Information Systems

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Concentration in Information Systems

Information Systems (IS) are the lifeblood of the modern enterprise, making up the single largest portion of capital spending among U.S. corporations. Information Systems have the power to create and restructure industries, empower individuals and firms, and dramatically reduce costs. Many of the world's most successful corporations arrived at their position in large part due to their effective use of such systems. However, when poorly designed and implemented, IS can become a major source of risk, squander shareholder wealth, waste taxpayer money, and destroy firms and careers. As a result, organizations desperately need well-trained information systems specialists and technology-savvy managers. Today's manager simply cannot effectively perform without a solid understanding of the role of information systems in organizations, competition, and society.

The Information Systems concentration focuses on both technology and its effective use in organizations. In this program, students will learn how to plan, develop, and deploy technology-based business solutions, as well as to understand the strategic role of IS in organizations and the influential role of technology in society. The Information Systems concentration is designed for students with an aptitude for logical, analytical thinking and prepares them for positions in a variety of fast-growing professions. The Information Systems concentration is a strong choice as a primary concentration for CSOM students. Given the increasing influence of IS in all functional areas, it also serves as an excellent second concentration for students whose primary concentration is in another field such as accounting, finance, marketing, or operations.

The Information Systems concentration emphasizes both team and individual work, allowing students to gain the skills and experience to strategize, design, program, and implement computerized information systems. The curriculum emphasizes software development technologies, data management, data communications, electronic commerce, and knowledge management as well as the fundamentals of computer hardware and software systems, high-level software design and programming, project management, emerging technology studies, and the strategic, operational, and responsible use of information systems.

Concentrators will develop the ability to work with others to understand business requirements and to determine the need for and feasibility of information systems change. They will use analytical thinking to simplify complex business tasks and to design efficient and user-friendly computer systems. They will develop communication skills to understand and explain systems requirements, make the case for IS investment, prepare clear documentation, and deliver effective presentations. Concentrators will also develop a strategic perspective on information systems, enabling them to participate in and support the increasingly visible role of information technology in corporate decision making.