College of Arts and Sciences
Doane’s Computer Science program provides students with the technical and theoretical competency to prepare them to enter the industry in software development or information technology-related areas. What distinguishes Doane graduates from their peers graduating from other schools are the essential non-technical competencies cultivated through the active-learning emphasis and liberal-arts focus of Doane. These competencies, along with technical competencies, are developed through immersive experiences both inside and outside the classroom. These make graduates of the Doane Computer Science program highly sought after by employers and graduate schools.
The competencies, developed with guidance from our alumni advisory group of industry professionals, are captured in five outcomes. The Computer Science (CS) program creates an environment that challenges students as they develop confidence and competencies as:
- Independent learners
Doane University's CS program affords each student multiple opportunities to develop a foundation of technology-related knowledge and hands-on competencies with current tools. In addition, three important topics—ethics, cybersecurity, and career opportunities—are intentionally woven into the fabric of every course. Together, the competencies, knowledge and threads prepare students not only for a next step professionally or academically, but are also of immense value throughout a career.
Unique Experiences in the Computer Science Curriculum
The Doane Computer Science program is very flexible, allowing students to tailor their experience to their interests and talents. There are two majors, Computer Science and Information Systems, and two focus areas, software development and information technology. Students can pursue either focus area which are in high demand in the industry. In addition, there are several minors students can pursue through the Computer Science program.
All majors are required to complete a minor or second major. Some of the programs commonly combined with Computer Science include engineering, math, and physics.
Doane Computer Science majors also complete a technology-related community service project. This is typically completed during the sophomore year as part of a larger experience that also explores career opportunities. Projects vary depending on identified needs, but recent projects have involved helping middle school students learn programming.
In addition, Doane Computer Science majors have the option of entering a mentoring relationship with an alumni with a career in the Computer Science field. In addition to communicating several times each academic year, there are opportunities each year to spend time together to discuss technology and careers.
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The Doane Difference
Flexibility & Options
The Information Science and Technology Department offers two majors, Computer Science and Information Systems. Each involve the same four core courses and the same two focus areas (software development and information technology). Students can explore both majors before choosing one and can pursue either focus area from both majors. There are several minors that can be pursued.
Technical and Essential Non-Technical Competencies
The Information Systems program is designed to immerse the student in experiences which will allow them to gain competencies that are both technical and non-technical, but mutually essential to be successful in the industry.
Active and Experiential Learning
Our classes are not “sage-on-the-stage” lecture classes where the professor talks, students listen, and all of the hands-on practice of learning takes place outside of class. Our students are expected to be active participants in their learning during class time. You should also expect to engage as developing professionals through a community service project, internship, and capstone project—required as part of the majors—along with research opportunities in machine learning, parallel processing and virtual reality.
Faculty and Alumni Mentoring
Faculty offices are extensions of the classroom. Students are expected to visit faculty during office hours when they have difficulties with course material, questions about what classes they should take, or to discuss a career after Doane. In addition, students can engage with an alumni mentor providing a unique development opportunity.
All CS/IST majors maintain a portfolio of their work. The portfolio is developmental by design allowing each student to reflect on their own progress and plan for their development.
Doane faculty are here to teach undergraduate students, and are excellent at it. Doane CS/IST faculty use a nationally-adopted course evaluation form. When rated against other professions across the nation in the same subject area, we consistently land in the top 25% or top 10% of information systems professors nationwide.
A student earning a Computer Science degree enjoys an extremely robust job market, with occupations projected to grow 13 percent over the next 8 years, faster than the average. Doane graduates have enjoyed a competitive advantage securing jobs at some well-known businesses including: Don’t Panic Labs, Boys Town, Fiserv, Foundation for Educational Services, Hudl, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, the Minnesota Vikings, Nelnet, Sandhills Publishing, Scooters, the State of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska, and Doane University.
2017 Median Pay: $103,560
Job Outlook: 24% over the next 10 years
Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.
2017 Median Pay: $67,990
Job Outlook: 15% over the next 10 years
Web developers design and create websites. They are responsible for the look of the site. They are also responsible for the site’s technical aspects, such as its performance and capacity, which are measures of a website’s speed and how much traffic the site can handle. In addition, web developers may create content for the site.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
2017 Median Pay: $81,100
Job Outlook: 6% over the next 10 years
Computer networks are critical parts of almost every organization. Network and computer systems administrators are responsible for the day-to-day operation of these networks.
Computer Support Specialists
2017 Median Pay: $52,810
Job Outlook: 11% over the next 10 years
Computer support specialists provide help and advice to computer users and organizations. These specialists either support computer networks or they provide technical assistance directly to computer users.
Information Security Analysts
2017 Median Pay: $95,510
Job Outlook: 28% over the next 10 years
Information security analysts plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their responsibilities are continually expanding as the number of cyberattacks increases.
Doane Computer Science majors complete an internship as part of their course of study, so each graduate has at least one semester of on-the-job experience by the time they graduate. Doane students have had internships at a wide variety of organizations, including Crete Carrier, CS3 Marketing, Firespring, Kidwell / IBM, Lockheed Martin, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Nelnet, Sandhills Publishing, the University of Georgia Bioinformatics Department, and many more. Doane’s network of computer science alumni provides a rich opportunity for our students to earn valuable career experience through internships.
Doane Academic Competition Team: Programming
Project SERVE & Noyce Scholars
Exceptional Student Curriculum (ESC)
The purpose of the Exceptional Student Curriculum (ESC) is to provide undergraduate students majoring in Computer Science unique curricular offerings to complement their Doane liberal arts education. In order to be successful taking these offerings, students must have demonstrated sustained academic excellence, be self-motivated, and have strong independent learning skills.
Courses available each semester to students as part of the ESC come from undergraduate courses designed jointly by a student and an CS faculty member and offered as a Doane directed study with content from external partners including Microsoft Professional Program in the Cloud AdminCSration, IT Support, and Artificial Intelligence tracks, and EdX partners in computer-related areas. Paths to Masters degrees and professional certifications are available.
Computer Science w/ Honors
Students who have academically excelled have the option of entering the Computer Science with Honors program. Students apply for the program typically in their sophomore year and must be unanimously approved by the Computer Science program faculty. Once approved, in addition to completing additional courses, the student will complete a significant undergraduate research project working with a faculty member. The undergraduate research is often completed during the summer, and if part of Doane’s larger summer research program, has stipends associated with it.
Three-Year Graduation Program
Students who have earned significant number of college credits through AP or dual-enrollment programs may be eligible for the three-year graduation program in Computer Science. These students, in conjunction with an advisor in the Computer Science department, create an academically-intensive three-year schedule, allowing them to complete the four-year degree in three years.
Every Doane Computer Science graduate will have at least one major independent project, developed as part of their senior capstone course. In addition, there are opportunities to engage in undergraduate research projects, while working one-on-one with Doane faculty members. Current research areas of interest include machine learning (neural networks and genetic algorithms), virtual reality applications developed in Doane’s VR lab, computer vision as applied to the natural sciences, and high-performance computing utilizing Doane’s very own supercomputer, Onyx. Many of these capstone and research projects have led to conference publications and presentations by Doane students.