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Any CIS Majors here?

By Darminato ยท 7 replies
Oct 10, 2003
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  1. Ah, the school year has begun again for me. I've officially decided to pursue a major in Computer Information Science here at the University of Oregon. Best of luck to me, eh?

    I'm curious to know what to expect in the later years of this major. Are there any CIS majors who can tell me what school they went to and what it was like throughout the years, particuarlly in their computer and math classes?

    Thanks for any responses!

    p.s Go Ducks! :D
  2. wtpntiggr

    wtpntiggr TS Rookie

    Graduated from Simpson in Indianol, IA Last Summer

    Algorythmic prolem soving math classes.
    Operating Systems Class
    Networking Class
    A few programming classes - took c++ (you may have java or vb instead)
    2 Database Classes
    Computer Hardware.

    Nothing I directly apply at my job but the concepts helped.
  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    I already have a degree, but I am working full time and getting another degree full time as well.

    You should already be very familiar with programming concepts, and should be getting stronger with C and then C++, or if not then some other oject orientated programming language like Java or C#.

    You'll probably want some passing familiarity with other programming languages as well, but its important that you are VERY strong on one, which is more than likely going to be C++. If you don't know anything about C++, START LEARNING NOW! Don't just wait for some subject with it to come up, go to the library and get a book out and do it now. I don't care if you have other stuff to do as well - that's the whole point, to have a busy learning schedule.

    Try to learn "all about computers", basically. Read books and web sites and magazines about them, in addition to your course reading. You'll find that a lot of these concepts overlap, and that things you learn from your own private learning will meet up with things that you are taught about in class.

    You should, as an aside, be trying to specialise in something, such as networking, or databases, or whatever, and you should be focusing your programming onto this area. Thusly, as a database person, you learn all about SQL, etc. As a networking person, you learn about programming with winsock in C++, etc.

    Since you are just starting, there's no way you could possibly know what this is, so just keep working hard, keep looking and KEEP AN OPEN MIND. Give everything a little try and see to what you gravitate towards. In the end, your interest level is the best criteria with which to pick your chosen speciality, as you are deciding now what you will likely be spending a lot of your future working days doing and thinking about. Don't be seduced by money, or whatever. Pick something that interests you deeply and at all costs keep up to date with it. Don't discount things lightly - sometimes the way you think something is (especially when you just assume that it will never interest you and don't bother looking) is not the way that that thing truly is. Keep an open mind.

    Don't think about yourself as a student struggling to pass the course - rather, think of yourself as a programmer, albeit a fledgling one. In that respect, you are very much like myself right now, and from someone who is getting As in classes, please take this advice: WORK HARD. PAY ATTENTION. There's plenty of distractions at university - girls, drink, drugs, late nights. Don't let them take control of you, or you will join the legions of ex-students who washed out and never finished. It happens to lots of people. Believe me. I saw it first time round, and I see it this time round as well.

    Also, look for answers yourself. Don't expect to be given them on a plate. If you go to see a lecturer about something, show that you have been doing some thinking or reading about the matter in hand off your own back first, rather than just turning up and expecting to be told all of the answers.

    I am a full time student and also a network administrator at a university - and I see crap students all the time. I laugh at them, and so do the lecturers. Please try not to be one.
  4. Charles Hammond

    Charles Hammond TS Rookie Posts: 59

    First of all I would like to give my background. I was discharced from the Army in 1986. I worked in a factory for a while and then I went back to School at the age of about 37. I have an Associates Degree in CIS (Mainframe Emphasis) from my local community college and I am currently going to Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science (Engineering Night School). I am majoring in Computer Science Information System Management. I work for my old community college as a COBOL Programmer and IBM Mainframe computer operator.

    That is one big mouthful.

    Every School is different. At my school the emphasis is not on Calculus I/II/III. They are a complete waste of time for most computer professionals. We also dont take 3 courses in Electronics or any such silly things. Nothing wrong with math and science, but we dont use it much.

    You can expect some classes in programming languages. Even if you are not planning on being a programmer they make you take one or two such courses.

    I took classes on:
    COBOL, RPG III/IV, Assemblly, Pascal, Visual C++, Java

    I may take VB before I am done yet.

    I also took a general class in Algorithm Design which is just general programming skills you need to play out programs and make Pseudocode description of the programming structure. I hate this touchy feely class just show me the computer. We used some simple progrms on very basic version of machine code, Assembly, and Pascal.

    I took another class that involved Rule Based Software Design. This was an interesting class. We attempted to take a subject and then figure out every possible outcome of a program and then write a rule for every possible outcome and then we did the program in JAVA on a Linux based system. This is a more scientific and general way to approach programming. It would be useful for programmers or developers.

    You can expect 1 or 2 classes on System Analysis and Design with an emphasis on Database application.

    Followed by at least one course in Database Design. Basically you figure out how to design a database without acutally using a database which is pretty stupid. Show me the computer. Method and technique and a bunch of useless terms to memorize. You will see this a lot.

    Took one course which was just studying business computing systems and the subsystems of managing a business. Examples Accounting, HR, Production, customer service, Decision support systems, AI, etc.

    Math Expect at least College Algebra and Statistics for Business.

    Accounting General accounting and or manegerial accounting.

    Marketing N/A

    Economics Took one course.

    Sociology and Psychiatry (Spell) Havent done this part yet.

    English Business English, Essay writing, Literature, English for Computer Science/Engineering majors.

    Took a History Class in Early Western Civilizations - Part 1 This is like Sumaria and Egypt up to the Roman empire period.

    Expect a couple classes they make you take in Non-Western Culture History or Art. Puke Puke. This is where we learn that all White Men are Evil and we need to appreciate minorites and become Japanese or Chinese or go to live like a monk in India or some such thing. My wife is Korean and they made her take some stupid courses like these. I don't get it. She is from a non-western country already and served in the Peace Corpse. The Politically correct *****s make us take these stupid courses.
  5. Supra

    Supra TS Enthusiast Posts: 190

    If you go to this Link you can see all the classes I took at my college. Right now im doing my third year option to get a certificate in web design and I already got my AAS degree as a microcomputer specialist. At my school CIS stands for Computer Information Systems.
    The only classes i had a little trouble with were my algebra class and my english ones. I took all my math classes in high school during my freshman and sophmore years so i guess i was a little rusty with my math and I just really dont like english classes. Since its a state funded school i had to take a few general classes per year.
  6. Elcarion

    Elcarion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 169

    I graduated in 1992 with a CIS degree from DeVry Technical Institute in Decatur, Georgia. Charles was right on the money stating that the emphasis was not on math and science; however, you are likely to have a few calculus classes in your first couple of semesters at a state university. When I went through the program the focus was on mainframe COBOL, JCL, CICS, and other mainframe-related crap. We also had a few courses on things like PCDOC, UNIX, C, etc. I haven't touched mainframe code since 1995 when I started developing in C and Oracle.
    My programming courses typically involved a project or projects that were done in the lab on an individual basis along with a test here and there. I didn't really find mainframe development to be challenging. Most curriculums are now C, C++, Java, UNIX, etc from my understanding. This would be quite a bit more challenging IMO. Good luck!
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    The money is going towards UNIX and C++ right now, I think. I am fortunate enough to be very much into these things anyway, but if you want to choose something to do over the next 2-3 years, you might as well learn these things.

    You don't need to be much into maths at all, but you do need to be able to think about good algorithms, etc.
  8. Darminato

    Darminato TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Wow, you guys are huge. Or at least to a puny little mortal to me, you seem that way. lol. I did a little Visual Basic in high school (it was the only language taught) and I always seemed to keep going to graphical type stuff, seeing what I could do with such a dinky language (bitblitting ring a bell?).

    For me to even start taking CIS-based courses, my school wants me to take Math 253 and such at the same time as the computer classes, which is a long shot away for me (I blow at math). But alas, I shall stick with it, since computers are just about my life.

    Here's a little conversation I had in my head with an advisor:

    Advisor : "Ok, you wanna do computers? You'll need to take rocket science, human anatomy, open-heart surgery, and 7 years internship at the white house."

    Me : "uh....I just wanna make things look pretty...."

    Advisor : "Oh! In that case, you'll also need to take architecture, geology, scociology 200 through 500, and 8 years internship at the white house"

    Me : "........right."

    Can't wait! :grinthumb


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