Computer Information Science Degrees

You can study computer information science from the 2-year degree level all the way up to the Ph.D. level. Review your job options in computer information science and what kind of degree you'd need for each position. Get info on common coursework in this field, and check the job outlook and salary potential. Learn more about online learning options in computer information science. Schools offering Cloud Computing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Type of Computer Information Science Degrees Are Offered?

Several schools provide a choice among associate's, bachelor's, master's and even some doctoral degree programs. The degree level you choose plays a role in your employment options.

Many companies prefer to hire someone with a bachelor's or graduate degree for managerial positions; however, an associate's degree program could qualify you for an entry-level position. With work experience, you might be able to apply your associate degree credit toward an advanced degree in the field. Some schools offer the computer information science major with a choice of concentrations, such as Internet technology or computer programming.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees
Common Courses Networking, server design, cryptology, computer analysis, bioinformatics
Online Technology Requirement A computer with Internet access that meets the hardware and software specifications set by the institution
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 12%* (for all computer and information systems managers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will My Courses Be Like?

Undergraduate curricula combine general education, computer information science courses and specialized electives. In addition to classes, you'll perform lab work and might participate in an internship option. Some associate's degree programs focus heavily in mathematics, though most provide instruction in programming, computer languages, hardware systems and software. Bachelor's degree programs might also introduce database administration, networking and advanced business electives. Topics of study in these programs could include:

  • Object-oriented programming
  • Java, C++ and COBOL languages
  • Computer analysis and design
  • Internet and programming algorithms
  • Computer graphics, animation and artificial intelligence
  • Cabled, wireless and mobile networking

Graduate programs in computer information science provide you with advanced studies, building on theory and concepts learned in an undergraduate program. Master's and doctoral-level courses might include:

  • Cryptology
  • Internet and network security
  • Computer and network architecture
  • Server design and administration
  • Embedded software development and programming
  • Advanced programming languages
  • Bioinformatics

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

If you thought earning a computer information science degree was impossible because of your current schedule, you may find distance learning programs that cater to you. Only a few fully online computer information science degree programs exist, though you can find some at various degree levels. Online programs offer similar courses that you'd find in an on-campus program.

You'll need a computer with Internet access, an e-mail account and word processing software. Interaction with your instructors takes place through e-mail, discussion boards and online chat. Although online programs allow you to work at your own pace, you will need to log in several times a week for assignments and tests. Some schools might provide any software or tools necessary to complete the program.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Adequate education gives you the knowledge and skills to assess technological needs and implement solutions. You can qualify for jobs that contain network building, Internet security and systems design. With specialized training or an advanced degree, you might find career opportunities as a computer and information systems manager, database administrator, information technology manager, information systems director or systems analyst.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that computer and information system managers could expect to see employment growth of 12% between 2016 and 2026 ( The BLS reported that these professionals earned an annual median wage of $142,530 in 2018. Contributing factors to your job opportunities and wages include location, experience and level of education. Additionally, many technology vendors and industry standards organizations offer voluntary professional certification that many employers seek, including the A+ credential from CompTIA, Microsoft's Certified Systems Engineer designation or Cisco's Certified Network Associate certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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