The days of “what does your gut say?” decision-making in business are over. In the modern business environment, data drives nearly every important decision. According to Harvard Business School, data-driven decision-making bolsters confidence, proactivity, and cost savings. That’s a powerful triple threat.
Success in this complex information age requires more than basic data analysis and risk management skills. Great information managers know how to extract value from data, transforming it into actionable insights. Leaders unable to harness the full potential of information risk underperforming and, in the worst cases, critical failure. They also open their businesses to the vulnerabilities associated with the misuse of data. The data tell a cautionary tale: Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations report found that 82 percent of breaches were caused by the mishandling of information.
Well-rounded information leaders know how to straddle both the business and information technology fields to make data-driven decisions that spur positive organizational changes. In “12 CIO Personas: The Digital CIO’s Situational Leadership Practices,” Pearl Zhu emphasizes: “The value of information management is never for its own sake, but to provide insight and catalyze information.”
Clearly, information management represents a promising career path in today’s—and tomorrow’s—business world. But what training do you need to succeed? Is a Master of Science in Information Management worth it? We explore that question in this article and also discuss:
Information management comprises the collection, storage, organization, preservation, and delivery of information. Business leaders use information management to leverage and protect their data while streamlining processes.
Information managers are strategic problem solvers at heart. They oversee and integrate their company’s information systems, ensuring smooth operations and implementing positive change. Daily responsibilities of an information manager can include:
In its 2022 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, (ISC) estimates the size of the the global cyber security workforce at 4.7 million. It also indicates that the current workforce is 3.4 million workers short. That’s over 3 million positions waiting to be filled by qualified cyber security experts (nearly half a million of them in North America alone). (
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, top-paying employers in cyber security analytics include those in:
- Information services: $149,500
- Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial instruments: $142,000
- Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences: $129,000
- Scientific research and development services: $128,500
- Software publishers: $126,000
- Publishing: $125,700
The average salaries of professionals with a Master's degree are between $91,000 and $109,000, respectively. About half of all professionals in this field hold a graduate degree. ( )
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A Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) degree program prepares information technology leaders to leverage data as a competitive tool and a means to implement strategic change within an organization. Through this graduate degree program, information leaders learn how to use data to drive actionable results within their organizations.
Well-rounded information management programs encourage their students to explore the relationships among information, technology, and people. MSIM programs teach students to improve business processes by applying information technology concepts and practices. In essence, the primary objective of information management is to explore how people and organizations work with digital information and how this impacts an organization’s decision-making process.
Required courses in a Master of Science in Information Management program emphasize data management, information visualization, IT infrastructure, informatics, data analytics, and organizational leadership.
Elective courses may cover cybersecurity, project management, information systems analysis and design, software development, healthcare technology, and information management and consulting practices.
Some graduate programs even offer the opportunity to specialize in high-demand areas. The University of Washington Information School, for instance, encourages students in their MS in Information Management program to tailor their coursework to their career goals. Students can specialize in:
Master’s-level graduate degree programs typically take around two years to complete on a full-time basis, longer for part-time students. Some colleges and universities offer accelerated MSIM options allowing students to finish in one year or less.
Admissions requirements vary by institution, but prospective students may need to submit the following:
Earning your Master of Science in Information Management can widen your pool of opportunities with many information technology leadership roles, including:
Many colleges and universities offer online master’s degree programs in information systems. It’s less common to find an online master’s in information management program. Dominican University, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Washington Information School all offer online MSIM options. University of Washington’s Master of Science in Information Management program offers three degree tracks and various high-demand specializations.
Online master’s degree programs typically offer similar courses and experiences to those offered on campus. Many offer round-the-clock technical support as well as online academic and career advising. Students also gain access to the larger school network and opportunities to connect with their peers. The University of Washington iSchool’s online program offers capstone and research projects for students to delve into solving real-world issues.
So, is a Master of Science in Information Management worth it? If you want to implement processes to make information work for your business, yes. If you want to leverage data to level up in your career, yes. If you want to make a strategic impact and lead with purpose, yes. Determine what your career goals are and if leading in a complex, data-driven environment is one of them, this may be the path for you.
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