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What is Information Systems?

Information Systems (IS) is one of the most fascinating anddynamic fields in which to pursue a career. We have all entered the informationage, where computers, networks and information technology (IT) play a majorrole in our working and social lives. Information Systems applies thesetechnologies to real world situations in commerce, industry, education,government, entertainment and virtually every area of society. Every time wedraw money from an ATM, book an airline seat, use a word-processor, take out alibrary book, surf the web, use a telephone or pay an account, we areinteracting with an information system.

IS professionals analyse problems and opportunities found inall areas of business and society, design systems (including computer systems)to satisfy requirements, build these systems, and implement them "in thefield". They need to work with managers, system users, and people of alltypes and levels, thus requiring knowledge of business, organisations andmanagement issues. A good IS qualification will therefore focus on acquiringpeople and business skills and will balance coverage of the technical (hardwareand software) aspects with the human side of information systems.

What Opportunities are there for IS Graduates?

IS is an expanding and rapidly changing field, which iscreating new jobs and even new organisations. IS is essential to almost everyaspect of the modern organisation. For this reason, IS graduates are soughtafter by employers, and hold many important and challenging positions locallyand internationally.

For further information see:

IS Careers

Who should consider a career in IS?

There is no magic formula for success or aptitude in thisarea, but as IS professionals provide technology solutions to businessproblems, some important personal characteristics would include:

  • A willingness to continually learn new skills
  • An interest in technology, people and organisations
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • An ability to acquire analytical and holistic problemsolving skills
It is a myth that you have to be a "techie", a male or have touched a computer before to get an IS degree.

How do you specialise in Information Systems?

UCT's Commerce faculty offers two IS degrees:

  • 4 year Bachelor of Business Science (BBusSc)
  • 3 year Bachelor of Commerce (BCom)
The focus of both degrees is on acquiring business andpeople skills and balancing technology with the human side of InformationSystems.

Applicants should refer to the general conditions andsubjects offered in these degrees.