What is the difference between your CIS 111 and CIS 270 courses?

That is a very good question.

Of course, both courses are related to "databases", but databases are a very large area of IT (Information Technology). They are also one of the best IT specializations since most every company of any size has one and most require support by IT professionals.

CIS 111 provides a very in-depth study of SQL, the language that is used to retrieve data from a database, as well as change (modify) the data, delete the data, and insert the data. Some SQL statements can be very simple, while others can be very complicated depending on the type of interaction one is seeking with the database. Example: a manager comes to a database developer and says: "Paul, we need a new management report that we can run each week that will list all employees (their name, address, phone number, salary, and title) who work in Michigan, Ohio, or California, make between $30,000 and $55,000 per year, have worked for the company for more than 3 years and have not missed more than 5 days of work per year". The database developer would easily be able to create this report in SQL and make it available on a computer software system as this is an easy SQL statement. When management clicked a button to run the report, the database would be displayed within seconds. This class teaches this, as well as how to connect to a remote database, how to create data entry forms for users, and how to create well-designed (normalized) tables (tables are where the data is stored). This class uses Microsoft SQL Server as its software which is one of the most commonly used databases in medium and large organizations (small organizations might use a pre-built product or a very simple database like Microsoft Access).

CIS 270 is a database course that uses the Oracle Database Management System. Oracle is designed to be used in mostly the largest of organizations because of its scalability. This course will be offered next in a manner that assumes one already knows SQL (CIS 111). CIS 111 is taught more towards an IT database "developer" where CIS 270 will be taught towards an IT "database administrator". A database administrator (DBA) is one some way a higher level IT professional who is responsible for installing, configuring, tuning the performance, back and recovery, and security of a database. Since a large database (say for an automotive company, Google or eBay) may contain millions or billions of records with thousands or millions of users connecting to it all day every day from around the world, a DBA's job may require significant skills (as does a developers). Other DBAs maintain much smaller databases, which makes things much simpler. This course will discuss this and teach the skills to do it.

Both courses can be used to "help" prepare one to take certifications from Microsoft or Oracle (OCA, OCP, OCM) which are valued by industry. Downloads of both are available, but both also have learning curves that make taking courses in them highly desirable.


In terms of the job market, I might suggest one go to Dice.com - the leading IT job search web site - go to the Detroit section and section for Oracle jobs in the last 30 days. This link is the result (198 jobs on 12/5/2008) (SQL is also highly in demand):


The following are several external web pages with more information:

What is a database developer: http://www.schoolsintheusa.com/careerprofiles_details.cfm?carid=466
What is an Oracle DBA: http://www.cse.psu.edu/~groenvel/dba.html