What to Expect
Students who major in management information systems learn both management
and computer skills. They learn how to help companies get wired.
Even when he was just a marketing major, Poonit Megchiani sometimes popped
into meetings of the University of South Florida's Management Information
Systems Society (MISS) to listen to speakers.
After a few meetings, Megchiani knew this was the field for him. So he
did a double major in management information systems (MIS) and marketing.
Megchiani says MIS students need to take their academic work seriously.
But he adds that societies like MISS provide opportunities for balancing classroom
learning with the practical knowledge only gained in the workplace.
"Go out there and get an internship or a co-op," he says. "If you
don't get an internship or a co-op, all you're getting is bookish knowledge.
And when you go out there, all you know is the bookish stuff."
Adam Weeks took the same program as Megchiani. He agrees that you'll need
to go outside the classroom to seek a lot of practical knowledge yourself.
"If you want a good job in MIS, you can't just take the classes and
be done with it," he says. "Along with a friend of mine, we started a
student website, eUSF.org, and I have learned so much more just from working
on the site than I have in a lot of my classes."
But your courses are still important. Weeks says he enjoyed the introductory
database course he took. He also took an advanced database class and
advanced C programming.
How to Prepare
Weeks says if you plan on a degree in this field, you must love three
things -- computers, computers and computers.
"This career is a computer-based career. If you do not enjoy working around
and with computers, I would not recommend this major."
Megchiani says it's never too early to start dabbling in computers and
computer software. "You can create your Web site -- that's one way of presenting
yourself and showing that you've learned something."