Despite a 7.2 percent national unemployment rate, the job market is a healthy one for college students majoring in information systems, with nearly three quarters of students receiving at least one job offer, according to the nationwide IS Job Index by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) and Temple University's Fox School of Business. The study compiled data from more than 1,200 students and from 48 universities across the United States.
According to the IS Job Index, released in October, 61 percent of information systems graduates received one job offer, while 23 percent received two and 9 percent received three. In 2012, there were an estimated 2.9 million jobs in the United States related to information systems.
"Information systems professionals lead IT in major corporations, but the IS labor market is 'hidden' because it is mixed with computer scientists and call center operators in national statistics," said Munir Mandviwalla, associate professor and chair of the Department of Management Information Systems at the Fox School of Business and executive director of Temple's Institute for Business and Information Technology (IBIT). "The IS Job Index is the first-ever nationwide study to focus on profiling the IT worker of the future."
Top findings include:
▪ The IS job market is healthy, with placement levels of 74 percent overall and 78 percent upon graduation.
▪ Bachelor's IS students have an average salary of $57,212 while master's IS students average $65,394 a year.
▪ 76 percent of IS graduates are satisfied with their jobs, and the same percentage are confident they will perform well in those jobs. Seventy-three percent found jobs related to their chosen degree.
▪ Information technology, financial services, and business services/consulting are the top industries for IS jobs.
▪ The most common job classification is systems analyst, at 35 percent for bachelor's students and 28 percent for master's students.
▪ Access to career services centers is the most important factor for getting a job. Also, IS students value faculty support more than central university support.
▪ IS students are 68 percent male, 55 percent white and 28 percent Asian.
The study found that students who spend more hours overall searching for a job have a higher chance of receiving an offer. When examining job-search activities, researchers found that the most successful students use multiple techniques, including looking for jobs on job boards, talking to friends and contacts, formally applying for jobs, directly contacting employers, and interviewing.
Students also apply for multiple jobs. Bachelor's students, on average, apply for 11 jobs, and master's students average 16 job applications.
Despite the amount of opportunity for IS students, women and minorities are still underrepresented in the field. The study shows that more than half of IS students are white men.
The AIS-Temple Fox School 2013 IS Job Index Report is a five-year ongoing project that will provide prospective and current students, guidance counselors, academics and managers with an analysis of the state of the industry.
Future reports are expected to include expanded data collection with more schools, longitudinal analysis, global focus and prioritized factors that top students seek in employers.
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