Best Online Associate in Management Information Systems Programs

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An associate in management information systems is a two-year degree often available through community colleges. This degree program teaches students to plan and manage information systems within an organization.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), average tuition and fees at a two-year college cost $3,621 for the 2019-20 academic year. Most community colleges cost about the same amount whether you take classes online or on campus. However, some schools charge different rates for online classes.

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that job opportunities for information systems managers will increase 11% from 2020-30. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $151,150 as of May 2020. This career typically requires a bachelor's degree and about five years of experience, but an associate in management information systems can be the first step.

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

An associate in management information systems requires about 60 credits and takes approximately two years to complete. Students learn to analyze organizations' needs and design computer systems to meet those needs.

Some schools offer specializations within their associate in management information systems programs. At Fullerton College, for example, students can choose from seven tracks within the computer information systems associate in science degree program. Specializations include cybersecurity, programming, network administration, web design, and game design.

Most associate in management information systems programs lead to either an associate in science (AS) or an associate in applied science (AAS). AS degrees typically prepare students to transfer to a four-year college or university. AAS degrees ready them to enter the workforce.

Information technology (IT) professionals tend to be agreeable and tough-minded. They are somewhat less likely than others to be conscientious, extraverted, assertive, or optimistic.

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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Management Information Systems Program?

Introduction to Personal Computers

Students enrolled in this course learn basic computer literacy and information literacy. The course covers hardware, software, virus protection, the Windows operating system, and Microsoft Office.

Web Design I

This course teaches students to create websites using dynamic HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They learn to work with various types of graphics and with server-side technologies such as Java and CGI. Learners also work with server-side languages like PHP, Python, Ruby, and C#.

Introduction to Networking Concepts

In this course, students learn networking and data communications concepts. They learn the components of data communications networks, local area networks (LANs), and wide area networks (WANs).

Introduction to Python Programming

Students enrolled in introduction to Python programming learn techniques and concepts for writing software programs using Python. The course covers syntax, data types, variables, exceptions, expressions, and classes.

Project Management I

This course explores the skills needed to manage a project from idea to completion. Students learn to create project schedules, analyze risk, manage resources, communicate project information, and close out projects. They may also explore project management methodologies like Agile and Scrum.

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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Management Information Systems Program?

Community colleges are generally easier to get into than four-year colleges and universities. Still, community colleges have standards. They may require minimum GPAs or test scores from college entrance exams. Applicants must usually prove that they've graduated from high school or earned a GED diploma.

Learners may also need to write college application essays. These are usually pretty short but require substantial time and effort. Some colleges ask for letters of recommendation. Depending on how long it has been since high school, applicants can ask their high school teachers or work supervisors.

Those with work experience may be able to take a test or series of tests to earn credit for their life and work experiences. Not all colleges offer this option, though.

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

Career Outlook

Demand for computer and information systems managers is growing at a faster-than-average rate. The BLS projects this field to add 52,700 jobs from 2020-2030.

Graduates with an associate in management information systems should expect to qualify for entry-level jobs in management information systems. According to Payscale, entry-level information systems managers earned an average of $59,180 per year as of March 2022. Those with 1-4 years of experience earned an average of $71,110 per year.

Computer and information systems managers often work in computer systems design. They may also work in finance, insurance, information, management, or manufacturing.

See where an associate in management information systems can take you. Learn more about information systems careers.

Career Paths

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers plan and coordinate information technology activities within an organization. They determine the organization's IT goals and maintain the computer systems needed to meet those goals. Most employers require a bachelor's degree and five years of experience for this position. Some may hire low-level managers with only an associate degree.

Median Annual Salary: $151,150

IT Project Manager

These project managers plan IT projects and make sure the projects are completed on time and within budget. They assign project duties and make sure everyone involved is aware of the project's vision and goals. IT project managers oversee the entire project until it is complete. This position often requires years of experience in IT and previous demonstration of leadership skills.

Average Annual Salary (March 2022): $88,730

Web Developer

Web developers create, update, and maintain websites. These professionals monitor performance, including speed and traffic, and make adjustments as needed. Web developers often work with designers, who direct the look and feel of the website. They discuss website specifications with managers and other team members before creating a prototype of the site for approval.

Median Annual Salary: $77,200

Computer Support Specialist

Computer support specialists are also called technical support specialists. They listen to customers explain their problems and troubleshoot fixes. Often, these professionals walk customers through the process step by step. They ask questions to understand the problem and help get the customer's system up and running again.

Median Annual Salary: $55,510

Management Assistant

Management assistants help managers by handling minor issues that arise throughout the business day. These professionals may answer phone calls and emails, perform data management, and order new supplies. They should have strong communication skills and some administrative experience. They should be able to follow instructions and multitask.

Average Annual Salary (March 2022): $50,430

Management Information Systems Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Since many employers prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees, students commonly use associate degrees in management information systems to start their careers, later returning to school to pursue a bachelor's. Bachelor's degrees in management information systems, computer science, and information systems security are popular choices.

Some students may continue on to earn master's degrees as well. Popular master's degree choices include computer science, information systems and technology, and information systems security.

Students who pursue bachelor's or master's degrees in computer science may be able to select a concentration. Common concentrations include network and security, software engineering, and game development.

How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Management Information Systems Program?

Cost

When deciding whether to attend an online or on-campus program, it's important to consider the cost of both. NCES lists the average cost of room, board, tuition, and fees at a two-year college as $11,391 per year. This amount varies among schools. Usually, private and out-of-state colleges cost the most. Make sure to consider the true program cost, which includes any lost wages.

Program Format

Some online schools follow a synchronous format, meaning students attend virtual classes at scheduled times. Other schools run asynchronously, where learners set their own schedule as long as they meet deadlines. Students may be able to attend part time while also working. They can also attend full time or choose an accelerated program to finish even more quickly.

Location

Most online associate in management information systems programs don't require in-person attendance, but this is not always the case. Check with your prospective schools, even those with online programs, to find out whether they have any on-campus requirements.

Accreditation

Regional accreditation signals to students, employers, and other stakeholders that a school meets certain academic standards. Credits also transfer more easily among regionally accredited schools. Learners should make sure their prospective colleges hold regional accreditation.

Student Support

Consider which student services you might need, and check to see which schools offer them. Some schools offer mentorship programs, career services, and academic advising. Others offer internship assistance and alumni networking events. Most schools offer online student services for distance learners.

Best Accredited Online Associate in Management Information Systems Programs

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Best Online Associate in Information Systems Management Programs

  1. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Tuition

    $27432

    Liberty is a leader in distance learning, offering more than 450 online programs. Students can earn a fully online associate of arts in information systems to prepare for careers in systems development, education training, and network technology. Faculty deliver eight-week courses, and students can fulfill up to 75% of degree requirements through transfer credits. Distance learners often graduate in about 18 months.

    Major coursework covers topics like web architecture and development, application programming, and database management systems. Students also explore core business topics like management principles and macroeconomics.

    Applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA. Liberty does not require ACT or SAT scores for admission. The university provides a variety of financial aid opportunities, including scholarships based on academic merit and military service. This information systems program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  2. Northern Oklahoma College
    Location

    Tonkawa, OK

    Tuition

    $6504

    NOC serves over 4,000 students through career training and academic transfer programs, including an associate in information systems management. Students can complete all of their general education coursework and many of their major courses online.

    The 61-credit curriculum includes classes like business technology and applications, computer concepts, and financial and managerial accounting. Students develop practical skills in Python and Java programming. Graduates can enroll in bachelor's programs or pursue entry-level jobs in business information and systems analysis.

    Prospective learners must submit ACCUPLACER or ACT scores. NOC's business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

  3. Cowley College
    Location

    Arkansas City, KS

    Tuition

    $9122

    CC offers an online associate in information systems management through the Blackboard platform. By taking four-week and eight-week courses, online students can earn their degrees in under two years. Graduates can pursue entry-level positions in many industries, including banking, marketing, and information technology

    The 62-credit curriculum includes courses in calculus for business and economics, accounting principles, and computer applications. Students personalize the curriculum through three electives, choosing from options like C++ and advanced Java programming.

    Applicants must complete placement testing at an approved location unless they have outstanding ACT scores. The college offers a variety of merit scholarships and awards. CC is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

  4. Georgia Military College
    Location

    Milledgeville, GA

    Tuition

    $6870

    Founded in 1879, GMC delivers flexible programs — including an online associate degree in information systems management — for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and professional students. This business-focused degree teaches students to gather and analyze information to support organizational decision-making.

    Required courses include accounting principles, business communications, and introduction to computer science. The curriculum also covers data analysis and design. Distance learners can complete all required coursework online or take some courses at one of GMC's eight regional campuses.

    GMC does not maintain GPA or standardized testing requirements. The college offers several scholarship programs, including awards for Baldwin County high school graduates.

  5. Amridge University
    Location

    Montgomery, AL

    Tuition

    $13104

    Based in Montgomery, Alabama, Amridge offers about 40 online programs — including an online associate degree in information systems management — through the Canvas platform. Graduates can enroll in bachelor's programs or pursue entry-level positions in web development, user experience design, and IT support.

    The 64-credit curriculum includes courses like microcomputer applications, open-source business systems, and database management. Students also develop management intervention skills for conflict resolution and employment motivation. Participants personalize their curriculum through 24 elective credits.

    Amridge operates an open-door admissions policy that welcomes all applicants with a high school diploma or GED certificate. Distance learners can apply for scholarships that target first-time students, homeschooled applicants, and law enforcement and first responders.

  6. Allegany College of Maryland
    Location

    Cumberland, MD

    Tuition

    $9509

    ACM operates its flagship campus in Cumberland, enrolling about 2,500 students annually. The college provides a transfer-focused associate of science in secure computing and information systems. Students can complete courses online.

    The 60-credit curriculum includes classes like probability/statistics and computer science programming. The program focuses on cybersecurity more than typical online associate degrees in information systems management, and students delve into advanced topics like digital forensics and cyberlaw.

    Applicants must submit high school transcripts and standardized test scores. They must also take a placement assessment. ACM waives the assessment requirement for applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA or minimum scores of 21 or 1010 on the ACT or SAT, respectively.

  7. North Hennepin Community College
    Location

    Brooklyn Park, MN

    Tuition

    $10189

    Located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, NHCC offers over 60 technical and academic programs, including an associate of applied science in business computer systems and management. Graduates of this program are prepared for entry-level jobs in marketing, sales, and IT administration. Students can also follow dedicated transfer pathways to partner institutions like Bethel University and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

    Required courses are offered on campus and online, with topics like management principles, decision-making using Excel, and business communications and technology. Students also examine the history and current uses of the internet. Learners can use 25 elective credits to pursue specialized topics and complete an internship.

    Applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores or take the ACCUPLACER exam. Incoming students can apply for institutional scholarships.

  8. Joliet Junior College
    Location

    Joliet, IL

    Tuition

    $4428

    JJC offers over 180 certificates and degrees, many of which students can earn online, including an associate in information systems management. This 64-credit program teaches students the fundamental skills needed to pursue careers as network administrators and IT consultants.

    The curriculum includes courses like systems analysis and design, electronic spreadsheet software, and networking fundamentals. Learners choose from electives like image manipulation and JavaScript. The program also prepares students for Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access certification exams.

    JJC provides fall, spring, and summer entry dates. Applicants must complete a placement exam. Online students can apply for scholarships based on their academic merit and leadership qualities.

  9. University of Maine at Augusta
    Location

    Augusta, ME

    Tuition

    $9899

    UMA serves approximately 4,000 students every year. Distance learners can enroll in an associate in computer information systems program. Throughout a 60-credit curriculum, students gain the analytical thinking and technical communication skills needed to work as database administrators, project managers, and GIS/computer mappers.

    Major courses cover topics like networking concepts, introduction to data structures, and web applications and development. Students delve into information security, learning about cyberterrorism and ethical hacking as a countermeasure. They also learn a programming language, choosing from Visual Basic, Java, C++, or C# and .NET.

    UMA offers a free admissions process that only requires applicants to submit transcripts or GED scores. The university powers distance learning with the Blackboard platform.

  10. Lakeland Community College
    Location

    Kirtland, OH

    Tuition

    $7767

    Based in Kirtland, Ohio, Lakeland offers about 20 fully online certificates and degrees, including an online associate of applied business with a business information management concentration. Faculty deliver all coursework asynchronously through the Blackboard platform, allowing students to juggle school, work, and family obligations.

    Required coursework covers applied business mathematics, programming logic, and Python programming. Students develop skills and techniques in Microsoft Excel. They also examine the best practices for IT project management, learning to define objectives, monitor progress, and evaluate team performance.

    Applicants do not need to meet GPA or standardized test score requirements. The college offers a variety of financial aid opportunities, including state grants for the children of deceased or disabled veterans. Distance learners can also access institutional scholarships.

Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Management Information Systems Programs

Is an associate degree in management information systems worth it?

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For many students, yes. An associate in management information systems is a first step toward a career in management information systems. These professionals tend to earn above-average salaries, making this associate degree worth the investment for most students.

When determining whether the degree would be worth it for you, consider the cost of the school you've chosen, the wages you'll miss out on while attending school, and the salary you expect to earn after graduation. Figure out how long it will take your investment to pay off, and use that information to decide if it's worth it.

How fast can I get an associate in management information systems degree online?

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Most associate in management information systems degrees take about two years to complete. Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to finish more quickly. For example, Penn Foster's associate in computer information systems takes 16-24 months to complete.

Even if you don't enroll in an accelerated program, you may be able to graduate more quickly by taking more classes per term and taking classes year round. Some schools allow learners to take as many as 18 credits per semester.

Is an online associate degree in management information systems credible?

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Most associate in management information systems degrees take about two years to complete. Some schools offer accelerated programs that allow students to finish more quickly. For example, Penn Foster's associate in computer information systems takes 16-24 months to complete.

Even if you don't enroll in an accelerated program, you may be able to graduate more quickly by taking more classes per term and taking classes year round. Some schools allow learners to take as many as 18 credits per semester.

How much money can I make with an associate in management information systems?

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Computer and information systems managers make around $151,150 per year. However, you will need more advanced education to work in one of those roles. To qualify for the best management information systems jobs, you should eventually earn your bachelor's degree. You may then need to gain a few years of professional experience.

Expect to earn $50,000-$60,000 per year as a computer support specialist, management assistant, or entry-level web developer with an associate in management information systems.

Is an associate degree in management information systems in demand?

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Yes. The BLS projects jobs for information systems managers, web developers, and computer support specialists to grow at faster-than-average rates from 2020-30.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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