Management information systems is the fastest growing major at Saunders College of Business.
"Although MIS doesn't have the name recognition as business disciplines such as accounting, marketing and economics, that is changing fast," said Victor Perotti, professor and department chair of MIS, marketing and digital business at Saunders College. "We have a lot of student transfers, and from the academic years 2013 to 2015, the discipline grew an impressive 73.9 percent. We expect 100 percent capacity for 2018."
Although MIS has been around since the 1970s, its popularity has increased, with students almost guaranteed job placement and a higher salary than most business degrees.
"Saunders MIS alumni are now working at Intuit, GE, Ernst & Young, LinkedIn, Apple, J.P. Morgan and Liberty Mutual," said Perotti. In 2016, the program was for the second year in a row ranked No. 10 nationally by USA Today/College Factual.
Sean Hansen, associate professor of MIS and MBA program director at Saunders College, said MIS is a distinct discipline, a blend of computing technology and business. "Basically it's about interacting with other human beings to understand their information needs, and using advanced technology to make a difference in value and productivity for the company's operations and success.
"I tell my students who want to become a production manager, systems administrator or business analyst, that money isn't everything," said Hansen. "You need to enjoy the challenges this career field throws at you and enjoy solving these kinds of puzzles."
Dharin Nanavati, from West Windsor, N.J., graduates this May and is a product manager for Intuit in San Diego. He works with a team of 15 -designers, engineers, business analyst and tax support-and said his goal is to bring them together across a product life cycle. "RIT's MIS professors were exemplary in teaching us how to think and strategically approach problems," said Nanavati. "They fully prepared me for my leadership role at Intuit."
Perotti and Hansen said MIS has a "must" common denominator. "If students don't have outgoing personalities at first, we teach them how to be. The way to flourish in this career is the ability to bridge people and technology."
Fourth-year MIS student Rosalie Phan, from Vung Tau, Vietnam, attended an RIT career fair and talked her way into an internship at Oracle in West Conshohocken, Pa. "The recruiter didn't know what an MIS major could do, and I convinced him my consulting services would be an advantage for their company," said Phan. "I am the first MIS program manager at this Oracle location." The largest Saunders College group of MIS undergraduates attend Beijing Jiaotong University as part of an international joint degree partnership program with RIT, said John Tu, senior associate dean at Saunders College. "We have 220 students in the program and that will double in two years."