Information Systems--A Degree Which Guarantees

By: Amelia Cerling Email
By: Amelia Cerling Email

The labor department says the number of jobless claims last week went up even more than expected. And while most college grads are scrambling to find a job, the demand for a select group of majors at UW-Eau Claire -- is sky-high.

We're talking about the Information Systems major. Information Systems or I.S. graduates will go on to help companies become more productive, by creating smoothly running computer systems.
And the chair of the department says the major has a 100 percent job placement rate.

James Sackett says he's known for years that a career in information systems was in his future. He says, “I've known I’ve wanted to do I.S. ever since I was a little kid, ever since my parents got their first computer, I was always on it, even when my parents told me not to be.”

While perhaps a precocious child -- Sackett has ended up a lucky man. He's landed a job at Accenture in technology consulting in Minneapolis -- and his salary starts between $55,000 and $65,000 a year. Sackett says, “I feel relieved, it’s really nice not to have to worry about it.”

Tom Hilton is the chair of the I.S. department, he says in fact -- most I.S. majors end up like Sackett. He says, “We have approximately 1/50 of the student body majoring in I.S., and approximately 40 percent of the recruiters who come to career services are coming for I.S.”

And he says in our job market, having those odds - -is an enviable position to be in. Hilton says the demand for I.S. graduates far exceeds what colleges and universities are turning out right now.

So, why are I.S. graduates so in demand? Hilton says, “Well I think the reason is because the world runs on information. Every company on earth has an I.S. function and most of them have an I.S. department.”

And Hilton's students like Sackett, and classmate Ryan White are happy to fill that demand. White says, “Well with the economy right now, I know a lot of people are searching for jobs, or even part time jobs for the summer, so it’s kinda nice to know that you worked hard and you actually found a place.”

Hilton says for every I.S. graduate, there are about four open jobs. And he says while the I.S. department at UW-Eau Claire is the largest in the UW system with about 250 majors, it could handle even more students.

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  • by IS Graduate '01 Location: Eau Claire on May 15, 2009 at 02:33 PM
    Those are interesting figures because I have not experienced that during my IS career, especially in Eau Claire. Like manufacturing, IS is an industry hit by layoffs more than other careers. Since graduating in 2001, I have worked for 3 different companies and each job was in jeopardy and one did result in a layoff. I like the work, but it can be a very stressful wondering day after day if I will still have a job. When I graduated in 2001, only 7 out of 60 graduates had jobs. The economy then was having a rough time because of 9-11, but it was nothing like today's economy.
  • by Arial Location: Fall Creek on May 15, 2009 at 09:57 AM
    Awesome story!
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