Business graduates with IS skills in demand

Wednesday, 1 August 2012  Features

Information Systems (IS) Managers now have to deal with far more than just technology - business needs graduates who are as comfortable managing people, systems, and budgets as they are with the technology. That is reflected in changes to the postgraduate degrees in Information Systems (IS) at the Australian School of Business which will see the program refocus on the management skills now required of many IS graduates.

Associate Professor John D'Ambra is the director of postgraduate course work programs for Information Systems Technology and Management at the Australian School of Business. He says there has been a rapid change in technology in just a few years. "The new masters will reflect that. There are issues such as cloud based systems - where much of the computing power and servers are based off site - and 'Bring Your Own' (BYO) technology. With BYO employees bring their own laptops and smart phones for use within a company, and that can cause problems as they may be unreliable, outdated, or use sometimes unknown operating systems."

"Then there is the challenge of companies that base their operations on totally legal free 'shareware' which has no supporting supplier. We need graduates who can 'hit the ground running' and manage these diverse systems."

Associate Professor D'Ambra says "The new Master of Information Systems Management (MISM) is designed to provide the portfolio of management skills that today's IS professionals need. At its core is a focus on emerging issues in IS and a mentoring program to support students as they learn how to manage business IS projects in the context of complex and changing business environments."

Several leading IS companies will mentor students on the new Master of Information Systems Management, ensuring they are 'business ready' and can know the demands that industry will place on them. These mentors will be drawn from a strong network of existing UNSW alumni and sponsors from companies such as Boston Consulting Group, Accenture, Deloitte, SAP, JP Morgan, News Corporation, Microsoft and Westpac.

The new MISM is designed to provide post graduate education to IS professionals, who see themselves advancing into management and leadership roles in the industry. The core courses develop a deeper understanding of the organisational implications of technology decisions. The focus is on project management, aligning IS and business strategy, delivering IT services, plus human resource and change management.

Associate Professor D'Ambra adds there is huge shortage of graduates in this area. "Many of the baby boomers working in IS are about to retire. They are the IS professionals who have learnt how to manage on the job. As a result the shortage in this area will become ever more acute, and an ever increasing demand for IS professionals with management skills."

For information and for interviews, contact Associate Professor John D'Ambra on +61 2 9938 4854 or j.dambra@unsw.edu.au

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