CAPP creates marketable students
Associate News Editor
Upon graduation, many Arts & Letters students find themselves desperately looking for a job. Although these students may have earned a quality liberal education, many companies turn to business students when hiring recent graduates.
However, students pursuing an Arts & Letters education (and even a few business majors) don't have to be left out in the cold thanks to the many benefits of the University's Computer Applications second major.
Widely referred to as CAPP, the program aims to prepare students for the business world.
"Businesses hire more of our kind of students than techies because we know how to deal with data and how to change it to help management make decisions," said CAPP advisor Louis Berzai.
"We have a strong program to help the students prepare for the future. It is to help the students have a better understanding of the field of Information Systems."
Begun in the late 1970s by a few professors hoping to give Arts & Letters students computer research experience, the program has grown significantly in the ensuing years.
When Berzai joined the program in 1984, there were only four or five professors and a few dozen students enrolled.
Today, the program's several hundred students depend on the strengths of at least 17 professors, including Berzai who teaches several classes a semester.
"I love working with the CAPP students. I think we have some of the brightest students on campus in the program. I also like to teach. I managed data centers for 20 to 25 years. I enjoy doing this better," Berzai said.
The CAPP program puts students through a rigorous list of requirements, including four applications courses, two programming language courses, one statistics course and one ethics course.
Students can also apply internship and teaching assistant experience towards the major.
Students said the wide variety of course requirements prepare them for their future in fields such as accounting, urban planning, telecommunications, risk management, and software support.
"CAPP just seemed like an obvious choice for me," said junior CAPP major Carolyn D'Amore.
"I am majoring in history, but with CAPP I can have some job opportunities when I graduate."
According to the program's Website, surveys of graduating seniors "show 89 percent or more of those entering the work force found jobs before graduation, with many receiving multiple offers.
The surveys also report that 98 percent of graduates believed CAPP was crucial to the job offers they received and 79 percent reported higher salaries than other Arts & Letters majors."
Despite the many positive aspects of the CAPP program, Berzai said some adjustments are necessary in order to support the continued growth.
"We have been successful because we have some dedicated people who care about the program," he said, adding that more professors and more money would be a great benefit.
All News Stories for Tuesday, April 24, 2001