In the third part of this ongoing series, The Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama gets into some degree programs that are perfect for those who are more at home behind a computer or on a factory floor than in a boardroom. Culverhouse’s Department of Information Systems, Statistics and Management Science (ISM) offers courses that combine business and technology through two distinct majors: Management Information Systems and Operations Management.
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS
The Management Information Systems (MIS) program focuses on teaching students how to use information technology to open new markets and improve business operations. The program features coursework in programming, database management, and systems analysis. Students can choose electives that scratch their unique IT itch— applied cybersecurity, enterprise consulting, and decision support systems courses are all options. Demand for IT workers is incredibly strong: According to industry experts, there is a chronic shortage of people with both technical chops and the ability to apply those skills in a business environment.
- Business analyst
- Database administrator
- Software developer
Dr. Greg Bott, a cybersecurity expert and Assistant Professor of Information Systems, teaches students how to create systems that are resilient to cyberattacks. “In my classes, students learn to defend by practicing hacking techniques in a virtual, controlled environment. Graduates get the skills needed to become security analysts in government or corporate settings—they know what needs to be done to protect against hackers,” Dr. Bott said.
The Culverhouse Operations Management (OM) program focuses on teaching how to effectively manage the resources that produce or deliver the goods and services of a business. Graduates may go into a variety of cool careers, such as planning logistics for major shippers like Amazon or implementing “just-in-time” inventory management practices for companies that rely heavily on suppliers— like car manufacturers.
- Production planner and scheduler
- Transportation/logistics manager
- Supply chain manager
Dr. Sharif Melouk, Professor of Operations Management and Associate Dean of the Manderson Graduate School of Business at Culverhouse is an expert in the field. He said, “Students with a degree in operations management acquire the knowledge and tool sets necessary to modify and improve systems so companies can achieve their desired results, whether that be cost reduction, revenue generation, or higher customer satisfaction. Overall, the goal is to make the company more competitive in its business environment.”
NEXT STEPS IN DATA & BUSINESS
Undergraduate degrees earned from the ISM Department are great for preparing students for specialized master’s degrees in Culverhouse’s Manderson Graduate School of Business. The newest degree at Manderson, the Master’s of Business Analytics, focuses on teaching students how to use statistics, operations research/management science, data mining, and machine learning to better understand, predict, and manage the behavior of systems and processes. If you’re keen on using “Big Data” to make decisions, this is your thing.