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.
Objectives of the Undergraduate Concentration in Information Systems
The objectives of the undergraduate concentration are to develop managers who:
- understand how to analyze the linkages between information technology (IT), innovation, business strategy, and competitive advantage.
- possess the technical skills (related to programming and databases) and managerial concepts needed to effectively plan, develop, and implement IT.
- understand how to promote more effective use of IT in organizations, taking into consideration how IT aligns with an organization's strategic focus, culture, business processes, etc.
- appreciate the broader ethical and societal implications of the burgeoning application of information technologies.
Careers in Information Systems
Careers available to IS concentrators dominate the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' list of fastest growing occupations. IS professionals encompass a broad array of careers, from the highly technical to those which bridge the gap between the people who program information systems and the people who use them. Information Systems concentrators may pursue a variety of careers in business, consulting, and government. Technology careers often give professionals a broad and deep exposure to the firm and its customers, providing exceptional training for future executive leadership. The greatest demand in the IS field will be for professionals who have technical knowledge supported by a solid understanding of the role of information systems in business and organizations.
Required Courses for the Information Systems Concentration
For Classes of 2021–2023
- ISYS3257 Database Systems and Applications
- ISYS4258 Systems Analysis and Design
For Class of 2024 and Later
- ISYS3350 Data Management for Analytics and Applications
- ISYS4258 Systems Analysis and Design
Information for Study Abroad
All students wishing to study abroad must first meet with an advisor in the Office of International Programs (OIP).
If accepted into the study abroad program and approved by the Undergraduate Dean's Office (Fulton 315), the student should then contact the Department Chairperson by e-mail or in person, with all supporting documentation (course description, detailed syllabus, etc.) for elective course approvals.
Although there are no particular prerequisites needed in order to qualify for study abroad, the usual course prerequisites still apply. Courses taken abroad can be allowed for concentration or elective credit if the courses are judged equivalent and if the proposed courses constitute a reasonable selection.