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.
The Integration and Application option is available at Penn State Schuylkill. The Information Technology: Integration and Application option is designed to prepare a student to use information technology to realize a variety of system-based goals, such as reliability, accessibility, and efficiency. The option is focused on developing a theoretical foundation and the skill set needed for integrating information technology into different systems to improve their performance. The emphasis will provide the framework needed to use information technology as a system as well as a set of application-oriented experiences and skills.
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.
Students with a bachelor's degree in IST are expected to be competitive for a number of career opportunities in:
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;
- In Information Context:
- People, Organizations, and Society,
- Policy Analyst,
- Industry Consultant,
- Information Services Administrator,
- E-commerce Specialist,
- Multimedia Specialist
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 2010. This will stem primarily from rapid growth among computer-related occupations and the need for high-level leadership. The 2003 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that demand will be highest for graduates with advanced technical knowledge and strong administrative and communication skills.