WhitmanWayfinderSTEMThe field of CIS focuses on practical applications of technology, while computer science emphasizes programming and computing. Both fields encompass many subjects such as cyber security, software development, game programming/design, and mathematics. The abilities to think critically, communicate clearly, and analyze data in a coherent way are necessary for student success. A broad range of classes in subjects such as computer science, mathematics, art, philosophy, and geology can lay the groundwork for a career in CIS/CS.

Following an internship with Walla Walla Web Weavers, Zachariah Turner '17, said:

"I gained valuable experience working with on the backend, frontend, and source code for the same website. I also gained experience translating requests from clients into results on their website. I had to solve requests whose phrasing did not imply how to solve the problem. Instead of worrying about what I didn't know or couldn't do, by focusing on what I knew and could do, I was able to contribute meaningfully to the company. I also learned atmosphere is very important."

There are many clubs on campus that will allow you to explore your interests, stretch your skills, and make an impact in an area about which you're passionate. Contact the ASWC Club Director at aswc_clubdir@whitman.edu to learn more about current clubs or start your own.

Computer Science at Whitman (CS@W)
Through meetings, workshops, hackathons, films, and other events, this club promotes coding and computer science in the Whitman community.

Student Technology Advisory Committee (STAC)
Three appointed students make policy recommendations regarding campus technology services and work with WCTS staff.

Community involvement helps students understand a broad range of issues and is becoming increasingly important in the eyes of many employers. For more ways to connect with local organizations, contact the Student Engagement Center in Reid.

Fellowships and grants afford many students the opportunity to continue their learning beyond graduation in high-impact programs. For more information, please contact the Office of Fellowships and Grants in Reid Campus Center.

Goldwater Scholarship
The Goldwater Scholarship Program was created to encourage high motivated students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, or engineering and to foster excellence in those fields. During the scholarship awarding process, the Foundation Board of Trustees will consider the nominee's field of study and career objectives, as well as their potential to thrive and contribute to this area. Each scholarship will cover the eligible expenses for the undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program's (GRFP) purpose is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees in fields within NSF's mission. The Fellowship also grants Fellows a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the institution. Fellows will also receive three years of support, international research, professional development opportunities, and XSEDE Supercomputer access.

DAAD Graduate Study Scholarship
The DAAD Graduate Study Scholarship are granted for one academic year, ten months, with the possibility of a one-year extension for students completing a full degree program in Germany. Each scholar must take place during the German academic year which is October through July. This scholarship also allots each scholar a monthly stipend of approximately €750, which DAAD will cover health insurance and provide a flat rate subsidy for travel costs (US East: €850/ West: €1,075; Canada East: €925/ West: €1,300). Also, limited funds are available for a rent subsidy and family allowance.

DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship
The DAAD Undergraduate Scholarship has made a program to support study abroad in Germany and at German universities for students who have well-defined study, research or internship plans for their stay in Germany. Preference will be given to students whose project or programs are based at and organized by a German university. Scholarships are available either as a part of an organized study abroad program or as part of an individual, student-designed study abroad semester or year. Students should demonstrate an interest in contemporary German and European affairs and explained the significance of their project in Germany and their future studies, research or professional goals. This support is granted for a 4-10 month period in Germany during the German academic year, and the recipients will also receive a monthly stipend of approximately €650, plus additional funds to help defray travel and research expenses as well as health insurance.

To learn more about working on campus, visit the Student Employment page. We have general job search resources here. For employers committed to diversity and opportunities for minorities, visit workplacediversity.com, nemnet.com, and blackcollegian.com.

Applicants for computer science/IT positions often must complete a technical interview during the selection process. To practice interviewing annonymously with engineers from top companies, visit interviewing.io. For more information about computing careers and technical interviews, visit this page by the Anita Borg Institute (ABI).

Coding Practice & Job Boards
The HackerRank online community allows participants to practice, compete and find jobs.  

Other Resources

Internships and on-campus employment are excellent for accumulating work experience, developing your narrative, and broadening your network. Note that the list below is not comprehensive. Check sites such as vault.com and internships.com for more opportunities.

To see what Computer Information Systems internships Whitman students have held in the past, check out the Whitman Internship Database and search "Computer Information Systems" or "Science, Engineering & Technology".

Studying away from campus is a fantastic way to learn more about the world, as well as an excellent experience upon which you'll draw throughout your academic and professional career. For more information, contact Off-Campus Studies in Memorial.

Budapest Semesters in Mathematics (BSM)
Through the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program, students learn mathematics from leading Hungarian scholars in English. Hungary has a long tradition of excellence in mathematics education. The instructors of Budapest Semesters in Mathematics are members of the three institutions in Budapest known for having educated more than half of Hungary's highly acclaimed mathematicians. The school is near the center of historic Budapest, classes are small, living costs are modest, and all courses are taught in English.

University of Otago
Whitman students may enroll directly at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, as visiting students, through an agreement with Whitman college. The University has 19,000 students, offers a broad range of courses, and is particularly appealing to students of biology, geology, and environmental studies because of the unusual geologic features of the South Island and the rare flora and fauna of the area. The city of Dunedin is a "university town" of about 120,000 inhabitants and the University is conveniently located near downtown bookstores, shops, and cafes.

Here are some possible post-graduate degrees pursued by people in computer information systems. Contact Gayle Townsend at townsegv@whitman.edu for additional information.

  • Master's Degee in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
  • Master's Degree in Information Technology
  • Master of Science in Software Development

Alumni in the Field

Log in to LinkedIn or Whitman Connect to learn about Whitman alumni with jobs in computer information systems.

Potential Job Titles

Computer Systems Analyst
Data Coordinator
Database Administrator
Information Research Scientist
Information Technology Manager
MIS Manager
Operations Systems Manager
Network Architect
Project Manager
Software Designer
Software Implementation Consultant
Systems Administrator
Strategic Technologist
Systems Consultant
Systems Developer
Web Developer