15.7 Careers in Information Management

Learning Objective

  1. Identify career opportunities in information management.

The number and variety of opportunities in the IS field have grown substantially as organizations have expanded their use of IT. In most large organizations, the senior management team includes a chief information officer (CIO) who oversees information and telecommunications systems. A large organization might also have a chief technology officer who reports to the CIO and oversees IT planning and implementation.

Most entry-level IS jobs require a business degree with a major in information systems. Many people supplement their IS majors with minors in computer science or some other business area, such as accounting, finance, marketing, or operations management.

If you’re starting out with an IS degree, you may choose to follow either a management path or a technical path. At Kraft Foods, for example, IS professionals can focus on one of two areas: applications development (a management focus) and information technology (a technology focus). “Applications development,” according to the company itself, “calls for an ability to analyze [Kraft’s] clients’ needs and translate them into systems applications. Information technology calls for the ability to convert business systems specifications into technical specifications and to provide guidance and technical counsel to other Kraft professionals” (Kraft Foods, 2006). Despite the differences in focus, Kraft encourages IS specialists to develop expertise in both areas. After all, it’s the ability to apply technical knowledge to business situations that makes IS professionals particularly valuable to organizations. (By the way, if you want a career in casinos, you can major in casino management at a number of business schools.)

Key Takeaways

  • The number and variety of opportunities in the information systems (IS) field have grown substantially as companies have expanded their use of information technology.
  • The senior management team in large organizations includes a chief information officer who oversees information and a chief technology officer who oversees IT planning and implementation.
  • Most entry-level IS jobs require a business degree with a major in information systems.
  • Many supplement their IS majors with computer science or some other business area, such as accounting, finance, marketing, or operations management.
  • Those entering organizations with IS degrees may choose to follow either a management or a technology path.

Exercise

(AACSB) Reflective Skills

Why is studying IT important to you as a student? How will competency in this area help you get and keep a job in the future?

References

Kraft Foods, “Careers at Kraft: Information Systems,” Kraft Foods, http://www.kraftfoods.com/careers/careers/systems.htm (accessed June 2, 2006).

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