The Master of Science in Information Systems (MIS) is designed to prepare students for positions in information systems and related fields. The curriculum is focused on gaining a better understanding of the use of information systems to enhance business processes and the decision-making process associated with them. Business theory is merged with information systems theory to prepare leaders for success in public and private business environments. Practical applications are emphasized throughout the curriculum.
The main objective of VIU's MIS program is to provide a comprehensive understanding of information systems in organizations. The program aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills that enable them to focus on integrating information technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of businesses and other enterprises in order to achieve objectives in an effective and efficient way. The program also teaches students to: identify and solve problems using analytical and critical thinking skills; communicate effectively using visual, mathematical, and language skills in the modes of oral and written presentations; develop a macro-vision understanding that the world is a set of related systems, and that problem solving contexts do not exist in isolation. Finally, the program strives to teach students to contribute to cross-functional teams, including geographically dispersed teams.
MIS Program Prerequisites
All new MIS students need certain basic skills to succeed in the MIS program. Students who do not have the requisite background in business administration and information technology need to take some or all of the prerequisite courses before they begin work on the core courses. In some cases, the program prerequisite courses may have course prerequisites to be taken before enrolling in the program prerequisite courses.
MIS Core Courses
The MIS core courses provide students with the skills and knowledge needed by all information systems professionals. Along with the knowledge of the specific technical areas of information systems, these courses are designed to improve communication and other skills relevant to working in cross-functional teams.
Today's business environment is competitive and fast-paced; with new business practices and products being introduced regularly, organizations need to be innovative to survive. Knowledge management is an increasingly essential part of maintaining an organization's success and competitiveness, and organizations need to manage knowledge through formal technological practices and informal social systems. Elements of these practices include organizational strategy and knowledge, facilitating knowledge work flows, data governance, learning and sharing knowledge, and knowledge transfer.
The worlds of paperwork and the web are becoming ever more interdependent and it is crucial for organizations to find ways to ensure capability, efficiency, and security across their operations by managing documents properly. It is also important for organizations to apply industry-standard risk management principles related to document control, industry tools, and techniques that optimize and streamline project document management using document management systems which provide secure storage, document piracy, easy retrieval and archiving, lifecycle administration, and record management.
MIS graduates who have specialized in knowledge management will be able to help organizations to meet all of the above-mentioned needs and to effectively manage knowledge in order to maintain a competitive business edge.
Every organization – whether a multinational corporation, a non-profit, or a government agency – needs database management professionals to design, implement, and maintain enterprise databases and to aggregate data from various sources to support an organization's business objectives. Web-enabled enterprise databases are very crucial business tools in today's world of abundant connectivity. Enterprise databases are essential to an organization's success and growth, and knowledgeable professionals with the right practical skills are needed to implement, maintain, and secure them.
Business Intelligence & Data Analytics
Organizations have accumulated large data sets from their operational activities over the years. In many cases, this data has been pushed into data warehouses from corporate operational databases. As organizations strive to remain competitive and differentiate themselves, they look into these massive data sets for hidden patterns that can be converted to a competitive advantage. In addition to the data stored in warehouses, there are massive amounts of data in numerous social media that have become part of our lives today. Data analytics (or big data analytics) attempts to scour vital clues from all these data sources to assist organizations in their medium- and long-term strategic planning.
Most organizations today are fully dependent on enterprise networks that are connected to the Internet so that they can interact with their business partners and customers. A breach in the security of these interconnected entities can result in huge financial losses, violation of privacy, and even loss of life. Hence, threats in cyber space are threats to the very fabric of our society. There is a vital need for cybersecurity professionals to protect our cyber space infrastructure using multiple defense mechanisms.
Enterprise Project Management
Managing large enterprise projects so that they are delivered on time and within budget and scope has always been a huge challenge for project teams. The history of project management is littered with many examples of project failures: projects that overran budgets, were delivered late, or did not fully meet the expectations of customers in terms of the functionalities of a system. Today's project management environment is characterized by geographically distributed virtual teams who use collaborative technologies to deliver projects. Clearly, organizations need professionals who can implement these projects within set restrictions of time, budget, and scope while controlling and managing risks. It is imperative that the portfolio of an enterprise's projects and stakeholder expectations are effectively managed.
In our increasingly Internet-enabled and "plugged-in" world in which most organizations are fully dependent on the Internet for interaction with business partners and customers, assuring information is extremely important. Managing risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information or data, as well as managing the systems and processes used for those purposes, are high priorities for many organizations. Information assurance includes the protection of the integrity, availability, authenticity, non-repudiation, and confidentiality of user data in mobile devices, computer systems, and enterprise databases. These protections apply to both data in transit and data at rest in various types of physical and electronic storage facilities. In addition, implementing effective business contingency planning, security management, and disaster recovery planning are an integral part of information assurance.
Health care has always been and always will be a vital part of our lives. Technology has become an integral aspect of today's health care systems, and these systems continue to get smarter as more software applications are integrated to improve the quality of health care delivery. Important aspects of these systems include proper management of patient data, health care delivery models, the economics of health care, ethical and legal issues, and so on.
Career Paths & Opportunities
- Data administration
- Managing sourcing and global projects
- Cybersecurity specialists
- Research and development of information technologies and related products and services
- Systems integration M
- IT project management
- IT consultant for projects that include a substantial dependence on information systems
- Networking, telecom, and infrastructure
- Analyst in information systems development projects
- Instructor at a college or university teaching information systems-related courses
Program taught in: