In today's fast-moving IT industry, the growing use of information as a resource by commercial organisations is providing exciting opportunities for IT graduates and professionals with the right skills. Many large organisations operate in a highly competitive environment, where a high responsiveness to changing global market conditions can bring high reward in profitability and market share. Essential to this is the ability to make decisions quickly and effectively, using information collected from across the organisation.
Advanced information systems have become the main agent for deliver cost-effective, high-speed information and decision-support to large organisations and there is a strong demand for skilled IT professionals to develop, support and enhance these systems. Information engineering is concerned with how information in large organisations should be stored, retrieved, analysed and presented to maximise benefit. Information engineers use advanced techniques to extract knowledge from the information held by an organisation and use this to support decision-making allowing organisations to continually adapt to market trends.
Information Engineering graduates are highly sought after and graduates will find employment opportunities in many sectors including the financial, retail, energy, health, security and multimedia industries, both in the UK and overseas. Employers of Information Engineering graduates include large software houses such as Microsoft, Google and IBM and consultancies such as Logica CMG and EDS. Starting salaries range upward from £25k and graduates can expect to earn £40k+ after a few years experience.
An example of how Information Engineering has been applied in business is in the oil and gas drilling business ODS-Petrodata. MSc Information Engineering graduate, Francois Fournier, from The Robert Gordon University, is now working with the company to provide high-quality market intelligence, data, publications and analysis tools to the upstream oil and gas industry. The company provides analysis to support clients in understanding the markets they operate in, and use powerful web-based tools for tracking and analyzing the offshore rig, field development and marine markets.
So, industry needs employees who are able to innovate and keep pace with the latest developments in a fast-moving area. Courses in Information Engineering are designed to equip IT graduates with the specialist knowledge they need to gain employment in this exciting and fast-growing area. Students can learn how to design and develop advanced information systems. You should be looking for courses that provide the key skills in software engineering, databases and networked solutions. These should be supported with intelligent systems expertise in areas such as data mining and evolutionary algorithms.
Software engineering provides the latest approaches to developing software in a modern development environment as well as advanced programming techniques. Databases should explore the state-of-the-art approaches to storing and organising information; and courses should provide the skills to integrate software components across a network.
Students should also look to gain advanced skills in how to use information to support the activities of an organisation: data mining for instance explores techniques of knowledge discovery from data and their use in reasoning and decision-support systems. Courses should mix these technical skills with how they are applied in major online commercial applications. This mix of skills has proved a good match for the needs of industry.
For graduates with a degree in a computing, Information Engineering is a stepping-stone to an exciting and rewarding career, developing the next generation of advanced information systems.