with potential employers and discover internships.

What Can I Do With an Associate in Management Information Systems?

Students earning their associate in management information systems acquire diverse skills and the knowledge required to thrive in the IT world. Because graduates from these programs learn effective communication and adaptable problem solving, they find success in fields like manufacturing, education, and finance. The following occupational spotlights illustrate career paths frequently pursued by graduates in this field.

Systems Analyst

Systems analysts implement strategies to increase the effectiveness of business systems. These professionals use their knowledge of programming languages and software and hardware systems to solve business problems, train users, and identify high quality, affordable IT programs. Systems analysts participate in ongoing professional training to stay informed of the latest technological advances relevant to their field.

Median Annual Salary: $64,380

Information Technology Manager

An associate degree in management information systems prepares graduates for leadership roles, including careers as information technology managers. These professionals oversee an organization's computer systems and network infrastructure. They lead teams of IT professionals in departments like IT security, customer data storage, and web monitoring.

Median Annual Salary: $84,975

Network Administrator

These professionals maintain company telecom systems, fire alarms, and security systems. Network administrators are responsible for software installation, troubleshooting, and monitoring networks to prevent security breaches.

Median Annual Salary: $57,431

How to Choose an Associate in Management Information Systems Program

Prospective students should consider location, cost, and program features when selecting a college for their associate degree in management information systems. Commuting can be an affordable alternative to housing and meal plans, but students must factor in travel expenses, including gas and parking passes. Students who plan to relocate for school should research the surroundings, including housing costs, public transit, and safety ratings. If a student plans to live permanently in their school's location, they should also look at local job prospects.

Students who select an online program complete courses at their convenience, and several entirely online associate in management information systems programs are available. Some programs feature accelerated coursework, where classes are only five to eight weeks in length. This option allows students who are employed full-time to earn their degree part time and graduate more quickly. In addition to location and delivery, students should select programs that feature courses aligning with their professional goals.

Tuition is another important consideration when selecting a management information systems degree program. Community colleges have lower tuition rates, and students who choose to attend in-state colleges save money compared to those who pay out-of-state prices. The most important feature of a management information systems degree program is accreditation, which ensures the quality of an academic program. Students should only consider programs offered by accredited schools. Follow this link for more information on accredited associate in management information systems programs available online.

Associate in Management Information Systems Program Admissions

To apply to associate in management information systems programs, prospective students must submit college entrance exam scores, official transcripts, and an online application. Colleges provide step-by-step online applications on their website. Community colleges that offer an associate degree in management information systems often do not require ACT or SAT scores and use ACCUPLACER test scores to determine a student's program curriculum requirements. While students are not required to complete the FAFSA to gain admission to a university, this is an important step for students in need of financial assistance.

Students should apply to at least three schools with high acceptance rates to ensure admission into a management information systems program. Successful students pursue degrees from schools that match their academic goals and personal needs, like convenience and affordability.

Admission Materials

  • Application: Students provide personal and academic information and complete their application in approximately 30 minutes. The CommonApp allows students to complete one application for over 750 participating colleges.
  • Transcripts: Students must request transcripts from their high school administrative staff to be sent to any prospective colleges. Students with previous college coursework may also need to request transcripts from prior institutions.
  • Application Fee: Application fees vary in price, with most public universities requiring approximately $30 to process a student's application. Military personnel and students with financial need can often receive application fee waivers.

Educational Paths for Management Information Systems Associate Programs

Aside from entry-level IT positions, an associate degree in management information systems prepares students to transition seamlessly into a four-year degree. Students who earn a 60-credit associate degree typically only need 60 further credits to graduate with a bachelor's degree. According to PayScale, entry-level IT managers with a bachelor's degree earn a median income of 28% more than IT managers with an associate degree.

BS in Business and Information Management

This degree integrates theories of business and information management to provide students with a comprehensive education that leads to careers in business analysis, business application developments, and IT management. Curriculum includes coursework in business modeling, project management, and professional business ethics and legal issues.

BS in Information Science

This program is appropriate for students seeking careers in systems analysis, computer programming, and web design. Students acquire knowledge of database development, network design, and data communication concepts. Common concentrations in this program include software development, cybersecurity, and robotics.

BS in Health Information Management

This bachelor's degree builds upon IT knowledge acquired from management information systems degree programs to prepare students for careers with hospitals, healthcare clinics, and insurance agencies. Students learn about healthcare data management, medical terminology, and medical coding systems.

What Else Can I Expect From an Associate in Management Information Systems Program?

Associate in management information systems programs facilitate career growth by equipping students with skills to master the latest technologies. While curriculum requirements for associate degrees in management information system differ across colleges, graduates of accredited programs possess knowledge of industry-standard techniques that allow them to pursue careers in many settings.

Courses in an Associate in Management Information Systems Program

Although programs vary, the following sample curriculum familiarizes prospective students with topics they will likely encounter as they pursue their associate degree in management information systems. These courses facilitate a comprehensive understanding of occupational duties for IT professionals.

Database Design

In this course, students learn about relational design, modelling strategies, and database management. They use these concepts to create and enhance databases through Structured Query Language and markup languages. Knowledge of database design is key for careers in database administration and computer network architecture.


Students in this course learn strategies to prevent security breaches and develop information assurance technologies. To prepare students for careers as information security analysts, topics in this class include data recovery, cryptography, and standard security software applications.

Foundations of Information Technology

A requirement for associate in management information systems programs, this course provides students with an overview of core IT theories. Students explore topics in information assurance, user interface, and web systems.

Introduction to Computer Programming

This course teaches students about the stages of development for computer programs. A requirement for careers in computer programming and software development, this course emphasizes training in computer coding, class hierarchies, and object orientation. This course commonly includes lab work in which students write software applications.

Telecommunication Management

Equipping students for careers as network and computer systems administrators, this course focuses on networking and telecommunications theories in the context of local area network functions. Students learn about networking structures, telecommunications software, and management strategies to optimize organizational communications.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate in Management Information Systems?

Associate in management information systems programs consist of approximately 60 credits. Although curriculum requirements can lengthen enrollment, students who attend school full time typically graduate in two years. An undergraduate student enrolled in 12 or more credits is considered full-time students, and many colleges offer reduced credit prices per semester when students enroll full time. A part-time student who completes six credits per semester, including summer school, typically earns their degree in three and a half years. Students can take more or fewer credits per semester, depending on the flexibility of their schedules.

Most programs allow students to transfer credits toward their associate degree, and students with prior professional training often receive course credits, which accelerates their degree completion. Some colleges allow students to test out of general education courses.

How Much Is an Associate in Management Information Systems?

The cost of a management information systems degree varies, and prospective students pay more when they attend private universities. The most expensive schools cost roughly $55,000 annually, though students can earn their associate degree in management information systems for much less. Accredited community colleges offer cost-effective programs, wherein students pay, on average, $4,000 per year. Out-of-state students pay nearly double the tuition of resident students.

Students must also consider academic and technology fees, which vary by institution. Students completing courses online are typically charged an additional fee for online instruction. Students who live on campus pay residence hall and dining fees. On-campus housing varies significantly in price depending on the school -- typically, community college housing costs less than the equivalent at four-year institutions. Other costs beyond tuition include textbooks and electronic devices, commuting expenses, and graduation fees.

Professional Organizations in Management Information Systems

Joining a professional organization is a cost-effective, convenient way to enhance professional knowledge, network with colleagues, and access job postings. Students pursuing their management information systems degree enjoy many benefits when they join a professional organization, including access to regional networking, career and research resources, and discounted prices on educational events.

Association for Information and Image Management

Established in 1943 as the National Micrographics Association, the Association for Information and Image Management's commitment to IT professionals spans generations. This organization serves established professionals and industry newcomers and features webinars, online toolkits, and a job center.

Association for Information Systems

This professional organization hosts four regional and international conferences that include training events. Members also gain access to the organization's research resources, including their scholarly journals.

CompTIA Association of IT Professionals

Dedicated to promoting the IT profession through its advocacy, networking, and educational opportunities, the CompTIA Association of IT Professionals offers a mentorship program that pairs students with IT professionals.