Information systems degrees are designed to prepare graduates to oversee and coordinate computer and information technology (IT) issues within an organization. These degrees cover the communication and leadership skills necessary for managing within a business, as well as the technical skills for assessing information technology needs, designing systems, and implementing new technology.
Prospective students can pursue information systems degree programs at the certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate level. Most programs combine business skills with an understanding of technical specifications; some allow students to specialize in a particular information systems area, such as Web development, information security, or digital forensics.
An associate degree or undergraduate certificate in information systems can be a good choice for individuals with no previous background in IT who want to pursue entry-level positions upon graduation. Course work discusses data organization, networking, systems analysis and design, and technical writing. Associate degrees typically require students to complete general education classes in topics like college math, English, and natural science. A bachelor’s degree in information systems is generally required to land staff-level information systems management positions. These programs are usually available in a few different areas, such as management information systems, computer information systems, network security, and software development.
Master’s degrees in information systems can help graduates accelerate up the job ladder more quickly, and they may be required by some employers. Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees with a focus in IT or information systems combine a year of applied business strategies with a year of classes in information systems areas. A Master of Science (M.S.) in IT management or other information science areas is less business-focused but still includes a blend of management and IT classes. Doctoral degrees in information systems are usually pursued by individuals that want to do research into IT decision making, in both general business and policy environments. These programs require a large research project and collaborative work with faculty and other students.
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