Information systems specialists usually need a bachelor's or graduate degree to enter the field, but associate degree holders can qualify for related entry-level work or transfer to relevant bachelor's degree programs. Some schools offer the 2-year program online. Most academic institutions only require applicants to earn a high school diploma or the equivalent, but students also require basic computer literacy skills and must be capable of solving complex problems and making decisions quickly.
Students seeking degrees in information systems often specialize in programming languages, networking, and database design.
Associate's Degree in Information Systems
Information systems associate degree programs cover technical and business operations topics. Students study programming, communications, accounting as well as systems applications and database management. Typical courses in these programs include:
- Systems analysis
- Business law
- Systems statistics
- Organizational behavior
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information systems specialists, also known as computer systems analysts, are typically required to hold at least a bachelor's degree in a related field (www.bls.gov). However, graduates with information systems associate degrees might qualify for entry-level positions or find work in related fields, such as computer programming. The BLS predicted that computer programmers would see a decrease in employment of 7% between 2018 and 2028, while computer systems analysts could see a 9% growth in jobs during the same period. In September 2019, PayScale.com reported that the majority of information technology specialists earned $37,000-$99,000.
Continuing Education Information
Associate degree holders could transfer directly into a bachelor's degree program in computer information systems, which might prepare them for positions as computer system analysts or computer and information systems managers. Beyond this level, bachelor's degree holders can apply to master's degree programs in information systems, which could be offered as a Master of Science in Information Systems or a Master of Business Administration with an information systems concentration.
As technology changes frequently, information systems specialists can participate in technology training seminars and classes throughout their careers. Many professionals in this industry also elect to become certified in computer languages, hardware equipment and software programs as a way to stay competitive in the workforce.
Those aspiring to work as information systems specialists may choose to earn an associate's degree in the field to qualify for entry-level positions. Upon graduation, many people choose to obtain further education or obtain certifications in specific programming languages, equipment, or software.