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Introduction

Introduction

Department of Information Management, School of Management, National Dong Hwa University
The Department was founded in 2001 with the objective of serving as both a center for the integration of applied information management technology with organization management practices and as an instructional facility to train information officers who are dedicated, professional, team-workers, and lifelong learners. After completing the Department’s rigorous requirements, students are awarded a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Information Management (BBAIM). There are currently 150 students enrolled in the undergraduate program.
To empower students with the necessary computer literacy to implement theoretical information management strategies and techniques into practical situations existing in the industry, the coursework that comprises the Program has been divided into the following five categories:
  1. Fundamental Information Technology (IT) courses.
  2. Management courses depicting recent trends in business management and change management for information service.
  3. Information systems development instruction that trains students to implement and to maintain the digital infrastructure of a business.
  4. Decision support instruction on how to assist companies in the development of effective information management strategies.
  5. Practical instruction that informs students how to counsel companies in the industrial and service sectors (such as tourism and hotel management) on ways of applying electronic commerce and electronic business.
A continuum that extends throughout all of the Department’s aforementioned coursework is its mission to serve as the Internet center for the East Taiwan, promote Internet-based service and e-business activities, implement pedagogical methods that blend the theoretical methodology of academia with the practical applications of industry, train professionals in managing digital firms, and augment the competitive advantage of our nation.

History of the Department

The department of Information Management was established in 2001 while the information industry in Taiwan was going through a rapid as well as advanced development. As a response to enterprises’ urgent demands for informatization, and to the needs of enterprises, the society, even the country on human resources, the Dept. has been recruiting outstanding teaching members with different expertise to not only transform students into talents with both specialties and teamwork spirits, but also equip them with originalities and independent-think abilities in order to face a multi-variate society with diversities. A Mater-level program in Information Management was set up in 2004; Ph.D. program, 2005. The MDPIM was set up in 2007 featuring Digital Content and Knowledge Management as the core of the program, and emphasizing the teaching of as well as research on e-commerce, e-business, and information applications to answer to the future tendency. To be more specific, the establishment of MDPIM is to provide NDHU teachers and students with an excellent e-teaching/learning environment, to support colleges and universities in eastern Taiwan with resources needed for teaching and learning purposes, and to help enterprises or organizations also in eastern Taiwan with their ability for informatization, even promote the development of Taiwan – overall as well as regional.

Aims & Objectives of the Department

  • Coping with the Government’s Key Development Project on cultivating advanced information technology talents
  • Among the 10 sub-projects of the Government’s Key Development Project, the majority including “Cultivating Talents for The Electronic Era”, “International Base for Innovative R&D”, “Output Value Commercialized”, “Digital Taiwan”, “Operation Headquarter”, and Reconstructing Transportation Backbone Island-wide” is based on the cultivation of talents in the fields of information management and application. In light of that, the cultivation of advanced information managers is as well crucial and should be considered the key to enhancing the country’s competitiveness.
  • Combining together Information- and Management-related departments to bring into full play the effect of cross-discipline integration
  • Being the network center in eastern Taiwan, the Department of Information Management aims to create and further enhance, teaching-wise and research-wise, the cross-discipline features of information management, and to cope with, planning-wise and learning-wise, courses from different programs expecting to put into action the teaching objective that academic theories should take into consideration and be reflected upon real-world practice.
  • Cultivating advanced information management talents to balance the development of education in both eastern and western Taiwan
  • There are presently few universities, NDHU, National Ilan University, and National Taitung University, in eastern Taiwan offer to cultivate advanced information technology talents; the outcome seems to be insufficient as far as the regional development is concerned. The Department of Information Management provides not only NDHU teachers and students with an excellent e-teaching/learning environment, but also other universities and colleges in eastern Taiwan with as many resources needed as possible. One of the ultimate objectives is to help enterprises or organizations in eastern Taiwan with the ability for informatization, so that the overall development and regional development can be both promoted and balanced.

Academic Objectives of the Department

  1. Creating and enhancing cross-discipline features of Information Management
  2. Cultivating information technology talents with advanced expertise
  3. Cultivating information management talents capable of innovating, researching and developing, planning, etc.
  4. Assisting enterprises or organizations in eastern Taiwan in cultivating talents with informatization abilities
  5. Providing the industry with talents required for multimedia, website operation, and information marketing, etc.
  6. Cultivating talents required for promoting the development of the country – overall and regional

Course Outline of the Department

Having taken into consideration information technology as the core whereas organizational management and application as the targets, the course plan the Depart has to offer enables students to develop information technology-related abilities and to master the change of organizations once incorporating into them information technology so that students can develop professional skills and cultural competence required by management, application, and integration of information systems. The ultimate objective of the Department in short is to cultivate outstanding professional information management talents.
Five categories have been set up to accommodate all the courses the Department has to offer. They are: Information Technology, Management, Systems, Decision Making, and Application. See below for details.
  1. Basic Information Courses build up the ability to learn and put into action information technology.
  2. Basic Management Courses focus on key knowledge of management, and the change management incorporated by enterprises to cope with information technology.
  3. Courses on Establishment, Management, and Maintenance of Information Systems enable students to develop management information systems answering to different needs, such as production, marketing, accounting, finance, human resources, etc.
  4. Courses on Information and Decision-Making Systems focus on models employed by enterprises for data analysis and decision making. Courses include for instance Decision Support and Expert Systems, Artificial Intelligence, and Information Technology and Management.
  5. Enterprise Resource Integration & Management Courses enable students to master the integration and management of enterprise resources. Courses include for instance Electronic Commerec, Enterprise Resource Planning, Office Automation Systems, and Practice in Information Management.
In order to cope with the emphases upon “Academic Modules” and “Teachers’ Professional Specialties”, the Department has recently created five groups of courses/modules for both obligatory courses, i.e. basic theories and practical training, and optional courses, i.e. application and advanced courses; they are:
  1. College of Management-specific core courses
  2. Information Management-specific core courses
  3. Digital Content-specific professional modules
  4. E-commerce-specific professional modules
  5. Knowledge Management-specific professional modules

Facilities and Resources of the Department

In order to make the most of NDHU’s leading role in eastern Taiwan as the network center as well as the precious experience in certain key areas including information technology and database the teaching members of the Department have to offer, the Department has not only coped with other departments within the College of Management, namely Business Administration on integrating teaching members and resources, but also invested over 15 million NT dollars in collaborating with leading knowledge-based enterprises, such as Oracle, IBM, Sun, etc., on introducing ERP/KM tools to build up and promote the one and only ERP Center in eastern Taiwan. In other words, by emphasizing e-Solution-specific teaching, research, application, consultation, industrial-academic collaboration, etc., the Department aims to cultivate advanced information management talents, to assist enterprises in improving their competitiveness, and to promote as well as secure a balance between this country’s overall and regional development.

Supports from Enterprises

According to the MIC of the Institute for Information Industry, the domestic information market will be continuing its high growth and thus driving the development of Taiwan’s software industry; meanwhile, the shortage of information-specific human resources is the first priority waiting to be dealt with. “This collaboration with National Dong Hwa University will enable both the teachers and students to use Oracle’s abundant resources. Here we’re not only answering to the growing demand from the software market, but also trying to achieve the goal of sustainable development by making contributions to the society.” said David Lee, the President of Oracle. Furthermore, Hamson Tzeng, the Manager of IBM also stressed that, “As a response to the requirement of the eastern region to improve the informatization level as well as to push forward the industrial development, IBM has been working on providing teachers and students at National Dong Hwa University with an excellent environment for study, research, and practice. To be more specific, all the organizational learning/teaching systems, labs for knowledge management experiments, and virtual e-enterprises IBM has constructed will not only benefit teachers and students at Dong Hwa, but also help the University to achieve one of its founding objectives, and that is to promote the development of the entire eastern region by aiding other colleges and universities in the region with their needs for teaching and research.” Since both stability and efficiency of hardware are crucial as far as the electronic era is concerned, Mr. Tsang, the Vice President of Sun stated that, “The Sun is able to employ its experience in the industry and provide colleges and universities with highly efficient and stable platforms to promote informatization within campuses. That is, to offer teachers and students a suitable environment to study, to research, and to practice. In the end, we hope to strengthen the competitiveness of the entire information industry in Taiwan.” The Chair of LBEX, Mr. Su, also said that, “In order to help National Dong Hwa University to construct a virtual environment for e-business, LBEX has provided the University with the data required by database-specific courses hoping to improve the infrastructure and informatization for industries in eastern Taiwan to develop further.” Finally, “Due to the rapid change of the global information market, the advancement of information talents has become rather crucial. Since National Dong Hwa University is the network center in eastern Taiwan, the leading role in holding Internet-related information management events and activities, Welltend Technology is currently working with the University on setting up information-related courses to hopefully cultivate professional information talents and to enhance the competitiveness of the entire information industry in Taiwan.” said Justin Chang, the Chair of Welltend Technology Corporation.

Key Development of the Department

In order to harmony with the bigger project regarding the development of the entire College of Management on promoting academic research as well as achieving quality teaching standards, the Department has regarded information technology and management integration as its core and emphasized the cross-discipline features of information management while integrating academic research fields and directions. The Department’s further objectives will be to promote the interaction with related industries, put into action knowledge and skills of information management, establish the ERP Center in eastern Taiwan, provide e-Solution-related teaching, research, application, consultation, industrial-academic collaboration, specialized certification, and e-collaborative environment, etc. The entire structure of talent cultivation is bottom-up from undergraduate-level through Master-level to Ph.D. Details are shown below:
  1. Since information management has become crucial to business running, the fundamental teaching objectives are to cultivate information management talents with professional knowledge and skills. In light of that, the application of information management upon general business administration, multimedia technology, and e-commerce will be the focus. Participation in actual management within enterprises is also incorporated to help with the establishment and improvement of information system management.
  2. As far as academic research is concerned, the Department is currently working with a variety of departments and institutes including Business Administration, International Business, Finance, Accounting, Sports & Leisure Studies (College of Management), Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (College of Environmental Studies), College of Sciences and Engineering, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Indigenous Studies, Innovation and Incubation Center, Incubation Center for Biotechnology, Research Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, Research Center for Eastern-Taiwan Industrial Development, Library, Information & Network Center, etc. on promoting integrated research on information management, and further interactions with well-known colleges, universities, research institutes, enterprises, both domestic and overseas. As far as industrial-governmental cooperation is concerned, the Department has taken the initiative to strive from both public and private sectors for specialized as well as commissioned research. The Department has also established certain internship channels required by related courses to put into action the information management education. In addition, the Department is working on its online connections with domestic and overseas management information systems to secure mutual cooperation.
  3. As far as the integration of real-world practice and academic research is concerned, the Department has established the one and only ERP Center in eastern Taiwan not only collaborating both closely and actively with information enterprises, but also sponsoring a variety of activities including field trips, interviews, seminars, conferences, etc. to enhance the interaction with the industries, and to put into action academic research.
  4. Graduates will receive the Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Management (BBAIM).

Career Development

Graduates from Information Management departments are currently one of the most wanted in related industries.
Most of our graduates have found themselves their first jobs in the field of MIS, i.e. Management Information Systems, doing related works, such as system analysis and information management, etc. There are other jobs available as well, namely network management, database management, software programming, webpage designing, etc.

Related Job Titles

MIS engineers, software programmers, system analysts, software engineers, webpage designers, database administrators, network engineers, and information managers, and so on.

Further Education & Research

As a response to the demand & supply of the actual market, colleges and universities in Taiwan have been either setting up Information Management departments/institutes, or recruiting more students. In light of that, pursuing further education or stepping into the field of research can be desired. As far as NDHU is concerned, the Department of Information Management will be setting up its postgraduate institute to provide students with more choices.
Generally speaking, there is a lack of university teachers specializing in Information Management; consequently, those who posses the qualification required and are interested in academic research or teaching can certainly take the opportunity.
Job Opportunities for Information Management Graduates (by Prof. Fang-Ming Hsu)
A lot of my students have come to me asking questions like, “We’re no better than Information Engineering students on information technology, and no better than Business Administration students on management, so what advantages do we really have?”. Their concerns sound reasonable, but once we look into it carefully, it’s not like what it seems.
We shall start by forming two different categories, Information Technology-oriented, and Commerce-oriented, and then we shall divide the industry (or job/career) into four different types shown below. The first industry is purely Information Technology-oriented, and the fourth one is purely commerce-oriented; the second and the third ones, business-related knowledge added gradually.
  1. The first industry employs simply the knowledge acquired in the field of information engineering, and thus emphasizes solely the development of information technology or instruments. Software products produced by the industry are either system software including operating systems, compilers, utilities, editors, database platforms, etc., or hardware, such as IC design, interface card design, computer systems, etc.
  2. The second industry employs both the knowledge of information technology and business administration. The platforms or instruments, such as Windows, Linux, SQL Server, JAVA, Oracle, Lotus Notes, etc., developed by the first industry are used as the foundation with the knowledge of business administration to develop and customize information systems needed, personnel and salary systems, accounting information systems, production management systems, marketing information systems, customer relationship management systems, enterprise resources planning systems for instance. Graduates majored in information management are suitable for the job, because the abovementioned systems require someone possessing both information technology and the knowledge of business administration.
  3. The third industry does not develop software systems on its own; instead, it introduces into organizations the information systems, customer relationship management systems for instance, developed by the second industry, and then integrates the systems with information systems, organizations, computer operations, business collaborations, etc., to bring into full play the functions of information systems.
  4. The fourth industry is purely based on the knowledge of business administration, and thus implements convention management on finance, marketing, production, etc. without touching the design and introduction of information systems. One can clearly see from the abovementioned classification that our graduates should pay attention to the second industry and/or the third industry regarding their future career, because both industries have come with certain barriers keeping graduates majored in information engineering and business administration out. The classification I have presented here is in fact a rough picture, i.e. not yet complete. Nonetheless, the classification has no objection against cross-discipline development, only suggests that different disciplines emphasize different aspects.

Specialized Ability

Our students are equipped with:

  1. The ability to work in pairs/teams/groups, to think creatively and independently, and to see things from international perspectives.
  2. The knowledge of information science, and related techniques.
  3. The knowledge of business administration, and the ability to put it into action.
  4. The ability to integrate information technology and knowledge management.