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What can I expect as a Gies information systems student?

Are you fascinated by how modern companies capture data in real time and generate insights for business decisions? Are you interested in technologies and their applications in business? As an information systems major at Gies Business, you’ll learn about cutting-edge technologies and develop skills to transform data into insights that guide managerial decisions.

Here, you will focus on how to design and implement technology solutions that support an organization’s strategic goals and digital business transformation. Plus, you will get to work on real projects with real clients to develop and refine your skills.

Careers and outcomes

Information systems graduates at Gies Business are highly recruited because of their interdisciplinary preparation and knowledge of technology and business issues. In fact, 97% of them have successful placement outcomes. Recent Gies information systems graduates have been employed with companies such as EY, Deloitte, PwC, Allstate Insurance Company, Protiviti, Synchrony Financial, Grant Thornton, Teach for America, KPMG, and John Deere. In 2018, the average salary for a Gies graduate with a degree in information systems was $66,558.

Setting your course

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Information systems majors build a program of study by choosing from a variety of courses, including database design and management, information systems analysis and design, information technology for networked organizations, management of data communications, and information technology governance. This specialized training combined with courses with a broader business focus develops graduates who are recruited for positions as systems analysts, information systems managers, and consultants.

Typical Plan of Study

Gies News and Events

Opening doors for talented, driven students

Mar 27, 2019, 10:37 by System
Christopher Martin generously funds scholarships, including the one that bears his name.

“For me, it’s about leaving a legacy.”


Martin helps support scholarships for Gies Business students

Illinois had to win two separate recruiting battles to get Christopher Martin (FIN ’05) to campus in 2001. Martin, one of the nation’s top tennis recruits, was torn between Illinois, Stanford, and Duke – all successful tennis programs and elite business schools.

Christopher Martin“I always knew I wanted to study business. In order to compete against those schools, I had to be convinced of the academic benefits of Illinois,” Martin said. “Through my research and experience, I became convinced that Illinois could compete with anyone in the country on the tennis court and in the classroom. At that point, it became a no-brainer that this was home.”

Martin – the co-founder of Direct Access Capital, LLC in Dallas, Texas – still bleeds orange and blue, so much that he is committed to helping create life-changing access to a business education at Gies Business. Martin has helped generously fund scholarships, including the one that bears his name – the T. Christopher Martin Scholarship.

“For me, it was about leaving a legacy and giving others the opportunity that I was given,” said Martin. “There are only a limited number of ways I can give back to Gies, and that for me was a slam dunk.”


Committed inside and outside the classroom

Martin was as immersed in the collegiate experience as any business student could be. He was a four year contributor for the Illinois men’s tennis team, even clinching the decisive match in the 2003 Men’s Tennis NCAA Championship Team Final. As good as he was on the court, he remained that committed in the classroom. Martin was named Academic All-American, Academic All-Big Ten, ITA Scholar-Athlete, and won the Illinois Scholar-Athlete Award. He was selected to the Dean’s List in five of his eight semesters and graduated with a 3.79 GPA.

His success has translated into the business world. After graduating with a bachelor of science in finance in 2005, Martin worked for three years as a financial analyst at The Ayco Company in Chicago. He then moved to Texas to lead and manage the comprehensive investment process for Headington Companies in Dallas. Then in 2016, Martin co-founded Direct Access Capital, LLC and served as their CEO until 2019. His role has since transitioned to that of board member and special advisor, where he remains intimately involved.

“The fundamental base that I was able to learn at Illinois has set me up for the rest of my life,” said Martin. “It was one thing to learn the X’s and O’s, but then to learn the personal side of business as well was very important.”


“You’re never going to win a race if you don’t enter”

Martin was so moved by his experience at Gies College of Business that he is determined to ensure the highest quality students can attend regardless of their financial background. In addition to his generous philanthropy which helps fund Gies Business scholarships, Martin is actively looking for ways to get more involved.

“It’s a fun, visible, quantifiable way to see evidence of your involvement,” he said. “I have so much faith in the stewardship of Gies College of Business and Dean Jeff Brown that it’s easy to give back.”

Engagement is key. Martin encourages anyone who’s thinking about giving back - whether it’s giving financially, serving as a guest lecturer in class, or offering to mentor a student – to just do it. Take that first step like he did several years ago.

“Everyone has to start somewhere,” he says. “You’re never going to win a race if you don’t enter it in the first place. You’re never going to achieve the level of involvement you’d like if you don’t act. Giving regularly and staying mindful of what’s going on will help open the door for opportunities down the road.”


A Texas-sized heart for Gies College of Business

Martin may live nearly 1,000 miles away from campus, but Gies Business remains as close to his heart as ever.

“Illinois and Gies Business are a part of my ID now,” he said. “I’m so passionate about the University of Illinois, and being down in Dallas I’m a little isolated from the school’s core reach. It’s so much a part of me that it’s something I can’t deny. It warms my soul coming back to campus. It really does.”

He says he still comes back to campus as often as he can. He stays in touch with his former teammates and professors, like Larry DeBrock, who taught him so much about business and about life.

“Life’s just one big educational process, and I feel like the education I received at Gies Business was so foundational and fundamental to my success so far in life,” Martin said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”