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Computer Sciences

We Prepare Computing Leaders of the Future

C of O Computer Science logo
The College of the Ozrks Computer Sciences department prepaes students for a successful computing career in programming, website design, systems analysis, and so much more. Explore our computer science degrees can do for you.

Academic Programs

The Computer Sciences department offers two degrees:

1. Computer Science (CS)
2. Computer Information Science (CIS)

Academically, students pursue a rigorous course of study that includes an in-depth core of mathematics and computer courses. Both computer science degree programs are designed to supply the theoretical as well as real-world practical skills necessary to meet the diverse and ever-changing challenges of a computer-oriented society.

 

Below is an explanation of the differences between CS and CIS majors.

What is Computer Science?

This is a common question for perspective Computer Sciences majors. Computer science is focused on the study of programming and the creation of software solutions. With a strong understanding of problem-solving and mathematics, students majoring in computer science might follow a career path that results in the design and development of a software system:

Computer Science IS:

  • Problem solving. Computers are built and programmed to solve many types of problems, from scientific to business applications. This is why you must take courses in mathematics -- to develop your problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Analyzing and designing new and improved systems, including everything from operating systems to business systems.
  • The study of how things work inside the computer as in the study of computer architectures and assembly languages.
  • Data communications and networks from an engineering point of view, including the design and building of the World Wide Web.
  • The study of artificial intelligence in order to make computers smarter and to go places we humans cannot go, as in robotics.
  • The study of how computers have impacted society in the past and will most likely do so in the future.

If all this sounds pretty exciting, the Computer Science IS for you.  

  • Troubleshooting and fixing computers.
  • Building PCs and networks.
  • Running a help desk,.
  • Just programming -- it is much more.

If these things are what you want to do, then Computer Science is NOT for you.

 

What is Computer Information Science?

Computer information science is focused on manageing and determining how a software system will benefit those using it. CIS tasks involve setting up and providing technical support after having determined how the system works. Those wanting to major in CIS are more interested in the relationship between an organization and the data produced by the system, rather than creating the system itself.

Computer Information Science IS:

  • First and foremost problem solving for strategic business systems. This is why you must take courses in business -- to develop your problem solving and critical thinking skills with an understanding of business issues.
  • Much more than just programming, although programming is a large part of it. You cannot work with technology and business clients unless you understand both worlds.
  • The study of how computers have impacted society in the past and will most likely do so in the future.

If all this sounds pretty exciting, then computer information science is for you.

  • Trouble shooting and fixing computers.
  • Building PCs and networks, although they are frequently involved in the planning of them.
  • Running a help desk, although they are frequently involved in the planning of the software to do so.
  • Just programming -- it is much more.

If this is what you want to do, then Computer Information Science is NOT for you.

Typical CIS jobs would include:

  • Systems Analysts
  • Programmer Analysts
  • Business Systems Analysts
  • Website Designers
  • Database Administrators

Students with a degree in Computer Information Science graduate with an understanding of and the ability to leverage technology for competitive advantage in a global economy. Typical jobs would include Systems Analysts, Programmer Analysts, Business Systems Analysts, Web Site Designer, Database Administrator, etc.

If all this sounds pretty exciting, the Computer Information Science IS for you.

Faculty

Mrs. Cheri Kembell 
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
ckembell@cofo.edu

Mr. Caleb Berkstresser
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
cberkstresser@cofo.edu
 

Departmental Activities and News

Computer science major presenting comprehensive senior project

The Computer Sciences department featured twelve seniors during the May, 2017 Senior Project poster board session. Thirty industry professional evaluators judged the projects and provided seniors the opportunity to present their projects to professionals within their field.

Careers

 

It is always surprising to find out that prospective students think a career in computing involves sitting in front of a computer eight to ten hours a day. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are many creative, fun, and interesting jobs and careers in computing fields. Click on the links below to discover the many different types of jobs and careers available with a degree in CS or CIS; you’ll be surprised!

There are far more job openings than candidates to fill them in both CS and CIS. In fact, US News MONEY has an excellent list of the most "in demand" job titles for 2015 at http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/rankings/best-technology-jobs

You can also find information about career possibilities at the ACM Career Resource Center, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many other sites. Or feel free to stop by the offices of Cheri Kembell or Caleb Berkstresser in the Plaster Business building. Either of these professors will be happy to discuss career opportunities in this exciting field.


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