I have been in the Informatics program at IUPUI since the beginning of 2008. I feel that so far, it has been an overall positive experience. However, if I were to offer advice to someone considering Informatics as a major, it would be this: Do not rely on the Informatics courses to give you the skills that you will need to land a job.
Lacking applicable skills
If you are trying to become a developer of some flavor, the courses offered by the School of Informatics will not adequately prepare you, unless you want to do Flash/ActionScript. For someone who wants to work with a real man’s language, like PHP, Ruby, Java, or C, walk down Michigan Street and get a certificate or minor from the School of Computer Science. Even better, save some time, money, and sweat and make CS your cognate area.
I have found that as a result of the School’s lacking technical instruction, it has become necessary for me to learn job skills on my own. When I was an intern at Mobi Wireless earlier this year, I was dropped into the deep end with Ruby on Rails. I went in knowing nothing about Rails and came out with a working knowledge of the framework. Much of that knowledge and experience came from independent work while on the job.
I think that there are a lot of smart, passionate, creative, and talented people in the School of Informatics, especially at IUPUI. I have had many opportunities to work with them and learn from them. I do not blame them for the screwy curriculum. This is a new area of study and a new school. It will take some time to work out the kinks.