What now?

April 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

ISU MAT 120 students —

OK, so it’s getting close to the end of the semester, and you’re busy thinking about how to get everything done. But what happens once the semester is over? Next semester? Next year? Five years from now?

How do you plan to distinguish yourself from this friendly critter? Smiley chimp

As you plan for your future, remember: The path of least resistance leads slowly downhill. Maybe it’s time to dig in, get going, really take advantage of the educational opportunities ISU has to offer. Find some course of study that you care about, that leads to an interesting life, not just a job.

While you’re thinking about this, consider that there are a great many interesting, creative, well-paying opportunities open to people who have significant IT knowledge and skill, simply because IT is becoming more and more embedded in every field. Want to be a detective? Learn as much as you can about IT. Want to be a health care professional? Learn as much as you can about IT. Maybe you hope to be an entrepreneur? Most start-ups these days center on IT. … You get my point.

There are many IT-related jobs open in the US because employers cannot find qualified applicants. Estimates are that only about half of the IT professional jobs in the US can be filled by US college graduates as things currently stand. These are not just pud jobs. Salaries, perks, and benefits are often very good. Some offer flex time, work-from-wherever opportunities, and a strong future path. Most involve working in teams to create new things, or to maintain and improve existing things, so IT folks are not stuck in some dark basement, coding away.

Why not check it out?

But, you ask, what specifically can you do about all this? Some possible answers:

1) Take some IT courses that relate to your fields of interest. Fit them in somewhere. JUST DO IT.

2) Add an IT-related minor to your existing major. Several are available at ISU.

3) Try out an IT-related major. Or jump right in, and declare one. (You can always change your mind later.)
Your successful completion of MAT 120 is a good first step. MAT 120 can be counted toward all but one of the six IT majors offered at ISU.

Here are some beginning IT courses to consider:

School of Information Technology:

IT 189.03 PYTHON FOR BEGINNERS (1 credit hour); first offered, Fall ‘12).
Introduction to programming and computer problems solving using the
Python language. Teaches programming concepts using pictures, videos, and
sounds. [ Note: This class tends to fill up quickly. If it’s full, try contacting the School adviser to get on a waiting list.]

IT 168: STRUCTURED PROBLEM-SOLVING USING THE COMPUTER
Designing carefully structured sets of instructions for a computer to follow in order to reach a desired outcome. (Designed for future Computer Science majors. MAT 120 does not satisfy the requirements for the Computer Science major.)

IT 177: PROBLEM-SOLVING FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Introduction in how to get a computer to meet the needs of users by creating step-by-step instructions for the computer to follow. (Designed for future Information Systems majors, and Telecommunications majors. MAT 120 can be used toward these majors.)

Technology Department:

TEC 151: INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTER SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY
Basic methods, software (including simple programming), and equipment used in computer applications for imaging, graphics, and communications.

College of Business:

ACC 255: ELECTRONIC BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
ACC 260: COMPUTER PROGRAMMING FOR BUSINESS
ACC 261: BUSINESS SYSTEMS ANALYSIS

Although the above courses are labeled as Accounting courses, they are actually courses in creating and managing business information systems, and should be thought of as courses for College of Business students seeking a good background in business IT.

Mathematics:

MAT 160: ELEMENTARY DISCRETE MATHEMATICS
Mathematical ideas used in all types of computer operations, such as basic logic, and construction of correct step-by-step procedures for producing desired results.

——————-

IT-RELATED MAJORS (MINORS) at ISU

School of Information Technology offers:
Computer Science
Information Systems, in several flavors, such as Security, Web Application Development, Systems Analyst
Network and Telecommunication Management

Department of Technology offers:
Computer Systems Technology

College of Business (via the Accounting deparment) offers:
Accounting Information Systems (a version of the Accounting major)
Business Information Systems (a distinct major, not a version of the Accounting major)

MAT 120 counts toward all of these majors except Computer Science, so you are already on your way, if you complete MAT 120 successfully.

———

Yes, there is a quiz available for this post. By the way, if none of this interests you in the least, sorry to bore you.

Questions? Contact me,

Kenton Machina

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