Information Systems FAQs
- What is information systems?
Information systems (IS) is about how organizations use computers. Every organization uses information systems. Even the smallest organizations use computers to do accounting, maintain a Website and order materials. The largest corporations use computers to run their entire organization (from purchasing to after-sale service). They run their entire business electronically: eBusiness. Without IS, many organizations couldn't run, period. With bad IS, many organizations couldn't run for very long. With good IS, many organizations are very successful.
- Isn't information systems really technical?
While organizations need some people to understand all of the technical details of Information Systems (IS), they also need people who know how IS can best enable the organization, and they need people who can manage the technical people to make sure they focus on issues that contribute to the organization's goals. Our programs will ground you in the technology, so you can manage the organization; our aim is not to make you technical experts.
- Aren't information systems professionals really just a bunch of geeks?
Anyone who is determined to be as good as they can be in their chosen field can be called a geek. For example, if you are about to have surgery, wouldn't you want your surgeon to have been a really diligent student who studied hard and did what s/he had to do to become really good in the operating room? At the same time, we want our graduates to know not just about information technology, but also how IS can enable the organization to reach its goals.
- Aren't information systems professionals just technicians? Do they really get to make decisions?
This is a common fallacy. Some level of technical knowledge is obviously required. However, you also need to understand that technology enables business. IS professionals advise, teach, consult, cajole and participate actively in decision-making, management and leadership.
- Do I have to be a technologist to be an information systems professional?
Obviously you need some basic level of technology skills, but that is only part of what you need to be successful. Many other skills are just as important, including:
Broad Business Perspective Competencies
- Strategic/critical thinking skills
- Functional skills (e.g., marketing, accounting)
- Industry/sector perspectives and knowledge.
- Resource management skills
- Marketing/client focus skills
- Data base/warehousing
- Systems Analysis and Design
- Quality Management
- Project management skills
- Communication skills
- Professional demeanor
- Problem solving and decision making skills
- Teamwork skills
- Leadership skills