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Applied Learning/Real-World Conditions

Our Computer Information Systems curriculum includes core courses that provide a broad, yet coherent, approach to the entire systems development life cycle (SDLC), starting with systems analysis and moving through the natural migration into systems design, systems development and finally, systems implementation.  In the final two semesters, virtual student-teams apply what they have learned by completing a real-world CIS project for a company or other organization.  Also, students may earn work experience by replacing an elective with an internship (course CIS 419) or by completing a non-credit co-op experience.


Once the number of credits earned equates to junior class standing, students are eligible to apply for a computing internship.  Most CIS internships have been paid positions, averaging 16-20 hours a week in a CIS-related position, while at the same time, counting as three college credits toward a CIS-related elective.

In addition to internships helping to prepare students for immediate employment upon graduation, it is very favorably looked upon by employers – some of which have now made it a hiring requirement. 

Our internship center can help you decide what internships might be right for you. 

Career Opportunities

There were 3,255 jobs on the NACELink Network in PA that included the keywords “systems analyst” or “information systems”. A search with the same keywords but nationwide comes up with 76,208 jobs.

CIS is one of the few academic disciplines today that can prepare graduates to meet the challenges posed by the widespread outsourcing and off shoring of technical work.  The demand for professionals equipped with the leadership, project management and interpersonal skills found in most computing programs is skyrocketing. Proof of this is found in the average salaries that professionals in CIS earn:

  • ·Database Administrators: $77,080
  • ·Network and Computer Systems Administrators:  $72,560
  • ·Information Security Analysts: $86,170
  • ·Computer Systems Analysts: $79,680
  • ·Computer and Information Systems Managers: $120,950

(Source: U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015).

At the national level, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies some CIS fields in the top-ranking areas for national growth:

  • Information Security Analysts is identified as one of the highest-growing occupations in the nation, with a projected increase from 75,000 positions to 102,500 positions by 2022! 
  • Application/software developers projects a 22.8% increase in the number of positions in the nation, with an average expected salary of $90,060.

In the most recent report of the Cal U Office of Career and Professional Development, all of the Computer Information Systems respondents were employed (100%).

100 percent employment


There are currently over 120 companies, in the Pittsburgh tristate area alone, that hire Cal U’s CIS graduates.  Some of these include:



BNY Mellon







First Energy

PPG Industries

Ernst & Young



Both the FBI and CIA

FedEx Ground

Adelphoi Village

Consol Energy

California University of Pennsylvania

Education Management Corporation

Computer Engineering Technology (CET) vs. Computer Information Systems (CIS) vs. Computer Science (CS) vs. Information Technology (IT)

CET majors apply modern hardware and software technologies in the deign and implementation of devises and systems CET focuses on integrating principles from
computer science, electrical engineering and
mathematics in the creations of “smart” devices.
CIS majors specialize in integrating information technology solutions and processes to meet the needs of an organization CIS focuses on determining the requirements,
analysis, design, and implementation for an
organizations information systems.
CS majors have an understanding of the inner-workings of the technology used to develop computer-based solutions. CS focuses on the theoretical and algorithmic
function of computers such as designing software
and developing ways to solve computer problems.
IT majors emphasize the technology itself more than the information it conveys.  They specialize ensure systems are secure, upgraded, maintained and replaced. IT focuses on selecting and maintaining the hardware
and software products for an organization.

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