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FAQ’s about CIS

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Can girls get a major in CIS?

Yes!  There is high demand for women in the field of technology.  It has been shown that women do as well and even better than men in many technology positions.  In fact, the very first programmers in the 1940’s were women and some of the most influential pioneers in technology were women.  Two examples are: Ada Lovelace was a mathematician who worked with Charles Babbage and for who the ADA programming language was named after; and Grace Hopper who developed the first compiler for the UNIVAC computer in the mid-fifties.  She also coined the term bug. A moth once flew into the UNIVAC machine, and was “battered to death” by a relay. Grace, upon extracting the poor dead insect, taped it into one of her notebooks and wrote, “The first actual case of a bug being found.” A new phrase for the source of a hair-tearing error was coined.

What do graduates with CIS degrees make?

CIS graduates can make anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000 straight out of college. However, the actual salary you start at depends on the grades, skills, activities, and experience a student has. Good students that are active in internships and get involved with the student chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, and participate in competitions typically find themselves at the higher end of the spectrum.

Are there opportunities to get internships?

 Yes, there are several ways that students can obtain internships. Once each semester the university career center hosts an internship and job fair. Weekly newsletters from the career center identify employers on campus for internship and full time positions. The department chair receives numerous opportunities for internships throughout the semester that are passed on to students. Finally, students often find internships through on-line applications as well as personal connections.

You can find out more about internships by visiting our Internships page.

Do I need to have strong math skills to succeed in CIS?

Math skills are necessary for any type of technology degree. However, the level of math skills necessary for CIS students is less than those required for most CS programs. At Texas State the math requirements are College Algebra and two statistics courses. The CIS&QMST Department has a dedicated tutor to help students with the statistics courses and the University offers additional tutoring for statistics and for College Algebra at the Student Learning Assistance Center or SLAC.

Can a CIS degree help me get into the video game development industry?

The gaming industry is a fast changing field. As console demand slips, and stand alone computing games give way to mobile and multiplayer cloud environments, the skills required are changing. 

There are a variety of specializations that will allow a person to get involved with game development. It all depends on which specialization you are interested in. These specializations include programming, graphics, designer, and others. 
From the CIS perspective the primary way ‘in’ would be through programming. This would include a focus on development skills as well as mobile development.

What student organizations are associated with the CIS program?

The primary student organization that is associated with the CIS program at Texas State is the Student Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals. This organization is very active and members participate in regional and national student conferences and competitions. They also sponsor the High School IT Symposium as well as have monthly meetings and participate in Professional meeting in San Antonio and Austin. You can find out more about it by visiting their website here.

Can I write Mobile Applications with a CIS degree?

At Texas State, yes. We offer a special topics course that rotates each semester it is offered. One semester it focuses on Apple-iOS, the next semester, Android, and the next semester Windows.

What is CIS?

Of all the technology degrees available the degree in Computer Information Systems (CIS) is arguably the most broad and most diverse. It provides just about anyone with an interest in working with technology the opportunity to do just that.

Typically CIS degrees are made up of half business courses and half technology courses. The reason for this is that CIS programs are designed to teach students how to solve business problems using technology.
You can find you more detail on what CIS is reading the white paper, “What is CIS”.

What can I do with a CIS degree?

A degree in CIS prepares you for a wide variety of technology careers, depending on what your interests are. It provides one of the broadest technology foundations of all the technology degrees. This is because of its combination of business courses and technology courses. 

Job opportunities are dependent on three things, your GPA, your experience, and the types of courses you choose to focus on. By carefully selecting your elective courses a CIS student at Texas State can specialize in programming/development, database, or networking/security.  However, the CIS degree can prepare you for any number of other positions including but not limited to: systems analyst, programmer analyst, business analyst, business analytics, mobile developer, web developer, etc.
You can find you more detail on what CIS is reading the white paper, “What is CIS”.

What is the difference between CIS and MIS?

CIS and MIS have a significant amount of overlap. The main difference between CIS and MIS is the amount of development or programming coursework that is required. MIS programs are more closely tied to the business aspects than CIS. CIS is more closely tied to the development or technology aspects of the degree. Depending on the specific electives taken, an MIS student could be classified as a CIS student, and a CIS student could be classified as an MIS student.

You can find you more detail on what CIS is reading the white paper, “Technology Degrees”.

What is the difference between CIS and CS?

CIS is often called CS light. CIS students take many of the same courses that CS students do. The primary difference between the two is that ½ of the CIS courses are business courses, where CS doesn’t take any business courses, unless they choose to take a business minor. CS majors focus more on programming efficiency and algorithms and CIS students focus more on applying technology to solve business problems. In most organizations it takes both sets of skills to complete major projects. Often times it is the CIS students that work with the business clients to design the applications and programs. Once designed, the CIS majors work with the CS majors to develop and implement the ultimate software product. 

You can find you more detail on what CIS is reading the white paper, “Technology Degrees”.

If you have a question that is not answered on the web site or the frequently asked questions page, please contact the department at