Prospective Students

So you're thinking of going into the field of information technology. This field offers a wide variety of applications and careers.  We are pleased to share information and answer your questions.

What educational background is required?

Today's technology is moving so rapidly that most technology-based jobs require a bachelor's degree with a good foundation in analytic and communications skills, information systems technology, and functional business areas such as accounting, marketing, management, finance, and production.

What is the IS major program?

The Information Systems (IS) program at St. Cloud State University is one of the most comprehensive undergraduate information systems programs in Minnesota. The program is designed to prepare students for computer-related careers in business and government.  Students are taught the professional skills of a programmer/analyst such as systems development, programming languages, and data base processing.  Additional topics covered include client/server systems, decision support systems (data warehouse, data mining), quantitative modeling techniques, computer and data security, project management, and information systems management techniques.  Graduates of the IS program will have a good understanding of both business operations and computer-based information systems.  They are qualified for a wide range of positions requiring this combination of knowledge.

What does a IS graduate do?

IS is mainly concerned with technology-based means of gathering, analyzing, and storing information, which impact all aspects of a business.  Today, most of the operations in a business are processed utilizing computer-based information systems.

An IS graduate's initial position usually involves working with computers to solve business problems.  Much of this work typically uses a business-oriented computer language or software.  As the IS graduate gains experience, he or she often does more problem solving and consulting.  One phase of this involves advising users on computer-based information systems most suitable in the performance of their jobs.

Is the IS major program nationally recognized?

The program is recognized as one of the few programs in Minnesota meeting the model curriculum guidelines set by AITP (Association of Information Technology Professionals).  The program was modified to meet the model curriculum of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) and efforts continue to expose students to the latest technology tools. The Herberger Business School is one of only three business programs in Minnesota nationally accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Are there scholarships available?

Each year, the IS department awards scholarships to eligible students, based on academic performance, community and university service, and financial need.  There are also endowed scholarships for minority students and for nontraditional students.  Information on scholarships can be obtained through the IS department and through the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.

What are the career opportunities?

The job market for IS graduates is excellent, and will remain so for many years.  The starting salary typically ranges from $35,000 to $50,000, the highest in the Herberger Business School and one of the highest in the university.

A large number of firms come to St. Cloud State University on a regular basis to recruit graduates from the IS program.  Included in this list are Banker's Systems, IBM, 3M, Cargill, Andersen Consulting, Target, Schwan's, Ernst & Young, State Farm Insurance, Federated Insurance, Hormel, and Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance. 

Are there internship opportunities?

The internship program is a unique educational opportunity that appeals to many IS majors.  Its existence is evidence of SCSU's close ties with the business community.  This special program enables a student to work full time for one or more academic semesters with a business firm or a government agency.  The student gains practical experience in his or her area of study and receives academic credit in addition to a salary.

How do I apply?

You may apply online or print an application to mail in. To learn more about the application process, please see the Applying to St. Cloud State University web page.

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