Information technology has been an important part of improving operational efficiency in the business community for many years. While the types of systems being used hundreds of years ago were very primitive, they laid the groundwork for the highly advanced computer networks that are being used today. Technology has become such an important part of improving profitability and maintaining a competitive advantage that corporate leaders have started paying very high salaries to individuals who understand the technical aspects of computer science and who possess the qualities needed to effectively manage large groups of people in an administrative environment.

In recent years, colleges and universities have developed a specialized degree path that is designed to give students the technical expertise to understand rapidly changing computer hardware and software along with the administrative insight needed to manage people effectively. This new educational track is commonly referred to as Management Information Systems (MIS) Degree. While the MIS Degree is still poorly understood by most people, it represents a very appealing career opportunity for individuals who wish to remain on the forefront of the evolution of commercial operations. Graduates of these programs have discovered that their skills are in very high demand and are capable of commanding salaries that rival traditional careers that require advanced degrees.

The reason that graduates from these programs are in such high demand is related to the fact that there are so many different types of information systems that are used to address specialized needs within individual businesses. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a general term that refers to networks of computer hardware and software that are used to improve the way information flows through a company. These systems are capable of providing feedback to individual business departments so that measures can be taken to improve productivity. They also consolidate data so that corporate executives have the information they need to make informed business decisions.

ERP systems are used in many different operational processes including production, distribution, transaction processing, resource acquisition, supply chain management, inventory control, employee management, accounting, finance, marketing, and many others. Computer networks can be designed as part of a solution for one specific area or can be designed to work with one large system that is intended to replace every aspect of a company’s operational process. Both large and small information systems can be a challenge to implement and often require the specialized knowledge and skills of technology professionals. These individuals understand the unique challenges that come with the system integration process and can ensure that networks are operational within a reasonable period of time.

An additional benefit that comes with hiring MIS Degree graduates is the ability to adequately anticipate problems that might arise as a result of integrating new computerized technology with old operational processes. A thorough integration initiative will include projections on how well the new system will communicate with established systems as well as a detailed evaluation of how employees will react to the new network. There are many other considerations that must be addressed when integrating a new information system and tech savvy administrators will need to be on hand to manage the system both during and after the integration process.

Individuals who feel that they might enjoy the unique challenges that accompany a career as a technology professional are encouraged to explore the opportunities that are available to management information system specialists. This career field is experiencing tremendous amounts of growth due to an increased need for corporate integration of computer networks and is anticipated to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. The new technology needs of both large and small businesses have created many unique and highly profitable career opportunities in both the private employment arena and in the consulting industry.

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