More About Information Systems and Analytics

The Information Systems and Analytics major at Shippensburg University focuses on preparing students to enter the computing profession through a strong background in the business functional areas (e.g. accounting, finance, statistics, management, marketing, economics) combined with a competency in python, systems analysis, databases, R programming, and project management. More importantly however, emphasis is placed on preparing the student for the life-long challenge of adapting to a rapidly changing environment. Communication skills, teamwork, creativity, and self-motivation are key factors in any profession, but especially those dealing with business clients and technology integration.

Selected Career Opportunities for Information Systems and Analytics Graduates

Business Analyst

Specializes in designing and developing information systems utilizing computing and communication technologies for business applications.

Typical activities include:

  • working with managers and other business users to analyze the computing needs of the organization
  • interviewing organizational personnel to determine activities and tasks
  • devising systems to convert manual procedures to computer systems
  • analyzing existing computer-based information systems to determine more efficient flow of information
  • configuring hardware systems to meet the needs of an organization
  • planning for integration of computer resources, such as data, software, and hardware within an organization
  • preparing cost-benefit analysis and return-on-investment data for proposed systems
  • managing information systems development projects
  • supervising computer programmers and technicians in the development of proposed information system

Programmer

Writes and updates computer programs to provide information to an organization for more efficient and effective execution of business operations.

Typical activities include:

  • writing programs for specific systems within an organization, such as inventory control, segmented marketing, and accounting systems
  • testing and debugging new programs to insure correct output
  • updating existing programs to meet the changing requirements of the organization and/or new government regulations (programming maintenance)
  • revising, enhancing, and/or adapting off-the-shelf software such as spreadsheets and databases
  • preparing manuals for those who use the software
  • accessing information in the organization's database

Database Administrator

Management of one of an organization's most valuable resources--its data.

Typical duties might include:

  • establishing and maintaining standards for data and policies and procedures for its use
  • training users of the data in proper procedures
  • assigning privileges for the use of data
  • providing technical support such as integrity of data
  • verifying and maintaining the quality and integrity of data
  • verifying and maintaining security of the database

Careers in Information Systems and Analytics

Essential Aptitudes:

  • ability to think logically
  • problem solving skills
  • effective communication skills (oral and written)
  • ability to handle details
  • background knowledge in business
  • ability to work with ideas and people
  • enjoyment of project-oriented work
  • appreciation for technology and how its use can improve existing procedures and systems
  • interest in staying current in a dynamic industry

Advantages:

  • project-oriented work
  • interaction with people and frequent involvement in team projects
  • variety of responsibilities and activities
  • clean, comfortable working environment
  • travel opportunities
  • high demand/salary
  • job mobility
  • remote work opportunities

Disadvantages:

  • rapid and continuously changing technology
  • constant need to update skills
  • vast amount of detail
  • pressures of deadlines and possibly a need to work extra hours

Career Paths for Business Information Systems and Analytics Majors
Entry Level: Typical Salaries

  • Systems Analyst $60,680
  • Database Administrator $63,260
  • Information Security Analyst $61,520

*Source: 2021 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The above salary figures will vary according to geographical location, size of company and level of job responsibilities.

Internship Opportunities

The College of Business at Shippensburg University administers an internship program for all business majors. This program provides BIS majors who have earned 55 or more credits with an opportunity to expand their knowledge of information systems in the business world and to further develop interpersonal skills, self-learning skills, and professional behavior. It also gives students a realistic setting in which to assess their interest and aptitude for the type of work activities required for success in this field. Most of these internship positions are for the summer months; however, some employers prefer a longer internship period. By carefully scheduling the course requirements, it has been possible for students desiring an extended internship experience to do so.

Many of the internship positions are in central Pennsylvania with some in other areas. However, with prior approval of the internship director and the Information Systems and Analytics faculty, students are able to have appropriate positions in other geographic areas approved for an internship.

At the end of the internship experience, each employer/supervisor is asked to evaluate the intern. The overwhelming majority of the employers have rated the intern's performance as exceptional/outstanding or very good. Furthermore, many of the interns have been hired by the business organization after graduation, and a number of interns were retained as part-time employees during their senior year.

The placement surveys conducted by the College of Business asks graduates to evaluate the importance of nine factors typically considered to be important to future employers when evaluating applicants. The factor perceived to be most important by all business graduates was knowledge of the computer; the second most important factor was work experience. The business internship program available at Shippensburg University is an excellent way for Business Information Systems majors to attain work experience and to do so in their major field.