CIS Careers

IT Careers

A CIS Student dancing with a toy dolphin.

The demand for computer professionals continues to expand to meet new technology implementation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth and pay that is well above average for a variety of computer-related careers

A commitment to hands-on education

To prepare students for their future roles requires special attention. All CS/CIS majors completed senior projects where they work in teams to complete actual IT projects for area organizations. The next step for students is to complete a software development internship where they spend time working for outside organizations.

From Fortune 500 to scrappy startups

Our graduates have found positions across the state and nation. Some are business entrepreneurs and own their own companies. Others work for well-known companies including 3M, the Mayo Clinic, and Best Buy. Our graduates also work for fast growing small and mid-sized companies which lead the industry through their use of cutting edge technology. Are you interested in more details on what our graduates are doing?

Unlike a Nursing or Elementary Education major, CS/CIS majors have a wide range of career options ahead of them. In our ever changing field, it is difficult to categorize the different careers, but here is our attempt to describe some of the different careers our graduates pursue:


Programmer

Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the detailed instructions, called programs, that computers must follow to perform their functions. They also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. Programmers working in applications or system development analyze users' needs and design, create, and modify general computer applications software or systems.

Many technical innovations in programming-advanced computing technologies and sophisticated new languages and programming tools-have redefined the role of a programmer and elevated much of the programming work done today. Job titles and descriptions may vary, depending on the organization. For instance, Programmers are commonly referred to as Computer Software Engineers.

St. Scholastica offers a bachelor's degree in Computer Science/Info Systems. Many of our students become programmer. Bachelor's degrees are commonly required. Most employers are also interested in programming knowledge and experience. Computer programmers are able to get certified in languages such as C++ or Java.


System Analyst

System analysts solve computer problems and enable computer technology to meet individual needs of an organization. They help an organization realize the maximum benefit from its investment in equipment, personnel, and business processes. This process may include planning and developing new computer systems or devising ways to apply existing systems' resources to additional operations. System analysts may design new systems, including both hardware and software, or add a new software application to harness more of the computer's power. Some systems analysts also are referred to as systems developers or systems architects.

A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for most employers. Relevant work experience also is very important. For more technically complex jobs, persons with graduate degrees are preferred.


Business Analyst

Business analysts perform many of same tasks as system analysts. The major difference between the two is business analysts work more with the business side of the organization where system analysts work more with the technical side. Education and income are similar.


Database Administrator

Database administrators work with database management systems software and determine ways to organize and store data. They determine user requirements, set up computer databases, and test and coordinate changes. It is the responsibility of an organization's database administrator to ensure performance, understand the platform the database runs on, and add new users. Because they also may design and implement system security, database administrators often plan and coordinate security measures. Data integrity, backup, and keeping databases secure have become an increasingly important aspect of the job with the volume of sensitive data generated by companies today.

Many employers seek applicants who have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems, or management information systems (MIS). MIS programs usually are part of the business school or college. These programs differ considerably from computer science programs, emphasizing business and management-oriented coursework and business computing courses. At St. Scholastica, having a management concentration with your CIS degree will give you the business and computer science skills needed for this job.


Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists provide technical assistance, support, and advice to customers and other users. This group includes technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. These troubleshooters interpret problems and provide technical support for hardware, software, and systems. They answer phone calls, analyze problems using automated diagnostic programs, and resolve recurrent difficulties. Support specialists may work either within a company that uses computer systems or directly for a computer hardware or software vendor. Increasingly, these specialists work for help-desk or support services firms, where they provide computer support on a contract basis to clients.

Due to the wide range of skills required, there are multitudes of ways workers can become a computer support specialist or a systems administrator. A bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems is a prerequisite for most jobs; however, some jobs only require a computer-related associate degree.

Median annual earnings of computer support specialists were $36,460 in 2000. The middle 50 percent earned between $27,680 and $48,440. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,260 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $63,480.


IT Consultant

Computer consultants may work independently or for a consulting firm. Their work consists of doing a combination of various computer skills for other businesses. Examples of work include designing and creating applications, data entry, and installing networks for other companies.

A bachelor's degree is required for this line of work. Consulting is a popular career choice for St. Scholastica graduates. Income varies greatly by employer and assignments.