Exploring CIS

Many students are unsure of what CIS is. If you don’t know, don’t worry because you are not alone. A business’ function can be boiled down to three areas; buy, make and sell. You bring raw materials in, produce finished goods and sell them (hopefully for a profit). Within the business there are distinct job functions that support these areas: Accountants manage the costs and cash flow, Finance provides the ability to purchase raw materials and extend credit to customers, Marketing sells the products and Management leads us to our goals. The process of buy, make and sell has not changed much over the past 200 years, but what has changed is our use of technology. Today we integrate technology into every facet of business. In order to make sure that the technology is meeting the requirements/goals of the business, we need people with both a technology background (to understand how it works) and a business background (to understand how to use it). This is CIS, a marriage of business and technology.

The next common misconception is that CIS is IT (Information Technology) or CS (Computer Science). CIS differs from both of these in that neither IT nor CS teach business skills. In IT they will typically focus on the technology infrastructure and will not know how to align it with the goals of business. In CS they focus on developing technology and algorithms. An easy way to remember this is that CS builds it, IT runs it and CIS manages it within the business.

If you have an interest in computers or technology, a CIS major might be right for you. Please feel free to explore the sublinks for more information.