Ideal candidates for an MBA in information systems management are interested in pursuing a career that weds technology and management. This degree demonstrates expertise in business topics, management theories, and information technology, which employers seek to compete in today's global economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median pay for computer and information systems managers in 2017 at $139,220 and projects a 12% increase in employment opportunities between 2016 and 2026. An information systems management MBA degree affords students in-demand knowledge that employers and organizations rely on for success.
Should I Get an MBA in Information Systems Management?
An information systems management MBA degree builds skills in finance, marketing, network administration, hardware, and software. Students also strengthen leadership, financial, and human resources skills.
Many students pursue an information systems management MBA online because it provides the flexibility to work full time while enrolled in school. Online degrees frequently demand little to no on-campus requirements and, if delivered asynchronously, allow students to complete coursework at their own pace. These learners are often experienced professionals returning to school for career advancement. On-campus MBA in information systems management programs typically appeal to recent graduates from a bachelor's program. These students often enroll in classes full time.
An information systems management MBA degree offers many networking opportunities with classmates, faculty, and alumni. Making these connections helps students secure internships during school and jobs upon graduation.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Information Systems Management?
An MBA in information systems management provides many career opportunities. The skills acquired in the program prepare students to design, execute, and oversee information systems within an organization to improve efficiency. Graduates can drive strategic planning and implementation for organizations as well as collect and analyze data to address organizational challenges.
- Computer and Information Systems Managers
Professionals in this occupation lead an organization's computer-related activities. They assess technological needs and ensure computer systems fulfill them. Also called IT managers, their responsibilities include determining the costs and benefits of computer-oriented projects and how to upgrade organizational systems. These professionals often oversee analysts and specialists.
Median Annual Salary: $139,220
Projected Growth Rate: 12%
- Computer and Information Research Scientists
Earning an information systems management MBA equips graduates to ideate and execute innovative approaches to computer technology. These professionals examine and solve complex problems to improve an organization's efficiency. They may also invent new computer languages and tools.
Median Annual Salary: $114,520
Projected Growth Rate: 19%
- Computer Network Architects
These professionals develop data communication networks, such as Intranets and local area networks. An MBA in information systems management prepares students to develop these networks, from small, straightforward connections to large, complex connections, like a cloud infrastructure.
Median Annual Salary: $104,650
Projected Growth Rate: 6%
- Management Analyst
These experts advise organizations about their technology and computer-related activities to reduce costs and increase revenues. Management analysts have advanced skills in analysis, critical thinking, and problem solving, which are acquired in MBA in information system management programs.
Median Annual Salary: $82,450
Projected Growth Rate: 14%
- Administrative Service Managers
These professionals plan and direct an organization's support services. They improve the efficiency of functions such as recordkeeping, office upkeep, and mail distribution. They also ensure organizational compliance with health, security, and environmental standards and ensure adherence to government regulations.
Median Annual Salary: $94,020
Projected Growth Rate: 10%
How to Choose an MBA in Information Systems Management Program
Selecting the ideal MBA in information systems management program for your academic and career goals requires many considerations. For example, you should consider how long completing your degree will take relative to how long you want to remain in school. This can make the difference when considering part-time versus full-time enrollment.
Cost is another important consideration. An online program saves students money on commuting, housing, and childcare, and makes it easier to work while pursuing a degree. However, online programs may charge an additional technology fee per class. If a school is out of your price range, explore financial aid options, like scholarships and grants, that can help you overcome that hurdle.
Research the opportunities programs provide students to prepare them for life after graduation. Explore the internships and real-world experiences an information systems management MBA program offers to ensure it's aligned with your career goals and interests. It may also help to speak with current students and alumni to understand what kind of job placement support you can expect to receive through the programs.
Programmatic Accreditation for MBA in Information Systems Management Programs
Ensure your chosen MBA in information systems management program is accredited. Accreditation indicates a program's quality standards and intellectual rigor to employers, provides more financial aid opportunities, and makes transferring credits easier.
Several agencies accredit schools that offer information systems management MBA programs, including the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, Southern Association of College and Schools, and North Central Association of Colleges. Three agencies that offer highly regarded international accreditation are the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Association of MBAs, and the European Quality Improvement System.
MBA in Information Systems Management Program Admissions
Prospective MBA in information systems management students must submit an application. The application requests information about your professional and academic background, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays. GMAT scores may also be required. Online students may need to submit more information than on-campus students.
Applying to around three programs increases your chances of admission without becoming too much of a financial burden.
- Bachelor's Degree: You must have a bachelor's degree to apply to MBA in information systems management programs. Undergraduate courses in business-related topics aren't necessary to admission but are looked upon favorably by admissions committees.
- Professional Experience: Professional experience strengthens your application as it provides exposure to the topics you can expect to examine in an MBA program.
- Minimum GPA: Top business schools may require a 3.5 GPA or higher, while the average minimum GPA is 3.0. Work experience and GMAT scores may offset a low GPA.
- Application: You must submit an online application detailing your professional and academic background.
- Transcripts: An information systems management MBA program requires transcripts from all postsecondary education. You may need to pay a fee for each transcript requested.
- Letters of Recommendation: Most applications require letters of recommendation from professors and colleagues who can attest to your professional and academic skills. Give writers several weeks to complete the letters.
- Test Scores: Some MBA in information systems management programs require GMAT scores. This exam assesses writing, analytical, and quantitative skills in addition to reading and verbal capabilities. An average score is 556.
- Application Fee: An application fee covers a school's application processing costs. The average nonrefundable application fee for an MBA program is $75. Some schools waive this fee for students with demonstrable financial need.
What Else Can I Expect From an MBA in Information Systems Management Program?
Course offerings, program costs, and time to completion vary by institution. The following information provides general insight into these topics, but be sure to research your prospective programs for more specific information.
Courses in an MBA in Information Systems Management Program
Classes vary by program and specialization, but most MBA in information systems management programs offer core classes in statistics, economics, business ethics, project management, and accounting. The following courses are commonly found in these programs.
- Strategic Decision Making
This course examines how to identify an organization's value chain, develop project management plans, and create business plans. Students assume the perspective of an organization's strategy officer on whom the CEO relies for guidance and counsel.
- Leading in a Multicultural Environment
This course provides the cultural competence necessary to assess risks and opportunities in a global economy. The class leverages an understanding of ethical decision making while deepening knowledge of global cultures, employment law, and contracts.
- Financial Decision Making
Students learn how to perform financial analysis to achieve an organization's goals, including reviewing financial statements to determine potential risks. This class also helps students understand how to make decisions about pricing, distribution, and product mix by assessing costs and revenues.
- Project Management Fundamentals
This class examines the challenges of managing projects. With attention to operational and conceptual issues, the course explores what it means to define, plan, initiate, monitor, and evaluate a project. It also considers hierarchical project management and the meaning of matrix organization.
- Database Systems and Decision Support
Students study modeling and design and how these apply to decision support. Themes include data governance, strategic data planning, and data design for transaction processing. Case studies and modeling projects help students learn real-world application of these concepts.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA in Information Systems Management?
It takes the average student two years of full-time study to complete an MBA in information systems management degree, and about 36 credits. However, program length varies significantly depending on the school and format. For instance, part-time enrollment may add several years to the time to completion, while accelerated programs allow students to finish in one year.
How Much Is an MBA in Information Systems Management?
The cost of an information systems management MBA degree varies by program and residency status. The average cost for a full-time student attending an in-state public school is $42,000 per year. The tuition for private and top-tier programs can range from $50,000 to $70,000 annually.
Beyond tuition, there are other costs to consider when enrolling in an MBA program. For example, living on campus may require food and housing fees. Online students avoid these fees, but they may need to pay an additional technology fee per class. Both online and on-campus students also incur significant expenses for books.
MBA in Information Systems Management Certifications and Licenses
- Project Management Professional
Earning a PMP demonstrates an ability to manage projects within scope, on time, and within budget to achieve desired objectives. Individuals with this credential work in many industries.
- Lean Six Sigma
This certification demonstrates skills in process improvement and cost reduction. The methodology showcases the importance of team collaboration to eliminate waste by coupling lean manufacturing with Six Sigma, an approach for removing defects from product to service.
- Certified Business Manager
This certification verifies mastery of the skills and knowledge necessary for business management. Applicants must have an MBA and three years of professional experience to sit for the exam, which assesses competencies in finance, information technology corporate governance, and operations management. The test includes a Harvard Business School case study.
Resources for Information Systems Management Graduate Students
This leading publication showcases topics in general management as they relate to various industries. Some of its focus areas include organizational change, strategy, and negotiation.
This online resource, launched in 1999, includes analysis of business trends, articles about business research, and interviews with industry leaders. It also offers a searchable database of more than 6,300 articles and abstracts.
A student publication from the Wharton School of Business, this resource features articles by undergraduate and graduate students. It also includes interviews with faculty and industry leaders.
This publication shares insights and management research by leveraging the expertise of the global community within the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It provides current and future leaders ideas and information to become change agents.
This peer-reviewed journal spotlights management theories, research, techniques, and applications. The publication features the latest trends and practices in the project management profession.
Professional Organizations in Information Systems Management
Joining a professional organization complements your MBA in information systems management by providing opportunities to engage with colleagues. Members also benefit from continuing education through seminars, workshops, and conferences. Many organizations provide job opportunities for students and graduates.
This global membership association connects students, alumni, employers, and business schools with one another. It also accredits the top 2% of business schools in over 70 countries.
Established in 1970, this organization creates continuing education opportunities and promotes economic growth among black professionals in management.
This organization leverages its global network of graduate business professionals with regular online newsletters and bulletins. It also promotes emerging products and services to help professionals learn about the latest innovations.
Founded nearly 50 years ago, PMI supports project management professionals worldwide through collaboration, education, and advocacy to improve their careers and organizational success.
Considered the world's leading technology association, CompTIA offers certification programs, member communities, and ongoing skills development through timely and relevant training opportunities. It also offers research and market intelligence and hosts conferences for members.