Computer Information Systems: Education and Career Information

Explore the career requirements for a computer information systems manager. Get the facts about the education requirements, key skills, career outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Computer Information Systems Manager?

A computer information systems manager works to ensure a company's computer networks are operating efficiently. They may analyze computer needs and current systems to make upgrade suggestions. Prior to these suggestions they need to assess short- and long-term needs for their department, conduct research on the technology available and assemble cost and benefit analysis for new projects. When a new software or hardware is acquired these computer experts are responsible for making sure it gets properly installed. When they are not conducting upgrades or installing software and hardware, they are maintaining currents systems and making sure electronic databases are secure. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as a forensic science technician.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree preferred, associate's degree or certificate may be acceptable for entry-level positions
Education Field of Study Computer science, management information systems
Key Skills Administrative, analytical, communication, problem solving
Job Growth (2014-2024) 15% (for computer and information systems managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $131,600 (for computer and information systems managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*

What Education Do I Need to Work In Computer Information Systems?

A bachelor's degree in computer science or management information systems is usually the minimum education required to work as a computer information systems manager. You may be able to secure an entry-level position with an associate's degree or certificate. These programs often combine business and computer courses such as accounting, marketing, computer programming and systems analysis.

There are both undergraduate certificate programs that have no prerequisites and post-baccalaureate professional certificate programs for students who already have a bachelor's degree. Being knowledgeable in business practices is often required management positions, so some employers prefer candidates who have completed a Master of Business Administration program with an emphasis in technology.

What Skills Do I Need?

Working in computer information systems often requires strong administration, analytical, communication and problem solving skills. As a computer information systems manager, you may spend significant time planning and organizing information technology goals, managing operational budgets, evaluating computer systems, communicating with vendors and manufacturers and finding solutions to equipment and software problems.

What Might My Job Duties Be?

Computer information systems professionals help ensure the efficient operations of a company's computer networks. As a manager, your job duties would be to identify the technology-related needs and goals of your company, implement those technologies into daily business operations, develop policies and procedures to make networks secure and ensure that employees have the necessary equipments and software needed to perform their jobs.

Completing these tasks usually involves assigning projects to a team of systems analysts or programmers and consulting with vendors and other department managers. You would also be responsible for fixing computer issues, updating software and developing a disaster recovery system.

What Job Growth and Salary Can I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for computer information systems managers could increase by 15% from 2014-2024, which is higher than the rate of many other occupations (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary you can expect to earn as a computer information systems manager is approximately $131,600, according to May 2015 BLS wage statistics.

Salary for this profession can vary based upon education level, work experience or industry. For instance, computer information systems managers in the computer systems design and related services industry, the largest employer of computer information systems managers, earned a mean annual wage of $149,190 as of May 2015, while those in securities and commodity exchanges, the highest paying industry, earned a mean annual wage of $189,100 during this time, reported the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a number of different careers related to computer information systems management. A close one, that requires a higher education degree, is a computer and information research scientist. These professionals conduct research on computer information systems, design new approaches to computing technology, and find new uses for existing technology. Computer network architects design and build communication networks for everything from office workplace LANs to multi-server clouds for multiple customers. Computer systems analysts specialize in studying current computer systems and procedures. They then use this analysis to create information system solutions that help systems work more efficiently.

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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