January 29, 2017

Is MIS the right choice?

Is a master’s in MIS the right choice for you?

The Master of Science in Information Systems or MIS is a postgraduate program that combines the best of computer science, analytics and management skills.

MIS is a blended business-technology program. Information isn’t worth much if it doesn’t serve a purpose. MIS students learn how businesses use information to improve the company’s operations. Students also learn how to manage various information systems so that they best serve the needs of managers, staff and customers. MIS students learn how to create systems for finding and storing data and they learn about computer databases, networks and computer security.

The core skills developed are problem solving and making businesses more efficient.

MIS has become a rapidly sought after specialization in the past few decades. It is made for individuals looking to bridge the gap between technology and end users.

Course Structure:

The structure of the course can vary from university to university but the curriculum aims to focus on information systems with a strong undertone of how to manage them. One can choose multiple disciplines, under MIS, such as Business Information Management, IT Strategy and Telecom Management.

Usually courses In MIS include Digital Business Systems (e-commerce), Database Marketing, Telecom management, Decision Support Systems, Project management/SDLC, Systems Development. MIS also deals with Data/Knowledge management.

Career Prospects:

MIS opens up a lot of prospects, both technical and non-technical. MIS grads pursue careers in:

• Consulting

• Analytics

• Project Management

• Software Development

The companies which generally hire MIS grads include:

• Big 4 (Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, EY)

• Banks like Citi, Bank of America etc.

• Technology companies like Microsoft, Adobe and Facebook etc.

MIS graduates will find career opportunities wherever computers are used in business, industry, and government. Here are just a few examples:

• Website management

• E-commerce development

• Decision support systems

• Credit and billing systems

• Inventory control systems

• Software product development

• Knowledge management systems and business analysis

Jobs directly related to a degree in MIS include:

• Actuarial analyst

• Business analyst

• Database administrator

• Information systems manager

• IT consultant

• IT technical support officer

• Multimedia programmer

• Network engineer

• Systems analyst

• Systems developer

• UX analyst

The average starting salary for MIS grads in U.S generally varies from $60,000 – $80,000.


What you will need to apply:

Most universities accept both GRE/GMAT scores for an MIS along with TOEFL/IELTS scores.

Even though people from different engineering departments can pursue Masters in MIS, it’s preferred to have some experience in CS/IT and coding, otherwise some universities may need you to take additional pre-requisite courses.


Top Ranking Universities:

Top-ranking institutions in the USA offering the MIS are:

• Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

• Carnegie Mellon University

• Harvard University

• University of California, Berkeley (UCB)

• Princeton University

• University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

• Cornell University

• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

• California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

• University of Washington

The top destination for an MS in MIS is in fact the US.

The cost factor:

The fee depends on whether it’s a public school (funded by the state) or private school (more freedom and bigger need to fleece). It will also depend how if you’ve got an MS scholarship or graduate assistantship, in which case the savings can be enormous.

Without any financial aid, the fee for MS programs in the US ranges from $10,000 to $80,000 (6 – 48 Lakh Rupees) for the 2 years. A top grade university like CMU would fall in the higher range.

Let’s take the middle ground again and assume that the average is close to $45,000 (27 lakh rupees).

Why pick MIS:

  1. The STEM Advantage: That’s equals a 24 month OPT extension after the default 12 months of post-study work visa. This gives one 3 years-enough time to pay off loans and gain decent experience abroad as well as about 3 attempts to apply for the H1B.
  2. Duration: With an average duration of 1.5 years, you’re unemployed for a shorter duration as compared to someone pursuing a full blown MBA in the US.
  3. The perfect blend: The degree is an amalgamation of technology and business and gives you a great shot at working at a big four.
  4. Future Prospects: As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) employment of computer and information occupations are projected to grow by 22 percent, adding 758,000 new jobs from 2010 to 2020.


If you’re looking to dive into management without losing your foothold in the tech space, this is the course for you. If logical analysis is what gets you moving and you don’t want to be pestered by the nitty gritty of markets and consumer behavior until it is not in an algorithm, then MIS is what you should choose.