Organizations across all industries rely on information systems for everything from managing daily transactions to gaining a strategic advantage over competitors. So, what are information systems? Information systems encompass the technology, data, processes and people that collect, process and distribute information within an organization. Of course, these complex systems don’t run themselves. That’s why businesses need people with the ability to strategically select, design, implement and manage these critical information systems. By earning an Information Systems (IS) master’s degree, you potentially can develop the knowledge and skills to enter or advance within a wide variety of IS positions. Below are just a few of the career paths the Master of Science in Information Systems program at South University could prepare you to pursue.
Areas Where Information Systems Professionals Work
1. Systems Analysis, Design and Development
Businesses turn to those who work in system design and development to create new services and products customized to the organization’s unique needs. In these roles, professionals research, evaluate, design, develop and test software to support business operations and enterprise strategy. Responsibilities can include determining new systems requirements, software specifications and quality assurance standards. Systems design and development professionals can also deal with automating, maintaining and improving existing systems.
Sample Job Titles: Software Development Manager, Systems Engineering Manager, Network Operations Manager, Product Line Manager, Quality Assurance Engineer, Quality Assurance Manager, Systems Analysis Manager
2. Database or Data Warehouse Management
Enterprise organizations can store incredible volumes of data, and someone needs to oversee how it’s collected, managed and disseminated. An Information Systems degree program can prepare you to manage this data and take on roles where you design, model and build large databases or data warehousing structures and activities. This includes creating tools that allow users to access data for things like billing, shipping and other recurring tasks. Often, professionals in data management must integrate new data systems into existing structures. They also assess aspects like data governance, data operations, data quality, data security, and data scalability, reliability and performance.
Sample Job Titles: Database Administrator, Data Architecture Manager, Data Governance Manager, Data Operations manager, Database Planner, Data Warehouse Manager
3. Business Intelligence
Complex but valuable insights that can drive business success are hiding within the overwhelming amount of data that businesses maintain. Business intelligence professionals are the people who can unlock the information that data holds and present it meaningful ways to business leadership. Business intelligence involves monitoring, analyzing and applying information from your company or from around the world to forecast performance and inform strategic and operational business decisions. This can include overseeing the design, implementation, or improvement of data-based dashboards, models, reports and other decision support systems used by corporate management to understand trends and inform decision-making. To work in business intelligence, you’ll need the strong technical foundation you can develop in an MS in Information Systems degree program.
Sample Job Titles: Business Intelligence Manager, Commercial Intelligence Manager, Market Intelligence Manager, Technical Sales Manager.
4. Information Governance
Government regulations change constantly, and almost all organizations control personally identifiable or confidential data that must be secured and protected. Some industries, such as banking, education, and healthcare, collect and use data that is heavily regulated. To manage this data, businesses need information governance professionals who can ensure that they are compliant with regulations such as SOX and HIPPA, that they follow accepted IT governance frameworks, and that they minimize security risks. To check that IS and IT systems are being managed in a compliant, secure and effective manner, these professionals conduct, lead and report on audits of enterprise information systems and data. They are also involved in fixing known issues and finding ways to prevent future problems.
Sample Job Titles: General IT Manager, IT Auditor, IT Governance Consultant, IT Governance Manager, Risk and Compliance Consultant, IT Program Manager
5. IT Team and Project Management
Beyond building the technical skills to design, develop and manage information systems, an Information Systems master’s program can teach you how to plan and oversee these processes by following project management best practices within a team or department. Project management can include project estimation, scheduling, budgeting, organization, risk management, and assessment. Our Information Systems curriculum also includes a master’s level business elective, in which you can choose between courses that develop knowledge in leadership, managerial economics, organizational behavior, law and ethics, and quantitative analysis. Additionally, a course on emerging technology explores how to help organizations evaluate, adopt and manage new trends and technologies. Together, our IS curriculum can equip you to first identify and communicate business system needs and then to lead strategic projects that improve business performance.
Sample Job Titles: Computing Services Manager, Data Processing Center Manager, Information Systems Manager, Information Technology Manager, IT Project Manager, Management Information Systems Director, Program Management Office Manager, Technical Services Manager