2015 2 Column Inner

Information Systems

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Information systems includes designing and managing hardware/software networks, safeguarding information security, as well as collecting, processing, and facilitating access to data. Information systems professionals create processes that facilitate communication, transactions (e.g., electronic commerce), and decision-making by managers and personnel throughout the entire business.

All areas of information systems need professionals who understand how the various disciplines or functions in a business work together. In addition to being technically competent, successful IS professionals are cross-functional thinkers who integrate their work into all departments in order to add value across the entire business. They provide managers with access to data and meaningful insights for decision-making, as well as systems to track and improve performance in a variety of ways.

Entrepreneurship courses at UC are helping information systems students develop the cross-functional understanding and managerial decision-making skills they need to become the information systems professionals of tomorrow. Technology entrepreneurship is a rapidly growing area of the economy with many information systems professionals using their programming skills to design new software apps or establish information systems for entrepreneurial ventures. Information systems students that include entrepreneurship courses among their breadth of knowledge (BOK) elective classes get a well-rounded education and the ability to set themselves apart from other information systems graduates.

There is substantial demand for information systems professionals that understand entrepreneurs and the needs of their small/medium sized businesses. Researchers report that 90-95% of businesses are small/medium sized and these businesses create nearly 70% of new jobs each year in the USA.


Information systems students that study entrepreneurship pursue careers:

a. Working for information systems consulting firms that support small/medium sized businesses,
b. Working in information systems to gain experience for 3-5 years and then starting their own entrepreneurial businesses (e.g., app/software startup companies, information systems consulting firms)
c. Contract consulting to entrepreneurs and other businesses (e.g., helping entrepreneurs and family business owners launch and optimize their websites, promote their products/services online, design and manage databases, use hardware/software systems, etc.),
d. Creating systems for new/rapidly growing franchises,
e. Climbing the promotional ladder and becoming CIO or CTO of a small/medium sized business, or
f. Starting/Joining a startup business in a technology role.


Student Recommendations
Information systems students that have studied with entrepreneurship faculty consistently report above average classroom experiences that are relevant to their careers as information systems professionals.

"Minoring in entrepreneurship allowed me to mature both personally, and academically. The enthusiasm of my instructors helped me to start my own businesses and consult to others."

Rico H., Fiba Retail - Marks & Spencer / GAP / Banana Republic

"I have a small software company specializing in anti-spyware/identity theft protection. Entrepreneurship faculty showed unique interest in my company. I've had many instructors throughout my college career, but I have never met any so delighted and willing to take personal time to provide assistance as the entrepreneurship faculty at UC."

Adam B., VanderHouwen & Associates

"I have a strong information systems skillset and an entrepreneurship spirit but figuring out how to channel both attributes together to create a sustainable and efficient business has been a challenge. The mentorship and advice from Dr. Dalziel and Dr. Matthews has been very insightful for restructuring my small web design company and creating my new startup. They have also provided me with opportunities to expand my network and meet new strategic partners.  From speaking with Dr. Matthews and Dr. Dalziel I have decided to pursue a M.S. Information Systems degree with a graduate certificate in Entrepreneurship to develop my passion for helping other businesses scale technologically and to think like a startup."

Kris J., Owner of K & J Web Designs LLC

Click here to apply to the entrepreneurship minor.

Address questions to Professor Thomas Dalziel ("Dr. D"), a career advisor in Career Services, or an academic program advisor in the Undergraduate Programs Office, as needed. We're here to help you!