6 High-Paying Information Systems Careers: A Look at a Growing Field
Robust information systems play a key role in helping organizations make smarter business decisions. Many companies rely on them to gain new insights to connect with customers and improve internal communications and identify new opportunities to generate revenue. Powered by advancing technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics, the capabilities of modern information systems have grown exponentially.
To realize the potential benefits of modern information systems, businesses rely on experts such as systems analysts, database administrators, and directors of information systems who implement the software, develop the networks, and manage the departments that are at the heart of effective information systems.
Individuals excited by the prospect of helping organizations build information systems that organize data into logical formats to support smart business decision making should learn about different exciting information systems careers. Earning an online Master of Science in Information Systems prepares graduates to pursue their professional goals in this field.
Why Information Systems Matter
Businesses have long relied on information systems to collect, store, and process information on inventory, operations, and payroll. Today’s highly digitalized world expanded the role of information systems to collect and disseminate data culled from numerous sources such as customers, suppliers, and employees. Using the processing power of information systems, businesses can gain insights to better manage their operations, markets, supply chains, and plan strategies with greater foresight. Information systems transform volumes of structured and unstructured information—everything from sales data to financial records to client lists—into logical information.
Outlined below are three commonly-used information systems:
- A management information system (MIS) helps a business collect, store, and manage both current and past data regarding the performance of its operations. This data may include information about sales, inventory, or customer data. The MIS can provide reports that offer detailed illustrations of the sales volume of various products according to regions or chart the rise and fall of sales during a specific time frame. Additionally, an MIS can allow an organization to forecast the effects of shifts in the market or operations. For example, a business could determine how an increase in monthly sales would impact shipping schedules.
- A decision support system (DDS) allows an organization to use data reports, both routine and ad hoc, to answer pressing questions. Whether planning operations or seeking resolutions to problems, a business can use a DDS to analyze how different decisions may play out. For example, a business could use a dashboard to predict the effect of a specific inventory-to-sales ratio on the achievement of a specific goal.
- An executive support system (ESS) helps a business plan strategically and make decisions in unanticipated situations, such as a sudden shift in a market or unexpected drop in sales. An ESS generates planned reports defined by users. The reports deal with data ranging from cost accounting to scheduling and offer insights into everything from buyer preferences to sales trends. An ESS also can help an organization forecast outcomes and use existing data to assess performance.
6 Advanced Information Systems Careers
Systems analysts find ways to make a business’s computer systems and procedures more effective and efficient. They design systems and solutions to suit the needs of a business, as well as select and configure software and hardware. Other tasks include investigating new technologies and determining which will best benefit their organizations. The work of systems analysts demands superior analytical skills to gather information from many sources and accurately interpret it. As systems analysts serve as a link between the business and information technology (IT) departments of an organization, they need strong communication skills.
Systems analysts earn a median salary of $88,740 a year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also projects growth in the field to increase by 9% from 2018 to 2028.
Information architects design, troubleshoot, and maintain communication networks. Development requires considerations for information security and consulting with and explaining plans to managers. Information architects also can conduct network modeling, which involves gauging the impact of increased traffic on a network to make recommendations about needed upgrades. To keep networks connected, information architects need strong analytical skills; they also need to be detail-oriented to develop the intricate plans demanded by networks.
Information architects earn an annual median salary of $109,020 according to the BLS, which projects 5% job growth in the field from 2018 to 2028.
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Computer and information systems managers oversee the IT activities and data management information system of an organization. Their work involves analyzing an organization’s computing requirements and making appropriate recommendations to top executives. They also consider the costs and potential benefits of IT projects, keeping current with the latest technologies that could enhance their organization’s IT systems. In addition to problem-solving skills to manage IT departments, computer and information systems managers need business and communication skills to work with top executives and strategically plan ways to reach company goals.
Computer and information systems managers earn annual median salaries of $142,530 according to the BLS, which projects positions to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028.
Using specialized software, database administrators house and organize information into databases for employee access. In addition to ensuring data security, to prevent unauthorized access, these professionals are responsible for data backup and restoration should it get compromised. Database administrators also maintain databases and provide user support. To monitor the performance of databases, database administrators must have superior analytical skills. Their role also tends to involve teamwork, which requires good communication.
Database administrators earn an annual median salary of $90,070 according to the BLS, which projects jobs in this field will grow 9% from 2018 to 2028.
Chief Information Officers
Chief information officers (CIOs) are senior executives who direct IT goals and set their organization’s technology strategy. This role involves supervising the implementation of technology and maintaining a long-term vision of the company’s objectives. It also entails working with other senior executives and ensuring the synchronization of the business and IT sides of the organization. While focusing on information systems, the CIO takes a big picture view of them. To direct strategy and successfully oversee IT departments, CIOs need leadership skills. They also require strong analytical skills to assess how IT can support their organization’s business goals.
Chief information officers earn an annual median salary of around $160,000, according to March 2020 PayScale data. The BLS expects jobs for top executives, such as CIOs, to grow 11% from 2018 to 2028.
Directors of Information Systems
Directors of information systems manage an organization’s information systems. Responsibilities include handling information systems projects such as new system and software implementations and supervising the staff who operate and support the business’s IT system. They also monitor the maintenance of information systems and equipment, working with vendors to manage installations and keep senior executives informed of activities. Directors of information systems need strong analytical skills for strategic project management and excellent people skills to direct teams.
PayScale reports that directors of information systems earn an annual median salary of around $104,000. Directors of information systems can be categorized as top executives, who, according to the BLS, will see a 6% job growth from 2018 to 2028.
The Skills Needed to Use Information Systems
Those in the information systems fieldwork in several capacities using information technology to achieve organizational goals. The effective use of information systems techniques requires core competencies including:
- Strong technical skills: in-depth knowledge of operating systems, software, data analysis, and project management.
- Analytical skills: the ability to troubleshoot, innovate solutions, and assess what actions are needed to optimize efficiency and effectiveness.
- Management skills: the ability to organize teams, create budgets and timelines as well as plan projects and see them to completion.
- Communication skills: the ability to present ideas clearly in verbal and written communication when working on projects, providing explanations, and giving directions.
In addition, professionals in the field must cultivate a deep knowledge of existing and emerging programming languages.
Norwich University offers an online Master of Science in Information Systems program that prepares individuals to become leaders in the information systems field. Its comprehensive curriculum cultivates expertise in statistical concepts, information systems, and data analytics as well as the leadership and analytical skills needed to thrive in the field.
Explore the Career Opportunities Opened by Earning an MS in Information Systems
Information systems careers offer exciting and well-compensated work for those with the right knowledge and expertise. Earning an advanced degree in information systems can help professionals gain a competitive advantage and thrive in the field. Discover how an online Master of Science in Information Systems from Norwich University prepares graduates with the technical and soft skills coveted by businesses.
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