Why Choose a Masters in Information Systems

Information system careers are some of the highest paying and fastest growing in the United States, according to the US Department of Commerce. Organizations have greater need than ever for up to date computer and information systems to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Computer and information systems professionals play a crucial role in keeping such systems up to date and functioning properly. They essentially provide supervision for the information systems programming, support and analysis departments for an organization. They work most often in the planning and developing processes of implementing computer activities.

Earning a master’s degree in information systems will put in you position to move into one of these in demand information system roles:

  • Information systems manager: This is the major career option for people who earn a master’s degree in information systems. You will be involved in the planning, directing, and coordinating of all of the organization’s information systems, systems development and making sure that IT resources align with the strategic objectives of the company.
  • Business systems analyst: As an IS major, you would be especially well suited for this position. You will analyze user requirements, problems and procedures to automate or improve existing systems. You also will review the capabilities of computer systems, workflow, and scheduling limitations. You will play a very important role in developing the business case for new investments in information technology.
  • Database administrator: You are responsible for coordinating changes to business databases. You will apply your knowledge of database management systems to implement and test various databases. Most DBAs also must plan, coordinate and implement up to date security measures to safeguard data that is contained in corporate databases.
  • IT director: In charge of the information technology systems and department for their organization, and may oversee a large staff of programmers and analysts.
  • Chief information officer: These highly paid professionals are responsible for the overall technological strategy of the company. They are responsible for determining the technology and information goals for the entire organization, and then must oversee its proper installation and implementation. CIOs can focus on smaller areas of IS and IT, but they often will focus more on the big picture. This position is usually reserved for information systems professionals with 10 years of experience or more.

Why Earn a Master’s Degree in Information Systems?

There is a strong and growing demand for information systems professionals. According to the IT staffing company Robert Half Technology, 60% of chief information officers report that it is somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IS professionals. Also, 85% of CIOs stated in 2016 that they planned to hire IS and IT professionals in the first half of 2016.

Also, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms that there is strong growth in all computer and information technology positions. Such jobs are projected to grow by a solid 12% by 2024. In total, at least 488,000 jobs will be added in this area. Much of the growth will occur in cloud computing, as more consumer items are connected to the Internet.

Earning a degree in information systems will put you on the path for a fantastic career with your pick of positions, and an excellent salary.

Admission Requirements

With the great demand for information systems professionals, there are many excellent online information systems programs available. Typical admissions requirements are rigorous, such as at Northeastern University:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores; some schools may prefer GMAT scores
  • Statement of purpose
  • Updated resume with complete details of your computer systems experience
  • Complete official transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer sciences, information systems or engineering is required

Curriculum and Courses

Northeastern University offers an excellent Master of Science in Information Systems that stresses creative and inventive approaches to solving problems. This makes it necessary to empower students so that they can take responsibility for their own software projects and become highly productive IS managers.

This information systems program is very much an art, not just a science. It bypasses mechanical learning and highlights the excitement and value of thinking as an engineer. The program encourages you to get things done efficiently and imaginatively.

The Northeastern program will  provide you with a strong foundation in computer systems and information systems. You will take graduate classes in the following tracks:

  • Web Engineering and Development
  • Data Architecture and Engineering
  • Application-Level Security Analysis and Engineering
  • Business Process Engineering
  • Software Project Planning and Management
  • Information Systems Auditing and Compliance
  • Enterprise Architecture and Governance
  • Engineering Clinical Information Systems

Graduates of this program work in companies such as these:

  • GE Aviation
  • Raytheon
  • CDM Smith
  • Bose
  • IBM

Graduates work in many different areas, including engineering, operations, business development, project management, and entrepreneurship.

Career Outcomes and Job Titles

You could be working in these types of jobs after you graduate with your master’s in information systems:

  • Information systems manager
  • Network engineer
  • Computer operations manager
  • Computer programmer
  • Web development manager
  • IT manager
  • Business systems analyst
  • Director of information systems

Job and Salary Outlook

  • Information Systems Manager –This field will see 15% increase in jobs in the next few years. It is expected that demand in this field will grow as companies are expanding their operations to include more up to date digital systems. Information technology is improving all of the time, and IS managers always will be needed to perform upgrades and maintain hardware and software. Median pay is $131,000 per year.
  • Computer Systems Analyst –This career field will experience a 21% increase in job demand by 2024, which is much faster than average. As companies are seeing more reliance on computer systems and IT, analysts will be needed to design and install new computer technology. Larger companies may keep these workers on staff, but smaller companies may decide to outsource these services to cloud service providers. Median salary is $85,000 per year.
  • Computer and Information Research Scientists –This field will see an 11% increase in job demand by 2024. R&D in computer and information systems is becoming very important as these scientists are turning new ideas into new, industry leading technology. Demand for new and better technology is always out there, so computer scientist demand will increase to meet this demand. Median pay is $110,000 per year.

Scholarships and Grants

  • University of Arizona: If you decide to attend this excellent information systems master’s program, you can become eligible for several scholarships, such as the Paul S. and Shirley Goodman Award, and the Nunamaker-Chen Scholarship.
  • University of Alabama Birmingham: Offers scholarships for information systems students at bachelor’s and master’s levels, including the Katherine Bridges Freeland Endowed Scholarship, and the Association of Information Systems Officers Scholarship.

Additional Resources

  • Association for Information Systems: This is the leading global association for information systems professionals, with more than 4000 members. The purpose of the organization is to promote excellence in information systems, research and practice; position information systems as one of the top professions to serve society today; and to lead and promote the best in information systems scholarship.
  • Information Systems Security Association: This is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting the interests of information security professionals and practitioners. It provides publications, networking, peer review and educational forums for its members who are located around the world.