Bachelor of Science in Information Sciences and Technology

School of Business Administration

This major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new "Information Age." Specifically, the degree will be focused on a program that will build an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study; will prepare students for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies; and engage students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and to work in teams. All this will be done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field.

Students can be admitted to the IST major in one of two options at Penn State Harrisburg.

Information Systems: Design and Development Option

This option is focused on expanding the skills needed to develop advanced information technology systems using state-of-the-art tools and techniques. The emphasis is on providing the student with knowledge in the design, implementation, testing and evolution of complex software systems as well as a set of project-oriented, team-programming experiences.

Information Technology: Integration and Application Option

This option is designed to prepare students to use information technology to realize a variety of system-based goals (e.g., reliability, accessibility, efficiency, etc.). It is focused on developing a theoretical foundation and the skill set needed for integrating information technology into different systems for the purpose of enhancing system performance. The emphasis is on providing the student with the theoretical frameworks needed to use information technology as a system attribute as well as a set of application-oriented experiences and skills.

Entry to Major Requirements:
To be eligible for entrance to the Information Sciences and Technology (ISTBS) major, students must:

  1. be taking, or have taken, a program appropriate for entry to the major as shown in the Bulletin, including approximately 60 credits of course work.
  2. have completed the following entrance-to-major requirements with grades of C or better in each: IST 110(3); IST 210(4); and IST 220(3). These courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the entrance-to-major procedure is carried out.
  3. have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 prior to and through the end of the semester during which the entrance-to-major procedure is carried out.

Career Opportunities

IST’s baccalaureate (four-year) degree program helps prepare students for leadership positions in the information sciences and was developed in collaboration with industry. This major is structured to provide students with the theoretical frameworks and skill sets necessary to compete and be productive in the information technology-intensive global context that defines the new "Information Age." Specifically, the degree will be focused on a program that will build an understanding of core information technologies and related areas of study; will prepare students for the practical application of various information sciences and related technologies; and engage students in sharpening their abilities to think critically and to work in teams.

All this is done with considerable interdisciplinary integration in order to expose students to the cognitive, social, institutional, and global environments of IST. Team projects in most courses, a required internship, and a senior capstone experience provide additional, focused venues for involving students in the cutting-edge issues and technologies of the field.

Job Titles

Students with a bachelor’s degree in IST are expected to be competitive for a number of career opportunities in government, education, industry, healthcare, and business. Job titles according to IST option include: in Information Systems: Design and Development -- Information Systems Software Designer, Software Design Manager, Database Designer, Information Interface Designer; in Information Technology: Integration and Application -- Systems Analyst, Systems Programmer, Enterprise Resource Manager, Organizational Consultant, Supply Chain Manager; and in Information Context: People, Organizations, and Society -- Policy Analyst, Industry Consultant, Information Services Administrator, E-commerce Specialist, Multimedia Specialist.

Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for graduates with the skills and experiences provided by the Information Sciences and Technology program is expected to increase much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2018. This will stem primarily from rapid growth among computer-related occupations and the need for high-level leadership. The 2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that demand will be highest for graduates with advanced technical knowledge and strong administrative and communication skills.

Internships

IST students are required to participate in at least one and as many as three internship experiences. Through partnerships with industry and government, students will have the opportunity to apply their technology and management skills to real-world problems.


This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.