Bachelor of Science in Information Systems (BSIS), formerly known as BS in Information Management, is a four year degree program that deals with the design and implementation of solutions that integrate information technology with business processes. The program teaches students all about hardware and software applications and how they can use them to collect, filter, process, create and distribute data.
The BS in Information Systems program focuses on the design, development and implementation of information and communications technology (ICT) resources to ensure information systems applications can be used in various industry sectors (business, education, media and entertainment, healthcare, government, and service).
As mentioned above, BS in Information Systems was formerly known as BS in Information Management (BSIM). The course name was changed in 2006 (see sources 1
), but some schools still retain the old name.
Subjects and Curriculum
The subjects in the BSIS curriculum are divided into five main categories:
- General Education Courses
Language and Humanities Cluster, Mathematics, Computer and Natural Science Cluster, Social Sciences Cluster, Mandated Subjects
- Basic Information Systems Core Courses
Fundamentals of Information Systems/Information Management, Human Computer Interaction, Fundamentals of Programming, Personal Productivity using IS, Data, File and Object Structures, Fundamentals of Business and Management, Information Systems Planning
- Information Systems Professional Courses
Introduction to the IM Profession and Ethics, Systems Analysis and Design, Databases, System Infrastructure and Integration, Business Processes, Discrete Structure, Applications Development, Networks and Internet Technology, Accounting and Financials, Program Management and Quality Systems, Deployment, Maintenance and Services, Evaluation of Business Performance, Management of Technology
- Information Systems Electives
- Free Electives
The BSIS program is taught to students through alternating classroom lectures and computer laboratory work. From time to time, students are also required to seminars and educational talks where learn about the advances in information and communications technology. At the end of each discussion, the student is evaluated through graded practicum exercises.
The entire first semester of the fourth year is spent solely in an On the Job Training (OJT) in a corporate, IT/IS industry. In addition, students are required to submit and defend a Capstone Project; this is equivalent to an undergraduate thesis paper, but in the BSIS program this must be in the form of a systems application or an enterprise resource plan.
BS in Information Systems vs. BS in Information Technology
BS in Information Systems and BS in Information Technology
are two very similar courses. Both are subsets of the broader program, Computer Science. There are some subjects integrated in both curriculums that are more or less the same. However, there is a major difference between these two programs:
Information Systems focuses on teaching students how to bridge computer science and business, it is not purely concerned with ICT, and it concentrates instead on the end use of information technology in various industries. On the other hand, Information Technology is more concerned with the design, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems.
Both programs are completed within four years and the admission requirements are more or less the same. Both courses also require their students to complete an On the Job Training.
Is Information Systems a profession?
“Information Systems” in itself is not a profession. However, a graduate of this program will most likely be employed in IT companies and institutions to work as a Programmer, Systems Analyst, Database Administrator, Web Designer, Network Administrator, Information Systems Instructor, Quality Assurance Analyst, Business Process Analyst and similar jobs. These careers are considered professions because they require a specialized set of knowledge and skills, which takes years to acquire.
What are the admission requirements for the BS in Information Systems program?
Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
- Must be a high school graduate.
Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers
- College entrance exam: must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
- Interview: must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.
What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?
- Technologically Savvy – interest in new technologies specifically in computers and how it operates
- Logical skills – to succeed in this course you need to have an advanced level of thinking which means that you are able to grasp concepts and lessons right away and you have the ability to put this into order such as when you are reading and writing computer codes.
- Analytical skills – identify and assess inefficiencies and problems in software and hardware processes
- Mathematical skills – the basic foundation of programming is mathematics therefore you need to have mathematical skills to be able to surpass some programming subjects; there are also basic accounting and finance subjects integrated in its curriculum which may require math skills.
- Technical skills – studying BS in Information Systems or any other computer course means that you will have to learn bulks of IT concepts, processes and technology which may be difficult to understand, to add up to this you may be asked to design and create helpful programs of your own so strong Technical skill is very important.
- Problem-solving skills – the ability to define problems in a timely manner, identify the root causes, and then gather relevant information to find appropriate solutions
- Communication skills – during your OJT, you may be asked to write emails and design documents, written communication is very essential. Verbal communication is also equally important because as a trainee you may encounter people who do not understand information technology that much therefore you have to explain technical processes in clear, easy-to-understand terms for clients and workmates.
- Patience – much of your time will still be spent in the Computer Laboratory doing hands on exercises. This may go on for hours, so patience is essential.
How difficult is BS in Information Systems?
BS in Information Systems is a fairly difficult course. It is highly technical and requires advanced thinking and analysis. To be able to thrive in this course, you need to have a keen interest and be comfortable with computers and computer applications. Most of the professional subjects integrated in the BSIS curriculum are quite heavy. Aside from the technical computer subjects, accounting and finance subjects are also included in its curriculum.
Mathematics is the foundation of computer courses, a student who takes up BS in Information Systems without any inclination or interest in mathematics will surely have a hard time.
One of the most challenging parts of the program is the completion of a Capstone project. Unlike other undergraduate thesis papers, a Capstone project will require you to create your very own computer application which can be used in a variety of settings.
How long does it take to complete the BS in Information Systems program in the Philippines?
The BS in Information Systems program takes four years to complete. The program may be completed in less than 4 years in schools that follow the trimestral curriculum.
On the Job Training (OJT)
The entire first semester of the fourth year is spent doing On the Job Training (OJT) in a recognized IT firm, any government or private institution. During the OJT, students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The student will report to the designated authority in the agency that will supervise and guide his practice. The assigned authority will evaluate the student periodically and submit an evaluation form to the assigned faculty member. The required number of hours for the OJT is 486.(See source
Career opportunities for BS in Information Systems graduates
Entry Level jobs Jobs requiring no prior to minimal level of experience:
- Information Systems Professional employed in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies
- IT Technical Support Officer – monitors and maintains the computer systems and networks of an organization. They may install and configure computer systems, diagnose hardware and software faults and solve technical and applications problems
- Computer Programmer – to develop systems in any of the following, but not limited to, areas: business information systems, computer games, portals/web applications, programming tools, encryption systems.
- Applications Developer – translate software requirements into workable programming code and maintain and develop programs for use in business.
- Web Designers – plan, create and code web pages, using both non-technical and technical skills to produce websites that fit the customer's requirements.
- Freelancer working online – as IT specialist and other related work
- IT Sales professional – gives detailed information about technical specifications and the ways in which they could meet customer's needs. This often includes demonstrating those features before a sale.
Mid-Level Positions Require trainings and prior job experience of a few years:
- Systems Developer – maintain, audit and improve organizational support systems by working on the internal operations of computers, using existing systems or incorporating new technologies to meet particular needs.
- Network Administrator – responsible for designing, organizing, modifying, installing, and supporting a company's computer systems; designs and installs LANs, WANs, Internet and intranet systems, and network segments.
- Systems Administrator – ensures that system hardware, operating systems, software systems, and related procedures adhere to organizational values
- Systems Analyst – designs new IT solutions to improve business efficiency and productivity; examine existing business models and flows of data, discuss their findings with the client, and design an appropriate improved IT solution.
- Multimedia Programmer – works with different multimedia features such as, text, sound, graphics, digital photography, 2D/3D modeling, animation and video to create products such as websites or computer programs.
- Database Administrator – determine ways to organize and store data; backup systems and secure the database
- Systems Analyst – design, modify, & expand computer information systems to improve production or work flow to serve new purposes.
- Business Process Analyst – reviews business processes in order to gain a complete understanding of current procedures, identify improvements, document those processes, and connect business people to information technology groups in an organization.
- Data quality specialist – information technology experts who specialize in analyzing, collecting, storing and creating electronic data; they are responsible for testing data in information systems to make sure that this data is not corrupt or inaccurate.
- Quality assurance specialist – responsible for performing tests on computer applications to isolate and solve issues; initiates tests, analyzes results, and finds solutions to technical problems.
- Industrial Research Analysts – monitor trends in market sectors such as technology, pharmaceuticals, automotive or financial services.
- Computer Teacher/Professor – teaches computer courses at a university or college
Advanced Positions Require years of extensive experience and practice:
- Project Manager – to lead team composed of analysts and programmers; liaise with other project managers
- IT consultant – gathers needs and expectations of clients and work with a team to develop/adjust the business solution/system
- Information systems manager – responsible for the computer systems within a company, overseeing installation, ensuring backup systems operate effectively, purchasing hardware and software
- IT manager – to plan, develop and implement applications; monitor different development teams
- Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Officer – involved in the production of maps and the analysis of data; help plan, protect and deliver services or products in areas such as construction, electricity, the environment, healthcare, transport planning and operation, retail location planning and logistics, insurance and finance.
- Computer Scientist – work as theorist, researcher, or inventor in developing and advancing uses of virtual reality, extending human-computer interaction, or designing robots
- Information Systems auditor – performs detailed evaluation and internal control and audit reviews of computer information systems. Develops and maintains audit software; consults with administrators, faculty, and staff on computer information systems operational issues.
- Business Analyst – perform professional duties related to the review, assessment, and development of business processes. Focus is on the effective use of resources, both people and technology.
- Entrepreneur in the IT industry
Salary Levels A degree in Information Systems can lead to a variety of jobs; your income will depend on the specific position, your experience, the industry you work in and your skills and talent.
The monthly salary for a fresh IS graduate can range from 10,000 to 25,000 per month. Experienced professionals can earn between 20K-60K per months as IT support, programmers, database administrators and system analysts, while IT people in managerial positions can earn up to 100K per month and even more.