What: Bachelor of Information Systems (Level 7)
Where: Manukau Institute of Technology
Phone: 0800 62 62 52 (course enquiries), or 09 968 8000
Entry requirements: At least 56 NCEA Level 3 credits or 72 Level 2 credits, including a minimum of 14 credits in each of two approved subjects plus a minimum of 8 Level 2 credits in both reading/writing and mathematics. At Level 2 students need minimum of 30 merit and/or excellence credits. Adult students need at least 60 relevant NZQA Level 5 credits or equivalent. Proof of English competency is also required either NCEA results, IELTS or equivalent.
Fee costs 2007: approximately $4200 per year or $525 per course
Graduate starting salary: $35,000 - $46,000
Information Systems is about the integration of information technology solutions and business processes in ways that are efficient and effective for organisations.
At MIT, study includes topics such as the information systems principles, software development principles, and data management, operating systems, accounting processes, systems analysis and modelling and project management.
Students spend a lot of time in labs currently equipped with Office 2007, Net 2005 and Vista software.
In the third year, students work on a 400-hour industry project for a real client. Students scope a project and present a proposal. If accepted, they then deliver their solution. The project must include design, development and implementation work; it can't be data entry or simple networking.
There are two intakes a year and approximately 50 students enter the course each year.
According to Michael Thompson, MIT programme leader of the BIS, employers value the MIT graduates' skills in communicating with those around them - they aren't the usual IT 'geek', he says.
Graduates enter jobs involving program/software development, network support, e-commerce, web development, systems analysis/software engineering and database administration.
Kia Tang (26)
IT specialist with Fraser Thomas, an engineering consultancy
Completed degree in July 2006
I started at Fraser Thomas in July last year. I maintain and repair the server, set up new servers and look after the network security. The hardest part is being on 24-hour standby. Data loss is a big deal so if anything goes wrong we have to sort it out quickly.
I was offered the job after doing my final year project here with a fellow student. The project involved replacing the aging infrastructure, so we had to firstly analyse the existing structure and then upgrade it to the latest operating system. We also set up a VPN (virtual private network) of dedicated wireless links from Fraser Thomas to a sub division.
I got my first computer when I was 12 and living in Singapore. At high school I was modifying open software and set up my own HTML website. After school I worked a year in IT, then did two years national service. When I came out I decided I needed a qualification to continue in IT. I applied to University of Auckland from Singapore but didn't meet their degree entry requirements. I came to New Zealand anyway and applied to do a diploma at MIT. I did the English test, was interviewed about my experience and was offered a place on their degree.
I learned a lot through the degree. I learned how to manage a project and about how new IT systems ran. My knowledge was behind because of my two years in the army so it was important to update.
I spent a lot of time in the labs so I could learn as much as possible. It was great being able to access equipment I didn't have at home.
Although I was surprised that we also studied communications and business accounting, it made sense once I started working because the communications study helped me learn how to deal with people.
Some students grumbled about the compulsory third year industry project saying some other courses don't have these projects. I liked it because it gave me six months employment experience and a foot in the industry. It was also exciting working to real time and budget constraints. I got an A+ for that project - and a job!
Director of Fraser Thomas Limited
Kia looks after our IT system of approximately 50 PCs and four servers, spread over three locations.
We met Kia through the MIT degree practical project. We offered three project positions to MIT and Kia took one of those positions. I think the projects are a good idea because it gives students a chance to work in a hands-on, real business environment.
When he finished the project, we offered Kia the job of looking after our systems. We felt he was well suited to and obviously knew the network system well. The role used to be done in-house but we decided we could no longer rely on non professionals to run it because our business was continuing to grow and the IT systems were becoming more complicated.
Kia has turned out to be an excellent employee.By Angela McCarthy