“I returned to the College to study accounting, but I got into computer science when I took a refresher course my first semester back. I really didn’t know a lot about computers, but I wanted to be proficient with programs like Excel. Halfway through that class, I realized that computer information systems (CIS) was a feasible direction for me.”
It was the guidance she received from one of her professors that moved Marianne to switch focus. “He talked to me about the opportunities available in the CIS field, and explained that I could take computer classes and business classes for a semester and then decide. He also helped me see that the CIS curriculum can be as much about business as about computer science.”
In her software engineering class, Marianne explains, “we discussed software successes and disasters. It was like a philosophy class because it was almost entirely discussion. Outside of class, we wrote code and studied various operating systems.”
In her programming languages course, she learned about different computer languages through ideas. “It was like learning the constructs behind the Romance languages, and then having the professor say, ‘OK, Week One, learn French. Week Two, learn Portuguese,’ etc. It was pretty intense, but that’s great because it’s what you have to do in our field.
“What’s key is that this major isn’t only about computers. We study code and programming and systems, but the way we learn is thoughtful and creative. It’s not what you might imagine.”
Now, Marianne is taking finance and accounting courses along with her systems and database classes. “I want to be able to say to an employer “‘I know how to program and how to manage databases, how to write code and test systems, but I also know how to interact with human beings and run accounting books, and I’ve taken management courses.’ I’ll be able to do that because this major melds business and computer science.”
The computer information systems (CIS) major prepares students for computing positions in business and industry while they keep the option open to continue their studies in graduate school. Typically, students who complete the major wind up in professional roles such as applications programmers, systems analysts, systems programmers, database administrators or systems managers. In addition to the courses that are taught by the computer science department faculty, you will be required to take classes in math, accounting, communication, economics, finance, discovery informatics and management.
Our department offers a series of scholarships to support CIS majors.
CIS majors have access to the campus cluster (more than 240 computers linked together).
Strong partnerships with Google and other companies mean opportunities for CIS majors.
Students can participate in the Software Innovations Lab, and help develop innovative software solutions for actual clients.
Full-time internships are available each summer ($14 - $28/hour).
You can join active student organizations including the Association of Computing Machinery and Game 101 Club.
We offer CIS study abroad programs in France,Italy, Austria and Taiwan at no extra cost.