What is the online MBA information systems specialization at the University of Maryland?

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More than a buzzword, big data is changing the way companies do business across all industries. Huge quantities of data exist in today’s world ― including numbers from web traffic, social media, online reviews, consumer behavior and demographics ― and businesses must take advantage of it to stay ahead of competitors.

Enhance your data-driven knowledge by pursuing an online MBA degree with an information systems specialization.

If you want to be involved in the data, technology and software aspects of the business world, you’ll need the technical skills and knowledge to support your professional endeavors. Read on to learn more about the details of the information systems and business analytics specialization offered through the Smith Online MBA degree program:

Information systems highlights

Those who pursue careers in the information systems industry often have a passion for computers and digital innovations, plus the technical expertise and business acumen to enhance an organization’s success. Backed by hard numbers, information systems administrators can plan, design, implement and oversee the systems that secure sensitive information and allow business leaders to make smarter, data-driven decisions.

If you choose the information systems and business analytics specialization, you can learn to manage and analyze data, design and implement information systems and apply technical skills in a professional setting. Once you complete your degree, you can set your sights on advancing your career in the IT business industry.

Information systems learning

By choosing the online MBA program at the University of Maryland, you gain access to rich and engaging courses that can prepare you for success within the information systems field. You will begin your academic journey with foundational courses designed to lend you comprehensive knowledge and insight in IT and business.

The Strategic Information Systems course introduces transformational technologies and strategies while also highlighting the leadership skills needed to manage IT departments. Data Analysis is designed to help students develop analytical and quantitative skills by discussing basic statistical techniques and practicing implementation. After finishing the course, you should understand how to use data analysis to make managerial decisions. Decision modeling is another information systems related course that examines the complex managerial issues faced by professionals and how to navigate these problems using spreadsheets and communication technologies.

From there, you can build on the foundational knowledge with information systems and business analytics selectives. Data Mining and Predictive Analytics focuses on descriptive and predictive analytics, providing students with an understanding of the process and outputs of different methods. These technical skills can be applied across business industries, including marketing, finance, health care and operations. Managing Digital Businesses and Platforms examines characteristics of digital businesses and markets, and highlights how companies can best manage them. This includes discussing how big data companies like Apple, Facebook and Google can fundamentally change the structure and competitive dynamics of the industry. Social Media and Web Analytics dives into the concepts and principles related to online platforms, social media and web analytics, examining how these technological developments impact businesses. Students will learn to apply this knowledge to business models and social media strategies.

While you are completing your courses online, collaboration with professors and peers creates a sense of community and an engaging learning experience. With advanced online features, including audio and video messaging, simulations, discussion boards, integrated multimedia and digital workspaces, you can share insights and form valuable professional connections with peers and professors. On top of that, you’ll join a network of over 66,000 Robert H. Smith School of Business alumni once you graduate.

These new technical skills, combined with business communication, leadership and strategic thinking expertise learned in the MBA coursework, can prepare you for success following graduation.

Information systems faculty

At Smith, the industry influencers and thought leaders who teach on-campus courses will also lead your online learning experience. These professors come from a variety of backgrounds, many with decades of experience in the IT industry. Plus, they are always eager to learn more and share their findings. That’s why many are active in research, investigating data-driven topics, such as the economics of the internet, the impact and value of information technology and electronic commerce.

Beyond the degree

The information systems and business analytics specialization is catered toward students who want to pursue careers in information technology, information systems and even general business management roles. This focused education can also help you land executive-level roles.

Your degree can qualify you for various job titles, including:

  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Director of Operations
  • Information Security Analyst
  • IT Business Analyst
  • IT Consultant
  • IT Director
  • IT Enterprise Architect
  • IT Manager
  • IT Project Manager
  • IT Strategist
  • Operations Manager
  • Senior Systems Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • Software Product Manager
  • Systems Consultant
  • Technical Project Manager

Your degree can pay off in the long run, too. With average salaries topping more than $110,000, the technology management and information systems niches are among the highest-paying MBA specialties, according to Monster. PayScale shared the average salaries for specific tech-savvy positions, including:

  • IT Business Analyst: $63,293
  • Data Analyst: $72,764
  • Senior Data Analyst: $81,901
  • Senior Business Analyst: $92,948
  • IT Consultant: $99,861
  • Software Product Manager: $110,192
  • IT Director: $136,261
  • IT Enterprise Architect: $133,088

Job security is also a bonus in this field, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that computer and information technology employment will grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, which is higher than the average for most occupations. The BLS suggested that the increased demand for these technical skills stems from a growing need for cloud computing, collection and storage of big data, and information security.

Getting into IT

Whether you want to enhance your analytical skills, accelerate your career or keep your knowledge in an ever-changing field relevant, the Smith Online MBA program can help you secure your role in IT management. Plus, you can do it from the comfort of your couch or favorite cafe with the flexibility of online learning. As a nationally ranked school, the Maryland Smith can provide you with the technical skills, tools and resources to gain an edge over your competitors.

Ready to manage and analyze all that data? Reach out to an advisor to learn more about the Online MBA program and this specialized learning track from the Smith School of Business.


Recommended Readings: 

The specializations you can pursue with a University of Maryland online MBA degree

The value of data in business



Online Master of Business Administration by the University of Maryland

Best-paying MBA Majors by Monster

MBA, Information Systems Degree Average Salary by PayScale

Computer and Information Technology Occupations by the Bureau of Labor Statistics