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Information on Master of Science (MS) Degree Program in Computer Information Systems

Majors Overview July 12, 2015

This article talks about Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in Computer Information Systems and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Computer Information Systems

Students enrolled in Master of Science (M.S.) in Computer Information Systems programs can become adept at designing, testing and maintaining hardware and software in business settings. They also become adept at creating networks and improving their system efficiency. They also gain expertise in improving database protection through the implementation of network security measures.

Students spend 30- to 33-credit-hours in the master’s program delving into data analysis, system design, programming, component engineering, and network communications. A culminating or capstone project may have to be completed during their final semester to gain hands-on experience in the field.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in any major. However, in some programs, those without a computer-related undergraduate major may have to complete prerequisite coursework in technology, programming, and mathematics. Schools may also insist on the submission of letters of recommendation and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores.


Coursework is devised to breed familiarity with security methods and computer languages. Students learn about maintaining quality, staying within budget and meeting deadlines, and designing software that fulfills their organizations’ needs. Students engage in the analysis, testing and maintenance of information systems and implementation of changes to ensure improvement of productivity in workplace settings. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Data structures
•Operating systems
•Artificial intelligence

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek various mid-level positions within businesses and organizations. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Database Developer
•Project Manager
•Systems Analyst
•Communications manager
•Network Architect

Wage Outlook

In January 2014, communications managers brought in an average annual wage of $36,323 to $91,647; at that time, most database developers, earned $45,734 – $110,735 per annum. In 2012, systems analysts brought in an average annual wage of $49,950 to $122,090. During that year, most network architects earned between $52,580 and $141,590 while information technology project managers made between $74,940 and $187,200 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates seeking to continue their education may choose to enroll in graduate certificate programs in computer information systems. They may volunteer for certificate programs in related fields, such as software engineering, telecommunications, or computer networking. Alternatively, they may pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems that could lead to a career in research, methodology or academia.

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