On Reconnecting with the MIS community Part 2

Salaries

As expected, I learned a lot on my recent trip to the AMCIS conference in San Francisco. One striking thing is the incredibly high quality of new Ph.D.s in MIS. I met so many talented people, and interviewed as many as I could for our faculty position at RIT (http://bitly.com/ritmis).  While advantageous for RIT, the true shame is that there are not enough faculty jobs for these talented people- not by a long shot. The fact that there are so few positions creates a dangerous situation where a whole generation of educators/researchers could be lost (thanks SWH for this idea).   At this moment, there is not a lot that we can do about it.

However, longer term there is one obvious thing to do-increase the enrollments in MIS. I believe there are two paths to that: better communication about the discipline, and recentering the discipline on the knowledge areas of its faculty. As an example of communication, the chart above (thanks Chuck Wood) shows clearly that MIS starting salaries have been the highest in the business schools for some time.  Employers REALLY want the combination of technology and business and are willing to pay for it. MIS people end up doing a wide variety of things in organizations, but their tech/business/communications skills make them the key players in a lot of what happens. My friend Richard DeMartino comments how well MIS students do in entrepreneurial teams, and I am proud of what this group accomplishes.

A second important approach to reviving the discipline is to find ways to capture the intellectual curiosity and new knowledge developed by its faculty. While for some researchers this is already happening, for many of us the curriculum is a standard that is far away from our interests. At AMCIS, I learned that MANY people are researching things that will never be taught in the standard curriculum. I feel that this is a shame, and possibly a detriment to the discipline.

The MIS discipline has room for lots of different subjects in its conferences. We should find the way to bring them back to our students, because that natural energy that comes from doing what you like does not have a substitute.


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