Need help finding an MBA program with an IS / IT specialty.
July 7, 2010 6:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking at MBA programs in Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis. I'm interested in specializing in Information Systems, but I've noticed that many schools in the top tier don't offer an IS specialty. My main question is: what top-25 schools in those metro areas offer an MBA with a specialization in IS (or a similar specialization)? Are there programs outside of those metro areas I should really consider? And what pretty-good programs exist in those places? But I'm also wondering why IS is not an offering at more top schools. There are a few concentrations that most schools offer such as finance and marketing. Is Information Systems not as prestigious as other concentrations? Is it considered less of a strategic area?

I am currently working in enterprise healthcare IT. I've found that I'm really interested in IT planning - giving people the tools they need and allow them to do their jobs more efficiently. Specifically, I like planning and managing projects and helping set direction. I'd like to work towards a leadership role, but I don't have a background in business so I want an MBA to fill in my knowledge gaps.

I've read the posts and articles about the ROI (or lack thereof) of an MBA and have decided that I want the education that it would provide. I have a liberal arts degree, and my jobs have been more interesting than anything I studied. So I want to spend some time getting an education specific to business, and more specifically IS.

Why IS? Right now I'm fascinated by the intersection of healthcare and IT. But I'd like to be able to change my mind and work outside of healthcare, so a healthcare specialization (which is a remarkably common offering) isn't ideal. If I specialize in IT now and need to beef up my healthcare credentials later, I could do a MHA. I don't know of any similar equivalent for IS (maybe an MIS?).

Personal considerations limit me to Chicago, St. Louis, and Cleveland. I might be able to take the dive to move elsewhere for a really perfect school (e.g., I may apply to Stanford once I've done more research), but for example I'm not looking at programs in the Pacific Northwest or southern Florida. So I'd appreciate suggestions for a) top-notch programs in those metro areas, b) amazing programs in any part of the country, or c) pretty-good programs in those metro areas.
posted by Tehhund to Education (4 answers total)
If you're willing to look elsewhere in the Midwest, one obvious choice is Tepper at Carnegie Mellon - it's a top 25 MBA program, certainly a very strong IT school, and offers an IT specialization track in their MBA. Also supposed to be a pretty strong MBA program for healthcare.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:06 PM on July 7, 2010

This isn't going to answer your question, but I have an M.B.A. from the highest rated business school in Cleveland (and presumably the one you are considering) and I would recommend you go elsewhere. I was very disappointed with my experience there.
posted by monkeyman82 at 7:45 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

While it's not in any of the cities you've mentioned, Syracuse University offers an EXCELLENT Master's in Information Management, and it can be done online as well as on campus.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:27 AM on July 8, 2010

DePaul in Chicago has an MS in Business Information Technology. I don't know if DePaul has a "top tier" reputation outside of the Chicago area though. I am extremely pleased with my MS from there, but I studied regular old computer science, not business IT.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:08 AM on July 8, 2010

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