Through the foundational courses in General Computing -- during your first year -- you'll gain the knowledge and develop the skills to design and develop basic computing solutions, at a pace consistent with your level of previous experience.
Your interest in computers can lead to a great career. Maybe you’ve always been fascinated by computer technology, or maybe you have a newfound interest in the subject. In either case, there are multiple ways that you can pursue a computing degree in the College of Computing and at Michigan Tech, all leading toward robust, well-paid careers.
Today’s computing careers involve scores of areas in virtually all sectors of the global economy. Computer science, software design and development, cybersecurity, networking, information technology (IT), digital electronic systems, robotics and mechatronics, artificial intelligence (AI), data science: these are just a few of the computing professions. Which one is for you?
It's an important decision. Take your time.
Starting out in General Computing gives you a semester (or two) to explore and decide which degree program or discipline sparks your curiosity. It's a starting point to give you some space to choose the computing field that fits you the best.
You'll explore the computing-related majors as you complete these introductory courses, building your confidence and knowledge -- all while staying on track to meet graduation requirements.
Within one or two semesters, you'll be ready to make a well-informed decision about your major, then seamlessly transition into any of the degree programs listed below -- without adding or completing unnecessary credits.
Staying on track with your peers, advisors, and professors.
In cooperation with your academic advisor, you'll join a cohort of first-year General Computing students who'll attend the same sections of foundational first-year courses.
In your Computing classes, you'll be on a team with three to four other students. Your team becomes a study group, research group, and a support network, along with your advisor and professors.
Someone will always be there to help, and periodic check-ins and meetings with your advisor will help you and your team stay on track.
First-year General Computing Courses
There are several first-year computing courses and sequences. You should take the sequence that best matches your individual interests and experience. Open the sliders below to learn about the first-year Computing classes.
CS 1090, Introduction to Computing Principles
For students who know they are interested in computing, but are still open to the full range of possibilities, the recommended first course is CS1090, Introduction to Computing Principles, a foundational course on the path to all the Computing degree programs.
In CS 1090 you'll develop essential computational thinking skills and learn the basics of programming, algorithms, abstraction, data, global impact, and Internet technologies.
CS1090 will also introduce you to programming in Python, a powerful and widely used language that is a natural choice for beginners. CS1090 lays the foundation in computing principles that will be leveraged throughout the computing-related degree programs.
And for students who ultimately decide to pursue a non-computing major, CS1090 can satisfy a General Education requirement.
CS 1121, Introduction to Programming I
Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Software Engineering
For students with an interest in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Software Engineering, the right place to start is CS 1121, Introduction to Programming I, followed by CS1122, Introduction to Programming II. These are the “standard” first-year classes for these three computing majors.
In CS 1121, the high-level object-oriented programming language Java is introduced as a problem-solving tool. Topics include design, coding, documentation, debugging, and testing of computer programs.
CS 1122 topics include data abstraction, class hierarchies and polymorphism, list, stack, queue, and tree data structures, complexity-based algorithm and data structure choices, and recursion.
CS 1111, Introduction to Programming in C/C++
Electrical Engineering, Electrical Engineering Technology, or Mechatronics
For students who have more of a hardware inclination AND a little bit of computing and programming experience, the best first course is CS 1111, Introduction to Programming in C/C++. A low-level programming language, C is widely used in systems requiring hardware-software integration.
Still new to computing, but like these majors? No problem. We recommend completion of CS 1090 first to help you “get your feet wet."
MIS 2100, Introduction to Business Programming
Interested in Computing for Business?
Students with an interest in the world of business who are thinking about a Management Information Systems (MIS) major are advised to start with MIS 2100, Introduction to Business Programming.
In MIS 2100 you'll learn problem solving skills for business through the application of a high-level business programming language.
Topics include the nature of the business programming environment, fundamentals of the language, structured programming concepts, desirable programming practices and design, and debugging and testing techniques.
Students who start in General Computing, and then decide that Management Information Systems is right for them, may substitute CS 1090 for MIS 2100, and vice versa for students switching from MIS to other Computing majors. Both MIS 2100 and CS 1090 are approved prerequisites for either CS 1111 or CS 1131.
College of Computing Undergraduate Degree Programs
More Computing-related Degrees
Michigan Tech’s Colleges of Engineering, Sciences and Arts, and Business offer additional Computing-related BS programs.
- Electrical Engineering
- Management Information Systems
- Mathematical Sciences
More Info and Resources
Open the sliders below to learn more about Computing clubs, research, careers, and job outlook.
Explore Computing outside the classroom.
Your opportunities to explore Computing outside the classroom are numerous at Michigan Tech. You might choose to join an Enterprise team or a student club, seek out research opportunities with faculty members, or develop an independent project.
The Enterprise Program finds students of any and all majors working in teams on real projects, with real clients, in an environment that's more like a business than a classroom. With coaching from faculty mentors, Michigan Tech's 24 Enterprise teams invent products, provide services, and pioneer solutions. The teams gain rich experiences in engineering design, team building, project management, and end-to-end original product development. There are two Enterprises mentored by Computer Science faculty. Open the sliders below to learn more.
Husky Game Development Enterprise
Husky Game Development: Michigan Tech’s Interactive Entertainment Enterprise designs and develops games for business, education, and fun.
Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE)
Humane Interface Design Enterprise (HIDE) designs, develops, and evaluates interfaces to make daily work more efficient and easier to manage.
IT Oxygen specializes in Information Technology help for student organizations and businesses. Students from numerous majors work on real projects for real companies that foster skills in development, problem solving, and business.
All Michigan Tech Enterprises
If you are an enterprising undergraduate student, ready to take an active role in your education, then look no further than the Enterprise Program, a unique, hands-on, interdisciplinary approach to client-based teamwork—making it an experience available exclusively at Michigan Tech.
What can I do with a Computing degree?
Whichever degree path you choose, employers in virtually all businesses and industries need engineers and technologists to develop and maintain a variety of computer applications and systems. And Computing career opportunities are on the rise, so you’ll have plenty of options.
Completing an undergraduate degree in Computing also opens doors to graduate studies, master’s options for those interested in industry positions, doctoral paths for those wishing to pursue teaching or research. You may also want to build a business with your Computing skills and pursue a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA).
A Computing degree opens pathways to a huge range of well-paying careers., including software developer, cybersecurity specialist, computer engineer, web developer, information/network security analyst.
Careers span industries from automotive to manufacturing to healthcare and information technology, with jobs available in data science, software engineering, application development and more.
Employment in computer and information technology occupations overall is projected to grow 12 percent and add about 546,200 new jobs from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS predicts that 76% of new STEM jobs will be in computing by 2024 and 58% of all STEM jobs will be in computing.
Michigan Tech Job Placement
Job placement rates for Michigan Tech students are consistently excellent. In 2019, 92% of Computer Science and CNSA graduates landed a job within three months of graduation. In 2017, Money Magazine ranked Michigan Tech #2 among public colleges where graduates make six figures.
Here's more about the Computing degrees, concentrations, and minors.
Computer Science (CS)
Computer Science professionals work toward mastering computer software and computational processes for a variety of applications and users—an endeavor that requires creativity, precision, and sound reasoning. Concentrate your studies on Computer Science, Computer Systems, Application, or Game Development.
----CS Concentration: Computer Science
----CS Concentration: Computer Systems
In a Computer Systems concentration, you'll build the skills and know-how necessary for designing, developing, and maintaining computing systems. Your learning will focus on various computing environments—from operating systems and networking, to administration and security—giving you the adaptability to embrace the change inherent in computing and technology.
----CS Concentration: Application
Computer science has strong ties to many other disciplines, as computers are useful problem-solving tools. Finding solutions often requires both computer science expertise and knowledge of a particular application area. An Application concentration allows you to delve into an application area you choose, such as engineering, business, health care, or humanities.
----CS Concentration: Game Development
Game Development concentration. You'll gain hands-on game development and teamwork experience, learn 3D graphics programming, and practice the skills you'll need to build the next generation of interactive games. A concentration in Game Development can lead to careers in the game industry and related fields, such as software engineering, virtual reality, computing, and visualization.
Computer Network and System Administration (CNSA)
CNSA majors prepare for challenging and exciting careers in computer network design, administration, and security. You'll learn how to build and troubleshoot computer networks and manage enterprise systems effectively and securely.
Tailor your classwork to fit your interests with three technical emphasis areas: Cybersecurity, IT Management, or Network Engineering.
CNSA lab-intensive technical courses teach the design and implementation of advanced technologies through challenging hands-on learning experiences using industry-standard equipment and technology.
With a your CNSA degree, you're ready to design, secure, and manage computer networks in all sectors of the economy, including healthcare, retail, insurance, manufacturing, government, and research. Michigan Tech CNSA graduates are in high demand and command excellent starting salaries.
The demand for cybersecurity experts has never been greater. Every day, hackers and cyber criminals launch new, more sophisticated computer viruses, malware, and scams, threatening the data our society relies on.
Michigan Tech's Cybersecurity majors are developing next-generation cyber skills to confront emerging cyber threats.
- Acquire theoretical knowledge and practical know-how to strategically assess, plan, design, and implement effective cybersecurity defenses
- Learn best practices and techniques for software development, data assets design, and the management and protection of valuable computing infrastructure.
- Develop trusted software systems in an enterprise team environment.
- Understand the social, ethical, legal, and policy aspects of cybersecurity.
The Cybersecurity job outlook is excellent. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) reports that U.S. employers posted an estimated 313,735 job openings in the cybersecurity profession between September 2017 and August 2018, in addition to 715,000-plus cybersecurity workers already employed in the U.S.
Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28 percent through 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
----Cybersecurity Concentration: Software Security
If you enjoy coding and want to develop secure and trusted software systems, this is the concentration for you. In the Software Security concentration, you'll learn to systematically design, develop, deploy, and test trusted software and applications. You'll find and fix common software and application vulnerabilities, preventing attackers from exploiting them.
----Cybersecurity Concentration: System and Network Security
If you prefer hands-on learning and want to secure IT systems and infrastructure, this is the concentration for you. You'll learn to manage and secure computer systems, networks, and IT infrastructure from unauthorized access, attacks, misuse, or damage by implementing security processes, technologies, and best practices.
You'll combine multiple layers of defenses, implement security policies and controls, detect emerging threats before they infiltrate the network, and perform critical functions within a secure enterprise environment.
Electrical Engineering Technology (EET)
Robots are big business, and graduates who understand the concepts of mechatronics, robotics, automation, and controls are valuable employees.
The College of Computing works closely with industrial advisory partners to ensure that the EET curriculum is current and relevant. As part of your BS degree, you’ll earn a FANUC Robotic Automation Industrial Certificate—a huge advantage in your employment search.
EET majors learn the design, drafting, and technical skills that put engineering ideas into action. They master the fundamentals of electronics, industrial robotics, automation, and controls and learn how to maintain, program, and design automated systems, program industrial automated systems—key areas in today’s industry.
- Learn the computing aspects of Programmable Logic Controllers—the industrial computers most commonly used in industrial settings.
- Use brand new Amatrol mechatronics and process control learning stations, gaining essential engineering knowledge and hands-on experience operating industry-grade equipment.
- Operate, program, and troubleshoot the actual industrial FANUC robotic arms used in a range of contemporary industrial applications.
- Pursue actual research with faculty mentors.
Michigan Tech EET graduates are highly-sought candidates for employment in industries including pharmaceutical, food, automotive, manufacturing, and others. EET graduates have become quality control, product, applications, and process engineers. They have landed careers at GM, Tesla, Ford, FANUC, Harley Davidson, Systems Controls, and AT&T, among others.
Do you like mechanics, robotics, or production equipment? Do you have a knack for creative problem solving? Do you enjoy technical and engineering activities? Can you work well as a member of a team? If any or all of the above is true about you, Mechatronics could be a good choice.
At the intersection of mechanics, electronics, and computing, Mechatronics is the science of receiving, processing, and transmitting sensory data for the advanced control of external devices. Mechatronics specialists create simpler, smarter systems. Mechatronics is:
- An essential foundation for the expected growth in automation and manufacturing.
- A multidisciplinary field that combines electrical, computer, and mechanical engineering,
- Refers to the skill sets needed in today's advanced, automated manufacturing industry.
- An industry buzzword synonymous with robotics and electromechanical engineering.
- Robotics, control systems, and electro-mechanical systems also fall under the study of mechatronics.
The College of Computing Software Engineering major builds a solid understanding of foundational computer science principals in the first two years of study. Then, students pursue more focused training specifically for software engineers, emphasizing teamwork and both the practical and technical sides of software. You might choose to design and develop computer games, business applications, operating systems, network control systems, or middleware.
Career opportunities in software engineering are driven by the technologies in a host of application areas, including automobiles, aviation, data management, telecommunications, food production, factory control, robotics, pharmaceuticals, defense, toys, security, biomedical instrumentation, and sound design.
Computer Science: The deeper study of the discipline of computer science encompasses theory, experimentation, and engineering design. This minor explores those topics while nurturing your creativity and strengthening your precision and reasoning abilities.
Cybersecurity: The CNSA program minor in Cybersecurity is open to all Michigan Tech students. This minor deepens the student's understanding of cybersecurity concepts and principles, builds a set of offensive and defensive cybersecurity techniques, and develops professional skills you'll need in the workplace.
Data Acquisition and Industrial Control: You'll enhance your degree and develop data collection and analysis/interpretation skills, learning and experience that is in high demand by employers.