The Fall 2013 semester is here!
Here's a great video explaining why you should be in our classes. You may recognize some of the people in the video. And here's an article explaining why you should be in our classes. Together, they explain why our diploma and degree programs are full this year.
But you can be here next year. Applications will open on November 1.
Do you want to know what makes a successful student? The Okanagan College Registrar wrote this column, which suggests eight characteristics of a successful student.
Applications were up for the 2013-14 year, just starting, as they are for many institutions, and we are first-come, first-served. To tell you about the programs and to make sure you know what you are getting into, we offer some required orientation sessions. Their dates will be announced later in the fall.
To review the presentation we use at the orientation sessions (after you attended the session or before you speak with someone in the department), look at the Orientation presentation - PDF.
The market for graduates
Looking for a career with plenty of potential? How about Information Technology, or specifically these degrees? Here are some of the latest pleas for graduates in Information Technology.
The market for students before you complete your program
Both our diploma and degree offer capstone courses, courses in you, working as part of a team, complete a project for members of the community. These courses are developed during the final year of your program, and the call for project proposals is now available.
How to be a successful student
The Registrar's column (mentioned above) offers pointers on how to be a successful student. Here are some videos that offer you many hints on how to study. College is not the same as high school, and these videos provide useful advice.
What can you take in the Computer Science department at Okanagan College?
Where can you complete the CIS diploma or BCIS degree? And how are the CIS diploma and the BCIS degree related?
To answer the second question first, the CIS diploma is the first two years of the BCIS degree. If you need to return to the workforce quickly, complete the CIS diploma and then come back at a later time (either full-time or part-time) to complete the BCIS degree. If you have time before you rejoin the workforce, start directly in the BCIS degree.
To answer the first question, you complete the CIS diploma in Kelowna; some courses are only offered there. COSC 111, COSC 121, CMNS 112, CMNS 122, and BUAD 123 (all acceptable towards the diploma) are available outside Kelowna; the rest of the diploma is only available in Kelowna.
The BCIS degree, on the other hand is more flexible. The courses listed above are available outside Kelowna, along with MATH 112 and MATH 122 and others which you could use as electives. Thus, it is possible to take 10 courses that count towards the BCIS degree outside Kelowna. Unfortunately, many of the advanced and more-technical courses in the BCIS degree are not available outside Kelowna. Thus you must transfer to Kelowna to complete your BCIS degree.
When you then transfer to Kelowna, you will have part of your first year completed and part of your second year completed. In the first two semesters in Kelowna you'll complete your first and second years. Then you take full third and fourth years to complete your BCIS degree.
Why do people study computer science and other areas of information technology?
We build the tools that other people use to do their jobs.
There are jobs in information technology. Here are some recent reports showing strong demand in IT.
How about this - do you know what is the top career in 2012? It's software engineer!
And what's in demand for 2013?
And the demand is not just for those working in IT. Computing skills are necessary everywhere, and are being taught everywhere. Consider these sites:
If you're wondering what courses you'll take in your first year in CIS or BCIS, click the link to the appropriate program on your left. The information is there.
A diversion - are you interested in the history of computing?
Do you want to study computing as a subject on its own, or do you want to study it as a tool to use in some other subject?
You can do both at Okanagan College!
The CIS diploma and BCIS degree give you a strong foundation in computing which you can supplement with study in other areas, or you can study other areas and supplement them with computing. It's up to you.
Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?
Here are a couple of areas where computers are very useful, areas you may not have expected. First, hurricane forecasting, and second, plate tectonics. While interesting, both of these probably need more of a scientific background than our CIS and BCIS grads have. So, consider the university studies courses, particularly the Associate of Science degree we offer and continue your studies at a university.
Here is an interesting slideshow, showing some of the hottest degrees and diplomas. And here's an article describing a different perspective on what's hot and what's not. Hot! Look how many of these areas are offered at Okanagan College!
Positive reports on employment in IT.
"If you can code, you can get work". That quotation comes from this article.
Here's an article from ITWorld Canada that lists the top ten Information Technology skills and careers. And here's an article from ComputerWorld that lists the 11 top skills for 2011. See how many of them are applicable to many different industries! Many of them are still in demand and will continue that way for quite some time. Here's a different article that identifies the fields that pay the most to graduates. Most are engineering, but two relate to software.
Here's a great 2009 article from The New York Times pointing out how computing is used more and more in other areas of study. I love the picture of the nerdy little kid with the Van De Graff generator. It's even better than the picture of the nerdy adult the kid became.
Here's an article that reports that Smokey the Bear is studying computer science. I don't think that's exactly the situation, but it does point out the variety of areas in which computer science is being used. This is an example of what is being called Computational Thinking. This is a newish term and so the explanation is brief. For a longer explanation, look on the web for articles by Wing and Hemmendinger, among many others.
Here are the hot skills as reported by ComputerWorld Canada. The most frequently requested skill sets (SQL, Oracle, Java, .NET, and UNIX) are all part of our curriculum!
There are very few women taking advantage of the opportunities studying computing provides.
Why is that? Here's a study that offers some insights. Basically, women don't like being in an environment that proclaims its geekiness.
Do you want a good description of computer science? The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill describing the computing industry as "a transforming industry that drives technology innovation and bolsters economic productivity." This is a subject that is useful for itself and in conjunction with many other fields as well.
Still wondering why you should study computer science (the theory) and computer information systems (the practice)?
What careers are available if you do? Most importantly, are there jobs available once you have a CIS diploma or BCIS degree?
Yes, there are jobs!
This article speaks of 5.8 million new jobs worldwide by 2013. Where are these new employees? Many of them will be in groups currently under-represented in IT. Georgia Tech is one institution which is trying hard to attract such groups.
The Communications of the ACM (May 2009) reports that "Computer science graduates on average earn 13% more than the average college graduate. ... Future job prospects for computer science graduates are higher than for any other science or engineering field."That prediction continues to be true as the economy picks up again.
There are many, many opportunities available for people in information technology. And more and more will become available. Here's a recent InfoWorld article that describes the opportunities available in a time of recession. Surprise! Tech is a safe career choice today.
Not only are there jobs, but people are returning to Computer Science classes. Here is an article that shows US enrolments are up between 6 and 8%. This is reflected in the increase in applications for the CIS and BCIS programs we offer. If you are thinking of applying, start here (soon).
This article suggests that the financial difficulties may be good for computer science graduates.
This ITWorld Canada article reports on a need for those with new skills (Web 2.0 and .Net, for example) and those with older skills (like COBOL.) ITWorld Canada.
Here's a report which states the demand for people in many areas of information technology is expected to be strong for at least the next decade.There are many opportunities for graduates in computing. This article (from ITBusiness.ca) claims there are 8000 graduates a year to fill the 89000 vacancies which will appear over the next three to five years. And this article (from The New York Times) talks about the lack of women to fill those jobs. Computer Science is the only science in which the interest of women is declining!
Here is another article, this time from the Globe and Mail (in 2007), relating to women in computing, particularly the differences between the ways men and women view technology, IT can only improve when both sexes are involved
Consider this article, from Cornell University.
With a quotation like,
“There is a tremendous hiring boom occurring,” said Ken Birman, computer science professor at Cornell. “The problem is that the students haven't understood that yet. The growth and job opportunities are as strong as it was in the dot-com period. The students haven't yet figured out what is going to happen next.”how could you not read the article? Computer majors down to bits.
Look at the careers in demand, as identified by Yahoo!.
Here is an article speaking to the decline of the number of women in computing. In many ways, women present different skills than men and the decline in the number of women will make it more difficult to produce the software customers want.
Now that you know there are many reasons to study computing, please use the menu on the left to learn about the Computer Science department at Okanagan College, the opportunities we offer, and how we can prepare you for your career in computing.
If you can't find what you are seeking, you can always send email to the chair of the department.
Last updated: 2013 09 13