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Positioned at the intersection of business and technology, an online MBA in information systems management can prepare you for an IT manager, data analyst, or IT project manager career. These positions often come with competitive salaries, with IT managers earning a median salary of $159,010 annually and data analysts earning $82,360 annually.

Most full-time students graduate in 18 months to two years, with an annual tuition bill that averages $12,000 per year for public institutions and $27,000 for private universities.

How To Choose an Online MBA in Information Systems Management Program

Choose your area of study

Many students prefer to focus their studies on a specific area within information systems management. This additional level of specialization can help tailor the courses you take and the topics you study to your interests, career goals, and the skills you wish to develop.

Some popular specializations in this field include cybersecurity, data analytics, IT strategy, and business intelligence. A student with a technical background and an interest in protecting digital assets may be well-suited for a cybersecurity specialization. Those with a penchant for data analysis and decision-making might opt for data analytics. Students aspiring to bridge the gap between technology and business might find IT strategy or a business intelligence specialization more suitable.

Ultimately, selecting your study area is a personal decision, and you should carefully evaluate your options and interests to narrow your search further.

Research schools and programs

After deciding on your study area, you can more effectively research the schools and programs that best suit your educational needs and career goals. Start by exploring university websites and reading program descriptions to gather information on the curriculum, course offerings, and faculty expertise. Reading student testimonials, online reviews, and rankings can provide insights into the program’s reputation and overall quality.

Additionally, reaching out to admissions offices or program coordinators to ask specific questions and discuss your goals can aid you in the decision-making process. Consider attending a virtual information session or webinar to gather additional insight and interact with faculty and current students.

Prepare for tests and applications

Now that you know the schools you plan on applying to, you can productively prepare for applications and any necessary tests.

First, familiarize yourself with the specific admission requirements of your desired programs and create a timeline to ensure all necessary documents are submitted on time. For standardized tests like the GMAT or GRE, allocate dedicated study time to your daily or weekly schedule. Some students benefit from including a test preparation course in their study regimen or utilizing official practice tests to sharpen their skills.

Additionally, dedicate ample time to crafting a well-written personal statement and gathering solid letters of recommendation. Both elements speak directly to your character and potential for success in the program, so giving yourself and your recommenders plenty of time to complete them is crucial.

Select your program

Evaluate the curriculum, course offerings, and specialization options offered by each program you are considering. This research will help you decide which program aligns best with your career goals and interests and decide which program you will attend. It might also be an excellent time to revisit each program’s reputation and accreditation, as well as the expertise and qualifications of the faculty, as this can speak to the quality of education.

Additionally, consider each program’s flexibility, such as the availability of part-time or accelerated options and the ability to customize coursework, which can help you determine how well the program will fit into your life and what you might need to change about your lifestyle to ensure you’re successful in your educational endeavors.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

There are multiple options at your disposal to help you finance your degree. First, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. In addition, research scholarships and grants explicitly targeted toward MBA students or those in the field of information systems.

Lastly, check with your employer to see if you qualify for employer tuition reimbursement programs. Some companies and corporations may cover some of your tuition if your degree relates to your current career.

The Top 50 Accredited Online MBA in Information Systems Management Programs

Best Online MBA in Information Systems Management Programs Badge

FAU College of Business

DeSales University

West Texas A&M University

Fort Hays State University

Lamar University

Emporia State University

Concordia University Wisconsin

NJIT Martin Tuchman School of Management

Mississippi College

Western New Mexico University

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Baker College

Tennessee Tech University

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How We Rank Schools

We researched the top online graduate programs for information systems management. All of the programs we looked at award Master of Business Administration degrees, but the programs each offer different specializations, including management information systems, computer information systems, and marketing data analytics. Some of the programs on this list are also offered as hybrid courses.

The majority of the programs on this list are accredited through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This national organization ensures degree programs are holding high education standards. Other accreditation associations for programs we looked at include the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Higher Learning Commission.

What Can You Expect From an Online MBA in Information Systems Management Degree Program?

Earning an MBA in information system management can help you build a unique skill set that combines business administration principles with information systems and technology. With this focus, you’ll learn about strategic planning, project management, data analysis, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies relevant to the field.

Most full-time students can be completed in one to two years, while part-time students may take up to three years to reach graduation. While some universities offer fully online MBA programs, others may require in-person workshops or residencies. These requirements allow students to engage with faculty, peers, and industry professionals, fostering collaborative learning and networking.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online MBA in Information Systems Management program

  • Information Technology Strategy: A common requirement in most programs, this course focuses on developing strategic thinking skills to align information technology (IT) initiatives with business objectives. Students will learn to evaluate IT investments, analyze competitive landscapes, and develop IT strategies that support organizational goals.
  • Database Management Systems: Database management is vital to this degree plan. This course helps students understand database models, query languages, normalization techniques, and data integrity constraints. Through hands-on exercises and projects, students will acquire practical skills in designing efficient databases, optimizing queries, and ensuring data security and integrity within organizational contexts.
  • IT Project Management: This course delves into the fundamental principles of managing technology-driven projects in businesses and organizations. Students will gain expertise in project planning, resource allocation, risk management, and project evaluation. They also develop critical skills in leading project teams, managing stakeholder expectations, and ensuring successful project delivery within budget and timeline constraints.
  • Enterprise Systems and Business Process Integration: Frequently an elective, this course focuses on understanding and managing complex enterprise systems that integrate various business processes. Students will learn about enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, supply chain management, customer relationship management (CRM), and business process reengineering. They will learn how technology can optimize organizational processes and enhance efficiency.
  • Emerging Technologies and Innovation: A popular course due to its orientation towards the future, this class explores the latest trends and advancements in technology, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud computing. Students will examine the potential impacts of these technologies on businesses and learn how to leverage them to drive innovation, gain a competitive edge, and create new business opportunities.

What Can You Do With an Online MBA in Information Systems Management?

Career outlook

In an increasingly technological world, professionals with an MBA in information systems will likely find many job opportunities after graduation. Most IT-oriented jobs are increasing at a higher rate than average in the U.S. The job outlook for operations research analysts, for example, is expected to increase by 23 percent over the coming decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), with 24,200 additional trained professionals predicted to enter the field. Meanwhile, the need for computer and information systems managers will increase by 16 percent, with more than 82,000 new individuals anticipated in the field by 2031.

Career paths

An MBA in information systems opens opportunities in the business and technology sectors. This field is dynamic and constantly evolving and will continue to shape the job landscape in the coming years. With training in both those fields, an individual may find work in finance, healthcare, retail, or a broad range of other sectors. An MBA in information systems management will also equip you for work in education as a teacher at the post-secondary level.

Here are some of the possible career paths you might take with your MBA in information systems management:

  • IT Manager/Director — oversees the IT department for a business or organization
  • Systems Analyst — improve the efficiency of an organization by analyzing information systems
  • Chief Information Officer — responsible for the overall technology strategy of an organization
  • Business Intelligence Analyst — works with data to analyze trends and generate insights
  • Database Administrator — manage and maintain an organization’s databases
  • Cybersecurity Manager — protect an organization’s information systems from breaches

Operations Research Analyst

Earning Potential: $48,690-$160,850

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in business or mathematics; MBA in information systems management or operations research

Operations research analysts use logic and math to identify problems and help organizations make decisions to address those problems. They work in business, healthcare, logistics, or related fields. They may gather input from employees and subject-matter experts, analyze the data collected, and apply solutions to problems that keep the business from achieving its goals. They need a keen understanding of quantitative models and analytical tools, and the communications skills to turn complex situations and solutions into easily-understood reports for upper management.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Earning Potential: $95,220-$208,000+

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in computers or information science; master’s degree in business, IT, or information systems

Also called information technology managers, these professionals plan, coordinate, and manage an organization’s technology-related processes and activities. They work with senior leadership to determine the IT goals of the organization and direct staff to meet those goals. They may have budgetary responsibilities and will likely direct short- and long-term employees as needed. They work with other IT professionals, vendors, clients, and the leadership team. They are responsible for seeking out new technologies, determining their viability for the organization, and assessing the costs and benefits of projects involving computers and other technology.

Information Security Analyst

Earning Potential: $61,520-$165,920

Education Required: Bachelor’s degree in computer science; MBA in information systems management or cybersecurity; professional certification

This growing discipline, expected to expand by 35 percent over the coming decade, carries out security measures to protect an organization’s technology, including networks, systems, hardware, and software. They may be employed by an organization or work as freelance consultants. Their tasks include preparing and maintaining software programs such as firewalls and encryption programs to protect the company’s digital assets. They monitor systems for possible breaches and are on the front lines if a breach does occur. They must constantly monitor the availability of new security technology and ensure that the organization’s protection remains up-to-date and functional. They may work with senior staff to recommend best practices for the organization.

Online MBA in Information Systems Management Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online MBA in Information Systems Management degree program?

To apply for an online MBA in information systems management, research accredited universities known for their reputation in business or information systems. While many institutions share similar admissions requirements, like transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose, others may have specific prerequisite courses and criteria you’ll need to fulfill to be eligible for admission. For instance, some programs may require standardized test scores, like the GRE or GMAT, while others have moved to test-optional policies.

It’s crucial to consult with an admissions counselor while you’re still in the early stages of applying to ensure you understand the program’s prerequisites, deadlines, and specific requirements.

How much does an online MBA in Information Systems Management degree cost?

The cost of earning your online MBA in Information Systems will vary depending on the institution’s reputation and location. While some of the more prestigious programs, like the University of Maryland, charge $1,625 per credit hour for out-of-state students, others, like the University of Central Arkansas, are more affordable. These programs range from $20,000 to $60,000 to complete.

It’s also important to consider the additional costs you may incur beyond the tuition. Some examples of these expenses include course materials, textbooks, technology fees, and online platform subscriptions. Online learning can help alleviate the costs of attending traditional, on-campus programs by eliminating expenses like commuting, housing, and meal plans. However, it’s essential to consider your circumstances and evaluate the total costs for each program you’re interested in attending.

How long does it take to earn an online MBA in Information Systems Management degree?

Most full-time students complete their online MBA in information systems management in 18 months to two years, while part-time students may take up to three years to meet the degree requirements. Since online learning often allows students to complete their degree at their own pace, this figure can vary from person to person. While some students may be able to focus solely on their education and graduate earlier, others may be balancing their learning with other responsibilities and need to take more time. Lastly, the number of credits required to graduate will vary depending on the institution, which may cause the timeline to be shorter or longer.

Is an online MBA in Information Systems Management Degree worth it?

An online MBA in information systems management can be worth it if you relish the opportunity to work in both the business and the information technology sectors. Your MBA may help you gain leadership or managerial roles with rich opportunities for advancement and lucrative potential salaries. For example, the median salary for a database architect is $123,430 per year, with high-level positions paying as much as $169,500.

Your MBA degree will provide you with a well-rounded skill set, including training in business strategy, project management, data analytics, and technology management — all of which make you a more versatile professional and, thus, more valuable on the job market. The demand for individuals with these skills is strong, especially in businesses that rely on technology.

Undertaking your MBA program online can be an excellent choice for its flexibility and convenience, particularly for adult learners with other professional or personal commitments.

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