MIS vs. Data Science – What’s the Right Choice?
The journey to your dream university starts with the question:
‘Why do you want to pursue your graduate studies?’
Some of us want to do an MS to take our UG studies forward (say after BTech in Computer Science, one could go on to pursue an MS in CS). Others want to change their field and cross over to an entirely new field of study (for example, moving from BSc Physics to a program in Law).
Then there are those who want to pursue more streamlined and often inter-disciplinary programs (like from BTech in Mechanical Engineering to MS in Automobile Engineering). These programs offer interesting and unique concentrations and specializations, and are fast gaining popularity among those planning their graduate studies abroad.
MS in Management of Information Systems (MIS) and MS in Data Science (DS) are two such streamlined programs. These programs cater to specific academic interests and career goals among students of engineering and/or management. They sound similar and have some common ground between them.
Read on to know more about these interesting courses offered abroad and which one is best suited for you.
About MS in MIS
MS in MIS is a course designed to train you in the employment of computer-related technology in business functions. You may have heard from your friends and well-wishers that this is a course that is somewhere in between an MS and an MBA. In a way that is true, but that description does not do complete justice to the intensity and uniqueness of the program.
The core objective of this interdisciplinary course is to catapult you into managerial positions mainly in the field of IT. You will learn to use web technology and computerized information systems to solve business problems and maximize the output of business processes.
A glance at some of the popular technical and managerial courses covered by this program will shed light on how this course is designed:
There is no uniform curriculum for this program. So, some universities offer courses that focus more on the technical subjects, implying that they are suitable for students who are from the IT background seeking to step into managerial roles, while other courses focus on the managerial aspect and target business professionals who seek to specialize in IT.
In fact, depending on the composition of the curriculum, you have more courses that are different amalgamates of management and engineering courses. They include:
- MSTM – MS in Technology Management
- MSIS – MS in Information Systems
About MS in Data Science
MS in Data Science is another popular program which is a relatively recent addition to the list of courses offered by universities abroad. This course is the result of universities adapting their programs to the industry’s demand for more Data Scientists and ‘Big Data’ Specialists.
MS in Data Science focuses on quantitative courses and is an intersection of Computer Science and statistics. The program aims to train students in the practical tools and techniques to work with large-scale data.
Simply put, there is a lot of data generated across industries, from telecom to the internet or social media. Through a degree in Data Science, you will hone your ability to make patterns and meanings out of routinely generated data lumps across sectors.
If we take a look at the curriculum commonly offered under this degree, we can understand that it requires some command over fields like Mathematics, Statistics, and Coding.
Here is a list (not exhaustive) of some courses offered under this program:
- Statistical Methods of Data Science
- Machine Learning
- Information Visualization
- Data Mining
- Data Modelling
MS in MIS vs. MS in Data Science: What’s the Difference?
So, how are these two courses different from each other?
The table below will give you a better picture of what they offer and which one is more suitable for you.
Then, what’s Business Analytics and how is it different from MIS or DS?
Who should opt for MS in MIS?
Most MS in MIS programs are suitable for students with basic exposure to computer science and the motivation to learn the key aspects of leadership and business management. They can yield good career prospects for students with the right set of hard and soft skills.
Often, universities offering this program look for students with some relevant practical experience or a strong inclination to pursue management studies in the domain of IT. So, you will have to prepare well and communicate your interests persuasively to make it into this program.
Who should opt for MS in DS?
MS in DS requires the applicant to have strong quantitative abilities, and prior training in Mathematics (Calculus and Algebra), Statistics, and Programming is appreciated.
Most universities offering MS in DS program have good industrial tie-ups to give practical exposure and networking opportunities to their students. As a research-intensive and evolving field, the competition in Data Science is quite high.
Understandably, a high level of qualification in this domain (e.g., PhD) enhances your career prospects substantially. This is not to rule out employment prospects for young graduates, but to suggest the advantage of studying further in this field after MS.
Now that you have an idea about these relatively new programs, do you think one of these courses is meant for you? If yes, then time to get cracking!
Tailoring your admission process specifically for such programs is surely a task of mammoth proportions.
But you need not shy from thinking big! With proper guidance, information, and the right plan of action, you can surely make it to your dream program.
If you have any questions regarding MS in MIS or Data Science or even admission process, in general, just comment below and we’ll be happy to get back to you at the earliest!