We are getting lot of interest from MIS and MEM applicants.Plus, those who are interested in Data Science and Analytics specifically. Let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions. See our previous post for details on these programs and their job prospects.
1. Should I go for MIS only if my profile is not good enough for MS in Computer Science (and other branches respectively for MEM)?
This is a misconception that MIS stands second to core engineering MS programs. I have known students with excellent profiles and a shot at top MS in CS programs to opt for MIS because of their career goals. It is important to understand the difference in career paths that stem from MS CS vs MIS. You should see which program aligns better with your career goals and not choose based upon its perceived reputation in your head.
2. If I want to do MBA later on, then should I still go for MIS/MEM?
Many MIS/MEM programs are offered by business schools (and some by engineering schools). As a result, you might be taking some courses along with the MBA students. I recommend doing MBA much later in career for either switching your career stream or to get a jump in career ladder within your industry. Doing a MIS/MEM (granted that it fits in with your aspirations now) will not rule out an option for MBA later on. You might be studying some of the courses again but you can still do it if you feel the need to do so.
3. Are the job prospects after MIS/MEM worse that MS or MBA?
Please understand that all these are different programs and hence comparing them is not ideal. MS and MBA have been there for a long time and have established reputation whereas MIS/MEM programs are comparatively newer and still building their base. And this is the reason that they are growing steadily in demand as well. Would you rather do MBA when fewer people were doing it and there was a higher demand or when the market is saturated and practically everyone has an MBA? Top MIS/MEM programs such as Duke, CMU, Stanford etc are highly competitive and graduating from them is highly rewarding in terms of career opportunities. So, I feel that if you graduate from a good MIS/MEM program, you will not be compromising on any job prospects compared to other fields. Currently, there is an employment boom for engineers (especially CS related) which may change later on. Therefore, job prospects after these programs depends on the industry demands and not the reputation of these programs alone. As is true for MS or MBA, doing MIS/MEM from higher ranked schools should open lucrative opportunities for anyone.
4. How can I make my MIS/MEM application stronger?
Following things can help especially for MIS/MEM-
- Having at least a year of fulltime work experience. This is because management programs benefit from exposure to industry and students can better contribute to the classes if they have worked previously. Also, they are able to better understand some concepts that are applicable in real world jobs
- Get at least one LOR from the Industry. This can come from your Manager if you are employed or a project guide if you are an engineering student and did some industry project/internship.
5. So, should I apply for MIS or not?
If you want to get into IT consulting, Analytics, Project Management, Product Management etc kind of careers, then and ONLY then you should opt for MIS and NOT because it is less competitive or easier entry for US.
Our students are joining MIS/MEM/MS Business Analytics/MS Data Science programs at Columbia, UT Austin, CMU, TAMU, Duke, Syracuse, Buffalo, NEU, UIC etc this Fall. To get our application guidance for Fall2016, please check out our testimonials and packages.
More information on these and some case studies are covered in MS Book: Smart Engineer’s Complete Guide to MS in USA.