CM’s Guide to the Information Management and Technology Major

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We all know the “hip hacker” trope in movies where some computer savvy, glasses-wearing student has to break into “the system.” He bangs on the keyboard for a couple seconds before saying, “I’m in.” Alas, there’s much more to IT. In real life, pursuing an information management and technology major will teach you all about the continually changing and developing field.

What you’ll be doing

The information management and technology major is relatively new to the college scene as far as majors go. However, there’s more than enough field to cover and concentrations to pursue. Even though you can study everything from computer science to web design and coding, a big part of the major is taking the rapidly developing ideas and technologies and applying them in a practical setting. There’s no getting around the readings on the different kinds of system operations, but going into the computer labs and seeing how it all actually works with your own two hands is extremely rewarding. As the major is thought to be a technical one, most people don’t expect it to be as conceptual as it actually is.

Upsides

1. “Students gain insights into how technology can be used to advance business processes and increase efficiency in any business. The IM&T major is easily transferable to any industry such as retail, banking, consulting, healthcare, sports, media, etc. Technology is needed in every industry so students have the flexibility to pair their passions with technology for any company/industry or even create their own business.” – Heather Pyle, Syracuse University 2014, FSO Advisory Staff at EY

2. “Being able to handle change really well. With technology you are working in a rapidly changing environment where the hot thing is completely different the next second and I think it helped me understand and adapt to whatever was thrown at me.” – Hailey Temple, Syracuse University 2015, Associate with Global Design Thinking with SAP

3. “It’s not the hardest major. You learn a lot, but it’s not rocket science. You know, you’re not doing heavy duty coding. The most challenging was the computer networking classes and “Intro to Basic Coding.” It’s a pretty easy, but interesting and valuable major.” – Keegan Slattery, Syracuse University 2013, Account Manager at LinkedIn

Downsides

1. “It’s really challenging because the information changes so quickly. The fact of the matter is even when we graduate and took a class our sophomore year, a lot of the elements of that class have had to be updated because technology is changing so rapidly. I would learn something, and it was hard to keep the education and curriculum changing with how fast things were progressing in the world.” – Hailey Temple, Syracuse University 2015, Associate with Global Design Thinking with SAP

2. “You get a breadth of knowledge, but you don’t get a depth of knowledge. You may take a class that’s an intro to coding, but you don’t get enough to actually go out and make an application. You don’t actually come out with super hard skills — you come out with a lot of soft skills. But those soft skills, if you’re smart enough, are easy to translate into a really valuable perspective that nobody else has.” – Keegan Slattery, Syracuse University 2013, Account Manager at LinkedIn

3. “Dealing with a lot of misconceptions about what we study. Throughout college I got asked to fix printers and to fix the wireless router in my apartments. We study so much more than just how the internet works and how to plug in a printer, so it was frustrating handling peers who downplayed my major.” – Heather Pyle, Syracuse University 2014, FSO Advisory Staff at EY

Career Opportunities

1. Web Designer

In this position, you would be creating and developing websites. This includes everything from how the website looks to how it functions. After you develop your website, you have to test the completed website and debug or re-design any pages that need fixing (Stop the Facebook updates once and for all).

2. IT Consultant

Be ready to answer the phone at 2 a.m. As an IT consultant, you advise the client on the best way to utilize information technology to serve his business. This could be anything from finding the best software within a client’s budget to determining the requirements of the information system.

3. Software Applications Developer

In this job, responsibilities include having to create and design your own computer application softwares and modifying existing ones. There is a lot of room for creativity and innovation here, as you can create anything you think up to make something more efficient. Maybe, you’ll finally fix Microsoft Word…

4. Database Administrator

The key to being a database administrator is successfully maintaining a database and it’s environment. This includes organizing data, safeguarding information and correcting any errors found within the databases.

5. Cloud Architect

In this area of work, you need to strategize the best and most efficient way for a company to utilize cloud computing. It also requires organizing and planning the virtual space that exists so it can support continued use. Someone has to understand the Cloud.

Sophomore at Syracuse University studying Magazine Journalism and Information Management and Technology. She enjoys long car rides, mangos, and adventures. One day she'll travel the world.

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