What do Computer Information System students do as a career?
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The Computer Information Systems major is designed to provide students with a focus on the creation and supervision of computerized information systems (CIS) for the management of business and nonprofit organizations. There is a primary emphasis on problem solving within system development, on the logic of programming and on state-of-the-art languages and methodologies.
Once the required courses have been completed, students can select electives that will lead them in various professional career directions. One of these directions focuses on system development—preparing students for work as programmers, systems analysis and application system architects. Careers in this specialization area can involve intensive technical work writing program code, work in data base design and support, projects in high-level systems design and project management of these activities. A second direction focuses on the creation and maintenance of local and wide area networks and other computing infrastructure components, and prepares students for careers as network engineers and network managers. Some material taught in courses connected with both of these specialization areas correlates with the knowledge needed to pass professional certification exams.
Students are also strongly encouraged to engage in a CIS internship, which involves a summer or a semester of paid professional experience in industry. Internship experience helps show the relevance of on-campus courses to professional work, helps students focus their career plans and often enables students to secure better post-graduation jobs. Three hours of academic credit can be earned for an internship.
Computer Information Systems are the complex and typically large and expensive software systems that are essential to the daily operation of organizations. Examples include airline reservation systems, bank automated teller systems, trade systems for stock exchanges and accounting/auditing systems. The Computer Information System (CIS) major teaches students how to design and manage such computer systems for a company and how to help people use the computer system effectively and efficiently.
The major in Computer Information Systems trains students to work with computerized information systems in a business or not-for-profit organization. Since computers touch all of our lives, the need for people in this area is constant. Opportunities exist in many different kinds and sizes of organizations such as commercial banks, manufacturing, health care facilities, advertising agencies, accounting firms, child care centers, retail stores, and utility companies (e.g., Allstate, Goodyear, Lubrizol, Timken). The goal of the CIS major is to produce graduates who can begin CIS careers as computer programmers, rapidly progress to system analysis responsibilities, and ultimately rise to careers in management. Today’s CIS specialist often works closely with end-users, so people skills are important in this field. Career opportunities extend all the way to becoming, after years of career growth, the chief information officer for an organization, reporting directly to the chief executive officer.
RELATED EXTRACURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES
Many students get internships every year with local organizations (earning college credits and a salary) and often continue in employment with the same companies after they graduate.
To build connections for eventual employment opportunities and to develop organizational and leadership skills, students are encouraged to join the Management Information Systems Association (MISA). This organization promotes extracurricular activities in CIS and gives students the chance to interact with faculty and practitioners in informal settings. Another student organization of considerable appeal to any business major is Delta Sigma Pi, the professional business fraternity—open to both men and women. In addition, there are over 200 other student organizations in which students may find opportunities to develop accounting and general business skills.