Information systems programs prepare students to become computer technicians, analysts, and information data managers. Programs are available at the associate's and bachelor's levels and may be offered in the fields of data management, security, and e-commerce. They cover hardware and software design and teach troubleshooting and maintenance techniques. Students learn about information technology and electronic communications as they prepare for higher-level management positions. Program graduates may be eligible to take the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals credentialing examinations. A graduate certificate program in information systems management also exists. Students should have their high school diploma or equivalent to be admitted into an associate or bachelor level program. A bachelor's degree is required for the postgraduate certificate program, and enrollment in a master's degree may be necessary.
Associate of Science in Information Systems (IS)
The curriculum for this degree program includes courses in computer science, programming and applications, in addition to studies in networks and information systems. Other areas of focus include the design and maintenance of databases with application software, troubleshooting and information storage.
A course in web development introduces students to HTML, a programming language used for creating website content and computer graphics, as well as website maintenance. Students learn to store and manipulate data, secure networks for businesses and become proficient in numerous operating systems. Coursework explores information systems as a tool for supporting business operations, protecting information and data and improving efficiency in the workplace. Topics in coursework include:
- Tables and reports
- Hardware and software
- Systems analysis
- Product design
- Application architecture
Bachelor of Science in Information Systems
Students with little computer experience and those who are proficient in computers can take this program, which includes a survey of information technology. Topics such as programming, applications, platforms and communications are taught. Studies in operating systems examine global systems, computer applications and methods for improving productivity.
Students also learn about the various threats facing information systems, methods for protecting systems and solutions for removing threats and repairing damage. Other areas of focus include hacking, databases, industry trends and ethics in information technology. Coursework covers information systems and technology, telecommunications networks and methods for improving the storage and protection of data. Course topics might include:
- Software design
- Computing platforms
- Broadband networks
- Voice and data communications
Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Management
Designed for students seeking post-bachelor's training and also those who plan to pursue master's degrees, this program focuses on the management of information systems. Studies in information technology include a survey of tools and methods used to improve efficiency, data safety and storage in organizations. An e-commerce course explores various forms of electronic communications, e-business models and privacy and ethical issues in digital commerce. Other areas of focus include project management, telecommunications, digital media and website development.
Coursework focuses on the design and implementation of information systems utilized in the efficiency, productivity and safety of business and organizational data. Topics of discussion in coursework include:
- Database manipulation
- Internet technologies
- Software tools
- Computer architectures
Popular Career Options
Careers in many different fields, including business, technology and government, are available to degree holders at various levels. Popular career options for graduates include:
- Computer repair technician
- Programmer, Web developer
- Network security technician
- Systems analyst
- Information systems manager
Continuing Education Information
Associate's degree graduates can enroll in a variety of bachelor's degree programs to improve their job prospects and boost salary expectations. Bachelor level graduates are eligible to sit for the Certified Information Systems Analyst (CISA) and Certified Computing Professional (CCP) examinations, offered through the Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals (ICCP). CISAs and CCPs are required to complete 120 hours of continuing education activities every three years to maintain certification.
Graduates who are interested in a career in research or teaching at the college level can enroll in a variety of doctoral (Ph.D.) programs. Degree options include a Ph.D. in Information Systems, Management Information Systems, Information Science and Technology and Information Systems Design and Evaluation.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer and information systems managers held over 341,250 jobs in the U.S. in 2015 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that jobs in this profession were expected to grow by 15% between the years 2014 and 2024. The median annual salary of computer and information systems managers in May of 2015 was $131,600.
Information systems is a broad field comprised of numerous subfields. Students can enroll in a number of degree programs, at all levels of study, in order to be prepared for careers in the IS industry.