Is an Information Systems Degree Right for You?
Information systems degree programs incorporate the use of hardware and software concepts to create systems for filtering, storing, and managing data. It is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on computer science and information technology, but also considers business and mathematics concepts. Information systems graduates are prepared to enter a number of in-demand fields dealing with computers and information technology.
If you are tech-savvy and enjoy working with computers, this could be the field for you. Success in this field requires tenacious problem-solving abilities, proficiency in math and science fields, and a willingness to work in a variety of industries. However, professionals in this field can enjoy strong earning potential and job security, as long as they stay on top of technological and industry advances.
Advice for Earning Your Information Systems Degree Online
The flexibility that comes with pursuing a degree online lends major appeal to the online format, especially for working professionals and students with families. Bachelor’s degree programs in information systems are available online through numerous institutions, as the course content is easily adapted for distance learning. However, some students find that online education is not a substitute for in-person instruction found in on-campus programs.
Some online students fill this void by pursuing internships, where they gain hands-on experience working in IT departments at corporations. When selecting an online degree, look for programs that offer assistance setting up internships. You should also only consider programs from accredited institutions. Accreditation is key to ensuring that your college of choice adheres to a high standard of education that is comparable to brick-and-mortar colleges.
A bachelor’s degree in information systems will focus on building the student’s tech skills in systems design and management and mastery of intermediate to advanced computer science concepts. Required courses might include:
- Management Information Systems
- Network Design and Management
- Database Design and Management
- Data Communications
- Software and Hardware Concepts
Common Career Paths
Some potential careers for those with a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems include:
Computer and Information Systems Managers
- Expected Growth: 18%
- Average Annual Salary: $118,910
Computer and information systems managers direct and coordinate the work of the information technology professionals who work for them. They also research the computer needs of a company or organization and come up with solutions to fit those demands. Computer and information system managers are often in charge of all aspects of the technical side of an organization including Internet capabilities and implementing software. Managers are responsible for making recommendations and implementing upgrades to the software and hardware at a company. The above salary and employment growth figures were gathered from the BLS, and represent average incomes.
Computer Systems Analysts
- Expected Growth: 22%
- Average Annual Salary: $83,715
Computer systems analysts are in charge of making sure technology is operating as efficiently as possible. Most computer systems analysts specialize in a particular area, such as business or accounting and financial systems, depending on the type of company or organization for which they work. These analysts recommend computer systems to the management team and draft reports on the benefits each could bring. If the system is approved, analysts are responsible for implementing it. Sometimes they work alongside computer programmers to identify any problems and debug a computer system. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
Network and Computer Systems Administrators
- Expected Growth: 28%
- Average Annual Salary: $75,245
Network administrators are responsible for designing, installing and supporting computer systems. They handle LANS, WANS and network segments, as well as Internet and intranet capabilities. Everyday tasks include installing, updating and troubleshooting hardware and software. They keep a sharp eye on networks, making sure they are available to staffers and other users. These administrators often must take note on the system’s performance and make recommendations on how it might be improved. They must make sure networks and computer systems are efficient and eliminate obstacles that are slowing them down. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
Information Security Analysts
- Expected Growth: 22%
- Average Annual Salary: $81,565
Information security analysts are charged with designing systems that are resistant to cyber-attacks. They monitor the system’s integrity, troubleshoot and organize recovery operations in event of a breach, and stay informed about new technologies in information security. Information security analysts work for major corporations and government organizations and many have bachelor’s degrees in information systems or a related field. Figures above were provided by the BLS.
- Expected Growth: 31%
- Average Annual Salary: $78,615
Database administrators develop and manage database systems for companies and corporations. They keep then system running properly, suggest and implement improvements, store and backup data, and more. Some database administrators receive on-the-job training and complete some college coursework. However, many employers prefer candidates with experience and a bachelor’s degree in information systems, database management, or a related field. Figures above were provided by the BLS.