Fort Smith, Ark., native Maddy Willis discovered a love of technology and coding during high school and came to TU knowing that she wanted to work in a technical role. She started as a computer science major in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences at TU, but wasn’t sure it was the right fit for her.
That’s when Willis learned more about computer information systems, which offered a better fit for her career goals. “CIS looks at what the client wants,” she explains. “You are meeting with the client, gathering requirements and managing projects, whereas computer science looks more at the hard coding and implementation of technology.”
Chapman Professor of Computer Information Systems Akhilesh Bajaj distinguishes the two fields in this way: “Computer science tries to make hardware run faster or develop software that works better than before. For CIS, the goal is not to improve the technology, but to take the technology and improve the business. You’re taking the technology and matching it to the business’s needs.”
Willis says that it takes a very driven person to succeed in CIS. “There is a lot of problem solving and organization — you have to like that aspect of the job. Having that drive plus a love for technology and for working with people is really important.”
For more information about TU’s CIS major, visit utulsa.edu/cis.