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Management Information Systems vs Information Technology: What You Need to Know


Unraveling the distinctions between management information systems (MIS) and information technology (IT) starts with understanding that IT is a component of MIS. IT operations comprise personnel, hardware and software that collect data from day-to-day internal and external business transactions and maintain and support automated processes throughout the enterprise.

On the other hand, MIS reviews and analyzes the data collected by IT, then organizes and transmits it to relevant operational, management and executive functions — finance, marketing, human resources and supply chain management, for instance — to facilitate data-based decision-making.

How Do Businesses Use MIS to Create Competitive Advantage?

MIS delivers the business intelligence that enables organizations to make decisions more quickly and with a higher degree of confidence, which are critical factors to differentiating themselves in the market, optimizing internal systems and clarifying visibility throughout the supply chain.

Enterprise resources enhance business performance and can keep “businesses profitable, on the cutting edge, and ahead of the competition” by working to identify gaps in the system.

What Are the Distinctions Between IT and MIS Career Tracks?

IT positions, according to, include help-desk and support specialists who analyze end-user computer and network issues and solve them, technicians and website programmers.

Because MIS responsibilities include converting transactional data into business intelligence, careers in that field require not only technical knowledge but also understanding and insight into enterprise-wide operations, goals and processes. Among Career Explorer‘s top jobs for MIS professionals are:

  • Search Engine Optimization Specialists review and analyze data generated by prospect, customer and vendor engagement with an enterprise’s online presence to enhance its performance and meet organizational goals.
  • Database Administrators understand business objectives to design and deploy processes for storing, protecting and organizing increasingly large data sets and facilitate their conversion into business intelligence.
  • Information Security Analysts anticipate threats and implement policies and procedures to protect digital assets, which requires knowledge of all enterprise IT systems and how they support the business.
  • IT Managers possess a unique combination of business skills and technical expertise that makes MIS professionals ideal managers of digital systems, analytics and data flow.
  • Data Scientists discover data trends and patterns, interpret them and report them in concise, actionable reports that enable an organization to make informed strategic decisions.

What Is the Career Outlook for MIS vs. IT graduates?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects for IT and MIS professionals are growing. MIS graduates, however, command starting salaries upwards of $151,000; wages for top jobs for IT professionals start at $127,000.

A Master of Science in Management Information Systems provides data professionals, whether entering the job market or advancing their careers, with competitive advantage in a high-demand, challenging and rewarding field. For example, graduates of Lamar University’s online Master of Science in Management Information Systems program are prepared for SAP S/4HANA certification and have experience in Oracle enterprise resources planning software, Primavera P6 software, Tableau self-service analytics and more.

Learn more about Lamar University’s Master of Science in Management Information Systems online program.


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