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Emphasis Areas

All students pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems may select an emphasis area as a specialization to their CIS Degree.

The Department of Computer Information Systems offers the following areas of emphasis:

Cyber Security

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (BS-CIS) with a Cyber Security emphasis prepares students for a variety of IT managerial and technical cyber security and cyber defense positions. Students will gain working knowledge in a multitude of areas such as identifying cyber threats, cyber-exploits, network and server side attacks, defensive IT countermeasures, wireless network security, cryptography, password cracking, web exploitation, cyber terrorism, and various aspects of identifying threat vulnerabilities, IT security risk management, disaster recovery planning, cyber law, information assurance (IA), and more.

Cyber security emphasis students will acquire the core cyber security knowledge that is required for key technical and managerial IT security positions. Students will develop the foundational skills needed to be successful in their chosen cyber security career path.

This emphasis is an excellent selection for students who want to obtain cyber security positions such as:

  • Cyber Security Officer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Cyber Security Engineer
  • Cyber Security Architect
  • Cyber Security Specialist
  • Cyber Security Consultant
  • Cryptographer and Cryptanalyst
  • Vulnerability Analyst / Penetration Tester
  • Computer / Data Forensic Analyst
  • Cyber Security Operations Specialist

Students can use this interactive tool to view sample career pathways and average salaries for common cyber security and cyber defense positions.

IT Industry Demand for Cyber Security Professionals

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the world’s leading researcher in the global cyber economy, 3.5 million cyber security jobs will be unfilled by 2021. This shocking statistics represents a 350% growth in open cyber security positions from 2013-2021. Currently, there are over half a million cyber security job openings in the U.S. alone.

The lack of cyber security professionals and this extraordinary demand makes the Cyber Security Emphasis an incredible educational and career opportunity for any CIS student. Our students graduate with the necessary cyber security knowledge, skills, and qualifications needed to fill these open positions and build successful careers in IT and cyber security.

Course Requirements

Students pursuing this emphasis area must complete 18 credits in their area of emphasis during their last two years in the CIS Program:

Course # Course Title Credits
CIS 401 Network Systems Administration 3
CIS 460 Cyber Security & Defense 3
CIS 461 IT Security Risk Management 3
CIS 462 Computer Forensics 3
Additional Upper Division CIS Electives 6
TOTAL 18

Note: It is highly recommended that students complete CIS 289 (Networking Concepts) before enrolling into these upper division cyber security emphasis courses.

Data Analytics

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems (BS-CIS) with a Data Analytics emphasis prepares students across all industries to leverage the power of big data to identify and solve problems and improve decision-making.

Students will be on the leading edge of this growing field after completing the program. They will learn a variety of data analytic techniques such as Excel decision making models, data analytics programming with Python, SQL database management, data visualization with tools such as Tableau, and more advanced technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and deep learning. Students will gain the necessary data analytical skills needed to guide critical business decisions in their chosen career path.

This emphasis is an excellent selection for students who want to obtain data science positions such as:

  • Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Data Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Operations Analyst
  • Machine Learning Engineer

IT Industry Demand for Data Science Professionals

The rising demand for data science professionals offers tremendous job opportunities for graduates in the data science field. Data science positions were among the 50 best jobs in America for 2020 according to Glassdoor. For example, Data Scientist ranked #3 with an average salary of $107,801 and Data Engineer ranked #6 with an average salary of $107,310. Data science and analytics field is considered to be one of the fastest-growing occupations throughout the next decade. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 11.5 million new data science jobs by 2026.

Course Requirements

Students pursuing this emphasis area must complete 18-19 credits in their area of emphasis during their last two years in the CIS Program:

Course # Course Title Credits
CIS 410 Data Analytics with Python 3
CIS 450 Advanced Data Analytics 3
Choose two of the following:
CIS 359 Advanced Programming with C# 3
MATH 345 Algorithms and Data Structures 4
EN 513 Artificial Intelligence 3
Additional Required Electives:
Upper Division CIS Electives 6
TOTAL 18-19

Software Development

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with a Software Development emphasis prepares students for a variety of programming and software development positions.

Students will learn foundational and advanced programming concepts in areas such as object-oriented programming, scripting languages, Android and iOS development, web application development, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more. Through the curriculum, students are able to gain theoretical and practical knowledge and skills to build high-quality software products in their chosen career path.

This emphasis is an excellent selection for students who want to obtain software development positions such as:

  • Software Engineer / Programmer
  • Mobile Application Developer
  • Web Programmer
  • Automotive Software Engineer
  • Data Scientist / Data Analyst

IT Industry Demand for Software Development Professionals

The importance of software development is very clear as technology is becoming more and more important in our everyday lives. According to Data USA, approximately 4.4 million workers are working as a software engineer, and this number is increasing as demands are drastically growing in the area of artificial intelligence, mobile application (Android and iOS) development, autonomous vehicle development, block chain technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The job perspectives are incredible. For example, our graduates have received job offers from top companies including Amazon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Hewlett Packard to name a few. The median salary for software engineers in the U.S. is in the six-figure range, and as of 2020, a median salary for a software engineer in Colorado Springs is around $93,000 with excellent benefit packages. A software engineering career has so many advantages. Here is a summary of them below:

  1. Median pay for software engineers is in the six-figure range
  2. There is an incredible job outlook for software engineering careers
  3. The field is incredibly broad
  4. Many companies offer very flexible work schedules

Course Requirements

Students pursuing this emphasis area must complete 18 credits in their area of emphasis during their last two years in the CIS Program:

Course # Course Title Credits
CIS 356 iOS Application Development 3
    or CIS 386 Android Application Development
CIS 359 Advanced Programming with C# 3
CIS 411 Internet Server-Side Programming 3
CIS 410 Data Analytics with Python 3
    or CIS 450 Advanced Data Analytics
Additional Upper Division CIS Electives 6
TOTAL 18
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Computer Information Systems

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