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Management Information Systems
@ UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas School of Management

September 2009

AITP Region 3 Student Conference

The UT Dallas Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the Region 3 Student Conference this fall on October 22, 23 and 24. More than 500 professionals, graduate students, undergraduate students and high school students are expected to attend over the three days.

The conference offers a forum for the professional exchange of knowledge and skills related to information technology (IT) as well as appearances by guest speakers from USAA, IBM, Microsoft and Argo Data Systems.

In addition, participating students will have an opportunity to form teams and compete for awards and prizes totaling more than $8,000. Student competitions will include application development, database design, systems analysis, network design, PC troubleshooting, and office solutions. Teams will compete within a peer group, so graduate students compete with other graduate students, undergraduate students compete with other undergraduate students, and high school students compete with other high school students.

For more information and to register for the event, please visit http://www.aitputd.org/conference/.

SAP Academy Excels, Returning Next Year

The test-run of a business-software training academy new to The School of Management garnered great results last spring, securing its return next year. Among SOM students, 88 percent passed an exam that capped the two-week program known as TERP 10 SAP Certification.

Among all exam-takers, "the average pass rate is 70 percent," Dr. Lou Thompson, SOM faculty member who ran the academy, says.

Passing means 23 participants earned associate-level consultancy status. Certification is a mark of proficiency for operating SAP software relevant to 13 workplace functional areas. The credential "immediately adds $10,000 to $12,000" to your salary, Dr. Thompson says.

The academy is one of many upgrades the school's Management Information Systems (MIS) area is instituting. Others include starting an industry advisory board, stepping up affiliation with SAP, the market-dominant maker of business-solutions software, and redesigning the introductory course in information technology — required for all undergraduate business majors — to cover sophisticated computer planning and management tools.

Generically, improving efficiency via software is known as enterprise systems management, and the expanding role of these systems in business has educators' and students' attention.

The school now offers four undergraduate and seven graduate enterprise systems management courses and is developing more. MIS also has launched three certificate options.

Dramatic enrollment increases in SAP-related courses are driving some changes. Registration in one undergraduate course doubled in the last year, and registration in a graduate data-warehousing course has doubled twice since spring 2008, Dr. Thompson, coordinator of SOM's Enterprise Management Systems program, says.

SAP knowledge "is a great skill to add to your résumé," Judy Guyer, director of the school's Career Management Center, says. "Recruiters seeking technically oriented job candidates ask for SAP skills 40 to 50 percent of the time."

The next TERP 10 SAP Certification Academy is scheduled for May 10-21, 2009. Contact Dr. Thompson at lou.thompson@utdallas.edu for information.


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