Online Computer Information Systems Master’s Degree

Overview

A picture representing this degree

There are a wealth of jobs in computer information systems due to the need for a large workforce to maintain and create new technologies, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs in computer information systems also typically rank high on the U.S. News “Best Jobs” list due to their generally low unemployment rate, high median salary and above average flexibility.

An online master’s in computer information systems is sometimes designed for professionals with no information technology or computer programming skills who would like to enter the IT field. Others are designed for midlevel professionals in the field who would like to gain more specialized knowledge and leadership skills to advance to management positions.

The degree differs from a master’s in information technology in that it has more of an emphasis on practical applications rather than the technical aspects of information technology. 

Course Work

Example courses
Software analysis and architecture
Project management
Web design
Analysis of algorithms
Software systems
Theory of computation
Mobile device programming

Students in an online computer information systems master’s degree program can learn the fundamentals of computer and information science. Courses in the program include software analysis, mathematical foundations, programming language, computer architecture, software design and computer networking.

Additionally, students can take classes in IT strategy and project management to develop leadership and communication skills. Some courses include collaborative projects to encourage teamwork and problem-solving skills.

The degree doesn’t always require a background in computer and information science; however, students without any computer science experience may need to complete a prerequisite course in a computer programming language. Programs with a more technical focus may prefer to admit students with experience in computer and information science.

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Job Outlook

Median salaries*
Technology analyst $65,000
Database administrator $69,000
Information technology consultant $75,000
Software engineer $78,000
Information technology manager $80,000
Product manager, information technology $88,000

*per PayScale.com

Nearly all businesses and organizations need someone with computer and information technology skills to manage networks, design websites and troubleshoot computer problems, among other tasks. Computer information systems professionals work in a variety of industries, from health care to technical consulting services.

Professional organizations such as the IEEE Computer Society provide professional development and networking opportunities to help increase job prospects.

Jobs in computer information systems typically have salaries well above the national mean wage of about $46,000, according to the BLS. Technology analysts make a median salary of $65,000, for example, while software engineers make a median salary of $78,000. Product managers in information technology can make more than $88,000 annually, according to PayScale, an online salary database.

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