CIS and MIS... the difference?

Hi I’m entering college and I would like to know the difference between Computer Information Systems and Management Information Systems and what careers do CIS and MIS lead to…

Any feedback would be great.


If you want to be a progammer take CIS and if you want to be a manager take MIS. Although taking the MIS route will not make you a manager. Most of the people that I have seen come out of college with MIS become Systems Analyst First and deal with being the middle person between programmers and users. They are not really involved in programming since most of their school work deal with management. They still take programming classes. Basically take CIS and you might work as a Programmer/Analyst. Take MIS and you might work as a Systems Analyst.

AT least in my shop.
It could be different around
the country.

Hope this helps.

Robert Hernandez

CIS programming
MIS management: systems analyst, network admin, etc

That’s just here though, don’t know if that’s standard either.

Assuming CIS stands for Computer Information Systems, if you want to be technical go for a straight Computer Science degree.

People will see CIS and think MIS.

I think there is a lot of scope to move around within certain career paths after your college degree. I don’t think you will be pigeon holed if you don’t want to be. Your degree will be critical for your first job, from there you will be able to do slightly different things and work towards your goals. Ultimately you could get to CTO from both paths.

Just as an example I undertook a Bechelor of Science in Multi Media Technology. First job was intranet Solutions Engineer at British Aerospace, followed by Lead Developer (web), VP Content and now Editorial Director of Web Host Directory.

Realisically, 99% of computer-based careers start off on some form of indepth technical programming - C/C++, Java, Unix or PERL scripts, DB administration, even still COBOL. And Comp. Sci. is far better suited to teach what you need to be a good programmer than CIS or MIS.

Try getting a CS degree undergrad and a business oriented degree (not necessarily MBA!) graduate.

It’s been my experience that CIS and MIS are the same thing. I am about to get my degree in BIS - Business Information Systems… Same thing. My school has actually done away with that degree and is now offering e-business in its place.

CompSci is based on programming and software. I don’t think that there is a hardware-based degree anywhere.

Can someone tell me what a systems anaylst does in a nutshell. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I realized that I don’t really know what they do. Thanks.

Originally posted by drumminlogan
Can someone tell me what a systems anaylst does in a nutshell. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I realized that I don’t really know what they do. Thanks.

Traditionally, a systems analyst (now often called a Business Analyst) looks at a situation (requiest for something to be made/changed, a problem to be solved etc) and writes a specification document describing what the issues are, what has to be changed, why it needs to change, and from a functional POV how the change it to be done. A programmer would then take the spec and code off it (ideally the programmer would first write a technical programming spec but that doesn’t happen much in the real world).

That’s the traditional/classic description. But the title SA gets thrown around a lot. In some shops an SA is a network admin. In others he/she is just a very senior programmer. And in others they’re a QA tester.

Look at the job description as well as the title.

Moo - A Bachelor of Science (I presume) in “e-business”? Oy!

Just what the heck does that mean?

More over, what does it qualify/train you to do?

Originally posted by jaiem
[B]Moo - A Bachelor of Science (I presume) in “e-business”? Oy!

Just what the heck does that mean?

More over, what does it qualify/train you to do? [/B]

Yes a BS in e-business ha ha…I am getting a degree in IS first, which is supposed to train you as a system analyst. I am not quite sure about the e-business thing though. I am assuming that it is a business degree that focuses on online business (e-commerce) as opposed to traditional brick and mortar settings.


The Bachelor of Science in e-Business (BSB/EB) Program blends business and information technology to address the emerging field of e-Commerce and e-Business. The program courses provide fundamental knowledge and application in both business and information technology. The curriculum is designed to produce graduates ready to function in e-Business positions with the competencies, skills, and attitudes necessary for success in the workplace. It forms the basis for continued career growth, life-long learning as a professional or for the student who desires to continue his or her education in a graduate program.

Business courses include coursework in management, organizational behavior, critical thinking, research and evaluation, financial analysis, and marketing. Information technology courses include coursework in business system development, project planning, operating systems, programming, databases, networks and telecommunications, the Internet and Web, and e-business.

“Emerging Field” - It’s so new and the big crash proved the “new business model” doesn’t work - So what can they possibly teach you about e-business?!

I’m not coming down on your Moo. It’s the schools. They’re jumping to teach something that is too new. They just see dollars connected to buzz words.

It would be like the day after the discovery of Penicillin med schools added specialties in antibiotics!!

I know. I’m not dumb enough to believe the hype that these schools spout off. I am getting my IS degree because I want my little piece of paper. I need 7 lower level electives, so I am taking the core classes of the E-Business degree to fulfill those elective credits. I’m not expecting to get much out of it anyway. I figured that I might as well get 2 degrees for the price of one.