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Degree Overview: Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Computer Information Systems

Majors Overview September 4, 2013

Students who are interested in working in information technology (IT) can choose to pursue an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Computer Information Systems degree program that may lead to entry-level positions in the field. These degree programs will cover general concepts in both the hardware and software of computers.

A.A. in Computer Information Systems Degree Program

Students enrolled in computer information systems (CIS) program will be trained to seek entry-level jobs within the information technology industry. Coursework is devised to impart data management, troubleshooting and analytical skills that students can employ in a CIS career. Computer programming and networking are also taught. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to completing science and math courses.

Program Coursework

Typically, the associate degree programs include hands-on training, lab studies, and coursework dealing with computers. Students will learn how to upgrade, maintain, and install computer software and hardware. Though course names might vary, required courses will include:

•Client and server administration
•Web design
•Object-oriented programming
•Systems development and design
•Cisco networking
•A+ hardware support
•Network implementation and design
•Computer and computing
•Programming and logic

Career Options

Skills acquired in an associate degree program in computer information systems will lead to different entry-level positions in the computer industry. This may include positions where configuration, programming, networking, analysis, repair, maintenance, and installation skills are necessary. Graduates may obtain the following career titles:

•Computer programmers
•Computer systems analysts
•Computer support specialists
•Information and computer systems managers

Information on Continuing Education

Students who have completed the associate degree programs can become CIS managers once they have received hands-on training and sufficient experience. Most employers prefer candidates who hold at least a bachelor’s degree. Schools allow Associate of Arts program graduates to transfer credits earned to a four-year bachelor degree programs.

Graduates can showcase their skill and knowledge in the field through voluntary certification; thus, improve their employability and advancement opportunities in the field. Independent certifying agencies and computer software vendors offer such certifications. Students can also use coursework in programs to help prepare for certification examinations.

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