Careers in MIS
MIS stands for Management of Information Systems. The definitions of this discipline are varied but the program basically concerns the application of Information Technology to Business solutions. It is sometimes also referred to as Information Technology Management.
Information System professionals work to bring greater integration between the computing environment and the varied business domains to increase productivity and efficiency. The focus of Computer Science lies in theories of better of software creation, while that of Computer Engineering aims to build more efficient and robust hardware. Information System professionals, on the other hand, are geared more towards building the right synergies in an organizational setting by the creation of elaborate computing systems.
The precise role of the Information System professionals encompass a large area and are diverse according to their positions in the organizational hierarchy. They are involved with the upkeep, maintenance and security of networks. They analyze computer and information needs of their organizations from an operational and strategic perspective and determine immediate and long-range personnel and equipment requirements. They assign and review the work of their subordinates and stay abreast of the latest technology to ensure the organization does not lag behind competitors.
Senior professionals in the organizational hierarchy are endowed with the tasks of directing the work of system analysts, computer programmers and support specialists. Managers have to plan and coordinate activities such as installation and upgrading of hardware and software, programming and systems design, development of computer networks and implementation of Internet and intranet sites. The Chief Technology Officer (CTO) evaluates the newest and the most innovative technologies and determines its uses to the organization. Technological enhancements not only cut costs but also increase the productivity and the efficiency of an organization. The CTO often has to report to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). Both have to manage and plan the technical standards that require to be adhered to and also meet the technical challenges on a daily basis.
The MIS Directors, on the other hand oversee details such as an organizations help desk. They also make software and hardware upgrades as and when required to maintain the organizations cutting edge capabilities. Project Managers have to develop requirements, budgets and schedules to for IT projects. Their job is to co-ordinate projects from conception to execution. They have to work with the internal and external clients, vendors, consultants and computer specialists. LAN/WAN Managers look after the design and the maintenance of the local area network, creating an interface between various departmental staff within an organization.
A Management in Information Systems education is usually offered through Computer Science and Business programs in the US. Most of the employers worldwide look for a person with multiple skills who can perform a variety of roles in the organizational structure. Some Universities specialize in offering degrees in Management Information Systems, which blend technical core subjects with Business, Accounting and Communications courses.
Individuals who train in MIS under Business programs are offered managerial level jobs where they have to conduct a high level of co-ordination and planning work, which can involve interaction with a wide range of specialists. An MBA degree with Technology as a concentration can be very productive as most organizations require professionals to make both technology and business decisions.
Managerial level positions are open to those who have experience with the specific software or technology used on the job, as well as a background in either consulting or business management. Other skills that are considered important are strong interpersonal, communication and leadership qualities. This is a must because information system professionals have to engage with a high quantity and a diverse range of people as part of their jobs. Team skills to work in a group and collaborate to meet organizational objectives are a must.