Information Systems Degree

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What is Information Systems?

Information systems is the area of study and practice that is responsible for the construction and maintenance of storage for electronic and computer systems. Individuals in this field typically work with or for large clients to develop large and secure databases that allow for the safe storage of sensitive information. Security in this field is very important, as leaks or unwanted access can cause negative repercussions.

The information systems college degree program is a popular college degree program that continues to gain momentum over time.  With heavy demand from employers in the public and private sector, colleges continue to add classroom-based curriculum and online courses in information systems to support this growth.

Degrees in Information Systems

At many colleges and universities, the information systems degree track can be used interchangeable with the following list of alternatives or adjacent programs:

  • Computer Information Systems (CIS)
  • Information Systems (IS)
  • Management Information Systems (MIS)
  • Business Information Systems (BIS)

While each of these degree titles offers a similar core set of classes to information systems, the emphasis bends more towards business applications & enterprise solutions.  Enterprise-wide initiatives have a proclivity for more real-world, higher level business solutions.  As such, an information systems major will work closely with the management team or executive team to address macro issues.  These initiatives cascade to project managers and programming professionals to support these high-level decisions.

Difference Between Computer Information Systems and Computer Science?

Computer science is a technical discipline consuming information management, data  computation, and technical constructs.  A trained computer scientist can will understand the intricacies of various operating systems and the coding requirements of those systems.  In simple terms, a computer science major will ask how a business issue can be solved programmatically versus manually.

A computer information systems major, on the other hand, asks a different set of questions.  CIS professionals determines the technology that needs to be deployed to resolve a business problem or strategic impediment.  The sheer nature of CIS relies upon technology to solve business issues which requires different skills and abilities than computer science majors.

CIS majors will generally be involved in high-level meetings rooted in strategic planning campaigns.  Meanwhile, computer scientists dive deep in programming and data to resolve granular issues.  While both CS and CIS are interrelated, computer information systems and computer science disciplines are quite different from one another.

CIS Education Requirements

Students wishing to study information systems will generally pursue at minimum a bachelor's degree in this or a related degree. Students will be exposed to a large number of topics related to computers, security, hardware and software systems, and how to provide and restrict access for clients.

Advanced knowledge of computers allows for more complex systems, which in turn should better ensure the ability to construct secure systems.  A sample curriculum in CIS may include:

Schools that provide current facilities and curriculum are of a higher quality for potential information systems specialists due to the need to remain ahead of the curve when it comes to system construction and security. Schools that provide practical education should be on the top of the list because they provide an early look into the type of work that must be performed in order to successfully operate in the field.

Information Systems Degrees Online

Online college degrees or distance learning programs are the fastest growing segment in higher educations.  As such, colleges and universities continue to evolve to meet the ever-changing demands of the workplace and keep up with a student’s academic proclivities.  Online learning provides students with flexibility, independence, autonomy, and quality academics that fit well for certain students.

For qualified students, earning a CIS degree online has never been easier to launch.  Below you can quickly get matched to the perfect degree program for you in CIS.  Degree programs range from certificate programs to doctorate degrees in computer information systems.

Each degree type has pros and cons associated with it related to time commitments, resources, and qualifications.  Take the time to digest the requisite standards before applying to a university or college.   Begin your CIS degree search by reading the Complete Guide to the College Admissions Process today to help organize your thoughts and priorities.

Employment for CIS Majors

Large companies maintain internal servers and systems which hold sensitive information. This is true of companies in many areas, regardless of the type of business. As a result the need for professionals to create and maintain secure internal storage systems is high, and increasing.

When considering entering the CIS field, students and working professionals can expect exceptional industry growth over the next decade.  As technology advances, iterations of hardware and software will evolve creating new demands for CIS majors.

The BLS estimates the job growth for information systems professionals will be an astounding 21% through 2024 which is three times the national job growth forecast for all occupations in the United States.  The CIS industry is estimated to add some 118,000 jobs through this same reporting period with heavy growth in cloud computing, cybersecurity, and mobile networks.

What Jobs Can You Get with an Information Systems Degree?

There are a number of different jobs available to information systems college graduates that you may be interested in learning more about.  While the list below is focused on job titles, CIS professionals find themselves in every sector of commerce from non-profit organizations to public hospitals.  Below is a list of jobs you can get with an information systems college degree:

UX Analyst Multimedia Programmer
Systems Analyst Network Engineer
Systems Designer Application Developer
Systems Engineer Project Manager
Application Analyst Management Consultant
Actuarial Analyst Cybersecurity Analyst
Data Analyst Web Designer
Business Analyst Software Engineer
Information Systems Manager Artificial Intelligence
Database Administrator Software Engineer
IT Technical Support ERP Administrator
IT Consultant

Top States for CIS Jobs

  • California       75,750
  • Texas               58,680
  • New York       38,220
  • Illinois            29,390
  • Ohio                27,200

Top Paying CIS Analysts States

  1. New Jersey                   $102,310
  2. California                      $101,440
  3. District of Columbia    $101,240
  4. Virginia                          $98,470
  5. New York                       $98,090

Top Employers for CIS Professionals

  • Software and Technology Companies             168,610
  • Business Management & Consulting Firms    53,310
  • Insurance Carriers                                               28,950
  • Science & Technology Organizations               23,880
  • State Government Agencies                               20,650

Additional Resources for CIS Majors

Organizations and associations may prove beneficial to graduates and working professions in CIS.  Top ranked associations include the Association for Information Systems (AIS), Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), and the International Association for CIS (IACIS).  Members receive research articles, learning opportunities, and professional networking to help advance the careers of member partners.

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Related Areas of Study

Career Summary: Information systems Major




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