READY FOR LIFE AFTER CIS?
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!
Jason T. Black, CIS
September 22, 2004
Professional Development Forum
OUTLINE OF TALK
Introduction
What IS Computer Science Really?
How do I Prepare for CIS Careers?
What Jobs are Out There For Me?
What do the Salaries Look Like?
Does FAMU’s CIS REALLY Prepare Me?
Conclusion / Questions
INTRODUCTION – Who Am I?
I am “one of you”
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Major – CIS Business option
Internships (Life Gets Better)
Clubs / organizations / “College Life”
Graduated 1991
Masters
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Georgia Tech (Software Engineering, 1992)
Ph.D.
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Florida State University (Ed. Tech., Dec, 04)
Both M.S. and Ph.D. were in Computer Science
Departments
SO, WHAT IS COMPUTER
SCIENCE?
Start with what it is NOT:
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Not “Study of computers”
Little significance with Computers
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Not “Programming”
Has programming at core, but majority of time
not spent on programming
Programming taught at Community College
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Not “use and application of computers and
software”
These are tools used by computer scientists
SO, WHAT IS COMPUTER
SCIENCE?
So, What IS it?
Definition (freedictionary.com):
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Branch of engineering sciences that
studies (with the aid of computers)
computable processes and structures
Study of algorithms, including:
Formal and math properties
Hardware realizations
Linguistic realizations
Applications
DIFFERENCES IN CIS AND CS
CIS (Computer Information Systems)
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Basic core courses same as CS
Exposure to languages
Immediate employment / MBA Program
CIS (Computer Information Sciences)
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Same core courses
Exposure to languages and theory of CS
Graduate School / Research
CIS (Science tract) is more related to
Computer Science
AREAS OF COMPUTER
SCIENCE
Core Areas:
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Algorithms and data structure
Programming languages
Computer architecture
Operating systems
Additional:
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Software engineering
Database / information management
Artificial Intelligence
Graphics
Network / internet computing
Mobile computing
AREAS OF COMPUTER
SCIENCE (CONT.)
Areas not really CS, but CLOSE!
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Computer Information Systems
Educational Technology
Human-Computer Interaction
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Scientific Computing
All Areas Require:
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Problem-solving / reasoning
Creativity
Theory / research
CS CAREERS
Computer Programmers
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Application, system, network
Almost 500,000 in 2002
B.S. degrees almost 50%; M.S. almost 20%
Drawbacks:
Long hours, minimal pay
Limited advancement
Outsourcing
Consultants
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Earnings:
Average: $60,290
50% between $45K and $78K
Minimum Average: $35K
Highest 10%: $95K
CS CAREERS (cont.)
Software Engineers / Systems Analysts
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B.S. degree: almost 80%
Almost 700,000 employed in 2002
~400,000 applications; ~300,000 systems
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Found in corporate, academic and research arenas
Almost 21,000 were consultants
At least B.S. with experience with systems
Increased focus on Computer Security
Often requires advanced degrees and experience
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IEEE certification (training)
Requires STRONG problem-solving and analytical skills,
communication
Entry-level: testing; experience controls advancement
Earnings:
Average: $70K
Middle 50%: $55K - $88K
Entry: $44K
Highest: $110K
CS CAREERS (cont.)
Information Management Specialists
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Database administrators, Information research specialists,
systems support
Employment in 2002:
DB: 110,000
Research specialists: 23,000
Systems Support: 192,000
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Increasing employment with Internet providers
Requires B.S. in CS, IS, MIS, or CIS
Increased interest in M.S. in BA (Business Admin.)
Webmasters: associates degree or certification
Research: Ph.D.
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Earnings:
Average: $62K
Middle 50%: $49K - $78K
Entry: $39K
Highest: $93K
Federal Govt: $68K
State Govt: 45K
With Grad Degree: $69K to $101K
CS CAREERS
Hardware Engineers
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Computer engineers, system engineers, electrical engineers
~40% work in computer/electronic manufacturing
~25% work in professional, scientific and technical firms
~75,000 jobs in 2002
Competition overseas
Earnings:
Average: $72K
Middle 50%: $56K to $91K
Entry: $45K
Highest: $115K
Semiconductors: $76K
Equipment manufacturing: $75K
Systems design: $74K
With Grad Degree: $65K
CS CAREERS
Hot Emerging Areas:
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Computer Security
Mobile Computing / Wireless Programming
Graphics
Artificial Intelligence
Consulting (???)
MEDIAN SALARY COMPARISON
By State (B.S. in CS):
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California - $80K
New York - $60K
Texas
- $63.5K
Florida
- $56K
Michigan - $59K
Virginia - $65.5K
By City (B.S. in CS)
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New York - $75.5K
Seattle
- $70K
San Fran - $80K
San Jose - $98K
Chicago - $70K
Dallas
- $74.2K
Washington - $75K
HOW DO YOU PREPARE
(while at FAMU)?
Talk to counselors, teachers
Examine course catalog / Plan WELL!
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Department curriculum
Critical thinking courses
Internships
Balance “training” with “good education”
Technical Skills
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Oracle, C++, Java, Visual Basic, UNIX, Windows
Non-Technical Skills
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Professionalism, etiquette, oral/written skills,
clubs/activities
Make contacts with professionals
Keep abreast of new technologies
Interview, Interview, Interview!!!
Words of Warning
Things that can affect employment:
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Economy is cyclical
Growth in some areas of minimal
Outsourcing
Government
Focuses in technology
Ways to be ready for down trends
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Best credentials
Prepare for worst-case scenario
HOW TO GET A JOB
(After FAMU)
Things to consider BEFORE interviewing:
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Self-Assessment
Match YOUR skills with the career of your choice
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Set your CAREER goals
Once you have an offer:
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Weigh Salary .vs. Cost-Of-Living
Examine environment / locale
Opportunities for advancement
Number of minorities
Select company that satisfies all of the above
WORDS OF WARNING (cont.)
Other issues:
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Still lack of qualified computer science
graduates
Still too few students going to graduate
school
Students with college degrees best
candidates
Avoid downsizing:
Be BEST-PREPARED
Keep Busy!!
Think in terms of CAREER, not JOB!
Consider Graduate School (Careful!)
SHOULD I GO TO GRADUATE
SCHOOL?
Benefits:
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Increased career choices
Financial
Contribution to the field
Flexibility
Giving back (academia)
But is it right for ME?
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Cost
Time
Lifestyle change
Background
Availability
Answer: depends on YOU!
SO, DOES FAMU PREPARE YOU
FOR THE NEXT LEVEL?
Industry
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Yes, but depends on YOU!
Number of graduates in workforce
Curriculum consistent with needs of corporate
world
Graduate School
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Again, YES, depending on YOU!
Science tract consistent with most CS programs
Diversity of students in grad programs
Number of M.S. recipients
I AM LIVING PROOF!!! 
QUESTIONS?
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READY FOR LIFE AFTER CIS? WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW!