Read about careers in computer information science, including how much education you'll need to work in information systems management or programming. Find job growth and salary statistics for computer information specialists here, and make an informed decision about your future.
Professionals who work in computer information science develop and analyze methods for organizing and transferring data. Studies in computer information science can lead to many different career paths, such as computer programmer, database administrator and information technology director.
Computer programmers write the software codes that tell computers what to do. Database administrators determine the best methods for organizations to manipulate and organize information. You can also become a computer information manager with enough experience and education. Skills in written and oral communication, mathematics and problem-solving are all useful to workers in computer information science.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for computer programmers were projected to increase by an average rate of 8% nationwide between 2012 and 2022. Computer and information systems managers, as well as database administrators, can expect a 15%, or faster-than-average, growth in jobs through 2022. As of May 2013, the BLS reported that computer programmers earned a median annual salary of $76,140, while computer information system managers earned $123,950 (www.bls.gov).
The amount of education and training you need to work in computer information science depends on the occupation you wish to pursue. An associate's degree and related work experience may be sufficient for some occupations in computer systems administration and computer programming. However, most computer information employers desire applicants who have earned a bachelor's degree and a professional computer certification relevant to the job. You'll need at least a bachelor's degree to work in information systems management, but you might have more job opportunities with a master's degree.
A bachelor's degree program in computer information science can include coursework in programming design, algorithms and computational modeling. You may also study systems management and computer networks. Many employers who use business applications prefer applicants who have taken courses in both computer science and business. As such, most schools will allow you to tailor your degree program to fit your career goals, which may include classes in financial management and economics.
A master's degree program in information systems can provide you with an understanding of computers and business. Course topics may include the study of database systems, Web-based systems design and global business. Completion of a master's degree program can lead to a career in project development or prepare you for admission to a doctoral program.