CIS professionals bridge business and technology to solve problems

When you think of computer information systems, or CIS, you might envision someone sitting behind a computer all day, writing line after line of code. However, a career in CIS looks far different from that image. Earning a degree in CIS gives students the opportunity to combine people skills and technology know-how to positively impact organizations. Add to that a healthy job market, 100 percent job placement and higher-than-average starting salaries, and a career in CIS starts to look very attractive.

“CIS is being able to solve business problems through the use of information technology,” says Collins Professor of Computer Information Systems Lori Leonard. “CIS professionals ask, ‘What is the problem and how can we solve that problem through the use of information technology?’”

CIS professionals are the bridge between the technologies deployed by companies and the non-CIS employees in the organization. As Assistant Professor of CIS Sal Aurigemma explains, “A CIS professional will look at business needs and current processes and work with the organization to use technology to solve problems or improve processes.”

TU’s CIS program, established in 1982, is one of the earliest to be offered in the U.S. Its goal is to train students to make organizations run more efficiently through the use of technology by exposing them to a cross-disciplinary foundation comprising marketing, management, finance, CIS and accounting courses.

Students gain knowledge in a wide range of topics, including business application development, database systems, telecommunications protocols and infrastructure, information security, systems analysis and design, and project management. Courses in focused areas such as healthcare informatics and cyber security also are offered.

The CIS program is a good fit for someone who likes to solve problems, enjoys technology and is interested in learning more about it. Prospective students also need to have strong interpersonal skills.

“Prospective and new students can sometimes be intimidated by CIS because they think it involves too much programming,” says Aurigemma. “However, CIS is a very business-focused degree with a technical foundation. We stress having an understanding of programming because you will be working with developers and should fundamentally understand the technologies you will be working with, but you do not have to be an expert programmer to succeed in CIS.”