June 12, 2017 – Bartlesville, OK
Students interested in computer security, computer programming, and information systems have a new degree option at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. The Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) will launch this Fall 2017.
“This is a strategic investment in the future,” said Dr. Brian Epperson, Dean of the Chesapeake Energy School of Business (CESB) at OKWU, “preparing our students for the demands of today’s economic environment.”
The new degree is a response to growing marketplace demand. Current data from The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH), published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports growth trajectories for Information Systems careers that far exceed the average. The average career is anticipated to grow by 6% during the coming ten-year period. By comparison:
- Information Security Engineers expect 37% growth in demand.
- Software Developers: 17% growth
- Computer Systems Analysts: 25% growth
- Information Systems Management: 15% growth
As a result of this demand, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has reported that MIS graduates in 2015 enjoyed the highest average starting salaries of all business school graduates.
“The kind of person our environment calls for are those who combine technical knowledge with business strategy and leadership skills,” said Dr. David Cochran, Associate Professor of Communication and Information Systems, “and this is exactly what the MIS degree is designed to do.”
Cochran explained that the MIS degree plan is modeled after leading programs around the nation, and then given a bit of OKWU’s special sauce. “The result is an emphasis on intelligence, integrity, and leadership,” Cochran said.
The new CESB program offers three key distinctives from other MIS degrees.
A first distinctive is an emphasis on information security that runs throughout the curriculum. “Gone are the days when security was an afterthought,” said Cochran. “Today, we all realize it is of first importance.”
To enhance this emphasis, the CESB will consult regularly with industry professionals such as Dr. Jerry Dawkins. Dawkins holds a PhD in Computer Science from The University of Tulsa, with an emphasis in cybersecurity. He is CEO and Founder of True Digital Security, a cybersecurity consulting firm based in Tulsa, as well as CEO and Co-Founder of TokenEx, a cloud security platform.
A second distinctive of the OKWU MIS program is an emphasis on data analytics. “Big data and artificial intelligence are impacting every sector of our economy,” said Cochran. “Our students will be prepared to help companies manage and make sense of their data.”
A third distinctive of the OKWU MIS program will be its unique opportunities to build real-world experience and develop leadership skills. OKWU MIS majors will spend multiple semesters participating in the MIS Computing Lab, where they will gain hands-on experience in software development, database administration, information security, machine learning, and other key topics. Additionally, all MIS majors are required to spend a semester or a summer working as an intern in an MIS-related position. The majority of MIS internships are paid, providing excellent opportunities for summer employment.
Meanwhile, students will benefit from a set of opportunities especially designed by the Chesapeake Energy School of Business to develop experience and skill as emerging leaders. These opportunities include the newly-designed course, Emotional Intelligence, as well as the chance to apply for the OKWU Pareto Group for top business students. Both the Emotional Intelligence course and the Pareto Group are designed to build real-world leadership skills and experiences for OKWU’s business students.