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Option: Computer-Based Decision Support Systems (DSS)

Decision support system students

The DSS option educates our students in the design, implementation and use of computerized systems that support business managers in the decision-making process. 

A decision support system (DSS) is a computer system that typically encompasses mathematical models as well as informational databases and a user interface in order to provide recommended decisions to manager-users.  A DSS differs from a traditional information system (IS) or management information system (MIS) in that it not only provides the user with information, databases or reports, as does an IS or MIS, but it also provides answers to user queries, i.e., decisions, through its modeling component.  In essence a DSS is a computer system that helps managers make decisions.

Students in the DSS option take a variety of specialized courses in the information technology field that enhances their ability to develop computer decision support systems. Course topics include:

  • information systems
  • database management
  • networks and telecommunications
  • security
  • decision support system development and implementation
  • visual interface design
  • artificial intelligence
  • client/server systems
  • internet systems development
  • simulation as well as various mathematical modeling techniques
  • Specific computing language skills include C++, Visual Basic ( and JAVA

The job market for graduates of the DSS option is excellent. Over 100 companies and government organizations annually interview BIT seniors. DSS graduates typically obtain jobs in the information technology field. Job titles include:

  • consultant
  • technical consultant
  • systems analyst
  • systems developer
  • network administrator
  • management analyst
  • programmer analyst
  • project analyst
  • database developer
  • software developer
  • programming consultant
  • information manager
  • applications developer
  • information management consultant, among many others

The largest single type of employer of DSS option graduates is typically consulting firms such as:

  • Accenture
  • KPMG
  • CGI
  • Deloitte & Touche
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, among many others.

However, numerous other types of companies and organizations hire DSS graduates to work in various IT-related jobs.