Millikin instructor offers insight into ever-changing field of information systems
When teaching, Ed Weber likes to tell his students that a career in information systems is "a lot like a double-edged sword." One of the things he enjoys about the industry is that it changes every single day. Contrary to that, those changes can make it difficult to keep up, but there's always something new to learn.
Weber is a clinical instructor in the Management Information Systems Department in the Tabor School of Business at Millikin University. Weber has been involved with advanced computer technologies in the manufacturing, financial, grocery, retail, government and promotional products industries for over 30 years. Weber runs his own computer consulting firm called Weber Enterprises, Inc. His company analyzes, designs, develops and implements integrated systems to support all aspects of client organizations.
As an instructor at Millikin, Weber provides customized training in information systems, business management and team building. One of the things that drew Weber to Millikin University was the fact that management information systems was part of the Tabor School of Business curriculum.
"That's very important because you get an opportunity to see how information systems interacts with every part of the business," said Weber. "If you're in marketing, information systems works with you, and it's the same for accounting or management. Students get to quickly interact with all of the different majors within the Tabor School of Business and get to really see how their particular piece fits into the larger scope of business in general."
Millikin's Management Information Systems program provides many hands-on learning opportunities for students, including building relational databases for tracking donor activity, creating mobile applications for a virtual art gallery, or building a comprehensive network security analysis for small businesses.
Students also have the opportunity to run their own IT consulting venture called MU Performance Consulting (MUPC), where students seek clients in the community, perform analysis and build technical solutions to solve business problems. Students work "in the business" as well as "on the business," developing projects while managing accounting records and human resources.
"Performance Learning at Millikin means that just as a student acquires a particular skill in their area, we strive to put the student into situations and opportunities where they can use those newly-acquired skills for real world clients with real world risk and reward," said Weber.
"They can see that it's not just about textbook learning, it's about actually making a difference in real businesses and real organizations."
Because management information systems is evolving every day, it makes the field very intriguing because there is always something new to work with.
"If you look around at other areas, you're seeing technological advances maybe changing the job structures and opportunities in those fields," said Weber. "Every one of those technological advances needs a management information systems professional to help integrate it and to help make it work in a given setting. The opportunities and career potential is unlimited."