Associate's degree programs in computer information systems can teach students to collect, store, retrieve, and process information that is critical to the decision-making and administration processes of modern business organizations. Typically completed in two years, these programs can prepare graduates to obtain entry-level positions in a variety of roles that rely on an understanding of computer systems. A high school diploma or its equivalent is typically required for acceptance into this program.
Associate's Degree in Computer Information Systems
Students in these degree programs can learn a variety of programming languages, as well as system design and analysis, computer architecture, and database management. Students may also take elective courses to specialize in specific areas, such as programming, web development, or network administration. In addition, students must complete general education coursework. The courses might include but are not limited to:
- Computer science
- PC applications
- Networking and data communication
- C programming
- Object-oriented programming
- Microsoft Office
Popular Career Options
A computer information systems degree can offer graduates a broad range of career opportunities. Graduates may be prepared for entry-level positions with companies and organizations in a variety of industries that use operating systems, databases, and the Internet. Some common job titles for graduates might include:
- Data processor
- Database manager
- Network administrator
- Web developer
- Junior programmer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Career prospects and earnings potential can vary based on factors like job title and employer; some of these job titles require education beyond the associate's degree level. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), database administrators are predicted to see job growth of 11% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that database administrators earned a median annual salary of $81,710 in 2015. Network and computer systems administrator jobs are predicted to increase 8% from 2014-2024, according to the BLS; the median salary for these jobs was $77,810 in 2015.
The BLS also reports that web developers can look forward to job growth of 27% from 2014-2024. Web developers earned a median annual salary of $64,970 in 2015. Computer programming jobs, per the BLS, are expected to decline 8% from 2014-2024, and they paid a median annual salary of $79,530 in 2015.
Although an associate's degree in computer information systems may not be designed for transfer, some courses may be applied towards higher-level degrees. Graduates may wish to pursue bachelor's degree options in a computer-related field, such as computer science or computer information systems. Master's degree programs in these fields may also be available.
There is also a wide range of certificate programs available to students who are interested in specialization within the field, which include CISCO Network Associate, Microsoft Network Administration, programming, and Web development certificates.
Regardless of whether you pursue an AAS or AS degree, a program in computer information systems can provide a broad overview of the information technology field, preparing you for an entry-level position or for more advanced studies in computer-related topics.