1. What are the Information System (IS) major and the Electronic Commerce (EC) major?
These are the two majors offered by the Department of Information Systems (IS), School of Computing (SoC).
The fundamental aim of the IS program is to produce graduates who are highly valued by organizations for their (a) deep appreciation of the organizational context of information and communication technologies (ICT), (b) proficiency in the design and development of value-adding Info-Comm solutions; and, (c) proficiency in the cost-effective management of Info-Comm projects.
The fundamental aim of EC program is produce graduates who are valued for their (a) understanding of the foundations of e-commerce, such as accounting, marketing, e-economy, social computing, web user characteristics, e-loyalty and e-migration, and Internet technology, and (b) their strategic knowledge in analyzing and influencing e-commerce, such as web traffic, virtual markets, virtual economy, electronic word of mouth, collaborative mobile and social e-commerce.
2. What are the degrees offered by the IS Department?
The IS department offers the following degrees:
- 4.5-year Concurrent Degree with in Information Systems (Direct Honours) and NUS School of Business’s MSc in Management (for top students)
- 4-year Direct Honours Undergraduate Degree in Information Systems
- 4-year Direct Honours Undergraduate Degree in Electronic Commerce
- Double degrees in Information Systems and Bachelor of Business Administration (School of Business)
3. Why haven’t I heard about IS/EC degree programs?
These are relatively new majors, unlike Physics or Engineering for example. Information System discipline sprung up in the early 1980s as organizations and societies become increasingly information- and knowledge-intensive and there is a need for greater automation to drive organizational and societal innovation, efficiency, productivity and effectiveness. The Electronic Commerce discipline develops in response to the advent of Internet and to the increasing use of the Internet for commercial and business innovations. These two majors are inter-disciplinary in nature and they combine business and computing knowledge to provide students with a solid foundation to drive business transformation and innovation. Many universities in US/Europe now offer business degree programs with IS/EC as a major concentration.
4. Is IS/EC very technical, as it is in SoC?
IS/EC are interdisciplinary majors with an organic combination of business and technology training as reflected by the program definitions and degrees offered. You will learn about business value and applications of technology to enhance organizational effectiveness. You will also be able to design and deploy information technology. It is an excellent choice for those who are interested in business perspective of technologies (MOE does not offer business majors to SM2/3 students). These two majors offer the best of both worlds in today’s information-intensive and technology-laden business world. In most universities, these IS / EC majors are available in a School of Business or Management.
5. What are kinds of job can I get after graduation?
Typical jobs for IS: Business Analysts, Process Analysts, Systems Analysts, Consultants, Client Account Executives, Vendor Management, and any decision-making jobs involving the use and processing of complex information (e.g. in the financial and marketing industries). For EC: E-Business entrepreneurship, online marketing, Web design, Web analytics, and Web consultancy.
6. What is the employment rate and salary?
According to MOE’s 2008 survey, the average salary for IS/EC was $3000/month. The employment rate was 100%.
In spite of the 2009 global financial crisis, our IS and EC students enjoyed over 97% and 85% employment respectively. The survey results are available here (pdf).
7. What do I learn from IS/EC? What are the courses I need to take?
Here are some core courses for IS/EC major:
- Strategic IT Applications
- Management of Information Systems
- Economics of E-Business
- Enterprise Social Systems
- Technology Strategy and Management
- Information Systems Consulting
- Digital Entrepreneurship
- Legal Aspects of Information Technology
- Requirements Analysis and Design
- Enterprise Systems Development Concepts
- Enterprise Systems Development Project
- Software Team Dynamics
- Software Quality Management
- IT Project Management
- IT Adoption and Change Management
- Digital Entrepreneurship
- Mobile and Ubiquitous Commerce
- Strategic IS Planning
- Outsourcing and Offshoring Management
- E-Commerce Business Models
- Financial/managerial Accounting
- Operations Management
- Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture
- Supply Chain Management
- Service Science
- IT and Customer Relationship Management
8. IS/EC programs are too soft. I cannot learn real skills.
If you are a motivated student, you can learn a lot of things in any program. IS/EC programs offer the flexibility and opportunity to pursue management expertise as well as technical skills. In fact, these majors offer an advantageous mix of “hard” (technical) skills and “soft” (social, organizational and managerial) skills that other majors may lack. Successful people possess very strong “soft” skills.
9. Why should I apply to IS/EC programs, which seem to have lower admission criteria?
You should choose your major based on your interest and the career prospect of a major, not based on its admission criteria. The most costly product is not necessarily the best product. The employment rate and salary of our graduates testify to the value of IS/EC programs. In contrast, a “difficult-to-get-in” major with a worse career prospect is a truly waste of your talent.
10. I heard computing is not a hot major.
IS/EC are hot majors as indicated by the choice of your seniors, and by the employment rate and salary. The report by the iN2015 report by Singapore government has highlighted (1) the need to enhance national capacity to harness ICT for economic competitiveness, (2) the need to develop highly valued ICT professionals, namely the techno-strategists and the technologists, and (3) the need to ensure a critical pool of ICT talent. In other words, Singapore needs more high level ICT professionals who understand business domains and business management. Lower level ICT skills might see saturation and competition from India, Philippines, Vietnam and China.
11. Does the Department of IS and School of Computing have an active student association?
Yes. The NUS Students' Computing Club was formed in 1998 and represents undergraduates in NUS School of Computing. Their mission is to provide support for SoC undergraduates by enhancing their welfare, providing leadership opportunities, and providing liaising opportunities between the IT industry and them. The Club is proactive is organizing a host of activities throughout the year. To find out more, you can visit their website at http://nuscomputing.com/.
12. How can I contact the IS department for more information?
Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 65-6516 4368 and we will respond to your queries within three working days.