Department of Information Technology and Operations Management, College of Business
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Questions about the Management Information Systems (MIS) Major
What is MIS?
- What exactly is MIS?
- I'm confused—what do all of the acronyms mean – ITOM Department? MIS Major? ISM Courses? Are they different ways of saying the same thing?
- What's the difference between Computer Science (CS) and MIS?
- What courses are required for an MIS major?
- Are ISM courses going to be offered during the Summer terms?
- I am a sophomore (or a freshman) and want to be an MIS major. What courses should I take now?
- When can I start taking MIS courses?
- I like Information Technology and computers, and am interested in most of the other courses, but I am not interested in programming, and I don’t like programming. Is programming important?
- But I absolutely don’t want to take a programming class. Is it possible to major in MIS without taking a programming class?
- I like programming! I want more programming classes, will ITOM offer them?
- When and how can I declare MIS as a major?
- What is the tuition for the program? How much is the cost of a credit hour for the program?
What is MIS?Q: What exactly is MIS?
A: Please read more about the Management Information Systems (MIS) profession here.Q: I'm confused—what do all of the acronyms mean – ITOM Department? MIS Major? ISM Courses? Are they different ways of saying the same thing?
: Yes, it is confusing. The acronyms are all related to Information Technology (IT) and its management. Part of the ITOM department’s teaching and research focus is on IT (the other major focus being Operations Management, OM, hence the combination of ITOM.) Management Information Systems (MIS) is a discipline in IT, a major taught in business schools, and a profession and position widely recognized across all industries. “ISM” is the statewide course prefix for all courses in Information Systems Management.Q: What's the difference between Computer Science (CS) and MIS?
A: MIS and CS may sound similar but they are very different in content and goals. Neither one is better than the other – they’re just different. Companies need both professionals.
MIS emphasizes management and looks at applications and technological products as part of a system. MIS graduates have a systems perspective and business processes in mind. They are service oriented and able to communicate client needs to IT staff. They are educated in people skills, project management, and teamwork experience. Although entry level positions are similar to those as CS graduates, MIS graduates are more likely to move into managerial positions overseeing and directing the design and development of systems solutions for companies.
|MIS Majors||CS Majors|
|Take courses to understand business problems, like accounting and marketing||Take technical and science courses like math, engineering, and physics|
|Apply technology to business needs||Focus more on the technology itself and less on its use in business|
|Acquire business applications by building, integrating or purchasing systems||Build the applications and algorithms|
|Use the computer and software as tools to solve business problems||Build the computers and program complex software|
|Plan and deploy networks||Create protocols for networks|
|Design and implement corporate databases||Write database software and drivers|
*Adapted from Fox School of Business, Temple University, http://community.mis.temple.edu/programs/bba-in-mis
CoursesQ: What courses are required for an MIS major?
A: Please read about the coursework here.Q: Are ISM courses going to be offered during the Summer terms?
A: There is limited offering of ISM courses during the Summer term. Summer would be the perfect time to get an internship. Not only will you gain experience and potentially a lead to a permanent position with the company, but also you may be able to earn course credits. Watch for an announcement through the email (you have to sign up for a distribution list).Q: I am a sophomore (or a freshman) and want to be an MIS major. What courses should I take now?
A: In addition to your Intellectual Foundation courses, you should take the following courses beginning in your sophomore year: ACG 2021, ACG 2071, ECO 2013, ECO 2023, STA 2023, MAC 2233, ISM 2000.Q: When can I start taking MIS courses?
A: Once you have earned junior standing and satisfied the College of Business admissions criteria to declare your major, you may begin taking upper-level MIS courses.Q: I like Information Technology and computers, and am interested in most of the other courses, but I am not interested in programming, and I don’t like programming. Is programming important?
A: An MIS professional will not be the one to write large and complex computer programs. However, knowing how the code works is a very important skill. The MIS graduate will often manage or lead a team of computer programmers and thus will have decision making responsibilities on what to build.
Programming is one of the “Basic four” core technical skills (along with database, data communications, and system analysis and design) that employers find very useful and look for when hiring. A large portion of the available jobs require knowledge of programming even though the job is not a programmer. Treat your programming class as a boot camp – you have to go through it even though you don’t want to be a programmer. You will feel very gratified at the end!Q: But I absolutely don’t want to take a programming class. Is it possible to major in MIS without taking a programming class?
A: You can major in MIS without a programming class and take the more creative, information knowledge path (see more details here). Companies recognize that you can be a great MIS manager with no programming knowledge. With the explosive growth of IT into all aspects of our lives, with the rise of Social Networking, Digital Marketing, Digital print and media, Data and Business Analytics, Information Security, and others, there is a wide range of job opportunities that do not require programming skills. Leading IT consulting companies hire IT consultants without programming skills or background. However, lack of adequate programming skills diminishes your chance for a good, desirable job.Q: I like programming! I want more programming classes, will ITOM offer them?
A: ITOM offers programming courses developing C# or JAVA and web programming and we are ready to schedule them in the future if there is enough interest. Communicate your interest to the ITOM Department Chair or to AskITOM@fau.edu . Alternatively, consider a Computer Science Minor.Q: When and how can I declare MIS as a major?
A: In order to be eligible to declare a major, you must have a minimum of a 2.5 FAU grade point average, completed the 21 credits of College of Business pre-professional coursework, and earned 60 credits. Once you are in the process of satisfying these requirements, you may submit a change of major form to the College of Business.Q. What is the tuition for the program? How much is the cost of a credit hour for the program?
A. Current tuition rates can be found in the online FAU Catalog under "General Information/Tuition, Fees, and Refunds." Look for a link to the current fee bulletin. Also, you can look here: http://www.fau.edu/controller/student_information/tuition_breakdown.php