Undergraduate Career Information
There has been and continues to be high demand for well-qualified graduates possessing a undergraduate degree in ITDS. The graduate with a high GPA, Cooperative Education job experience, and active in one or more extracurricular student organizations can expect to be actively recruited by major national and international firms. The career prospects for information systems (IS) professionals look quite favorable. IT Employment Prospects: Beyond the Dotcom Bubble
The following job descriptions are provided to help you understand the kinds of opportunities available. Job titles may vary among organizations.
- Junior Systems Analyst (Consultant): Work with users in defining business problems/needs; provide systems specifications and systems design for user. The analyst is a part of a project team.
- Junior Application Programmer: Responsible for writing and/or maintaining computer programs for business applications. May also be responsible for the development and design of computer programs.
- Junior Systems Analyst/Programmer: Performs the job of both the systems analyst and the applications programmer.
- Computer Marketing Representative: Sells computer mainframes, mini/micro systems, special purpose systems, peripherals, and supplies and/or services.
After one or more years in an entry-level position, one can move up the career ladder. An individual’s career choice, motivation, and success in an initial assignment are important factors for moving into new positions, as well as size of company. Positions such as these many be available:
- Vice President of MIS (CIO): The senior executive for all corporate information systems assets. Responsible for long range planning, budgeting, and operations.
- Director of Information Services: In charge of information systems assets at the divisional/departmental level. Responsibilities parallel those of corporate officers, but may be at least partially guided by decisions made at the corporate level.
- Director of Communications: Responsible for planning, implementing, and managing all corporate telecommunication facilities: includes voice, data, video, graphics, and other content.
- Services Coordinator/User Liaison: Interfaces between IS department and users; represents users when operational problems occur.
- Systems Analysts: Confers with users to define and formulate logical statements of business problems and devise procedures for solutions through use of information systems.
- Applications Programmer: Develops, designs, prepares, and tests computer programs.
- Systems Analyst/Programmer: Performs the functions of both the systems analysis and applications programming positions.
- Operating Systems Programmer: Programs, maintains, and introduces modifications to systems software. Usually requires background in computer science.
- Data Administrator: Plans, organizes, and manages organization’s datasets. Establishes standards, maintains directory, coordinates corporate database needs.
- Database Administrator: Analyzes an application’s computerized information requirements, coordinates data collection and storage needs.
- Data Communications/Telecommunications Manager: Responsible for the design of data communications networks and the installation and operation of data links.
- Data Communications Analyst: Specializes in network design, traffic analysis, and data communications software.
- Manager of Computer Operations: In charge of computer operations, including scheduling, assignment of operators, and monitoring efficiency.
- Production Control Supervisor: Responsible for setting up and scheduling jobs for processing so as to maximize quality, utilization, and turnaround requirements.
- Data Entry Supervisor: Responsible for a staff that performs data entry and verification functions.
- Director of User Support: Coordinates and manages all user support services; includes help desk, training, and technical support.
- User Services Staff (Help Desk -- First Line Support): Knowledgeable in broad aspects of first line support; provides guidance to users, helps in debugging specific problems and understanding system procedures.
- Technical Support (Help Desk -- Second Line Support): Supports and does problem determination in specific technical areas such as networks, servers, databases, hardware, etc.
- Technical Writer: Writes manuals for application systems for user and internal reference. Requires sound knowledge of technical English, as well as information technology.
- Remote Site Administrator: In a distributed environment, manages a remote site as sole or additional duty. Responsible for physical security, sets operations priorities, supervises operations, and initiates problem-determination actions as required.
- Training and Education Specialist: Organizes, prepares, and conducts training courses for IS and user personnel.
- Computer Security Specialist: Concerned with the protection of data and computer resources, including networks.
- EDP Auditors (Accounting Oriented): Perform detailed evaluations of systems and operational procedures. Insure systems and procedural integrity and accuracy.
- Field Service Engineer: Vendor-trained electronic technician who can service mechanical equipment, replacing and repairing malfunctioning electronic components; also performs software-problem determination. Requires additional training in computer electronics.
Job Levels (an example)
- Manager: Advanced degree and minimum five years’ experience or equivalent combination. Strong management and communications skills, works independently, performs personnel evaluation, budgeting, progress reporting, and project management.
- Lead: BS and minimum four years experience in IS with two of those years in a supervisory capacity. Works on own and performs all levels of supervision, generally as a project leader.
- Senior: BS and minimum four years experience including some supervision.
- Intermediate: BS and minimum two years experience or equivalent combination. Works on own most of the time, requiring direction on some activities.
- Junior: Two to four years college and minimum six months experience or equivalent combination. Directly supervised but works on own on some aspects of job.
Recent IT Industry Articles
- Top Ten Degrees in Demand
- IT Manager’s Jobs Increase Over 60%
- Key IT Jobs Staying in the US
- Where the IT Opportunities Are
- IT Careers Article
- Outsourcing Helps Out America
- Now Is The Time to Hire “Assistant CIOs”
Additional information about IS occupations and salaries is available from:
- American Federation of Information Processing Societies: 210 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 10036
- Association for Computing Machinery: P.O. Box 12114, Church Street Station, NY, NY 10257. Internet: http://acm.org
- ComputerWorld IT Careers Page: http://www.computerworld.com/news/960903salary.html
- Data Processing Management Association: 505 Busse Highway, Park Ridge, IL 60068-3191, phone 312/825-8124. Internet: http://www.dpma.org
- IEEE Computer Society: P.O. Box 3014 Los Alanitos, CA 90720-1264. Internet: http://www.IEEE.org
Many of the above organizations have local chapters in DFW and student membership is often available. Participation is valuable for professional networking and information on current IS issues.
The UNT Career Planning and Placement Office has the College Placement Council Annual directory which lists job opportunities in all disciplines.
Direct contact with professionals working in information systems is possible by contacting the Department Undergraduate Coordinator, other faculty members of the ITDS Department, and by participating in CISO (Computer Information Systems Organization) events. Some students find it useful to visit with companies which have facilities at the technology-oriented INFOMART facility in Dallas.