Computer Science (Why does the technology work?)

Computer science grew out of the mathematics and electrical engineering disciplines. It involves the design and development of all types of software from operating systems and phone applications to interactive games and other forms of interactive technology. A CS major must have a strong background in mathematics and creative problem solving. Basically, CS majors study what makes computers work and how they process data. The strength of CS graduates lie in the ability to solve problems of efficiency and overall performance of applications from a machine perspective, and an overall technical orientation to problem-solving. Below are just a few of the many topics a CS major can expect to study:

  • Computer programming
  • Computer Graphics
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer algorithms: analysis and design
  • Computer Organization and Architecture
  • Data Structures
  • Data Base System Concepts
  • Operating systems
  • Software Engineering

The computer science major focuses heavily on the study of programming (such as Java), data structures and operating systems. As a result, many CS graduates pursue careers in programming and software development. Other job titles may include:

  • Systems Analyst
  • Programming Engineer
  • Database Administrator (DBA)
  • Project Manager
  • Network Administrator

How to Choose Between CS and IS

  • Computer Science. If you’re going into a computer science degree, you need to expect to study advanced mathematics, up to calculus 2 and 3. You will gain a deeper understanding of programming languages, and be able to critically analyze problems, and develop effective long term solutions. You will learn not just how to write code, but understand why code works the way it does.
  • Information Systems. IS offers a more broad, “big picture” perspective of the coding world, going less in depth than a computer science program would. There is more emphasis on how computer systems can help an organization in doing their business, and this degree program may be intended for someone equally as interested in business and project management as they are in writing code.

 

IS (information systems)

CS (computer science)

Focus

Business and computing

Software Development

Objective

More efficient or effective business

Reliable computer program

Core Skill

Business creative thinking, Problem Solving

Logic/Procedures, Engineering critical thinking.

Core Task

Determine business requirements for information systems

Deliver information systems to meet defined requirements

Theoretical vs. applied

Balanced

Applied

 Generic Job title

Analyst/Designer

Developer/ Software Engineer

Typical starting job title

Business Systems analyst

Application Programmer

Career goals

Senior IT Organizational Manager

Senior Software Development Manager

College / School

Business or Science

Science