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Associate Degree Program in Computer Information Systems

Majors Overview August 12, 2013

Students enrolled in this degree program usually become adept at installing, configuring and providing maintenance and support to a firm’s network system. Students have a wide array of choices including programming analysis, website software, database management, and computer business applications. Candidates can expect to gain fluency in database management and programming while honing their critical-thinking and troubleshooting skills. Students are commonly taught about the business applications of computerized systems. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Typically, these degree programs combine hands-on training in computer labs with classroom studies. Students will also have internship opportunities and independent study. Program course topics may include the following:

•Server hardware support
•Unix/Linux
•Internet tools
•Microsoft Office products
•Technology project management
•Website development
•Systems design and analysis
•Microcomputer operating system

Salary Information and Employment Outlook

Typically, associate degree programs in computer information systems combine management concepts with knowledge of computer systems that will prepare graduates for administrative positions. With industry certification and sufficient work experience, individuals who have earned their associate’s degree can enter the management and administrative positions in this field, although bachelor and master degrees will be preferred by most employers for these positions.

Between 2008 and 2018, employment of computer database, systems, and network administrators was predicted to increase by thirty percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Information and computer systems managers were expected to grow by seventeen percent during the same decade. As reported by the BLS, computer and network systems administrators earned an average annual salary of $72,200 during 2010, while information and computer systems managers earned an average annual salary of $123,280.

Information on Continuing Education

Computer information systems associate degree program graduates may enroll in bachelor, master, and doctoral programs in management information systems (MIS) and computer information systems. Students who are interested in management information systems programs will be able to find concentration options through broader business programs, such as Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) or Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs.

Professional certification will also demonstrate an employee’s knowledge and commitment of the profession. Certifications may be earned through independent certifying organizations or computer software vendors. Most computer-related training programs include courses that will prepare students for the certification examinations in certain specialized areas.

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Quick Fact
In 2017, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
median earnings per week than workers with only a high school diploma*.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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