||Schofield Hall 218|
||Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004|
MIS Majors Increase in Numbers|
At UW-Eau Claire
MAILED: July 13, 1998|
EAU CLAIRE They may not wear Superman costumes but the demands on management information systems majors may make some people wonder where their capes are.
"It's a high pressure field," said Bill Korn, chair of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's MIS department. "There are a lot of expectations on these people. They are expected to know the many areas within business (marketing, management, accounting, finance and economics), have current knowledge of technology and systems development principles, plus have all of the competencies of a well-educated university graduate."
From the Year 2000 bug to systems development, MIS graduates have their work cut out for them, Korn said.
Since its 1969 start as business data processing, the MIS department has grown to more than 450 students and a placement rate after graduation of between 94 and 99 percent, depending on the year, Korn said.
"There are three main reasons businesses come here," Korn said. "The quality of our students, the quality of the faculty and the work ethic our students have."
With no prerequisites to declare MIS as a major, other than admission to the College of Business, the MIS department relies on self-selection by the students, Korn said.
"The philosophy has been to allow students to try the introductory classes to see if it's what they want," Korn said.
That has allowed the program to grow nearly 64 percent since the 1991-92 academic year, placing it fifth among the most popular majors at UW-Eau Claire. In the fall of 1997, elementary education had the most first majors with 756 students, nursing had 566, biology had 518 and business administration had 453, said Kay Magadance, institutional planner.
Internships also play an integral part in the MIS program, Korn said, noting that 40 MIS students have internships this summer alone.
The internship program regularly has enabled students to work in cities such as Minneapolis and Milwaukee and occasionally to work in places such as Denmark, England and other overseas destinations.
Some of the major organizations that hire UW-Eau Claire MIS interns are Cargil Inc., Johnson Controls, the City of Eau Claire, Phillips Plastics, Luther Hospital, IBM, Mayo Clinic, 3M, Tombstone Kraft Pizza, ShopKo and Silicon Graphics as well as numerous other large and small organizations.
The internship program is a large part of what the MIS program does, Korn said, adding that it helps graduates become "first round draft picks" for jobs in technology.
"Technology has permeated many curricular areas within the university," Korn said. "Nearly every graduate of the university, no matter what the major field of study, is a potential user of technology.
"The MIS students are learning to develop and apply that technology to meet the many user requests found in an organization."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 13, 1998