An Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems program is designed to prepare students for careers in areas such as software development or web design. Network administration and database design are some areas of emphasis.
A Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems program should offer more in-depth education than an associate's program. Students complete fundamental and advanced computer networking and repair coursework.
Students in a Master of Science in Computer Science program study advanced computer programming and information technology management. A capstone project or a thesis is usually required of graduate students; these programs are typically research intensive. A related bachelor's degree is necessary for admission to a master's program of this kind.
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information Systems
Most computer systems analysis positions require an associate's degree in computer science or computer information systems. This 2-year degree program allows students to work with computers for telecommunications, web design, software development and computer technology businesses. Students with an associate's degree in computer information systems can seek entry-level computer systems positions and additional certification upon program completion.
An associate's degree program in computer information systems offers basic computer systems courses as well as science, calculus and statistics courses. Most courses are computer-based and have thorough mathematical and technological foundations. Common computer systems analysis courses include:
- Database design
- Computer operating systems
- Computer statistics and algorithms
- Programming languages
- Network administration
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
A bachelor's degree in computer information systems offers a more comprehensive computer systems education. With this 4-year degree, students can obtain higher-level computer systems analysis and networking administration positions.
To enroll in a computer information systems bachelor's degree program, students must have high school diploma. Most programs also require students to submit official transcripts and SAT or ACT scores.
Computer information systems bachelor degree programs include courses on basic and advanced computer concepts. Students learn programming techniques, principles of network administration and computer maintenance strategies. Typical courses also include:
- Microcomputer networking
- Advanced database applications
- Computer network repair
- Web development concepts
- Network security strategies
Master of Science in Computer Science
With a 2-year master's degree in computer science, computer professionals can seek research-based and post-secondary teaching positions with software companies, web development companies and schools and universities. Most programs require two years of study and a final thesis or capstone project on a specific area of computer science.
Students enrolling in a computer science master's degree program must have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a closely related area. Graduate students must also submit official transcripts and GRE scores.
A graduate program in computer science offers advanced computer courses that aren't available to undergraduate students. Most courses rely on computer algorithms, statistical methods and technological theories to teach students sophisticated computer systems analysis. Computer science programs may also include courses on:
- Advanced computer programming
- Software development
- Information technology management
- E-commerce development
Popular Career Options
Students with an associate's degree in computer information systems are qualified for various entry-level computer positions. The most common positions involve computer support, in which major responsibilities include computer repair, troubleshooting and network analysis. Other possible positions include:
- Computer support specialist
- Network systems analyst
- Database administrator
- Computer programmer
- Computer systems administrator
With a master's degree in computer science, students can seek supervisory or senior computer systems analysis positions. A master's degree also qualifies students for research and post-secondary teaching positions with technical colleges and universities. Common career opportunities include:
- Senior computer analyst
- Computer science educator
- Computer systems manager
- Software engineer
- Senior network administrator
Career Information and Employment Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov), opportunities in network and computer systems administration are expected to increase approximately 5% from 2018 to 2028. In 2018, there were a projected 383,900 network and computer systems administrators, and the BLS estimates there will be around 402,100 opportunities by 2028 (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for network and computer systems administrators was $83,510 in May 2019 (www.bls.gov).
Programs in computer systems analysis can be found at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's level. These programs typically cover topics such as software development, computer network repair, database design, and several other related areas.