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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Computer Systems

Majors Overview February 25, 2015

Bachelor’s degree programs in computer science or computer information systems can provide a foundational education of computer systems. Both programs will prepare students for graduate study or entry-level jobs in the field.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Computer Science

Many schools require incoming computer science majors to complete courses in advanced mathematics, electronics, and data structures. Program coursework involves the exploration of issues when building or maintaining computer systems. Students also learn about a wide array of computing disciplines, such as database management, hardware, and web development.

Students are required to demonstrate a basic competency in all of these disciplines by completing a capstone project before they graduate.

Program Coursework

Database management and programming are available within computer science coursework. Hardware platforms, systems architecture, and operating systems are also discussed within core coursework that may include topic areas such as:

•Systems networking
•Internet services
•Computer systems networking
•Web engineering
•Data distribution

Job and Wage Outlook

Computer science majors can seek employment as computer systems analysts; people aspiring for these jobs are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. However, a graduate degree such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Systems is required to be held by aspirants to management, scientific, and technical positions.

A job growth rate of 25% has been predicted for computer systems analysts over the 2010 – 2020 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought home an average annual wage of $79,680 (BLS).

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Computer Information Systems

Those that wish to pursue computer information systems (CIS) management careers would benefit by completing a four-year undergraduate degree program. Students enrolled in CIS bachelor’s degree programs will gain advanced computer networking, programming, and computer literacy skills, in addition to learning ways of troubleshooting networking issues in computer systems, such as connectivity problems and viruses.

Schools offer specializations to students seeking an information technology career in website development, business, science, database management, and healthcare. Some students may continue their education by earning a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) or Ph.D. to choose respective career options in supervisory and research roles.

Coursework

Applied mathematics and calculus courses are usually taken by students in information systems majors in order to gain a base for data processing and programming classes. Schools also introduce students to user interaction, online publishing, and object-oriented programming. Programming coursework teaches the development of computer languages. Core coursework may also include topic areas such as:

•Operating systems
•Programming analysis
•Algorithms and data structures
•Computer systems architecture
•Programming server applications

Job and Wage Outlook

A job growth rate of 18% has been predicted for computer and information systems managers over the 2010 – 2020 decade; during the same time span, a job growth rate of 28% has been predicted for computer systems and network administrators (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The growing need for the installation or maintenance of new computer systems technology drives this demand (BLS). In 2012, information systems and computer managers earned an average annual salary of $120,950. During the same period, computer systems and network administrators brought home an average annual wage of $72,560 (BLS).

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