This September, an inaugural class of 15 corporate and business professionals will enhance their abilities to strategically use data to help their organizations become more successful — through Canada’s first Executive Master of Information (MI) program in Information Systems & Design (ISD-E).
Following the highly successful model of offering an “executive degree,” the iSchool designed this option for mid-career employees who already work full-time in a wide assortment of information-relevant careers. Though similar to the existing program, these students will apply their new-found theoretical knowledge to a specific project in their workplace to benefit the corporate agenda.
After surveying key employers in multiple sectors (i.e. finance, business, technology and education), the iSchool concluded that there was strong support for a second option for offering this Master’s degree.
“This new delivery model allows companies to ensure a highly trained expert bridges the gap between business and IT services,” says Wendy Duff, Interim Dean of the iSchool. “These information professionals will respond to changing information practices in their workplaces by analysing data for solutions, and developing actionable plans using technology.”
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Associate Professor Kelly Lyons, known for her research in human-to-human interactions in service systems, is a lead professor in the Executive MI. Lyons says she and her colleagues witnessed a marked increase in demand for managers to be able to strategically use a broad array of information and data to improve organizational outcomes.
“Our graduates will lead or participate in multi-disciplinary teams to analyze, design, and implement innovative and effective information systems, while emphasizing critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and collaborative decision-making,” she says.
Simon Wong (MI 2013), who works as the quality and delivery lead at ExperiencePoint, says ISD skills and knowledge were key in attaining his current job.
“During my time at the iSchool, I enhanced my practical skills and gained exposure to new frameworks for analyzing information systems through a mix of hands-on and theory based courses within the ISD concentration,” he says.
As a student who worked full-time throughout his degree, Wong felt the program allowed him to apply and test, almost immediately, many of the concepts and tools he learned at the iSchool.
“Having those robust frameworks to understand and communicate about information systems and architecture with colleagues helped me do more in my job, and obtain other positions after graduation.”