Whether you are interested in working for a large technology organization or a small local business, the integration of technology into every aspect of our world ensures that your possibilities are endless. Industrial demand for graduates with degrees from CIS is at an all-time high, with graduates working in such sectors as:
- Infrastructure Systems
- Manufacturing Systems
- Space Exploration
- Homeland Security
- Food Supply Systems
Software embedded in the transportation sector includes software that controls power,
efficiency, safety, stabilization, collision-avoidance, and navigation systems of
our cars, planes, and trains. “Drive by wire” and “fly by wire” software systems
enhance the abilities of the operator to avoid unsafe situations. For example, while
software in brake and safety systems has been commonplace in cars for two decades,
today it is possible for software in cars to sense collision possibilities in visually
impaired situations and apply brakes. It is also now possible for roadways (which
may be icy) to communicate to car software systems to slow vehicles when the operator
is unable to sense such unsafe conditions.
In medicine, software controls Intensive Care Unit (ICU) devices to administer life-saving
medications. It also controls the modern day pacemaker and the emerging technology
of implanted medical devices that control blood sugar in diabetics. Software implements
virtual imaging diagnostic and treatment systems that enable physicians to diagnose
and treat diseased tissue inside the body. Control of artificial limbs also resides
in software. When you go to the doctor, do you have confidence that your records
are private to just you and those health workers that need access? Safety and security
of personal information is enforced through software systems. Software makes these
records mobile so that you can take them with you and/or move them securely through
our health care system as you see specialists and undergo treatment.
What role does software play when you capture a video, take a picture, or play a
game on your cell phone? First, all phone systems today use software to implement
both “wired” and “wireless” communications, from land-line phones to land-based
cell phones to video phones to satellite phones to walkie-talkies. Your MP3 player
is totally driven by software. The fun and challenge of games that you can play
on your phone is driven by artificial intelligence software resident in your phone
and the wireless network that interconnects the phones of all players.
In the employment arena, telecommuting and global collaboration in development of
new products is enabled by software. These computer-supported collaboration systems
(voice, video, shared whiteboard, shared documents, and shared applications) use
software to support global cooperation in the development and distribution of new
products. This levels the playing field so individuals can come together as individual
producers and collaboratively compete with large corporations. It also supports
the “home tele-commuter” to work at home (while possibly caring for family members)
and participate in their chosen profession.
If you are interested in education as a profession, you can create vivid and compelling
educational experiences for your students (in your classroom and across the globe)
through software simulations. Today, lectures are the standard method of educational
delivery. Some have put these courses on the “web” to be accessible to a larger
audience. Exercises and tutorials that take the student through “hands-on” educational
experiences can also be implemented through software.. Just like video games, educational
games are now being created that enable a variety of different learning styles.
No other profession in the world has a bigger impact on future generations, and
software empowers you as an educational professional.
In the entertainment business, software is “in charge.” Your iPod playing your MP3-based
songs is controlled by software. Software enables animation of movies. It makes
still images “come alive” as it moves them through millions of individual movements
so fast that the human eye perceives motion instead of individual images. Its power
is seen in computer and console video games where it creates virtual environments
where humans actually feel like they are part of the simulated environment.
Software is also the control system of U.S. critical infrastructure systems. It
controls the phone system, the electric grid, gas and oil storage and delivery systems,
and transportation systems. Finally, it controls the information infrastructure
- such things as the Internet, information services, and digital libraries – that
enable knowledge workers to achieve efficiency and effectiveness. This is the principal
technology that has enabled the U.S. economy to continue to grow.
How can manufacturing systems be so efficient and yet high quality? Software controls
the robots that manipulate the movement of manufacturing objects (say cars), assembles
them (car frames being welded and bolted together), and schedules their delivery
The impact of software on marketing through interactive and tailored websites is
just now “hitting its stride.” Graphics artists can create marketing that is tailored
not only to the individual but also to the current location of the individual. For
example, as you are walking down “restaurant row” in San Francisco, your cell phone
can automatically access your food preference profile and direct you (through the
use of GPS and a restaurant database) to restaurants that may be of interest to
you. Furthermore, you can access menus and customer reviews at the same time.
Space exploration has been the beneficiary of software control for more than four
decades. Early flights used computers to control rocket flight. In modern day, space
exploration software controls flight (take-off, navigation, and landing), unmanned
exploration on planet surfaces, interplanetary communication, and the Hubble telescope.
For example, remotely controlled robotic exploration systems like the Mars Polar
lander are controlled through software.
Many of the functions of Homeland Security rely on software to collect, analyze,
and model data that predicts terrorist attacks. Software implements much of the
visual, physical, and data surveillance operations that seek to identify threats
against the U.S. Smart weapons find their targets from hundreds and thousands of
miles away - under the control software that senses the weapons’ positions through
radar and GPS - and navigate their way through the virtual environment to find the
target. Military personnel interact with (software enabled) virtual environments
(much like video games) to help commanders and soldiers simulate their battle plans
Throughout our food supply systems, computer software enables automation in planting,
fertilization, insect- and weed-protection, harvesting, processing, and transportation
of plant food products. It further monitors the safety of our plant and animal food
supply chain through networks of chemical and biological sensors.