We live in an ‘Information Age’ where access to information, information systems, and digital technology play a major role in organisations. With information systems, we can change how we work, how we communicate, and how we do business.
Information Systems (IS) is about how businesses use information technology to become smarter, better, faster, and achieve their strategic goals. IS enables businesses to create value, provide solutions to business problems, and use technology to innovate and create new opportunities. The subject of Information Systems addresses the design, development, and delivery of solutions to business problems; and the management of IS projects, IS personnel, and IS resources.
A Bachelor of Commerce in Information Systems takes a business perspective compared with Computer Science (Bachelor of Science) or Software or Computer Engineering (Bachelor or Engineering with Honours). For example, it examines how organisations may use and benefit from IT, and considers the role of new technologies in internet business and social media. Some IS courses focus on business issues such as IT management, business process design and improvement, and how big data is analysed to deliver insights and drive change.
Students completing a BCom in Information Systems will take courses across a range of business disciplines, including Accounting, Economics, and Management. These courses help IS graduates gain a broad understanding of the world of business. Thus they will be both 'business-savvy' and 'tech-savvy'. This mix of skills means that IS graduates are well prepared to become business analysts and project managers, as well as software developers. IS graduates have a choice of highly paid and exciting careers.
- At UC, you can get work experience while you study – internships with local companies and group projects allow students to work on real-life projects and gain practical experience.
- IS students have their own computer lab to study and work together on assignments and projects.
- Our programme offers great flexibility to combine the study of IS with other subjects. There are three pathways you could consider for potentially different future career opportunities:
- a BCom major or minor in Information Systems (or a BA minor in Information Systems)
- a BCom double major in Information Systems and another Commerce subject (eg, Accounting, Management, or Strategy and Entrepreneurship)
- a Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Science double degree or conjoint combination – see double degrees.
No specific prior knowledge or experience is required for those wishing to study Information Systems. An interest in technology and how it is used on the job and in business is beneficial.
Good English language skills, both written and spoken, are also important.
The first-year, 100-level courses required to complete a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Information Systems are:
- ACCT 102 Accounting and Financial Information
- ECON 104 Introduction to Microeconomics or ECON 105 Introduction to Macroeconomics (or ECON 199, a STAR course for secondary school students)
- INFO 123 Information Systems and Technology
- INFO 125 Introduction to Programming with Databases or COSC 121 Introduction to Computer Programming or COSC 122 Introduction to Computer Science
- MGMT 100 Fundamentals of Management
- STAT 101 Statistics 1
- Plus 30 points from 100-level Commerce or any other UC courses.
For the complete, three-year Bachelor of Commerce Information Systems major degree plan, or minor courses, see the UC Business School | Te Kura Umanga website.
200-level and beyond
Later courses provide a more detailed treatment of the topics introduced at 100-level. These include business systems analysis, data analytics and business intelligence, business process management, internet business and technology, systems development, accounting information systems, and web design and development. Options are also available that enable specialisation in areas of interest.
The Student Advisors in the UC Business School | Te Kura Umanga can assist you in planning your degree.
Information Systems is one of the fastest growing areas for study and employment. It is on the long-term skill shortage list for Aotearoa New Zealand and there is also a global shortage in this area, ensuring high demand and salaries for graduates. IS graduates with a good mix of business and technical skills and knowledge would be well-placed to take up these opportunities.
For IS majors, there are many exciting career options: business analyst, IT project manager, user experience (UX) designer, business intelligence professional, systems analyst, IS implementation consultant, IS manager.
IS expertise is marketable worldwide and can open the door to even more exciting and challenging careers. Many of our graduates are now in key positions all around the world including the UK, USA, Hong Kong, and Australia.
If you take Computer Science/Software Engineering with IS, your options also include: solutions architect, software engineer, applications developer, programmer/analyst, database administrator, and website designer/developer.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Information Systems.
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University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
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