About the Field

Information has become an integral part of every organization. However, very few organizations have the ability to effectively manage information or gain benefit from investments in information and information systems. Modern business organizations must leverage the vast quantities of collected information in order to make effective decisions and achieve a strategic competitive advantage. Competitive intelligence embodies a systematic and ethical program for gathering, analyzing and managing external information that can affect an organization's plans, decisions and operations.

Program Overview

Unique to the tri-state region, Robert Morris University's B.S. in Competitive Intelligence Systems degree program is designed to educate future business and information systems professionals in the concepts, activities and issues related to the emerging field of competitive intelligence. The business and open elective components of the curriculum make it an ideal choice for transfer students, especially those with a business background.

The degree prepares students to:

  • Create and manage information systems that allow for effective decision making, increased employee productivity and optimal service of an organization's information needs;
  • Effectively leverage information to gain the best return on investment from an organization's information systems; and
  • Gain a strategic competitive advantage by using information to make better business decisions.
  • Graduates of the program can expect to support data warehousing, data mining and geographic information systems to aid in marketing research and segmentation, corporate strategic planning, facility location, and product design and distribution.

Market Demand

It is estimated that the worldwide market for business intelligence is worth about $2 billion a year. A recent survey showed 60 percent of companies with annual revenues of more than $1 billion had an organized competitive intelligence system in place. While many larger companies have their own CI departments, mid-sized companies often hire consulting firms to gather and analyze intelligence. About 77 percent of CI professionals work in corporations, while 17 percent are consultants. The top five industries utilizing competitive intelligence professionals are consulting, communications, chemical/ pharmaceutical, information and defense/aerospace.


The 120-credit hour curriculum has four components: 

  1. Robert Morris University Core - 39 credits
    These are the traditional liberal arts requirements of the University. Studies in humanities, communications skills, and social, behavioral, natural and quantitative sciences are included.
  2. Competitive Intelligence - 42 credits
    This component includes 10 prescribed courses including operating systems, web development, systems analysis, network technology, network security, database management, project management and competitive intelligence. Students then select four courses in more specialized areas, such as cyberlaw, data warehousing, data mining, knowledge management, strategic planning, risk mitigation, and threat and vulnerability analysis.
  3. Business Area of Interest - 15 credits
    Students select five courses in a business area of interest that constitutes an information systems environment, such as accounting, management, marketing, finance or business law.
  4. Open Electives - 24 credits
    Students may select any courses within University offerings to broaden their skills in some area of interest. This component may also be utilized for transfer credits from another institution.

    Competitive Intelligence Systems Check Sheet - Required Courses


Tuition information can be found at Tuition Fees & Schedules.

Admission Criteria

The following are required for admission:

  • Robert Morris University application for admission - Apply Now!
  • Official transcripts from high school and any post-secondary institutions attended

2010 National Mean Bachelor-Level Entry-Level Salaries:

Position TitlePosition Salary
By type of employer
Banking (Investment)
Computer Systems Design/Consulting/Programming
Consulting Services$59,250
Financial Services
Government (State and Local)
Software Publishers
By job function
Computer Programming
Investment Banking (Sales/Trading)
Network Administration
Software Design and Development
Systems Analysis and Design
Other Computer Related
The information in this chart is based off of 2010 salaries from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

2009 RMU Salary Survey

Position TitleMeanRange
Computer Information Systems
$67,500$50,000 - $85,000
Information Sciences
$58,200$44,600 - $75,000
Information Systems Management
$40,167$25,000 - $70,000