I got my engineering degree with DOS. Everyone was issued a Z100 (non msdos!) with an 8088, Fortran and Basic. Some other programs such as CAD, PC-TeX were available. Russ Nelson worked at my college and created Freemacs, the word processor and the spelling checker and many other utilties in use at Clarkson
Some classes gave you a VMS or Unix account. When it was in heavy use at the end of the semester , it was faster to edit in DOS and upload than to scroll down the file in VMS. The DOS FORTRAN didn't have the extensions or libraries. Sometimes its math wasn't as accurate.
After I got a 286 and had gotten a Unix account (w/ Usenet access), I started trying to learn Unix things. Turbo C, GNUish utilities, Freemacs, Elvis and shell clones helped me. Minix was almost as helpful.
A 486 w/ 8mb lead to Linux replacing DOS and work as a Unix sysadmin. The DOS intro to C, awk, vi, lex, yacc (via "The Unix Programming Environment" was extremely helpful. Linux at home helped me continue learning. It could single task better than my Sparcstation 1+ running SunOS.
The 8088, 80286 and 486 systems probably cost ~ $5k each back in the day where a Unix workstation was ~ $20k if you could get one.