Computer Information Systems (CIS) is the study of computers working in conjunction with the business. It allows the use of computing to manage information. It is concerned with how data is stored, processed, and utilized while taking the business aspect into account. With the emergence of technology and the extensive use of computers in business, the need to study CIS is extremely important. Since most services are readily available over the internet, interested individuals can easily apply for an online CIS degree program provided by reputable universities. Pursuing the degree online makes it easily accessible to a wide range of audiences.
CIS-related jobs are believed to be very lucrative. A CIS graduate is generally believed to land a job with an average salary of $86,320, which is 123% more compared to jobs in other fields. Entry-level jobs for a Web Developer are said to be $77,200 annually, while a Computer Support Specialist has a salary of $55,510 every year. Keeping in view the advantages, pursuing a CIS degree is very fruitful.
This article discusses the advantages of having a CIS degree and the various career paths the degree holder can take. It also describes the top six universities offering online CIS courses.
Advantages of Pursuing an Online CIS Degree
There are many pros associated with an online CIS degree. They are stated as under:
Stable Job in the Future: The growth of jobs in the CIS domain is expected to rise by 11%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These growth rates are faster than all other professions. Quantitatively, the number of new job openings is expected to be 546,200. Therefore, it can be concluded that CIS careers will be in high demand in the near future.
Lucrative Salaries: CIS-related jobs are believed to be very profitable. As far as mid-career jobs are concerned, CIS relate jobs once again are at the forefront in terms of average salary. An Information Security Analyst is paid a whopping $103,590 annually, while a Database Administrator and Computer Programmer are paid $98,860 and $89,190 per year, respectively. The highest-paying jobs for a CIS major are IT Management ($151,150 salary annually), Information Research Scientist ($126,830 salary annually), and Software Developer ($110,140 salary annually).
Allows Students to Narrow Down the Field for Specialization: CIS is an extremely vast field. It gives students a broad horizon of fields to choose from. This gives students the freedom to choose a field that best suits their interests and skillset. For this purpose, multiple electives are available online for students to choose the path of their dream career.
Good Flexibility of Online CIS Degree Courses: Online courses offer great flexibility so students can adjust their timetables accordingly. Students pursuing online degrees have the advantage of obtaining the same courses as on-campus students.
Career Options for Online CIS Degree Holders
A CIS degree opens doors to a wide spectrum of jobs in different fields and industries. An average CIS graduate must possess the following skillsets:
- Problem-solving abilities
- Project management
- User communication and comprehension
- Organizational skills
- Strong grip on C++, Java, Visual Basic, and SQL programming language.
Keeping these in view, the following are the various jobs that CIS graduates can apply for:
1. Information Systems and Information Technology Manager
Job Growth Rate: 11%
CIS excels in the field of information technology and information systems. It covers the business aspect as it teaches students the utilization of technology to solve problems in the business field. Information systems open a window of job opportunities in the field of cyber security, data analysis, diminishing vulnerability in security, and information technology support. This profession will rise by a whopping 32% from 2018-2028. Their average salary in 2018 was $98,350.
As far as information technology is concerned, it also covers the business aspect; however, it has comparatively more coding and programming. It covers coding as well as database management. It opens job opportunities as a software developer, website backend coding, forensic analyst, network architect, or consultant.
2. Computer System Analyst
Job Growth Rates: 9%
They review a company’s prevailing systems and mind storms new and innovative ways to boost performance and efficiency. A computer system analyst requires distinguishing computer service skills and superior knowledge of computer systems and business. The job growth for a computer system analyst is expected to grow by 9% in the next decade following 2018. Their average salary was found to be $88,740 in 2019. A bachelor’s degree is mandatory for the job.
3. Technical Support Specialist
Job Growth Rate: 10%
It involves customer service skills. They also need hard skills to solve computer-related problems and diagnose any issues. Those with high-stress management and basic knowledge of all the computer systems are ideal for the job.
4. System Administrator
Job Growth Rate: 5%
They are concerned with guaranteeing the efficient working of computer networks. Being a good teammate and possessing technical skills as well as social skills are mandatory qualities in this field.
5. Computer Technician
They swiftly solve computer-related issues without any delay. They perform fieldwork and are mainly concerned with troubleshooting problems in a minimum time frame. Multitasking and stress management are necessary qualities in this line of work.
Managers with a CIS degree can comprehend an organization’s intranet function and solve problems. They need to be good team players and adopt a diplomatic stance when solving issues.
7. Help Desk Technician
They work on the spot and are skilled in only one particular type of network or system. Help desk technicians require soft skills to satisfy customers and manage stress. They should display empathy and care. They also require hard skills, that is, technical skills, to solve issues.
8. Network Technician
They also perform troubleshooting and solve technical issues related to computers. They solve the overall network function-related problems. The distinguishing part of their job is that they operate within the framework as opposed to working with independent machines or people.
9. Hardware Engineer
They are concerned with fixing the hardware rather than software issues such as issues in coding. They manufacture physical computer components and envisions systems utilizing internal technology.
10. Data Architect
Job Growth Rate: 9%
They are specialized in large database management. They ensure that data is stacked, sorted, and coded correctly. Structured Query Language (SQL) and other database-related languages are used. They ensure that data is accessible and solve any data shortcomings. Superior computer skills are required for this job.
11. Network Administrator
Their job is to ensure that the network is operational.
12. Computer and Information Research Scientist
Job Growth Rate: 16%
It generally requires a master’s or doctoral degree. They come up with new and innovative ways to access and make use of computer technology in different fields. The employment rate for a research scientist is expected to grow by 16% for the next decade after 2018. Their average salary is $118,370.
13. Software Developer
Their average salary in 2018 was found to be $105,590. To land a job as a software developer, the minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. They develop applications, create computer programs, and control networks. They work with IT professionals and programmers to make a running code for marketing purposes.
Six Best Universities that Offer Online CIS Degrees
Numerous universities offer an online CIS degree. Below is the definitive list of the six best universities offering online CIS degree courses:
- Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University was established in 1932. It provides an online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems. Enterprise information systems and object-oriented analysis and design are mandatory courses.
Students have the option to choose either data validation and decision-making, networking and security, or project management as their concentration. The university also arranges competitions and training in collaboration with organizations such as the National Cyber League.
The credit hour of the course is 90. Students who wish to register must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Standardized test scores are not required. It is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
- Fort Hays State University (FHSU)
It was established in 1902. It provides an online CIS degree of both Bachelors of Science (BS) as well as Bachelor of Arts (BA). The mandatory courses include web development and programming courses on languages such as Python.
Some foundation courses are also available such as cybersecurity and computer networking. Whilst registering, students must pass either the minimum high school GPA requirement of 2.5 or have a minimum ACT composite score of 21. FHSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
- Oregon State University
Oregon State University was established in 1868. It provides both an online Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems. The online CIS degree is of 180 quarter credit hours.
The students can minor in computer science and organizational leadership as well. Mandatory courses include business telecommunications and networking, information systems security, project management, and business data management.
The university opens admission 4 times a year. Students who wish to apply must have a high school diploma with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Standardized test scores are not compulsory.
The university is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) whereas, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has accredited the business schools.
- Regis University
It is based in Denver, Colorado, and was founded in 1877. It offers an online bachelor’s degree in computer information systems. The professors in online classes ensure that students gain maximum knowledge in technology and have in-depth experience along with hands-on learning. The course covers software development and applications, business analytics, and business process management. The course is of 120 credit hours.
They implement IT knowledge in a way that helps achieve the business goals and objectives of an organization. It also focuses on improving the short and long-term benefits of the company while improving its current systems.
The course lasts for 8 weeks. A capstone project is necessary for the attainment of a bachelor’s degree. It also ranks as the most affordable online CIS degree program. The cost of pursuing the course is $69,600.00.
- Bellevue University
It also offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems. It ranks 21st as one of the most affordable universities for pursuing an online CIS degree, costing around $55,875.00 and $33,650.00 for in-state and out-of-state military, respectively.
It is a 120 credit hour program. It prepares the students for future IT jobs and also provides a strong base for the students to pursue advanced studies in the future. The course is of 127-credit hours.
The course covers computer programming, management of information systems, databases systems, and information systems. Students can either opt for networking, applications development, cybersecurity, or business intelligence. A degree in the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelors of Science (BS) in CIS is available for corporate students.
It was established in 1889 with its headquarters in St. Leo, Florida. It offers an online degree in the Bachelors of Science (BS) in Computer Information Systems. It is a 120 credit hour program.
It ranks 12th in terms of the most affordable universities for an online CIS degree costing $46,725.00 and $31,125.00 for in-state and out-state military, respectively.
The courses covered include information technology-related subjects such as database concepts and programming, advanced computer skills, C/C++ Programming, computer systems, introduction to information security, network theory and design, and systems analysis and design. Students must also undertake business-related courses such as project management, financial accounting, macroeconomics, and essential business skills.
The minimum requirement for admission is a high school diploma or GEO equivalency. Six dates are available for admission throughout the year. It also accepts transfer credits from professional certifications. It is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
The Final Analysis
In this rapidly growing society where technology is upgrading and being utilized at an extremely fast rate, the need for computer information systems graduates is inevitably prominent. The number of CIS-related jobs is expected to increase rapidly, according to various research.
Students can now take advantage of this information and enroll themselves in CIS degree courses and programs available online. The benefits associated with an online CIS degree cannot be overlooked. Numerous online courses provided by universities are available for securing a CIS degree.
The requirements for applying are discussed in this article. Hence, individuals with a keen interest in CIS must apply for an online CIS degree to secure a successful future in the job market.