About the Computer and Information Technology Major

Just what is a major in Computer and Information Technology? CIT is a cutting edge program rooted and grounded in courses that are both highly theoretical while also extremely applied in nature. Students are constantly exposed to the latest technology and trends in class making them immediately employable upon graduation. A major in Computer and Information Technology provides graduates with the necessary tools and skills to succeed in today's global, technology-driven world. Graduates are able to specialize in one of four areas:

  • computer application development
  • web application development
  • computer forensics
  • game development

CIT graduates' skills are highly marketable and graduates are prepared for careers in literally any of today's industries that use IT. The integrated nature of the educational experience enables graduates to combine their IT skills with the intellectual flexibility needed to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. They are also effective communicators able to interact with clients, coworkers and managers.

IST Faculty work to help students develop:

  • communication, critical thinking and team skills through collaborative learning
  • real-life employable skills through hands-on experience
  • provide students access to emerging technologies

Even so, CIT is not Computer Science. While CIT has strong roots in CS and the study of computers in general, there are important distinctions between the two disciplines, from professional and curricular perspectives.

Professional Aspect: Computer science students typically are motivated by the computer itself and how it works through an engineering perspective. In other words, computer scientists are interested in how the computer works under the hood. Information technologists, on the other hand, are intrigued by using the computer to solve problems. Information technologists identify needs for technology, which the computer scientists and engineers create. Information Technologists would then help people to use the CS professionals' creations effectively. CIT does not focus on a single domain, but instead focuses on the selection, integration and deployment of computers and technology throughout society in the areas of computer application development, web application development, computer forensics, and game development. CS focuses on producing graduate/PhD students or software engineers.

Curricular Aspect: Computer science curriculums have a stronger emphasis on programming and hardware than in the Computer and Information Technology curriculum. CIT students obviously need to be able to build software applications and systems, but the typical CIT project will involve building software from existing components with high-level languages such as Visual Basic .NET, C++, or C# and applying an accessible interface, rather than engineering large applications from scratch, focusing on software engineering principles, data structures and algorithm development issues.

Another significant difference in the disciplines is that a computer curriculum is seen as being deeper in the sense that intermediate and advanced courses require more prerequisites. CIT courses typically have a flatter prerequisite structure, which allows non-technical majors to take CIT courses to add to their learning, tool set, and even lead to a minor. A major in Computer and Information Technology provides a solid grounding in the information technology field and allows students to select and complete an area of emphasis in computer application development, computer forensics, web application development, or game development.

Continue to explore areas of emphasis within CIT.

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Integrated Science & Technology • One John Marshall Drive • Morrow Library 116 • Huntington, WV 25755
isat@marshall.edu • (304) 696-6498