Computer analysis students learn to design and implement computer hardware, software and network systems for an organization or business. They become knowledgeable in the areas of computer security as well as software and database development. A Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems incorporates the technical content of computer science or information technology programs with business and communications courses. Master's students study advanced topics and may choose areas of concentration, such as network security.
Prospective undergraduates need a high school diploma or equivalent to be admitted to a bachelor's degree program; they should also be proficient with computers. Aspiring graduate students should have a bachelor's degree, usually in a related field, and acceptable GRE or GMAT scores.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
A Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program prepares students for graduate education or for entry-level careers in computer systems analysis. Students may also choose electives that hone skills for a particular employment sector, such as healthcare, banking or education. In addition to general education classes in math, science, English and humanities, students take business classes such as accounting, finance, ethics and management. Other courses include:
- Programming and software development
- Systems design and analysis
- Database development
- Computer systems security
- Graphics and multimedia
- Psychology and interpersonal communications
Master of Science in Computer Information Systems
Computer systems analysts looking to advance beyond entry-level positions may consider pursuing a graduate degree. According to the BLS, the more technically demanding a computer analyst position is, the more likely employers will seek candidates with master's degrees in information systems or business administration (www.bls.gov). While the master's degree program incorporates computer and business coursework for a strong foundation in systems analysis, many graduate students will select a concentration of study such as network security or health informatics. While graduate degree concentrations may affect coursework, curricula typically include classes in communications, economics and advanced programming. Computer courses may include:
- Software engineering
- Network architecture and analysis
- Database management systems
- System security and computer forensics
- Wireless technology and development
- Health informatics
Popular Career Options
For every business, school or agency that uses computers to transmit information, store data or facilitate work, there are computer systems analysts checking the efficiency and security. Other job titles available with a master's degree include:
- Computer system designer
- Computer information manager
- Computer systems administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The median annual wages of computer systems analysts were $88,740 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and employment is expected to grow by 9% from 2018-2028 (www.bls.gov). The BLS stated that an increased reliance on technology, increased use of healthcare IT and an increased integration of wireless technology with networking are among the factors driving faster-than-average job growth for computer systems analysts.
Prospective students who want to enter the IT field as computer systems analysts might choose to pursue a bachelor's degree in computer information systems, taking courses in programming, systems design and graphics. Upon graduation, students can choose to pursue entry-level jobs or seek master's degrees for increased career opportunities.