Information Systems and Technology (STEM)

The Information Systems and Technology program prepares students for careers focused on the planning, application, development, management, and implementation of technology to transform organizations and support data-driven decision-making. The IST curriculum exposes students to industry-driven software and established methodologies while also incorporating emerging technologies. Emphasis is placed on the ability of technology to add value to the processes, products, methods, and decision-making in organizations. Two tracks are available, though optional: Data Analytics and Digital Business Technology. In the Data Analytics track, students gain the expertise for careers focused on utilizing data for decision-making in organizations and designing business intelligence tools. In the Digital Business Technology track, students gain the expertise for careers that bridge the business environment with technology.

In the classroom, experienced faculty engage students in a range of courses essential for success. An expansive Technology Center on campus features innovative, computer-based applications. Students have the opportunity to join an active student chapter of the Association for Information Systems at Duquesne, which facilitates connecting with mentors, alumni, and a vast networking of IST professionals.

Duquesne's proximity to Downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland, both rich with business and health care institutions, will bring you face-to-face with IST professionals, opening the door to internships and career paths.

 

Program Type

Major, Minor

Degree

Bachelor's

Duration

4-year

Required Credit Hours

69

A business student smiles while sitting in the 6th floor lounge in Rockwell Hall.

"Duquesne offered the opportunity for me to get real-world experience with local employers."

Roberto Laporte, Information Systems Technology and Supply Chain Management double major
Hear more from Roberto

Information Systems and Technology Tracks

Data Analytics

The Data Analytics track focuses on methods and techniques for identifying trends and patterns in raw data and drawing conclusions to drive business decision-making. The need for skillsets associated with this track is rapidly growing across the globe, and students who graduate with this track can pursue careers as business intelligence analysts, data analysts, database administrators, marketing analysts, project managers, systems analysts, logistics specialists, and many more.

Digital Business Technology

The Digital Business Technology track focuses on methods and techniques for supporting business operations with information technology in order to enable the collection, storage, and synthesis of data and create efficient work flows and accurate reporting. The demand for information systems graduates with this specialty is strong and consistent, and students who graduate with this track can pursue careers as business analysts, systems analysts, consultants, project manager, and many more.

Information Systems and Technology Minor

ISYS 184 Business Information Systems
ISYS 284 Data for Decision Making (from Business Core)

Plus:

ISYS 380 User Experience Design
ISYS 381W Systems Analysis and Design
ISYS 382 Data and Information Management

And one ISYS track course:

ISYS 483 Enterprise Systems
ISYS 484 Business Intelligence
ISYS 486 IT Security and Risk Management
ISYS 480 Introduction to Python for Data Analytics
ISYS 490 Applied Data Analytics
ISYS 489W Information Systems Capstone

Course Descriptions

"What do information systems have to do with business," you ask? Everything! A profound and fundamental shift is underway in our economy. A shift away from an industrial-based to an information-based economy. The information-based economy has complex implications for the management of the modern enterprise. The goal of this course is for students to see how modern businesses use information systems to increase profitability, gain market share, improve customer service, and manage inventory and daily operations across a wide variety of fields, including accounting, finance, marketing, and supply chain management. The course also highlights how innovative firms are constantly experimenting with new types of products, production processes, organizational structures, and competitive strategies that can only be enabled through the use of information systems. In other words, information systems provide the foundation for modern business enterprises. The information economy also has important and irrevocable workforce implications. Tremendous demand will exist for employees that can combine technical skills with business insight to create value for their organizations. Accordingly, this course is also designed to both explore careers in Information Systems and Technology (IST) and demonstrate how Information Systems (IS) can be utilized in any career to facilitate personal and organizational success. The course approaches the above topics by developing requisite technology concepts and skills required for success and efficiently and effectively applying those skills in a business context.

Contemporary organizations invest heavily in collecting and storing enormous quantities of data related to their business operations, markets, and supply chains. It is critical for future business leaders to understand the value of this data as a resource to be converted into useful, actionable information. Using an established decision-making methodology as an organizing framework, this course explores the acquisition, storage, analysis, and presentation of information suitable for the support of decision making. Course topic areas include data acquisition, data management, and data visualization in a business context. Where appropriate, these concepts will be supported with technological tools and will build on existing statistical analysis skills to support evidence-based decision making in realistic business scenarios. At the conclusion of the course, students will have necessary knowledge and skills required to explain and demonstrate how data and information can be used to support decisions and thus be a point of strength for an organization. Prerequisite: ISYS 184

The User Experience Design (UXD) course covers the various design principles to consider when creating a user-centered product and its related services. Students will learn methods, tools, and standardized discovery and prototyping techniques to meet users' needs. Through hands-on iterative individual activities and team assignments, students will learn the UXD Framework. Concepts learned are applied in a software application redesign project with the aim to enhance the users' journey. Various software applications will be learned and used throughout the course. No prior design experience is expected. Prerequisite: ISYS 184
Information systems create value by supporting organizational processes and the management of data. This course introduces student to methods and tools for the analysis and design of information systems through a ‘cornerstone' project where they will explore how to identify and model the information requirements of an organization. This involves the use of data-flow diagrams or UML models to both describe the current state of affairs, including the needs of the users, data requirements, and existing systems and also the desired system's functionality. Other topics include the systems development life cycle, agile methodologies, and systems implementation. Prerequisite: ISYS 184
Data is a critical asset for most modern organizations. This course provides the students with an introduction to the core concepts in data and information management. It is centered around the core skills of identifying organizational information requirements, modeling the requirements in an industry-standard conceptual data modeling technique, converting the conceptual data models into physical models, and verifying the models' structural characteristics with normalization techniques. The course utilizes one of the industry standard database management systems (Microsoft SQL Server) to practice the implementation and querying of database designs using Structured Query Language (SQL). Prerequisite: ISYS 284
This course introduces students to the fast-growing field of data analytics by focusing on introductory skills of programming, problem solving and algorithmic thinking in Python. The course will combine a technical focus with activities and assignments designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn how to increase decision making efficiency and productivity in various business scenarios through programming. The course will take a hands-on approach and no prior programming experience is expected. Prerequisite: ISYS 284
This course provides students with the core concepts in enterprise models and contains content that is applicable across various enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems used in a majority of organizations today. It is centered around the ERP life cycle, ERP systems architecture, business process engineering, process mapping, ERP functionality, and administration of ERP systems both technically and functionally. In addition to discussing the core concepts, this course helps students understand how modern organizations are highly dependent on the use of enterprise systems and how ERP systems can drive a competitive advantage or when used incorrectly, a disadvantage. By the end of this course students will feel empowered to leverage ERP technologies and have hands on exposure to top tier technologies such as SAP. Students will not only understand the systematic procedures to perform certain tasks, but they will understand the business process behind those tasks. A dive into the technical aspects of enterprise system technology will also provide them with a complete understanding of the technical architecture and requirements to set up an ERP system. Students will have a better understanding of how to execute systems projects of various sizes and complexity. With a heavy focus on SAP, the course will focus on empowering and preparing ISM professionals to help support SAP within an organization. When paired with two other qualifying courses, students are eligible for an SAP Student Recognition Award, allowing them to leverage this qualification when entering the job market, separating themselves from other applicants, and identifying themselves as excellent candidates to work and contribute in an organization running a top-tier ERP platform. Prerequisite: ISYS 184
In today's global business environment, managers rely on relevant, timely business intelligence and analytics to drive decision-making and create competitive advantage, which is increasingly elusive. Business intelligence is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data (both internal and external to the organization) into meaningful and useful information. Business analytics involves the extensive use of data, quantitative analysis, explanatory and predictive models, and fact-based management to drive decisions. The study of business intelligence and analytics prepares students to deliver useful insights for managers and organizations in general and provides students with the requisite skills to conceptualize and implement business intelligence systems and utilize business analytics. Through the course, students are exposed to an assortment of strategies, techniques, and tools useful in a variety of decision environments to provide a practical foundation for students to develop both problem-solving and decision-making skills critical to competitive advantage and long-term success. Prerequisite: ISYS 382
This course introduces the fundamental principles and topics of Information Technology Security and Risk Management at the organizational level. Students will learn critical security principles that enable them to plan, develop, and perform security tasks. The course will address hardware, software, processes, communications, applications, and policies and procedures with respect to organizational IT Security and Risk Management. Prerequisite: ISYS 284
This capstone course integrates the information systems curriculum and combines it with project management methodologies. The class follows a systematic approach to guide students through the planning, organizing, executing, and closing an information systems project. Concurrently, students will apply concepts learned in previous courses, such as systems analysis, user experience design, and database management. Students will demonstrate their knowledge through the design, development, and implementation of a term-length application development project designed to solve a real-life business challenge. Students will also deliver a research paper about a topic of their choice within a trending area of information systems. Prerequisite: ISYS 380, ISYS 381W, and ISYS 382
The problems faced by decision makers in today's competitive business environment are complex. To achieve a clear competitive advantage by using data, explain the performance of a business, and evaluate different courses of action, data-driven decision-making is needed. ISYS 490 Applied Data Analytics course will explore multivariate techniques to analyzing data through the Python programming language. As an applied analytics course, emphasis will be on application of analytics techniques explored through conceptual, computational, and procedural computer applications. This skills-based course is intended for students who have a basic or intermediate Python or programming background. Prerequisite: ISYS 480