COBA

About Information Systems

Information Systems (IS) is first and foremost a business degree.  This degree program prepares graduates to increase business agility and competitiveness through the application of information technology (IT).   IS students gain a solid foundation in business and become computer-savvy through hands-on experience with the latest technologies.

Why major in Information Systems?

Career opportunities for IS graduates remain strong.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the fasted growing occupations are the very jobs that our degree prepares you to enter.   Other studies indicate that the most highly sought after graduates are those that possess both business and computing skills.   The supply of qualified college graduates with this combination of skills is not keeping pace with employer demand.  Department of Commerce projections suggest that the gap in supply and demand will continue to increase through 2015.  This means that both current and future career opportunities and earning potential will continue to be very favorable for IS majors.

What are the career opportunities in IS?

IS is at the intersection of Business and Technology Career options for Information Systems majors are quite diverse.  The information provided below represents the types of positions in corporations and large organizations that are likely to be occupied by Information Systems majors.  A blend of business and technical knowledge is required to be successful in most of the listed positions – this is why they are often filled by individuals who possess information systems degrees.  Information Systems majors can also take advantage of corporate management opportunities outside of IT that lead to senior level management/executive positions such as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).   The IS major also provides the background needed to strike out on your own as an entrepreneur.

IS/IT/Information Services Managers

IS/IT/Information Services management is a primary career option for Information Systems majors.  Such positions require jobholders to apply both business and technology knowledge;  Information Systems majors acquire both types of knowledge when completing the major.  Such positions are common in major corporations and involve planning, directing, or coordinating information systems, systems development processes and ensuring the alignment of IT resources with the organization’s strategic objectives.  The averages listed in the following tables summarize 2004 salary data, today’s averages are higher; click here to see more recent salary data.

Senior IS/IT Management Positions

Job Titles Compensation*
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Chief Information Services Officer (CISO)
Vice President of Information Systems
$162,145 (and up)
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) $159,421 (and up)
Director of Systems Development $140,105 (and up)
Director of E-Commerce $131,526 (and up)
Chief Security Officer (CSO) $119,986 (and up)
Internet Technology Strategist $116,127 (and up)
Director of IT Operations $103,204 (and up)

Middle IS/IT Management Positions

Job Titles Compensation*
Product Manager $103,027
Information Security Manager $102,553
Application Development Manager $98,666
Database Manager $97,493
Project Manager $92,886
Data Warehousing Manager $91,719
Internet/Intranet Manager $91,468
E-Commerce Manager $83,339
IT Manager $82,851
Communications Manager $80,005
Computer Operations Manager $79,067
Network Manager $72,671
Help Desk/Technical Support Manager $71,900

Entry-Level IS Positions

There are numerous entry-level positions available to IS majors and most of these provide a career path that leads to middle and senior level positions in IS, IT, and Information Services departments or divisions.  Information Systems majors often compete with Computer Science, and Information Technology majors for these entry-level positions, but because of superior business knowledge, IS majors are more likely to be promoted rapidly to IS/IT management positions.

Business Systems Analysts   – IS majors are especially well-suited to entry-level business analyst (BA) positions.  Business analysts and systems analysts analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems; they also review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations.  BA’s play a key role in developing business cases for IT investments and are also called upon to analyze or recommend commercially available software.

Job Titles Compensation*
Senior Systems Analyst $80,090
Information Assurance/Security Specialist $73,207
Technology/Business Analyst (BA) $69,651
Systems Analyst $61,217

Database Administrators   – Database administrators (DBAs) coordinate changes to business databases;  they apply their knowledge of database management systems (DBMS) to implement and test the databases.  Most DBAs also plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard the data contained in corporate databases and many are actively involved in the development and use of data warehouses.

Job Titles Compensation*
Database Architect $92,204
Database Administrator (DBA) $81,710
Database Developer $70,102
Data/Database Analysts $64,151

Network Administrators   – Network administrators install, configure, and support an organization’s local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet connections. They are responsible for maintaining network hardware and software, monitoring network availability to network users, and perform taking preventive and corrective measures to ensure that the network is available to network users. Network administrators supervise other network support specialists and are responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing network security measures.

Job Titles Compensation*
Network Architect $83,590
Network Engineer $72,720
Systems Administrator $64,925
Network Administrator $53,644

Application Developers, Programmers, and Computer Support Specialists   – Application developers develop, create, and modify computer applications software. They analyze user needs and develop/identify software solutions that fit those needs. They are often responsible for designing or customizing software for client use with the aim of maximizing user productivity or effectiveness. Application developers may work with database administrators to analyze and design databases to support specific business processes.

Computer programmers are responsible for converting the information assembled by business analysts (project specifications, problem statements, procedures, data flow diagrams and system flow charts) into computer program code. Their primary responsibility is to develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents or information or to manipulate data to produce needed information. Some computer programmers are responsible for coding Web sites.

Computer support specialists provide technical assistance to computer system users. Their jobs frequently involve answering user questions or resolving computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location. They may also provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including installation, printing, e-mail, and specific application programs.

Job Titles Compensation*
Systems Architect $101,308
Project Lead/Manager $85,299
Software Engineer $81,150
Messaging/E-Mail Specialist $71,552
Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist $66,166
eCommerce Specialist $61,091

*Compensation is the total of average salary plus average bonus according to a survey conducted in May-July 2004, as reported in Computerworld 38 (4) pp. 49-58, October 25, 2004.

What will I study?

IS graduates help organizations solve business problems and take advantage of business opportunities.  To do so requires both an understanding of basic business functions and hands-on experience with state-of-the-art information technologies.

  • Core Business Knowledge
    IS majors complete the same core business courses taken by all business majors in Georgia Southern’s AACSB-accreditied College of Business Administration. These provide the foundation in accounting, operations, finance, marketing, and strategic management upon which successful careers in business organizations depend.
  • Technology
    Beyond the business courses, IS majors develop a wide range of technical skills as they complete a minimum of 11 computing courses, including courses in programming, systems analysis and design, data communications, networking, database systems, and project management.
  • “Hot” Topics
    To ensure that they are well positioned to enter today’s workforce IS majors choose elective courses in hot topic areas such as E-Commerce applications, decision support systems, data mining, object-oriented development, computer/network security, ERP applications, and wireless communications.

Last updated: 8/12/2015

Information Systems • P.O. Box 7998 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-4747 • ISDept@georgiasouthern.edu