As businesses become more dependent on digital systems to gain efficiencies and cut costs, the demand is growing for information technology (IT) professionals with advanced insight and skills to develop, deploy and protect digital assets.
IT project management, for instance, is on the leading edge of professional opportunities in the IT space. By some estimates, 60% of all business projects fail for a lack of competent management at a global cost of 12% of every $1 billion invested, according to a PMI report.
“The role of the project manager has long been shifting away from someone who can tick off tasks as complete on a Gantt chart and towards a strategic leadership position,” according to Rebel’s Guide to Project Management.
What Are Trends in Information Technology Careers?
In addition to preparing IT professionals for project management leadership roles, professionals with a Master of Science in Management Information Systems are well equipped to compete for positions in high demand fields, including:
- Business intelligence. Also known as descriptive analytics, business intelligence (BI) comprises the data processes and tools that enable organizations to understand past and present performance. BI presents the findings in easy-to-digest reports, dashboards and other visualizations that allow individuals throughout the organization to make better, faster decisions. “A successful BI program shines light on ways to increase profits and performance” and other business-building advantages, according to SAP.
- Data mining and predictive analysis. Accurate forecasting, effective risk management, assessing and segmenting customer behavior depend on discovering trends and patterns in large, complex data sets. Data mining, also known as predictive analytics, uses mathematical algorithms to cleanse, prepare and visualize data to support business intelligence models, machine learning and artificial intelligence. SAP notes that “data mining offers the tools to fully exploit Big Data and turn it into actionable intelligence.”
- Cybersecurity management. The number of malware attacks filed with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center increased to 3,000 daily in 2020, a 300% increase from the previous year. In fact, every successful breach against a business cost the enterprise on average $4 million. The frequency and severity of cyberattacks will only increase as the world becomes more connected and digitized. “The importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated,” SAP.
- Supply chain management. Customers’ needs and expectations are driving tectonic changes as supply chain management transitions to customer-centric models that create and optimize agile, resilient operations. Among other competitive advantages, “Supply chain management is … about service differentiation, increasing market share, even driving revenues,” according to KPMG.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Often called the “backbone of an organization,” ERP integrates business processes across an organization. Data professionals with ERP expertise are in demand as consultants who understand specific business processes such as finance, HR or supply chain management combined with the technical knowledge to develop, deploy and manage ERP solutions for them. Professionals in ERP sub-specialties include those who provide organizations with the strategic guidance to develop enterprise-wide solutions or those who program, integrate, install and customize solutions to meet specific operational needs. As businesses incorporate process-specific software — accounting, inventory and procurement, for instance — demand will expand for ERP consultants.
How Are IT Professionals Preparing for High-Demand Careers?
Graduates of an M.S. in management information systems program that prepares students to analyze, design and maintain information systems to support business activities and improve enterprise performance have a critical advantage for high-growth job opportunities.
As a member of the SAP University Alliances, Lamar University offers an online program of SAP-enabled MIS courses that increase marketability and earning potential and prepare graduates for SAP professional certifications.