School of Information Systems

 

 

 

  1. Background

Because of the wide range of choices, there is a need of information system specialists which focus on integrating computing technologies and business processes to meet organizational needs. These specialists need to be mainly engaged in solving the problems associated with the organization issue and information systems. The discipline focuses on uses of the technology as a tool for processing, storing and distributing information. Graduates from the Information Systems (IS) department must understand both technical and organizational factors. They must be able to help organizations to use technology to achieve their goals efficiently and effectively.

Despite the fact that Information Systems as a profession was given in some countries since decades ago, the field is too young in our country. The government of Ethiopia is now aggressively embarking on the introduction and expansion of the ICT sector as a tool for the country’s development. Therefore, to get what is expected from the sector, having well trained Information Systems professional on the Information Systems discipline is believed as a core activity.

Until recent years, there were no institutions that train Information Systems professionals except Addis Ababa University, which had launched the Information Systems program in 2002 at B.Sc. level. Currently, the program is being offered by some private institutions in addition to the government owned universities.

IS professionals help organization in identifying information system requirements and actively involve in the specification, design and development. They must have good knowledge of the organization’s principles and practices in order to bridge the technical and the management community.

Organizations in Ethiopia are becoming larger and larger and are in a position to need IS professionals to help the management of information to promote their products and services. In line with the Ministry of Education’s mission, vision and values, universities need to work on a nationally harmonized curriculum of Information Systems to address the requirements of organizations.

2.      Rationale

Information is increasingly becoming a key strategic resource for effective and sustainabledevelopment of any type of organization in the contemporary society. Recent advancements and applications of information systems and/or communication technologies have transformed the structure ofthe international and national economies, leading to new methods and practices in most institutions. Many Higher Learning Institutions in Ethiopia have also recognized this fact and introduced Information Systems study program in their curricula.

However, within the HLIs, there are different versions of information systems curricula which are based on diverse viewpoints. One of the results of this is the lack of common understanding between computing curricula in higher learning institutes of Ethiopia. Consequently, a revision was done on the curriculum in response to the following needs of the country to:

  • Harmonize HLIs programs across the country so as to facilitate professional mobility for employment
  • Implement a standardized curriculum at the national level
  • Incorporate the ideas of Competence Based Education (CBE) on the curriculum
  • Incorporate the ideas of modular approach on the curriculum
  • Increase mobility of student from one university to the other
  • Enable students to get certification up on the successful completion of  the module

3.      Program Objective

Graduates, in general, will specifically have the chance to have knowledge and understanding in the following major areas:

  • Theoretical background on the functionalities of computer and application of computer to businesses
  • Theories, principles, processes and techniques of organization, storage, retrieval, dissemination and utilization of all forms of information;
  • Understanding of computers and communication systems, including basic software engineering, network design, database development, implementation and management;
  • Knowledge of organizational behaviors and different organizational principles;
  • Various types of academic and business information resources, systems and services;
  • Knowledge of basic principles of ICT-based business information processing techniques;
  • Theories, practices and principles of information systems analysis, design, development and management in the business environment;
  • Principles and different approaches of computer programming and algorithm development to solve real world problems;
  • Theories, practices and principles of business process engineering in a creative manner to solve information related problem of businesses and organizations.

Major Practical Skills of the Graduates will be

  • To be able to write high and middle level computer programs using different technologies to solve information related problems like storage, retrieval and management of information.
  • to design, implement and evaluate various information systems and multimedia resources including the Internet;
  •  to manage business information systems and services (organization and retrieval of business information);
  • to manage and actively participate in information system development projects;
  • to analyze, design, develop, manage and evaluate business information systems from different perspectives;
  • to provide information system/technology consultancy services;
  • to solve problems in business enterprises through application of Information communication technology and development of decision support information systems;
  • to plan and execute projects related to information systems development and resources and services;

Graduates will have the chance to be equipped with transferable skills:

  • to work in teams specially in information systems projects and systems development;
  • to have good communication skill
  • to have time and self management skill
  • Attitudes and Values: The graduates will be inspired:
    • to have professionalism at the center of their mentality;
    • to have a positive and responsive attitude towards the value of information resources;
    • to have good personal confidence in their jobs and professional activities;
    • to have a positive attitude towards their profession (love, dedication, commitment, etc.);
    • to have the sense of co-operation, honesty, loyalty, etc.; and
    • to be ethical.

     

    BSc in Management Information Systems

    1. Background

    Management Information Systems professionals focus on integrating Information Technology solutions and business processes to meet the information needs of organizations, enabling organizations to achieve their objectives in an effective and efficient manner. For MIS professional, technology is an instrument to enable generating, processing and distributing information.

    MIS professionals understand both technical and organizational factors. MIS professionals play the leading role in determining the requirements for organization information systems and are active in the design, implementation and management of these systems.

    MIS professionals work closely with organization managers and serve a bridging role between organizational professionals and other computing professionals. Among all computing related professionals, MIS specialists emphasize skills and knowledge in such areas as: project management, business functional areas, team work and collaboration, systems analysis and design, database design, network management, planning, organizational controls, quality management and written and oral communication.

    MIS professionals work in private and public organizations in all business sectors. MIS professionals often aspire to become managers of either the information systems function or general organization managers.

    The aim of the program is to develop practical skills and critical awareness of graduate students who can successfully function as information technology managers and/or professionals with the potential for executive position.

    MIS program provide students with deep and sound knowledge on how to use Information Technology (IT) in business environment to gain a competitive advantage, improve performance, and increase profitability of a business enterprise.

    1. Objectives

    2.1   General Objectives Of The Program

    The Management Information Systems program is designed to provide students with a strong educational foundation that prepares them as information systems professionals with strong business knowledge background. The academic program consists of a specially designed curriculum that emphasizes conceptual, analytical, technical, and interpersonal skills. The major offers students comprehensive training in the application, use and management of Information Systems to prepare them provide effective information services and support to organizations. The course work is designed to provide technical and conceptual skills associated with the use of information technology in business and non-business organizations.

    2.2   Specific Objectives Of The Program

    The specific objectives of the Information Systems stream program are:

    • To develop business oriented systems professionals who have experience in improving organizational processes while in participating in problem solving teams in project oriented environments.
    • To challenge students to identify organizational opportunities that can be enhanced by information technology.
    • To prepare students with the communication skills needed to act as a liaison between technical and non-technical members of system development teams.
    • To prepare students to design various aspects of information systems, including programming, database, software, web application, telecommunication and human interface components.
    • To prepare students to lead and manage teams responsible for developing and supporting information systems.
    • To prepare students for Information Systems consultancy services.
    1. Graduates’ Profile

    Upon successful completion of the program, the graduates in Management Information Systems will be able to:

    1. Identify the existing and emerging information technologies and their impact on the business information systems function.
    2. Critically analyze business processes.
    3. Assess information requirements.
    4. Create business solutions and technical specifications for the supporting systems.
    5. Provide business software development skills that will enable them work as team members and team leaders.
    6. Provide expertise to design and develop database applications and commercial web applications using the latest languages, databases and web technologies.
    7. Provide expertise in the latest communication technologies.
    8. Train interpersonal and communication skills to effectively interact with various information systems.
    9. Design and implement and administer small, medium and enterprise size local area networks.
    10.  Work and lead professionals in network environment.
    11. Manage organizational information resources effectively and efficiently.
    12. Help business managers in decision making by developing various decision support systems, by collecting, processing and disseminating information for all organizational units and by promoting the use of information for various business purposes within all the ladders of an organization.
    13. Control and manage security of organization’s information systems.
    14. Perform research and analysis to identify business functional requirements, constraints and models as input to facilitate information technology application development.
    15. Integrate information technology theories, conceptual models, techniques and tools in different technical areas to meet short term and long term organizational goals.

     

    1. Career Opportunities

    Career opportunities for MIS graduates span a wide range of organizations and comprise significant diversity in the types of positions. Employers of MIS graduates includes firms in the area of management consulting, Information systems outsourcing, manufacturing, financial services health care, government, non-profit organizations among others.

    Graduates may work on the following positions:

    • System analysts
    • Software developer
    • MIS Consultants and/or Directors
    • Chief Information Officers
    • Data center managers
    • Database administrators /Analysts
    • Network specialists
    • Information systems managers
    • Management consultants