Undergraduate

Management Information Systems
Bachelor of Business Administration

The demand for MIS skills has seen a tremendous resurgence in the past few years. Forecasts are extremely strong with MIS skill sets dominating the top job roles expected to grow in the future. While the MIS careers are expected to expand at an accelerated rate, the mix of skill requirements has changed considerably. With the explosive growth of technology accompanying the usage of the Internet in the late 1990s, the role of application development (programming) dominated the MIS field. Since then, outsourcing has moved many of the low level programming jobs overseas. However, the increased need for higher level technology jobs has become prevalent. Now, the web, communication and database technologies are maturing and their usage has begun to extend throughout every area of business practices. These new information technologies are being employed in expansive and creative ways. The result is that the need for MIS professionals has increased -- but in a different way than decades past. MIS is now a "people skill" rather than a purely "technical skill". Our MIS program now trains "business analysts" rather than "programmers".

The "business analyst" (or "systems analyst" or "consultant") position has become critical in order to make information technology available to more users and solve more business problems. This requires skills in identifying user and consumer problems and translating these needs into technology solutions. The analyst provides this critical connection. This role is not subject to outsourcing because the analyst must be embedded in the organization in order to understand the business user and their needs and be able to design and implement the solution within the confines of the organization's technology infrastructure. After the entry-level analyst role, most MS professionals become "project managers" (or "senior consultants") where they assume the responsibility for an entire technology project's: planning; staffing; budgeting; implementation scheduling; training and operational maintenance. After this project management level, the MIS professional will transition into senior technology management roles that involve: technology planning and strategy; technology architectures and infrastructures; corporate wide technology staffing; and the management of various critical technology centers. Finally, at the "C" level, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) represents the pinnacle technology role within most corporate environments.

MIS Career Tracks

Our MIS program provides the skill set to enter any of the following general areas within the information technology arena. We have successful alumni who are employed in all of these areas and their success has been based on the skills they acquired from our program.

  1. Analyst/Project Manager -- As stated above, this is the currently the most common path for the MIS professional and most entry level jobs for MIS majors fall into this category. The two central courses in the MIS curriculum (MIS 3360 Systems Analysis and Design and MIS 4474 IT Project Management) provide the core skill set for the program.
  2. Database Technologies -- Central to most every technology application is the database where the transaction and archival data resides. The MIS 3376 Database Management Systems course is a required skill (with an advanced course MIS 4397 Database Management II available as a senior elective option). The typical technology role here is the "database administrator" (called DBA). Emerging technology areas in the database arena involve: data warehousing (development of large integrated data storage environments); data mining, data modeling or business analytics (the use of various analysis tools to extract historical patterns and develop projections for the future); and business intelligence (the use of tools to scan external data environments and couple findings with internal data in order to discern trends and opportunities relevant to the success of the business).
  3. IT Infrastructure -- The role of computer hardware, networking, security and communications technologies continues to expand with "mobile technologies" and "cloud computing" becoming a common part of every corporate computing environment. This area continues to grow and offer new job opportunities for MIS professionals as the existing technologies mature and new infrastructure opportunities are implemented. There are two elective courses (MIS 4477 Network & Security Infrastructure and MIS 4397 Management of IT Security) available to support students interested in these roles.
  4. IT Consulting -- In addition to roles in traditional corporate MIS environments, consulting firms provide another employment avenue for our graduates. There are many large and small technology consulting firms that provide expertise in all areas of MIS. These firms are often employed to provide: specialized IT solutions; large-scale project development alternatives; and MIS planning and strategic management services. There is a senior elective (MIS 4397 Business Systems Consulting) which covers the roles and skills sets needed for the future MIS consultant.
  5. IT Audit and Compliance -- New to the MIS arena is the emergence of IT Auditing and compliance. These new roles result from the legal requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley (aka SOX). See for example this. The intent of the law it to assure that publicly traded corporations insure that risks of fraud in financial reporting are minimized. This had resulting in significant internal controls being established for financial reporting and transaction processing systems. Most large public accounting firms offer Sarbanes-Oxley advisory services. Additionally, all publicly traded companies have teams that utilize IT expertise to insure SOX compliance. (The MIS 4373 Transaction Processing III elective course covers the areas of IT Audit and SOX compliance).

The increased demand for MIS skills and the quality of our program are reflected in job hiring statistics from the Bauer College. The table below shows the significantly higher starting salaries for our MIS graduates as compared to other areas of specialization in the Bauer College of Business.

Bauer BBA Salary Report (Undergraduate) 2009-2010

Average Starting Salary by Major

Data from the Bauer College's Rockwell Career Center

Major Average Starting
Salary
% above/below
the mean
 Management Information Systems  $ 55,717 + 24.8
 Accounting-PPA $ 47,524 + 6.4
 Supply Chain Management $ 47,100 + 5.5
 Accounting-BBA $ 46,349 + 3.8
 Finance $ 45,620 + 2.2
 Management $ 38,536 - 13.6
 Marketing/Entrepreneurship $ 37,458 -16.1
Mean (Average) Salary

Median Salary: $45,000
Std. Dev.: $10,684
Modal Salary: $50,000

$ 44,627  

MIS Undergraduate Courses

The table below shows the course requirements for MIS majors in the Bauer College of Business.

UH Bauer MIS Major Requirements
(8 courses) Revised November 2010
Junior Year: Four Required Courses:
MIS 3360 Systems Analysis and Design
Prerequisite MIS 3300. Introduction to the systems analysis and design process. Focus is on gathering systems requirements from the business unit and modeling business needs and creating plans for how the system should be implemented.
MIS 3371 Transaction Processing I
Pre or corequisite MIS 3360. Introduction to web applications. The focus is on client-side: scripting languages, HTML, CSS and XML.
MIS 3370 IS Tools
Pre or corequisite MIS 3360. Introduction to object-oriented programming. The current programming language used in JAVA.
MIS 3376 Database Management I
Pre or co requisite MIS 3360. An introduction to database management systems. The current course focuses on the Oracle relational database system.
Senior Year: Two Required Courses:

[Caution: Senior courses are scheduled at popular times that will conflict with junior level courses. Do not postpone completing your junior requirements since your may not be able to graduate if you create scheduling conflicts in your senior year.]

MIS 4374 IT Project Management
Prerequisite MIS 3360. Follow-up to MIS 3360. Focuses on the management of information technology projects. The class includes a real-world project where student teams design and implement a MIS system for an organization.
MIS 4478 MIS Management and Lab
Prerequisite MIS 3360 and senior standing. Developing and managing computer-based management information systems. MIS departmental organizational structures, information systems planning, and managing system development projects including laboratory experience.
Senior Year: Two Required Electives
Take two from the following:
MIS 4371 Interactive Programming
Prerequisite MIS 3360. Survey of development options in commercial application systems, including structured methods and programming tools. The programming language varies by instructor.
MIS 4372 Transaction Processing II
Prerequisite MIS 3371. Follow-up to MIS 3371 focuses on server-side web applications: MS active server pages; MS SQL Server; MS VB.Net; MS C#; PHP; and AJAX.
MIS 4477 Network & Security Infrastructure
Prerequisite MIS 3360. Coordination of the hardware and software components of data communications systems, networks and security. Includes laboratory experience.
MIS 4373 Transaction Processing III
Prerequisite MIS 3371. Follow-up to MIS 4372. Covers IT Audit and various Sarbanes-Oxley compliance models such as: COBIT, COSO and ITIL.
MIS 4379 Business Systems Consulting
Prerequisite consent of instructor. Practical aspects of evaluation, implementation, and design of complex information systems in the consulting environment. Teams perform a consulting project for a real organization.
MIS 4397 Special Topics -- These elective topics and prerequisites vary. See the current special topic elective courses below.
MIS 4397 Database Management II Prerequisite MIS 3376. Follow-up to MIS 3376. Covers advances features of the Oracle database management system. MIS 4397 Management of IT Security
Prerequisite MIS 3360. The management of information security, considering profit, legal, and ethical perspectives, and covering topics such as threat identification and security incident response.
MIS 4397 Energy Trading Systems
Prerequisite: Senior Standing. This course covers the prevalent computer technologies, processes and practices in support of energy commodity trading with emphasis on the US domestic market. Topics covered include a history of deregulation of energy commodities in the US, the US interstate pipeline system, basic energy deal types, financial trading and hedging, commodity risk management and the business systems and practices necessary to succeed in the modern energy trading environment.

For the complete four year MIS program requirements see the MIS Degree Plan.

Social Networking (MISSO)

We feel that it is central to the professional development of an MIS major to be involved in campus activities that enhance not only the educational experience -- but also provide a way to develop a professional network of friends and colleagues. The MIS Student Organization is called MISSO. See their web page at www.misso.org. Founded in 1982, the activities of MISSO include: weekly information sessions with corporate recruiting teams; after hour socials; group participation in charitable events; and educational seminars and tutoring sessions that help students with their academic assignments. It is critical to develop these professional relationships while you are a student as they will be an important way to enhance your career in the future.