MIS. Management Information Systems. Many people have asked me what that even means, or they will smile and nod and say, “Ohhh, computers.” While funny, that’s not quite specific enough.
I’m going to try my hand at giving layman’s definitions for this field (and yes, there is more than one):
- Information Systems can mean someone using a computer to document, edit, save, and delete a business’s records of information.
- Information Systems can mean someone using a computer manage how people are recruited, hired, evaluated, and fired.
- Information Systems can mean someone using a computer to manage how resources (money, items, etc.) are distributed and how to eliminate over-usage of such resources.
- Information Systems can mean someone using a computer to compile information from many sources to help make a decision and then plan how to carry it out.
We could also take a glance at the careers that stem from having an information systems degree. Careers include IT Consultant, Project Manager, Database Administrator, Data Analyst, Network Administrator, Data Architect, and several others.
Historically, these jobs had never been around until the last 20 years. All this time, companies have been building up data about customers and sales and other business operations, and now they need people to manage all the information they have gathered. If you’ve heard about “Big Data,” this is essentially where the concept comes from.
Many jobs are sprouting up from all over, looking for people who can manipulate data and analyze to make some logical sense out of it all. From this sense, decision makers get a clear view of what the next step for their company, so it is clear the integral part that MIS plays in the business world.
There’s a large variety of classes that universities offer in the MIS degree plan. There are courses more focused on database management and others that center on app development.
For myself, I have so far taken an introductory MIS class and am currently studying database fundamentals. We studied enterprise resource planning and practiced using SAP through an SAP simulator. Now we are practicing modeling databases and soon we will start learning SQL. If all this sounds like jargon, just know that these are basic building blocks to any MIS degree.
Many people have complimented me on choosing MIS. It is looked at by some as a major with strong job security and big opportunities thanks to the Big Data and data analytics boom. If you are a detail-oriented person who can organize and analyze large amounts of information, this may be a major to consider.
I spent a lot of time being undecided when I first started college, but I’m glad that I found that MIS was a good fit for me.
Angela Coquis is a junior at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is majoring in Management Information Systems and wants to live abroad and pursue a career in database management. She enjoys Virtual Campus and her dream job is owning a bakery.