What Can I Do With A Degree In Information Systems Management?

Unlike a more technical degree from Computer Science, the ISM degree prepares students to participate in and manage teams that develop, support, and maintain information systems for small, medium, and large-size organizations. Information systems go far beyond hardware, software, and data; they are now becoming intrinsic parts of many business processes, and affect the day-to-day work lives of millions around the globe. With the constant necessity to upgrade and replace old systems in the face of new technological developments, and the opportunities afforded for new systems based on these developments, demand for IS professionals will always continue to grow. Constant exposure to a wide variety of business functions and systems prepares ISM graduates to move to higher management positions as their careers progress.

Areas of Specialization

  • System Analysts
  • Data Architects, Data Warehousing Specialists
  • Computer & Information Systems Manager
  • Computer Programmers
  • Computer Software Engineers & Architects
  • Software Quality Assurance Specialists
  • Database Administrators
  • Computer Support Specialists & Systems Administrators
  • Web Analysts, Content Managers, Service Providers

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Specific technical skills
  • Operate as a team member in a diverse, matrixed, globally dispersed environment
  • Multitask while staying focused on deadlines and deliverables
  • Provide accurate reports to management and customers
  • Communicate accurately and in understandable English through both written and spoken communication
(Source: IT Career Guide 2E by Fran Quittel)

Job Outlook/Salary

Spurred by technological advances, employment for information systems managers is expected to increase faster than average. Because of the varied responsibilities these executives hold, employers seek managers with strong technical knowledge as well as business skills. They want managers who are experts in the particular software or technology used on the job and who can discuss the particulars of their work in technical terms with their subordinates, and at the same time, in nontechnical terms to senior managers and prospective customers. Therefore, information system managers must possess strong interpersonal, communication and leadership skills, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.

Employers also seek managers proficient in security to protect their infrastructure and Internet sites from hackers, viruses and other acts of cyber-terrorism. Earnings for IS professionals and managers vary, depending on specialty and level of responsibility. The median salary for an IS professional, starting out, is $44,800. After 5 years experience the median salary for an IS professional is $62,000. Information Systems managers averaged $107,250 in 2006 with a range from $60,800 and $139,460.

The Impact of Offshoring

Despite a great deal of publicity about Information Systems (IS) and Information Technology (IT) jobs going to offshore firms, the vast majority of IS and IT jobs for US companies are still located in the US, especially within small and medium-sized enterprises. Firms are realizing that they need to cultivate home-grown talent, people who are fully immersed in the US business culture and can sensitively manage resources on a global scale. IS and IT specialists with leading edge skills; with strong “soft” skills for communications, problem solving, and deep business knowledge; and those who work close to the internal customers within these firms are least likely to see their jobs move offshore.

Companies that Hire

Major area firms such as:
  • Progressive Insurance
  • FirstEnergy Corp.
  • The Goodyear Tire and Rubber
  • The Timken Corporation
  • Diebold
  • Infocision
  • The J. M. Smuckers Company
  • Summa Health System

In addition, jobs for Information Systems specialists exist in numerous other medium- and large-size enterprises, including a rich set of engineering and polymer-oriented firms in the greater Akron and Cleveland area.

Current Technology Job Market

"Technology talent is in high demand again" (proclaimed by Monsterworldwide). There is an upswing for computer science and information technology graduates. This is due to four key factors:

  • A noticeable rise in the number of technology-related job postings overall.
  • Technology-related salaries, including new grad salaries, are mostly on the upswing.
  • More companies and government agencies are implementing new grad hiring plans.
  • More organizations are coming to campus to interview.

To obtain details of IT job market compensation, data sources and studies:

  • Office of Workforce Development
    Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
    4300 Kimberly Pkwy
    Columbus
    OH 43232
    Telephone (614) 752-9494.
  • www.ohiomeansjobs.com