Four years of undergrad fly by, and soon students need to think about the next steps in their career. Technology has become ubiquitous across all industries and there is a very strong demand for graduates who can drive transformational change at the intersection of business and technology. The Kelley School of Business Master’s in Information Systems (MSIS) allows undergraduate students of all majors to prepare for and succeed in these high-demand careers by training them to apply advanced technology skill sets to solve business problems and leverage opportunities. An emphasis on professional development and career success helps to transform students and sets them on a fast-track path to career success.
With MSIS, students can complete a master's degree immediately after their undergraduate career in as little as one year, allowing them more flexibility as they establish their career path. MSIS builds on a student’s undergraduate experience and expertise, affording them the opportunity to pivot to an entirely new career field or positively impact their original field using their learned technological competencies. A life science major, for example, can improve healthcare access, operations, logistics or/and delivery using the hard skills, like data analysis and technology architecture coupled with the strategic thinking and problem solving mindset, they learned through MSIS. An economics major can build on their knowledge to consult in management, business, or technology. A psychology major can use the combination of their undergraduate degree and MSIS degrees to lead organizational change necessitated by technology advancements. MSIS opens doors for all majors.
The program helps students reach their full potential by teaching both soft skills, from team building to communication, and hard skills, like the aforementioned architecture and analysis techniques. All of these skills apply directly to the professional world.
Maddie Lucia, incoming Software Architect Analyst at Accenture, originally followed her love of Walt Disney Productions into a film major at the IU Media School and a minor in informatics. As she took more classes at the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, she developed an interest in using technology to better understand the world of film and therefore switched to an Informatics major.
In order to maximize her undergraduate experience and be best prepared for MSIS, Maddie completed a business minor in addition to her Informatics major. An advantage Maddie had was being admitted to the MSIS program prior to her senior year. This allowed for her to plan out her remaining academic semesters and ensure she could successfully complete the business minor.
Students from any academic background have the opportunity to apply to the MSIS program as early as their sophomore year. Once a student is admitted they have the advantage of working with the MSIS team to prepare professionally and academically for a career as a leader in business technology. The focus on student success has been one of the highlights for Lucia during her time in the program “Professors, faculty, staff all work to help [you] find success along the way by challenging your intellectuality [and] to shape you professionally.”
Students who majored in information systems or those who majored in informatics and computer science with business minors, have the whole summer between undergrad and graduate school free for an internship. Kolton Tebbey, a May 2021 MSIS graduate, is such a student. He majored in marketing and information systems and first learned about the benefits of the MSIS program through his business analytics course his freshman year.
“Learning is great, but Kelley teaches us that it is all about networking, and the MSIS program brings just that - a huge network of alumni,” said Tebbey. “I showed an interest in product management, and within 10 minutes of talking with an alumnus, I was set with three different connections who could potentially help me set my career path.”
Now, Tebbey is set to work full-time for Grainger in Summer 2021 as an EDP Engineering Analyst with the help of his “big MSIS family” and the skills he fine tuned throughout the program.
Unlike many other business programs that focus only on IT skills, MSIS faculty understand that successful business leaders require sharp skills in communications, consulting strategies, presentation, organization, and development.
As a first- or second- year student, it may seem too early to think about future career paths. However, Tebbey says simply, “the earlier, the better.”
He advises students who are still unsure about taking on the program to reach out to current students, faculty, and alumni of MSIS and to attend an info session to find out more information about what the program has to offer.
Among the many benefits of the program, Lucia cited these two things as the most rewarding part of the program: detailed, foundational learning and connections with alumni and current students. Even from the very beginning of the program, students are encouraged to reach out to MSIS graduates who are now part of big companies, such as Salesforce, Deloitte, EY, General Motors, and Whirlpool.
Being a part of the MSIS Women in Technology group was another transformative experience for Lucia. After meeting her fellow board members for the first time, she “knew that [she] was going to be able to count on them...to make a difference and become friends.” Speaking with MSIS alumnae, whether through an MSIS Women in Tech Speed Networking event or informational interviews, Lucia gained insight into “how...and why MSIS was able to guide them in [that] direction.” Lucia felt truly supported in her decision to pursue MSIS and throughout her time in the program.
Both Tebbey and Lucia are grateful for their MSIS experience and the impact it has made and will make on their growth and future careers.
For more information about the MSIS program, visit https://kelley.iu.edu/programs/ms-information-systems/index.cshtml.