Let us begin by helping to update and giving our take on the official FAQ for Information System Courses
- What are the Information System (IS) major and the Electronic Commerce (EC) major?
NUS BiZiT: The Electronic Commerce Major is no longer offered from AY2015-2016. Prospective students interested in E-commerce can now take the IS major with a E-commerce Specialisation.
The Bachelor of Science (Business Analytics) is also offered under the Department of Information Systems.
- What are the degrees offered by the IS Department?
Faculty: The IS department offers the following degrees:
- 4.5-year Concurrent Degree with in Information Systems (Direct Honours) and NUS School of Business’s MSc in Management (for top students)
- 4-year Direct Honours Undergraduate Degree in Information Systems
- Double degrees in Information Systems and Bachelor of Business Administration (School of Business)
- Why haven’t I heard about IS degree programs?
Faculty: These are relatively new majors, unlike Physics or even Computer Science for example. The Information Systems discipline sprung up in the early 1980s as organisations and societies become increasingly information- and knowledge-intensive and there is a need for greater automation to drive organizational and societal innovation, efficiency, productivity and effectiveness.
NUS BiZiT: Business and IT are core components of any organisations and is no longer cost-effective to employ an employee who are only specialised in either but a IT trained personnel with a business mindset (Start-ups? Big tech firms? Are run by “Business Centric Geeks”)
- Is IS very technical, as it is in SoC?
NUS BiZiT: IS in SOC is a balance of both with a slight bias towards business aspects of IT solution. The only “compulsory” technical courses are unsurprisingly those listed as CS prefixed modules in the core module list of the curriculum.
Students would get to go through basic programming modules that train their technical skills such as CS1010 Programming Methodology, CS1020 Data Structures and Algorithms I, which are essential to help an IS trained person better communicate with their IT project teams (which are likely to comprise developers and programmers) in the future.
(You can’t quality check a program or conduct requirements analysis without at least a basic understanding of the structure of technology, however you are, in most cases, not required to have deep understanding of the technical aspects, which are the jobs of your counterparts in Computer Science who may specialise in Software Engineering :p)
In reality, we believe even Computer Science should not be about “Programming” but an applied mathematics course (Yeah hardcore technical stuffs like cryptology), but we will leave that to our partners to dispel the myth. Do check them out if you are interested in honing your technical skills.
- What are the career prospects of an IS graduate?
Faculty: Typical jobs for IS: Business Analysts, Process Analysts, Systems Analysts, Consultants, Client Account Executives, Vendor Management, and any decision-making jobs involving the use and processing of complex information (e.g. in the financial and marketing industries).
- What is the employment rate and salary?
NUS BiZiT: According to 2014 MOE Graduate Employment Survey, NUS IS course has the best overall employment rate in SOC of 95.5% and a mean basic salary of $3684.
- What do I learn from IS? What are the courses I need to take?
Faculty: Here are some core courses for IS major:
- Strategic IT Applications
- Management of Information Systems
- Economics of E-Business
- Enterprise Social Systems
- Technology Strategy and Management
- Information Systems Consulting
- Digital Entrepreneurship
- Legal Aspects of Information Technology
- Requirements Analysis and Design
- Enterprise Systems Development Concepts
- Enterprise Systems Development Project
- Software Team Dynamics
- Software Quality Management
- IT Project Management
- IT Adoption and Change Management
- Digital Entrepreneurship
- Mobile and Ubiquitous Commerce
- Strategic IS Planning
- Outsourcing and Off-shoring Management
- E-Commerce Business Models
- Financial/managerial Accounting
- Operations Management
- Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture
- Supply Chain Management
- Service Science
- IT and Customer Relationship Management
- IS programs are too soft. I cannot learn real skills.
NUS BiZiT: We believe that the IS program are not truly about soft skills (They do not teach you EQ, but “IT management theories”).
Rather, NUS BiZiT is the one here to promote an environment to help students develop their soft-skills through networking opportunity and understanding of the industry working style.
- Why should I apply to IS programs, which seem to have lower admission criteria?
NUS BiZiT: This is no longer true! IS programme is now a considered a prestigious course to get into as demand for the course have greatly increase the cut-off point for admission.
- I heard computing is not a hot major.
NUS BiZiT: With the recent jump in IGP scores, the demand for Computing Courses have never been higher.
It is a fact that many professions are subjected to seasonal and regional environmental changes which affects job availability. Read: Computing is cool again
- Does the Department of IS and School of Computing have an active student association?
Faculty: Yes. The NUS Students’ Computing Club was formed in 1998 and represents undergraduates in NUS School of Computing.
NUS BiZiT: And in Year 2016, National University of Singapore BiZiT Society (NUS BiZiT) is formed by a group of undergraduates to better focus efforts on assisting students with developing complementary knowledge that goes beyond IT.
* Do note that while the author has verified to his best ability the accuracy of the content, all comments are the subjective opinion of the author and do not reflect the views of the other publication authors or other NUS BiZiT members.