Bachelor's Degree in Computer Information Systems
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) degree programs in computer information systems (CIS) are not commonly available, but CIS programs are available as Bachelor of Science programs. The study of computer information systems prepares students to understand and utilize technology in solving commercial business problems. CIS degree programs typically last four years and can be found within business-focused or traditional computer science program areas.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
A bachelor's degree program in computer information systems combines technical courses in computer science with business classes that discuss how to integrate information resources across different organizations. Business elements in areas like finance, operations and marketing are also examined in order to learn about designing and deploying appropriate systems to improve upon a business' overall operational efficiencies. Programming, network management and network security systems are other key areas of study. A CIS degree can also be found as a concentration of a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program. To apply to this program, students typically need a high school diploma or GED.
Students take several math courses as well as a variety of computer science classes that focus on current technologies. Additional coursework relating to developing knowledge in key business areas is also required, such as overview courses in finance, marketing and economics. Common course topics include:
- Systems analysis and development
- Network architecture
- Network administration
- Network security
- Database management systems
- Machine-human interfaces
- Business operations
Popular Career Options
Given the rapid speed of technological advancements and increasing number of strategic operational challenges within multi-national businesses, career opportunities in CIS are numerous and far reaching. Entry-level jobs cover a wide range of areas within the field, including:
- Network administrator
- Systems analyst
- E-commerce manager
- Database administrator
- Project manager
Salary and Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) listed median yearly salaries of $72,560 for network administrators and $79,680 for systems analysts in May 2012. E-commerce developers earned a median wage of $53,389 per year in December of 2013, according to PayScale.com. Further BLS data from 2012 reflects median annual salaries of $77,080 for database administrators, $74,280 for programmers and $81,140 for project managers at that time.
The BLS additionally predicts above-average job growth levels for many jobs in the information technology industry during the 2010-2020 decade. Network administrators, for example, are expected to see a 28% job growth during that time, and systems analysts a 22% growth. Opportunities for database administrators should increase by 31%. The BLS job growth projection for programmers, however, indicates an increase in employment of only 12%, which is about average, and project managers are expected to see a slower-than-average growth rate of 3%-9% from 2010-2020.
The B.S. degree program enables students to obtain skills for a large variety of entry-level CIS jobs, although additional graduate work or actual work experience may be required for further advancement to a management level. Common advanced degree options include a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems or a Master of Business Administration.
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