Online Colleges for Information Systems & Program Information
Computers information systems and the technologies they use are an integral part of society -- both in our personal lives and in business. A career in the computer industry can be challenging, exciting and potentially lucrative. As technology evolves, so does the demand for skilled professionals who can help steer an organization's computer systems in the right direction. Online degrees in information systems may help you secure a personally and financially rewarding career - including roles in systems analysis or management, network administration, web development and information security.
What to Expect From Online Degrees in Information Systems
In an industry that needs to keep the pace with advancing technology, an information systems degree can help prepare students for positions that require acute problem-solving and managerial abilities, as well as advanced technical skills. Online colleges offering degrees in information systems allow students to work in a more relaxed atmosphere and at their own pace. They don't have to sacrifice quality either - online programs in information systems are often highly comparable to their campus-based counterparts, and may even mirror them course for course at some schools.
Some programs focus on technical aspects of the field, while others may place more emphasis on the business side of information systems - however, there's often a combination of the two. Courses may cover database and project management, operating systems, programming, systems analysis, network administration and other related subjects. Advanced degrees can be beneficial for those seeking to move into a managerial position or a specific niche within information systems. See online IT colleges for more education options.
Online Degree Programs in Computer Information Systems
If you're interested in computers and technology, and their implementation in the workplace, you may want to consider earning an online computer information systems degree. Students taking CIS classes learn the fundamentals of computer information systems and computer networks, while focusing on topics such as computer programming, computer systems design, database processing, and information security. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in this field are generally required to hold at least a bachelor's degree to gain employment (BLS.gov/ooh, 2012). However, in certain cases an associate degree combined with work-related experience may suffice.
Online Associates in Information Systems
Any CIS major working toward an associate degree will need to complete general education courses in combination with degree-related coursework. Topics covered include fundamentals of computer systems, database processing, website design, and computer programming.
The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts associate degree students will learn in online CIS classes:
Study computer programming basics in order to build a foundation of knowledge in information systems.
MS Office Applications
Gain insight into Microsoft Office programs and their specific applications.
Windows Operating Systems
Examine how Microsoft Windows works in cooperation with files, disks, data, and applications.
Gain an introduction to database creation, database modeling, normalization, SQL, and internet technology.
Systems Analysis and Design
Study design fundamentals, and learn how to design and develop your own computer systems.
*Ashworth College, Associate of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems
Online Bachelor's in Information Systems
Students working toward a bachelor's degree in computer information systems will focus on a variety of topics within the technology disciplines. Students will learn how to analyze technical problems and brainstorm solutions, design, implement, and evaluate computer-based systems, analyze the impact of computing on society, and work within a team in order to reach common goals.
The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts bachelor's degree students will learn in online CIS classes:
Learn the principles of object-oriented programming using Java.
Study website design basics with an emphasis on server-side scripting
Examine common themes in network security, touching on topics such as firewalls, intrusion detection mechanisms, and virtual private networks (VPNs).
Take an in-depth look at the realities of acquiring and operating information systems.
Study the fundamentals of applied statistics and how they relate to computer information systems as a whole.
*Bellevue University, Computer Information Systems Degree - Bachelor of Science
Online Master's In Information Systems
If you're interested in earning an advanced degree in computer information systems, you may want to consider earning an online master's degree. Students in these programs will gain an in-depth understanding of information technology, while focusing on topics such as digital communications, strategic IT, software development, and systems analysis and design.
The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts master's degree students will learn in online CIS classes:
IT Strategy and Management
Gain an overview of contemporary IT management issues and theories.
Business Data Communication
Study the fundamentals of data communications, with an emphasis on network security and management concepts.
Study advanced network security issues, touching on topics such as access controls, vulnerabilities, threat and risk, and network architectures and attacks.
Information Structures, Java
Examine theories of software design and development using Java.
Information Systems Analysis and Design
Examine how information systems can be designed to meet an organization's data-processing needs.
*Boston University Metropolitan College, Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Computer Networks
Online PHD in Computer Information Systems
If you're a CIS major who wants to work in the highest levels of the industry, you may want to consider earning a Ph.D. at one of the top colleges for computer information systems. In addition to passing the required courses in this program, students may be asked to participate in research and/or complete a dissertation. Topics covered may include human-computer interaction, secure systems analysis and design, advanced data communications and networking, software engineering, and distributed systems.
The following table provides an in-depth look at concepts that Ph.D. students could learn in online CIS classes:
Study advanced topics related to the development of software-intensive systems.
Examine the current issues and future directions of artificial intelligence, as well as theories and practice.
Study the theories and principles of databases and their management. Topics covered include current issues, future directions, trends, and research topics.
Network Security and Cryptography
Examine the theories and challenges of securing computer networks, with an emphasis on network security tools and strategy.
Gain an overview of knowledge management and knowledge management systems.
*Nova Southeastern University, Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems
Job Outlook for Graduates on Online Programs in Information Systems
There are many potential career paths students with online degrees in information systems can pursue. Information systems specialists may concentrate in a particular role, such as network security or system administration, or look to advance to the senior management level in an IT division.
Information security analysts monitor a company's system integrity, troubleshoot and organize recovery in event of a crash or breach, and stay educated in the latest technologies in information security. Information security analysts earned a median national annual salary of $86,170 in May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/oes, 2013). Expected national growth in the profession is higher than average, at 22 percent from 2010 to 2020 (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).
The BLS states that network and computer systems administrators have an even higher projected job growth rate of 28 percent, nationally, with a median national annual salary of $72,560 in May 2012. These professionals design and install an organization's computer systems. They also monitor networks and computer systems, making sure they are efficient and secure, and provide support when tech problems arise (bls.gov/ooh, 2012, bls.gov/oes, 2013).
Employment for computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 18 percent, nationally, from 2010 to 2020 (bls.gov/ooh, 2012). The median national annual wage of computer and information systems managers was $120,950 in May 2012 (bls.gov/oes, 2013). Some computer and information systems managers have only a bachelor's degree, but many companies require a graduate degree. Those wishing to move into a managerial role also typically need at least a few years of work experience in a lower-level IT position.
Careers in information systems are constantly evolving as technology advances. This means your career can grow and change in many ways. There are also many branches in the field to specialize. Check out what online colleges offering degrees in information systems can do for you.
- Ashworth College, Associate of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems, 2013, http://www.ashworthcollege.edu/associate-degrees/computer-information-systems
- Bellevue University, Computer Information Systems Degree- Bachelor of Science, 2013, http://www.bellevue.edu/degrees/undergraduate/computer-information-systems-bs/index.aspx
- Boston University Metropolitan College, Master of Science in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Computer Networks, 2013, http://www.bu.edu/met/programs/graduate/computer-information-systems/computer-networks/
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Computer and Information Systems Managers, July 11, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Management/Computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm#tab-4
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, "Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition," Network and Computer Systems Administrators, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm#tab-4
- "Computer and Information Systems Managers," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113021.htm
- "Information Security Analysts," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151122.htm
- "Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29,2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts-web-developers-and-computer-network-architects.htm
- Nova Southeastern University, Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems, 2013, http://www.scis.nova.edu/doctoral/dcis.html