News Column

Forecasting IT's vast scope

August 13, 2014

The IT industry can lead one into a variety of other professions besides the mainstream practice of information technology. Jobs like being an application and software developer, or network and hardware specialist, an IT administrator or IT consultant, computer systems analyst, web developer or even a computer programmer.

One other interesting line of work that you can venture into is being a MIS business analyst.

Management Information Systems is an extension of the IT profession. Its main focus is gathering, processing and managing the organisation's information as well as providing it on time to the decision-makers, according to Slie Zuma, a MIS business analyst.

"I did my BCom (information systems) degree, then progressed to do an honours degree in informatics and a master degree in information technology. These are not necessarily to operate in this space, but it definitely opens up one's perspective as well as one's prospects."

Slie's core responsibilities are to identify business goals and the information requirements and then "coherently convey these back to IT with the aim of designing and implementing the best system that would support those needs", |she said.

As a business analyst, she is constantly interacting with businesses, brainstorming around possible solutions, designing data and information models.

"On some days I would be sitting with businesses helping them understand what their information means, taking into consideration the other factors that might affect the business. I like to call that process 'sense-making'."

MIS business analysts are required to have technical background in systems management, excellent verbal and written skills.

"There is a need for more MIS professionals.

"Though I must point out that the IT industry does not necessarily have a well-carved career path."

The "business ladder" was not so clear cut, "but there are ample opportunities of becoming a specialist. One's initiative is required."

Cultivate analytical thinking and problem solving, communication and listening skills are important, she concluded.

The Star

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Source: Star, The (South Africa)

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