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Pathway to PHD in the area of MIS - M.S or MBA [#permalink]
11 Aug 2004, 09:03
I am not sure if this is the right forum to post my topic, thought that it was the closet among the forums. I am sorry if this is not the right place to post my query.
Looking for best schools in MS in the area of MIS(Management Information Systems ) and then go on to do a PhD.
I am planning to apply for fall 2005 admission for my masters.
I am an international student from India and have about 4 yrs work ex as of now. I have a telecommunication engineering undergrad from India. I am intrested in academics and would want to get in to research. My experience has been in the field software right from day one and desire to continue in the same area(systems modelling and development).
All the masters programmes (MS in MIS)are linked to business schools.
I am beginning to think,how good a masters program(MS) is,in MIS if I am looking at research.
Should I do an MBA in MIS and then opt for Phd or should I stick to the MS programmes and then continue on for research?If someone could guide me, it will be of great help.
Also, I am not able to get enough information about the schools that offer excellent MS programs. I am able to get enough information about the good schools for MBA in MIS. I personally feel that if my goal is for research, I should not be opting for MBA (helps me financially too, as the difference in tution fees is enormous) and instead opt to go for MS.
Please do suggest the best path I should be opting for and also if I could get to know the schools I should be targetting at, it will be simply great.
Thank you all for your time, patience and responses.
I have a quick question about your last comment. You were mentioning that there are some PhDs in the MIS area, but some of these programs are not based at business schools. Can you give us a few examples of this? I am not too sure of what you meant. For example, UC Berkeley has an IS school (SIMS) that is not a part of the business school. Neither is it a part of the engineering school. But, the PhDs students at that program are primarily working on areas such as XML and networking technologies of systems communication. The Haas school at Berkeley does not have any concentration in MIS. That means, essentially, UC Berkeley does not have a PhD in MIS with a business administration focus.
The second part of my question is whether completing your MIS PhD from a non business school department make a difference in the placement? So, if ones aim is to join as a Assistant Professor at a business school dept of a university, is it wise to pursue your PhD at a non-business school department of a univsersity - even that of a top university for that matter?
You make a good point since my last post was rather vague. However, I think some of this vagueness stems from the nature of the field- Information Systems is an expansive subject and adding the qualifier "Management" seems to do little to limit the scope of the field. This is essentially a line-drawing problem regarding the definition of MIS - I invite each reader to determine where to draw the line for herself/himself.
One program that I had in mind was the following Masters of Info Systems Management at Carnegie Mellon:
"The skills required by today's business leader span several disciplines and are not typically available through traditional business or computer science programs. Carnegie Mellon has a strong tradition of innovation, pragmatism and interdisciplinary collaboration, and the MISM program is drawing upon these strengths to prepare leaders of the digital economy.
The MISM program is a university wide program, it is not based in a single school or division, but instead draws faculty from the School of Computer Science, Software Engineering Institute, H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management, and the business community. Carnegie Mellon's strong ties to the business community and leadership in technology transfer and entrepreneurial ventures likewise opens diverse opportunities for students."
This program is outside of the business school but is clearly intended to educate business leaders.
I think that two key questions for any PhD program is access and perception > access to the courses and professors that one needs and the academic market's perception of that program. These are questions that are probably best addressed on a program by program basis.
In my research I encountered MIS in at least 3 guises:
- in a business school setting, either as a standalone MIS department, or as a part of a Management Sciences department
- combined with CompSci, in an Information And Computer Science type of school (this tends to be more technical)
- combined with Library Science (!)
What makes things more confusing is that the research topics for all 3 tend to overlap, for example you can find Human Computer Interaction or Web Ontologies researchers in each of the above settings.
However, I will say that to get a job later in a business school you are probably better off with a PhD from a MIS dept in a business school. I have seen this requirement pop up quite often on academic job boards.
In my research I encountered MIS in at least 3 guises: - in a business school setting, either as a standalone MIS department, or as a part of a Management Sciences department - combined with CompSci, in an Information And Computer Science type of school (this tends to be more technical) - combined with Library Science (!) What makes things more confusing is that the research topics for all 3 tend to overlap, for example you can find Human Computer Interaction or Web Ontologies researchers in each of the above settings. However, I will say that to get a job later in a business school you are probably better off with a PhD from a MIS dept in a business school. I have seen this requirement pop up quite often on academic job boards.
Thats very true. I agree to what kv224 has to say about the confusion caused by the names of the degrees, the schools has to offer.
One of the questions that pops up in my mind is that , why is that the business schools have an MIS concentration in MBA and also a masters (MIS) in MIS. Some of the websites, do offer an explaination that the MS is more technically focused and MBA is oriented towards business. Is it that, if students pursue an MS programme in a particular business school, they would be at a disadvantage in finding jobs after graduation, because the MBA grads are given preference??
If a person (as in my case) is opting to go for MS instead of an MBA in the MIS concntration ,only because of high tution fees for MBA, he is at a disadvantage in getting good a good job after graduation?
Will I be wrong in trying to leverage my MS in MIS for a better career prospects in the industry and eventually have to realign myself towards academics?
I am truely at a dilemma here. _________________
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Thanks Hjort for your inputs.
I want to know what are the best schools for doing an MS in MIS?
I can find the list for the best schools for MBA in MIS concentration.
Is it wise to assume that they are good for MS too, since they belong to the same department and business school?
I found an article on the net which gives the list of schools which are considered to be doing good research work.Any comments on this article will be great.
I intend to give serious considerations for the schools mentioned in the article.
This is an interesting article and seems to be a reasonable starting point for further research. I noticed that it included some of the "usual suspects" such as MIT, Carnegie, Texas, and Maryland. However, I am not really sure who the experts are or how representative they are of the MIS community. I also felt that while reading this article I was wading into some sort of academic turf war over the "true" definition of MIS. I think reasonable minds can differ over whether decision sciences and the like should be included under the banner of IS. I would side with the definition used by the downstream consumers (i.e. the private and academic employers) to the extent that we can determine what this definition is.
I feel that the mainstream MBA rankings are a reasonable starting point as well as long as one considers how the ranking is determined (i.e. recruiter survey or professor survey etc.) and does not take them too seriously as the final word on the subject.
PS I'm glad to see so many people participating in this forum lately.
My personal thinking is that, the confusion that seems to arise in MIS particularly is, it cannot be considered as a completely research oriented field nor it is not totally a business oriented field. Programs such as MS in Computer Science can take a student completely in to research and we have the MBA with MIS concentration for business related approach.
One intresting thing that I noted with Nageshhatti's post was that whether is it a good idea to leverage MS in MIS for industry and whether one would be at a disadvantage of pursing MS where you have an MBA concentration in MIS. I did have similar kind of doubts , but since I felt that I would do better in an research area I dint give much of a thought on it.
I would certainly like to hear yours and other's opinion on that.
Do we have any data on placement of MS MIS students vs. MBA MIS Concentration students? I would be interested to see these data if they can be found.
One could view the price differential between the MBA and the MS as the premium that one pays for the option of switching career focus (since the MBA is the more widely accepted degree for general management). If one is firmly committed to a research career s/he would place little value on this real option and in turn should be unwilling to pay a large premium.
Just a quick note: historically, Decision Sciences used to encompass what was to become (M)IS - by the way, the M seems to have fallen out of favor. Meaning, the DS journals and conferences would include some IS topics. Only later did IS emerge as a separate field. This is why IS is sometimes associated with DS, and sometimes not.