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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in CIS

Majors Overview June 7, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in CIS and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master’s Programs in CIS

Students enrolled in a master’s degree program for computing and information sciences are taught about designing, developing and using current computer-based information technologies. They learn about designing or managing information systems for various organizations.

Students are introduced to computer science theory and current computer applications. Program coursework is devised to build upon a foundation of basic knowledge in the field. Schools offer various areas of specialization including databases, parallel and distributed systems, information technology management, software engineering, networks, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, computer theory, and bioinformatics. Students usually take four to five years to complete such programs; technical schools, as well as traditional universities, are among the institutions that offer them widely.

Education Requirements

A computer technology-related, or programming background is a requirement for incoming students to a master’s-level CIS program. However, requirements differ from school to school, and in some master’s degree programs, business management is emphasized over technology skills. Applicants are required to hold at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school; they are also required to submit GRE scores.


The primary focus of coursework is on incorporating current technologies, as well as general business knowledge, into a wide array of information systems. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Data modeling
•Systems integration
•Network administration
•Information systems
•Legal issues
•Software engineering
•Database management

Career Choices

Program graduates can choose from managerial level career opportunities, including:

•Information technology manager
•Business consultant
•Information systems developer
•Information systems manager
•Systems administrator
•Project manager

Job and Wage Outlook

Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth rate of fifteen percent has been predicted for computer and information systems managers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, these professionals brought in an average annual wage of $120,950 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may seek continuing education by enrolling in one of the many doctoral degree programs available in the computer information sciences. Coursework in these programs incorporates the study of research methods, communication and information theories, and the concepts that currently used technologies depend on for support. Doctorate degrees could lead to careers in research or academia.

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