Associate's degree programs are available in fully online formats for students interested in information systems. These programs generally follow the same testing and assignment formats as on-campus programs and can be completed in about two years. Students may also have the option to choose a specialty in network administration, computer networking or computer management. Completion of this degree program can also prepare students for certifications, such as those offered by Microsoft and CompTIA. Other majors with related courses include information technology and information management.
Associate's Degree in Information Systems
Online programs at the associate's level typically entail over 60 credits, with a large proportion of them focused on general education. The names of such programs often vary from information sciences to information management or even information technology. Most programs have specialties ranging from computer networking to website management.
Program Information and Requirements
Entry to online programs in information systems typically doesn't vary from entry to on-campus programs. Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent. They also are expected to have fundamental knowledge of computer operation since courses are delivered through a mixture of e-mail, discussion forums and streaming media. Most online programs follow the same testing and assignment schedules as on-campus programs, but some schools offer self-paced training.
List of Common Information Systems Courses
Online associate's degree curricula in information systems blend technical topics in programming, networking and computer repair with courses on business, English and more. Specializations usually give students the opportunity to emphasize a particular field, such as programming or database design.
Ethics in Information Systems
This course looks at the legal ramifications of writing and deploying information systems and code into an organizational environment. Discussion typically revolves around real-world programming and deployment scenarios.
Introduction to Programming
Though some programs delve deeper into specific languages, all programming courses of this level give an introduction to the fundamentals of modern programming languages and their basic use. Topics might include variables, arrays and Boolean functions.
As part of this course, students gain an understanding of how to set up, troubleshoot and maintain basic computer networks. Topics cover cabling standards, interface cards, routers and switches.
Technology and Society
This course explores the social impact that the integration of technology has on human enterprises. Topics cover how information is organized and coordinated in order to inform individuals.
Career Information for Graduates
The field of information systems provides many opportunities for graduates. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for network and computer systems administrators was expected to grow by 8%, or as fast as average, from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov). Salaries varied among specializations, with network and computer systems administrators earning a median salary of $77,810 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
The BLS states that, for most information systems positions, a bachelor's degree is preferred. However, an associate's can be acceptable when combined with a myriad of industry certifications, such as Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) and CompTIA A+ certification. Management positions in the field of information systems almost always require a bachelor's, if not a master's, degree.
Online associate's degree programs in information systems blend business principles with those in technology, and include specialization options. Students will be prepared to seek professional certification, or work in network and computer system administration.