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Career Options and Salary for Computer Information Systems Specialist

Career News December 27, 2012

The design, configuration and maintenance of information management systems and computer networks are looked after by professionals known as computer information systems specialists. There are several areas of specialization these professionals can choose to pursue including overseeing of system design or network security; alternatively, they may opt for a management level role. In this article, we will look at the career path of a computer information systems specialist and discuss what an aspiring computer information systems specialist must do in order to pursue their career. There are several career options that computer information systems specialists can target:

Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists are expected to troubleshoot software, hardware and computer networks by employing their technical skills. They field inquiries from clients while acting as help desk technicians or overseeing an organization’s day-to-day computer needs. Other responsibilities could include installation of hardware and software, resolution of computer problems through the use of diagnostic tools and maintenance of records of service and updates.

Computer Security Specialists

Organizations rely on computer security specialists to monitor, protect information and network security from unauthorized persons. Additionally, computer users are trained and informed with regard to cyber security by these specialists. Other responsibilities include checking of systems for viruses and updating security software. Prospective computer security specialists can improve their career prospects by earning security certifications to add to their formal educational qualifications.

Computer Systems Analysts

Organizations rely on computer systems analysts to advise and configure computer networks and systems. A project can begin with the examination of clients by analysts seeking to establish needs of users. Thereafter, the system requirements and specifications can be determined by performing a cost-benefit analysis. After the completion of the analytical process come the design, development and configuration of systems. At this stage, software and hardware may be tested to ensure system efficiency and functional effectiveness. Such testing will help debug problems and eliminate errors. Other analysts duties may include providing technical recommendations, perform diagnostic tests, educate users and write instruction guides. Recruiters usually require candidates to possess a bachelor degree, though some employers may give preference to MBA graduates majoring in information systems (source: BLS).

Network, Systems and Database Administrators

Organizations rely on administrators to setup and perform maintenance on databases, networks and computers systems. In the course of their duties, they usually install, analyze and service network and computer software and hardware. Such equipment can include switches, routers, operating systems and computers. Administrators are required to provide consistent support to wide-area and local networks, intranet and internet systems, and database and security software. Administrators are usually required to have completed a bachelor degree program; however, some employers prefer MBA graduates majoring in information systems management.

Information Systems Managers

Organizations rely on Information Systems managers for planning, coordination and management of information and computer technology within the firms. In determining the computing needs of the organization, Information Systems managers typically rely on consultations with other professionals including technicians and system users. They are involved in designing of systems and coordinating their implementation. Apart from configuration of systems; managers’ responsibilities include assessment of network and system operations, review of advancements in the industry, overseeing of scheduling and budgeting. They are expected to recommend system updates, evaluate personnel and set annual performance targets.

Career Prerequisites for Computer Information Systems Specialists

The educational requirements for computer information systems specialists will depend on the position they occupy, usually most of these professionals are known to have completed a bachelor degree program in computer-related fields such as computer science, and information systems management, among others (source: BLS). Employers do not always insist on bachelor degrees; they may accept candidates holding certificates, associate degrees, professional certification, work experience; a combination of experience and education is usually sufficient. According to the BLS, those seeking administrative positions may need to complete MBA programs majoring in information systems. Some employers may require computer information systems specialists to obtain product certification. Several types of certification are offered through a vendor-neutral organization called the Computing Technology Industry Association (source: www.comptia.org). Hardware, software or operating system certifications from vendors such as Cisco and Microsoft could enhance the career prospects of computer information systems specialists.

Wage Potential for Computer Information Systems Specialists

In 2009, the average annual salary of a computer specialist was $78,010; computer support specialists took home $47,360while a computer and information systems manager earned $120,640 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov).

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Sponsored

Showing schools in your area

5 Program(s) Found
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked among the Best Online MBA Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
  • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
  • Online courses make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 18 months and a master’s degree in 14-24 months.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found
  • Averett University is a top-ranked, fully-accredited institution that offers students over 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs, and 5 master's programs.
  • Accelerated programs designed for convenience: choose from weekly evening courses at one of Averett's Virginia locations or study online and on your own time.
  • Averett University was named one of Virginia’s top colleges for return on investment, and their average scholarship package lowers the cost of attendance further by almost 40%.
  • Averett offers students learning experiences that mirror real-life situations. This means you can put today's lesson to the test during tomorrow’s workday.
  • Averett University's 12:1 student-professor ratio makes your education a collaborative endeavor based on close relationships between students and faculty.
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Hallmark University's degree programs in Information Technology and Cybersecurity are built to prepare graduates for the evolving world of business and security.
  • With thousands of available IT jobs, we are preparing students to fill these roles through real-world scenarios and simulation exercises. 
  • Hallmark University partners with a number of organizations, like Microsoft and Cisco, to ensure our students learn the most up-to-date technical knowledge and earn industry certifications.
  • By utilizing compressed, objective-driven courses, you can complete your education in nearly half the time of a similar program at a traditional college or university.
  • Each of our courses are designed to include scenario-based activities. You get to practice what you learn so you're ready for the challenges you will face when you graduate.
  • Don't settle for learning in large lecture halls. Get the attention needed to succeed.
  • Online Courses

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