Information Systems Concentration

The information systems concentration in the Orfalea College of Business is open to those majoring in business administration or economics.

Information Systems (IS) is the study of people, organizations, and technology. Cal Poly offers a rigorous information systems program that allows students to develop a broad-based, sought-after skill set that prepares them for an array of domestic and global career options in the information systems field. The “new IS professional” is a people-person but can also talk technology, solving meaningful organizational problems. IS professionals translate information needs into technology needs and translate technological capabilities into new business capabilities. Following Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy, our students receive hands-on training with the latest technologies and work on real-world collaborative projects along side their peers, faculty, and our corporate partners.

Our students are highly sought after by companies from a variety of sectors including consulting firms, high tech firms, startups and bio-tech companies. Cal Poly IS concentration graduates are able to command salaries starting at of $65,000, one of the highest starting salaries among recent college grads.

Course Number Course Title Units
BUS 392 Business Application Development 4
BUS 393 Database Systems in Business 4
BUS 394 System Analysis and Design 4
BUS 395 Systems Design and Implementation 4
Approved Electives 8

*Courses reflect the Cal Poly catalog.

View the Information Systems Concentration’s Declaration Form, Course Flowchart, Tentative Course Offerings and Career Information on the Orfalea Student Services concentration page.


Students with a degree in Information Systems have many career options and are highly sought after. They also enjoy a very competitive starting salary—in 2011, the median starting salary for our recent graduates was $60,000 a year. Examples of jobs taken by our recent graduates include:

  • Business Analyst – Identifies technological needs of business people
  • Business Process Designer – Makes an organization more efficient and profitable
  • Consultant – Assists organizations of all kinds in solving information problems
  • Website Designer – Determines how web applications should “look and feel”
  • Security Assessor – Discovers security weaknesses and makes recommendations to tighten them up
  • Business Intelligence Analyst – Uses cutting-edge IS tools to solve complex business problems
  • Application Developer – Uses cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing and online social networking tools to develop business-related computer applications
  • Project Manager – Uses critical thinking skills and knowledge of technologies to help plan, coordinate, and manage resources for various types of projects
  • Database Designer and Coordinator – Designs and develops database systems that meets the business requirements specified by clients
  • Digital Forensics Specialists – Conducts investigations and analysis of data collected from digital media. These skills can be applied in the area of criminal justice as well as corporate investigation(e.g., financial fraud, identity theft, etc)

Recent Employers Include

Ernst & YoungIntuitCIAAgilent TechnologiesBoeingCNET NetworksEmpower SolutionsFoster FarmsGoogleHewlett Packard
HyperionNavisPeace CorpsProtivitiQADScitor CorporationLockheed MartinNorthrop Gumman Information TechnologyPwCWalmartWestern Union Payment ServicesWorkday