The Computer Information Systems major is offered within the Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics Department within the College of Business. Learn more about this major by watching the JMU CIS promotional video.



Admission and Progression Standards

Visit the Computer Information Systems site to learn more about the admission and progression standards of this major.

Description of Major

Computer Information Systems is offered as a major through the Computer Information Systems and Business Analytics Program. This program prepares business students for careers as information systems professionals. The program of study focuses on the development and management of information systems in a business environment. Students develop the technical skills and organizational insights required to analyze, design, implement, and administer information systems. The CIS curriculum includes hands-on projects, case analysis, and business simulations to build strong technical and analytical skills, effective oral and written communication skills and the ability to work independently and in team-oriented environments. The Bachelor's degree program in Computer Information Systems is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

More About the Field 

The CIS degree from JMU provides an excellent balance of business and technology – critical skills today in a world where U.S. technical skills are under-represented and in demand. Computer and information systems managers play a vital role in the technological direction of their organizations. They do everything from constructing the business plan to overseeing network security to directing Internet operations. Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct research and facilitate the computer-related activities of firms. They help determine both technical and business goals in consultation with top management and make detailed plans for the accomplishment of these goals. For example, working with their staff, they may develop the overall concepts and requirements of a new product or service, or may identify how an organization's computing abilities can effectively aid project management.

Computer and information systems managers direct the work of systems analysts, computer programmers, support specialists, and other computer-related workers. These managers plan and coordinate activities such as installation and upgrading of hardware and software, programming and systems design, development of computer networks, and implementation of Internet and intranet sites. They are increasingly involved with the upkeep, maintenance, and security of networks. They analyze the computer and information needs of their organizations from an operational and strategic perspective and determine immediate and long-range personnel and equipment requirements. They assign and review the work of their subordinates and stay abreast of the latest technology to ensure the organization does not lag behind competitors.


Today's entry-level information systems professional face an environment that is more exciting than ever before. Technology has connected people in ways that were previously unimagined, raising the possibilities to a new level. The new CIS professional is a people person and a team player who can "talk technology" in order to develop meaningful business solutions.

In CIS, students will learn the business skills necessary to impact the financial and strategic dimensions of information systems. They can apply their information technology knowledge to energize a related area such as global business services, financial modeling and web marketing.

Students in the CIS program can take exciting elective courses in:

  • Business Intelligence
  • Business Process Management
  • Computer Forensics for Business
  • Computer Security Management
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Information Technology Consulting
  • Information Technology Project Management

Complementary Majors and Minors 

There are many possibilities. Some examples might be Economics, Environmental Information Systems, Geographic Sciences, Integrated Science and Technology (ISAT), Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Psychology, Public Policy Administration, Urban and Regional Planning, or Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication (WRTC).

Characteristics of Successful Students

Successful computer information systems students will have the desire to:

  • learn solid analytical and decision-making skills.
  • develop strong communication skills.
  • engage in life-long learning in a rapidly changing field.
  • meet deadlines and solve unexpected problems.
  • develop effective team and leadership skills.


Many graduates choose typical career paths associated with this major. However, some graduates choose unrelated careers that utilize skills and experiences developed during their years in college. Keep in mind, that some fields will require graduate study or further training. The listing below offers examples of possible career paths and is not meant to be comprehensive.

  • Business Analyst
  • Business Application Developer
  • Business Intelligence Specialist
  • Business Technology Assistant
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Computer Forensics Specialist
  • Customer Support Manager
  • Database Analyst
  • Information Security Specialist
  • IT Auditor
  • IT Consultant
  • IT Risk Advisor
  • Management Consultant 
  • Network Manager
  • Product Developer
  • Project Manager
  • Security Analyst
  • Security Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Systems Integration Consultant
  • Technical Sales Manager
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Telecommunications Analyst
  • Web Developer

Who Employs Graduates?

Our graduates go to work for global services firms, IT consulting firms, public accounting firms, defense industry firms, hospitals, management consulting firms, federal and state government, software companies, telecommunications companies, and web design firms. To see specific employers hiring accounting majors, visit the Explore Careers page of the CIS & BSAN site.

Internships and Experiential Opportunities 

CIS internships are offered through the CIS Program. The program participates in internship programs with over twenty firms. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a summer internship (CIS 361) between their junior and senior years. Students should consider involvement in one of the many student organizations in the College of Business. These organizations offer activities such as speakers, visits to companies, and professional workshops.

Students interested should consult with the internship faculty coordinator

Career Profiles 

Computer Electronic Product Manufacturing
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Computer Network Architects
Computer Programmers
Information Security Analysts
Computer Support Specialists
Information Security Analysts
Multimedia Media Artists and Animators
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
Software Developers
Web Developers

Additional Resources to Research Careers
  • Handshake: view new internships and jobs that employers are looking to hire JMU students from your major 
  • Career Outcomes: see where alumni worked or studied right after graduating.
  • GoinGlobal: learn more about employment opportunities overseas as well as H1B visa information for international Dukes pursuing jobs in the U.S.
  • O*NET: browse occupational profiles to learn about thousands of different careers, pulling data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
  • CareerOneStop: explore thousands of different careers by looking at career profiles 
  • Utilize the LinkedIn Alumni tool to see what others have done with their majors and what their career paths look like. Reach out to alumni via LinkedIn and conduct an informational interview.

© University Career Center, James Madison University

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission from the JMU University Career Center. Content for each major has been written/reviewed by faculty in the respective department and is revised each year. Requests to update content can be submitted to career@jmu.edu

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