Management Information Systems
The predicted quantity and diversity of positions in information systems through 2012 make this an extremely attractive career path for college graduates.
What is an information system?
An information system is the power behind the decision-making process of an organization; it is an integral part of an effective management system. The management information system professional utilizes tools, techniques, and concepts of various disciplines such as computer science, management science, and organizational behavior. These interdisciplinary tools, combined with an understanding of the basic needs of an organization, enable the information system professional to apply computer technology to the solutions for a wide range of business problems.
Where is an information system used?
It is impossible to think of any organization without the need for information. Through the use of computer technology, a management information system provides the right information to the right person at the right time at the lowest possible cost. It is used at all levels of management from the operational to the strategic; it is also used in all functional areas of an organization. Because an information system helps an organization to be highly efficient as well as competitive, it is used in government and business organizations.
What kinds of career choices exist?
The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts the growth rate for this field to be about 91 percent, making it the second fastest-growing occupational area. The department forecast estimated that over three-quarters of a million new jobs will be created in this career field by the year 2012. Because of the recognition of this need and the power an information system offers to an organization, college graduates with a specialization in this area have a wide range of career choices including systems analyst, web designer, network and database administrator, application developer, consultant, technology trainer, technical sales representative, MIS director and chief information officer (CIO).
Shippensburg University management information systems graduates are working in responsible positions in major companies such as Citicorp, IBM, General Motors, vanguard Financial, Hershey, Capital Blue Cross, Highmark Blue Shield, TYCO, PNC Bank, and various state and federal agencies. Because of the high demand for graduates of this discipline, salaries are highly competitive, and starting salaries in this field are above the average for business graduates.
How can I prepare to be an information system professional?
Because of the interaction with people who have technical knowledge and those who do not, a management information system professional needs to concentrate on building skills in communications and problem solving as well as developing a knowledge of business principles.
During your freshman and sophomore years, you need to concentrate on strengthening communications skills, on obtaining a broad general education which provides a basic understanding of our society and the world, on acquiring a knowledge of the basic functions of an organization, and on understanding the dependency of an organization upon quality information.
During the junior and senior years you will continue to strengthen your understanding of business and to concentrate on advanced courses in information systems, management, and other courses which enable you to build the required technical knowledge and expertise.
How is the information systems curriculum structured?
You will be required to take three sets of courses:
The first set includes the general education courses, such as English, history, mathematics, psychology, and science, and provides a background for understanding the society and world in which we function.
The second set of courses is the business core curriculum, common to all business administration majors. Examples of courses in this core are accounting, statistics, finance, management, and marketing. These subjects will give you a view of the broad spectrum of the basic functions and needs of an organization.
The third set of courses is the sequence for information system major which provides the necessary technical knowledge with respect to tools, techniques, and concepts. These courses include Visual Basic, C++, telecommunications, systems analysis and design, database applications, and project development. You can also choose elective courses in web design, Java, e-commerce as well as other appropriate courses from the business and computer science areas. This will allow the student to gain experience in using a wide variety of applications and development software.
Are scholarships available for management information systems majors?
The John L. Grove scholarships are available to incoming business freshmen and transfers who meet the qualifications. In addition, two four-year scholarships/internships are awarded each year to two incoming management information systems freshmen with high academic qualifications. Two scholarships/internships are awarded to sophomores/juniors majoring in management information systems who have demonstrated high academic achievement and who show a potential for success in the field.
What are the opportunities for an internship?
An internship program is offered by the College of Business which provides experience and college credit. There are many internship opportunities for management information systems majors, and in some cases students continue as part-time employees while finishing the coursework for their degree.
Can students who are not majoring in information systems take these courses?
In today's business world, most of the functions of an organization are computerized, and everyone is dependent on the management information system for reliable information. Because of this dependency, whether you major in accounting, finance, marketing, or any other related area, you will be expected to interact with computerized information systems. Therefore, electing information systems courses and possibly completing a second major in information systems would greatly enhance a graduate's career opportunities.