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Computer Science - General

  • Overview
  • Careers
  • New Freshmen
  • New Transfer
  • Illinois State Students

Computer science is a wide-ranging discipline that can prepare students to work in variety of exciting disciplines, including graphics, artificial intelligence, software development, and systems programming. Computer scientists design and implement software; they come up with entirely new ways to use computers; and they find more efficient and effective ways to solve computing problems. Our program focuses on a blend of strong theoretical foundations with plenty of hands-on experience, enabling graduates to work in a variety of companies or continue on to graduate school.

Why Study Computer Science - General?

Software continues to become more and more important in the modern world. The General Computer Science sequence prepares students to solve modern computing problems by providing a strong background in theory, design, hardware, and systems along with significant software development experience in multiple language on multiple operating systems. Graduates work in a variety of companies in a variety of industries, including software development companies. They are also well-prepared to continue their education in graduate programs in computer science and related fields.

Related Majors

Related Skills

  • Works well in an environment of constant change
  • Critical thinker
  • Problem solver and logical thinker
  • Analyzes information, makes appropriate decisions, and solves problems
  • Organizes and thinks logically
  • Reasons abstractly, observes keenly, and concentrates intensely
  • Work alone and with others
  • Mathematical knowledge
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Writes and speaks proficiently
  • Possesses computational ability
  • Understands computer language, equipment, and application programs
  • Develop strong interpersonal, communication, and other “soft skills.” Learn to work well on a team.
  • Programming and consulting may go hand-in-hand. Many occupations in these areashave responsibilities that overlap.

Being Successful in the Field

  • Having related experience is critical to most employers that hire computer science majors. Obtain an internship, co-op, or part-time job in a relevant area to increase employability.
  • Obtain vendor specific certifications or networking certifications to gain a competitive edge.
  • Complete informational interviews with current computer science professionals to help establish career goals.

Related Fields

Programming

  • Systems
  • Scientific Applications
  • Business Applications: Intelligence, Warehousing, Information Delivery, Maintenance
  • Project Management

Employers

  • Computer vendors
  • Software and computer companies
  • Any large organization including: Banks, retail chains, manufacturers, universities, and government agencies
  • Management consulting firms
  • Contract and temporary employers
  • Research laboratories

Strategies

  • Gain relevant experience through internships or co-ops.
  • Develop an attention to detail and a flair for creativity.
  • Learn to work well with a team and to meet deadlines.
  • Supplement computer degree with courses in business, science, or engineering.
  • Stay current on programming languages.
  • Earn a master’s degree for upper level positions.
  • Seek the Certified Computing Professional designation by completing a series of exams and experiential requirements.

Systems Development

  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Support
  • Quality Assurance
  • Specialty Systems: Database, Client-Server, Expert

Employers

  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Consulting firms
  • Manufacturers
  • Local, state, and federal government
  • Computer companies
  • Research institutions

Strategies

  • Develop strong interpersonal skills.
  • Learn to communicate effectively with technical and non-technical colleagues.
  • Gain programming experience.
  • Many analysts begintheir careers as programmers.
  • Become an effective problem solver.
  • Take business courses.
  • Earn an M.B.A. degree for advanced positions.
  • Plan to continually educate self on new computer languages and technology.

Internet

  • Programming
  • Software Design
  • Systems Analysis
  • Hardware Production
  • Web Page Design

Employers

  • Network access points
  • Backbone operators
  • Online service providers
  • Internet service providers
  • Computer/equipment vendors
  • Internet-related companies including: Browsers, Search engines, Website design services
  • Large businesses

Strategies

  • Gain experience as a webmaster through part-time jobs, internships, or volunteering to design web pages for student organizations.
  • Learn Web-related programming languages.
  • Take graphic design courses to develop creativity.
  • Learn to communicate and work well with others in a team by participating ingroup projects or student organizations.
  • Earn a master’s degree in computerscience for advanced opportunities in programming, analysis, or hardware/software design.

Network Technology

  • Installation and Maintenance
  • Administration

Employers

Variety of organizations and industries

Strategies

  • Work in university computer labs.
  • Develop good communication skills and an interestin helping others.
  • Gain knowledge in a variety of computer areas including minor programming, software, and hardware.
  • Stay abreast of the latest technology and software.
  • Earn certifications in networking and computer security.

Non-Technical

  • Customer/Product Support
  • Technical Writing
  • Sales and Marketing

Employers

  • Software/hardware manufacturers
  • Retail stores
  • Software vendors

Strategies

  • Develop excellent communication skills and an interest in helping customers solve problems.
  • Work in university computer labs.
  • Supplement curriculum withtechnical writing courses to develop skills.
  • Seek related work experiences.

Consulting

  • System Installation
  • System Implementation
  • Training

Employers

  • Consulting firms
  • Self-employed

Strategies

  • Obtain a strong technical knowledge of computers, a background in business management, and experience as a systems analyst.
  • Learn various programming languages and operating systems.
  • Develop exceptional analytical and interpersonal skills.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Instructional Technology

Employers

  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

  • Certification required for public school teaching.
  • Earn a doctoral degree incomputer science for post-secondary teaching.
  • Earn a graduate degree in informationtechnology or a related field for instructional technology.
  • Develop a research specialty for university teaching. Gain experience working with other students through tutoring or positions in computer labs.

Other Professions

  • Computer Programmer
  • Data manager
  • Programming Analyst
  • Software Development Specialist
  • Software Engineer
  • Technical Writer
  • Web developer

Career Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Megan Kayfish  110 Student Services Building  meturne@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-0735 

Internship Coordinator

Name Office Email Phone
Tal Parmenter  Old Union 302A  taparma@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-3718 

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for freshman students for the fall semester is September 1-November 15. Applying early is encouraged, as the University must limit enrollment due to space at the University and in specific majors/programs. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Applying to Illinois State

Illinois State's preferred filing period for fall transfer students is September 1-January 15. For the spring semester, the preferred filing period is from April 1-August 1. You are encouraged to apply early in the preferred filing period for best consideration for admission into competitive majors. Visit the Office of Admissions to apply today!

Minimum GPA

2.30

Middle 50% GPA

2.56 - 3.40

Required Courses

None

Recommended Courses

  • IT 168, Structured Problem Solving Using The Computer (preferably in Java) (IAI CS 911)
  • IT 179, Introduction to Data Structures (preferably in Java) (IAI CS 912)

Without IT 168 in Java or both IT 168 and 179 (Introduction to Data Structures) in any language, it is impossible to complete the program in 4 semesters even with an associate's degree.

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Laurie Helms  Old Union 302C  ljhelms1@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5186 

Middle 50% GPA

2.56 - 3.40

Plan of Study

This information is based on requirements for the academic year(s) indicated. Students should consult the catalog year they were admitted under for their academic requirements.

Application Period

Always available.

Application Information

Current students can use the Apply to Your Program tool on My.IllinoisState.edu.

Academic Advising

Name Office Email Phone
Laurie Helms  Old Union 302C  ljhelms1@ilstu.edu  (309) 438-5186 
2016-08-03T11:23:40.188-05:00 2016
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