The power of information cannot be underestimated. It promotes discovery, stimulates decision-making, empowers individuals and offers a vision for the future. The School of Information Science (iSchool) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) uses the power of information to transform lives and society through innovative teaching, research and engagement.
The iSchool is a leader in online education and an unrivaled choice for those who want to explore their interdisciplinary research interests, learn from renowned faculty, and connect with a strong alumni network. 93% of graduates are employed within three months of graduation – many of whom owe their success to the MS in Information Management program.
Its curriculum is equally flexible and efficient, emphasizing the intersection of people, information and technology. At the same time, students develop the advanced skills needed to excel in a range of employment settings. Kinjal Shah from India immediately knew this was an ideal choice to develop the skills needed to compete in the corporate job market. So far, his journey has been fruitful in every sense of the word.
A warm welcome
Shah chose the MS in Information Management to learn and explore all aspects of data. “Coming to iSchool, I knew I would significantly improve the technical and soft skills I needed to thrive in the professional world,” she says.
Of course, leaving the house was difficult. However, the university’s multinational community made it easy to settle. Its student body of more than 56,000 students currently represents all 50 states and more than 100 countries.
Make your own path
Since iSchool’s study programs are broad and interdisciplinary, customization is a benefit available to all learners. For Shah, this meant designing her curriculum to fulfill her aspiration to become a skilled data analyst and business intelligence professional.
Its designated STEM curriculum has only three required courses – Information Modeling (IS 515), Data, statistical models and information (IS 507), Sociotechnical Information Systems (IS 504) — and an optional course in programming. The subjects students choose to complete this solid foundation are entirely up to them. Of course, advisors are always ready to share valuable information with those who need to discuss course options, hands-on experience options, and/or research opportunities.
Turn challenges into interests
Shah is quick to admit that the comprehensive nature of his program can sometimes be overwhelming. Fortunately, 24/7 access to world-class faculty has helped her see challenges in a new light.
“It’s safe to say that my favorite course now is ‘Advanced Topics in Data Analytics and Data Science,'” she shares. “It was really difficult, but I ended up realizing how useful it was to practice critical thinking and brush up on my homework. These skills helped me tremendously when it was time for me to land the internship. my dreams.
Excellence in the real world
The iSchool understands that information management encompasses much more than just coding – communication is just as important. Therefore, for students to excel in both areas, experiential learning opportunities abound through extracurricular and networking activities, internships and other professional field experiences, as well as interaction with expert teachers.
When it was time for Shah to take her first steps into the job market, she knew exactly what she was looking for to achieve her career goals. “I researched top companies and their affiliates to really get that quality corporate experience,” she says.
“In the process, I came across the Data Management Intern position for Parametric on the Morgan Stanley career site. I applied and successfully interviewed several times. The knowledge I gained during [the iSchool’s] the classroom sessions proved particularly useful when I started the course itself. I was proud to have already developed analytical and interpersonal skills, as well as familiarity with current business tools.
Professional confidence at its best
Now that Shah has experienced the world of work, she looks forward to more opportunities to apply her newfound knowledge while expanding her list of skills. “Nearly nine weeks into my internship, I learned a ton of skills and new technologies that are used across the country in almost every business,” she explains. “It was a great opportunity for me to strengthen my skills and work towards the future that I have always dreamed of.”
After graduating, Shah hopes to join a big tech company as a data/business analyst. With the confidence she’s developed and embraced at iSchool, chances are there’s no stopping her.
“Our Information Management program has helped students secure a range of exciting new positions in various industry sectors,” says Professor Catherine Blake. “iSchool is very interested in growing engagement opportunities so students can see first-hand how their education can impact real-world information science issues.”