Woodbury Business School Launches New Computer Information Systems Program, Starting Fall 2021

Woodbury University will offer a new Computer Information Systems (CIS) program (BS degree) under its School of Business, launching in the Fall 2021 semester. The program will be chaired by Nathan Garrett, who earned his PhD in Information Systems in Technology from Claremont Graduate University.  Dr. Garrett has been with Woodbury for over 14 years, and serves as  Professor of Information Technology at the university.

Enthusiastic about the CIS program, Dr. Garrett shared his insights about its relevancy and the career opportunities for CIS graduates.

Why is Woodbury offering the CIS program now?

Dr. Garrett:  The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that nearly half a million new computing jobs will be created between 2014 and 2024. These are some of the highest paying positions right out of college and turn into lucrative careers. These jobs require candidates to have solid computing skills, as well as the ability to apply these skills in a business context.

What type of jobs does the CIS program prepare students to pursue?

Dr. Garrett: The CIS degree is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) classified program designed to help students create and deploy the latest cutting-edge information systems in business and prepare them for a wide range of careers, such as:

  • Chief Information Officer
  • Application Programmer
  • Game or Web Developer
  • Network Administrator
  • Database Manager
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Business Analyst
Can you be more specific about what students will learn in the program?

Dr. Garrett: The CIS degree follows a full-stack model, teaching everything from server management to the impact of IT on business strategy.  Among the skills students will learn include:

  • Programming custom software and apps
  • Managing technology infrastructure
  • Analyzing and visualizing data
  • Communicating the business value of IT systems
Woodbury has two other computer-related degrees, including Computer Science in Data Analytics (CSDA) and Applied Computer Media Arts (ACMA). Can you explain the difference between the degrees?

Dr. Garrett: The three programs have a lot in common. They share upper-division courses, but each of the programs will fit a different set of interests.

  • The Computer Information Science program is designed for students who want a practical and hands-on study of computing. They will learn to develop and implement the latest innovative systems in business. This degree is designed for people who have little or no background in IT, but are ready and eager to learn.
  • The Applied Computer Science Media Arts program is for students who are interested in art and media. It’s an art and technology hybrid degree focused on emerging digital practices by working with interactive environments, experiential design, and human inter-action. It uses computer science as a tool to innovate within fields of design, entertainment, and media arts.
  • The Computer Science Data Analytics program is for those who are more interested in mathematics, or for those more focused on developing algorithms than on deploying them in business. CSDA students combine computer science, statistics, and project management with in-depth knowledge of a specific discipline to become expert analysts.
Who would excel in a CIS program?

Dr. Garrett:  With technology always evolving, the CIS program is for students who are eager to  continually learn and keep up with the latest innovations in IT.  If you like to solve puzzles, get excited by new challenges, can be detail-oriented, and are interested in making things happen, you’d likely enjoy and do well as a CIS major.

What would CIS students be studying?

Dr. Garrett:  We have four core outcomes in the program:

  • Programming –  We have a sequence of courses that will teach you how to create your own programs. This includes introduction to Python, web design, games, artificial intelligence, and graphical user interfaces.
  • Infrastructure –  Making an impact requires knowing how your software performs in the real world.  To grasp this this knowledge, you’ll learn Linux, networking, and security.
  • Data Analysis –  Working with data is a key skill for new hires.  You’ll learn to create databases, work with big data, and visualization information for presenting it to decision-makers.
  • Business –Technology is a critical business tool.  We will have you take core business courses, including fundamentals, ethics, marketing, and accounting, to learn the ‘language of business.’
Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Dr. Garrett:  It’s important to note that Woodbury’s School of Business holds both AACSB and ACBSP accreditations. AACSB accreditation is granted to less than 5% of all business programs worldwide. Many employers look more favorably at candidates who attended business schools that hold these acclaimed accreditations.

I’d also like to share my excitement about launching the CIS program this Fall, and welcome you to reach out to me directly with any questions regarding the program at [email protected].  For more on all of Woodbury’s Computer Science programs, please visit our Computing at Woodbury page.


Last Updated on February 23, 2021. 

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