Information Systems (BMGT)

Robert H. Smith School of Business

What is the Information Systems major?

The Information Systems major in the Business School prepares students to be effective planners, users, and managers of information technologies and systems in business.

What are the interests of students who major in Information Systems?

Students in the Information Systems major are the “doers,” applying modern information technologies to transform business and create competitive advantages. They master a wide range of skills that are essential to business, such as system design and implementation, knowledge to manage the “Big Data” in this rapidly changing world, and essential data skills for business, including spreadsheet, database, web design, and popular data analysis tools used by business analysts. Students also build analytical skills for both strategic Information Technology (IT) planning and performance evaluation. Interested students display a wide range of skills that are essential to business, such as problem-solving, leadership skills, and the motivation to independently research and compile information.

What are the possible jobs opportunities for students with an Information Systems degree?

Students with a degree in Information Systems are prepared for careers as business and technology consultants, business analysts, system developers and integrators, and entrepreneurs in technology-intensive domains.

What is the day-to-day work of an Information Systems graduate?

Our graduates work on understanding customer needs, analyzing business data and processes, identifying critical gaps in existing technologies, designing information systems to support business operations, implementing and evaluating IT projects, and managing technology teams.

What are the lower level requirements of the Information Systems major?

The Information Systems major lower level requirements include accounting, statistics, and Elementary Calculus I (MATH120). The Information Systems major in the School of Business is a Limited Enrollment Program (LEP). Please see www.lep.umd.edu for more information on requirements for LEPs.

How is math applied to the major?

The major relies heavily on analytical thought, data skills, business sense making, leadership, and teamwork. Knowledge and application of quantities tools is essential to conducting data visualization and analytics.

What are the strengths of students in this major?

An important strength of the Information Systems student is the ability to comprehend the interdependencies between data, people, and business processes. Such strength is most valuable in translating the business needs of the end users in a business enterprise to the technical developer (often programmers) in technical terms they can understand.

Like all Smith School of Business majors, IS majors obtain a broad grounding in the key functional areas of business, including marketing, operations, accounting, and finance. These core concepts provide an excellent foundation to ground the IS major in key concepts of systems analysis and design, and the strategic use of business data.

What are the some of the experiences Information Systems students have had prior to college

The Information Systems major is not coding intensive, but coding skills for business applications will be taught in various courses. Prospective students may wish to take online introductory programming courses to understand their individual preferences towards coding.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security is the protection of Information Technology assets (hardware, software or information) from the theft, unauthorized access, or damage as well as from disruption or misdirection of the services they provide.

How does Information Systems major prepare students to work in cyber security?

The Information Systems major provides an overview of the challenges pertaining to information security and the activities that organizations can take to defend against any cyber threats. Course work in the major uses examples of recent incidents, and addresses the motivations behind them. Information Systems highlights the potential organizational weaknesses that criminals exploit and provides information on the ways that both firms and individuals can prevent security breaches. A key outcome for the majors is that students recognize the management challenges, ethical dilemmas, and economic impacts associated with cybersecurity.

What is Data Science?

From a business perspective, data is one of the most important resources that enables competitive advantages. In recent years, companies have been adopting technologies to better capture and manage data from all aspects of the business. Data scientists are required to turn data into insights and actionable knowledge in terms of better understanding the market demand, better prediction of consumer purchases, and better monitoring and adjustment of business operations.

Do Information Systems majors work as data scientists?

Yes. The Information Systems major at the Smith School provides essential skills in statistics, data management, data analysis, and introductory data modeling. Therefore, the major provides a solid technology foundation for students who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees in data sciences.

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