Is Computer Information Systems a Good Major? [2021 Guide]

Is computer information systems a good major? If you’re interested in computing and technology, this degree can be a strategic pathway toward a successful career in an in-demand field.

Is Computer Information Systems a Good Major

Organizations are often looking for trained experts who can manage their growing needs for data collection and management.

A degree in computer information systems can help you acquire the necessary skills for this field.

Is Computer Information Systems a Good Major?

Computer and Information Systems Manager with colleagues

Yes, computer information systems is a good major for many undergraduate students. With an average salary of $88,240 and 11% job growth for computer and information technology occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics), majoring in CIS can help you launch a career in this modern field.

Common computer information systems careers include database administrator, computer systems analyst, information security analyst, computer and information systems manager, and network and computer systems administrator.

If you major in computer information systems, you’ll study technology as it relates to business settings. That means that you won’t just understand how to set up a network or build a database. You’ll also have the expertise to apply those skills to meet business needs.

As a result, you may be well prepared to handle various organizations’ data management needs. In addition to computer and technology companies, common fields for CIS graduates include insurance, education, government, and business.

There’s a growing demand for people who are trained in information systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the number of computer-related jobs is expected to grow at an 11% rate through 2029. One CIS job in particular is growing at an astounding rate. The demand for information security analysts is expected to increase by 31% through 2029.

Computer Information Systems Major Curriculum

Computer Information Systems Major student working on his laptop

Your coursework for a computer information systems major will likely teach you how to develop and maintain technology components and data management systems for businesses and other organizations.

Your class list might have classes like the examples listed below.

  • Analysis of Computer Systems
  • Business Intelligence
  • Data Security
  • Database Development
  • Database Management
  • Information Systems for Businesses
  • Introduction to Information Technology
  • Object-oriented Programming
  • Online and Mobile Technology for Businesses
  • Statistics for Business Decisions

You’ll need to earn about 120 credits to graduate with your degree in computer information systems. Your credits will come from general education and major-specific courses, and you may also get to choose several elective classes.

Top 3 Things You Can Do with a Computer Information Systems Degree

Computer and Information Systems Manager with staff

There are quite a few in-demand jobs in the field of computer and information technology. The three listed below offer high average salaries and impressive potential for job growth over the next decade.

1. Computer and Information Systems Manager

One of the top jobs for a CIS degree is working as an information systems manager. In addition to taking care of an organization’s computers and other technology, you’d also supervise IT employees.

Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can expect 10% job growth for IS managers through 2029. Jobs are available in manufacturing, computer services, and finance.

2. Database Administrator

Database Administrators working together

Your IS training could prepare you to oversee an organization’s data management systems. The responsibilities for this job could encompass cybersecurity, system upgrades, and database architecture.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in this field are growing at a 10% rate. Insurance companies, school systems, and data hosting companies often hire for this role.

3. Computer Systems Analyst

As a computer systems analyst, you may evaluate an organization’s computer needs and design or upgrade technology systems to match. Having both business and computer skills can be valuable in this role.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 7% job growth for systems analysts. Common employers include government agencies, corporations, and financial institutions.

Computer Information Systems Careers

Computer Information Systems Careers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the computer and information technology sector are growing at a rate of 11%, and they pay an average annual salary of $88,240.

Considering that the median American salary across all sectors is just $39,810, a CIS major could be a degree with high earning potential.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Computer and Information Systems Managers $146,360
Computer Network Architects $112,690
Software Developers $107,510
Information Security Analysts $99,730
Database Administrators $93,750
Computer Systems Analysts $90,920
Computer Programmers $86,550
Network and Computer Systems Administrators $83,510
Web Developers $73,760
Computer Support Specialists $54,760

Although there are high salaries and plenty of room for growth in this field with only a bachelors degree, you may eventually decide to continue on to earn a masters degree.

With a masters in CIS, you might receive more promotion opportunities or the option to become a computer and information research scientist. That job pays an average annual salary of $122,840 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

How to Know If a Degree in Computer Information Systems Is Right for Me

Computer Support Specialists working together

CIS is a field that encompasses business and technology, so it could be a beneficial major to choose if you’re interested in both of these areas of study. Being able to navigate computer systems with ease is a helpful skill as a CIS major.

While you don’t need to know everything about the inner workings of computers—you’ll learn such things in your college program—you should be comfortable using a computer and various applications. Other skills that can help you in this field include decision-making, project management, communication, and mathematics.

What Is a CIS Degree?

Computer information systems is a field of study in which you’ll learn how to use technology for enterprise purposes. CIS professionals create or maintain systems that can manage a company’s data in secure and organized ways.

In this program, you’ll study topics like cloud computing, programming languages, database management, network systems, and online security. In addition to technology classes, you’ll probably also take courses related to statistics and business.

By the time you graduate, you should be ready to assist organizations with their technology needs and participate in the process of collecting, organizing, and analyzing data for business decisions.

Is Computer Information Systems a Hard Major?

Computer Information Systems student studying in a library

CIS skills come easier to some people than others. To decide whether you’ve got what it takes to succeed in this major, it can help to consider the various topics that you’ll study while in school.

During this program, you will take classes in computer programming and database architecture. Learning to talk to computers can be like learning to speak a new language.

CIS isn’t all about working behind a computer screen, so you’ll also need to develop your teamwork and project management skills. Courses may include business communication and organizational leadership. Math classes will be part of your curriculum as well. You may need to take advanced calculus and business statistics.

What Can I Do with a Computer Information Systems Degree?

Computer Systems Analyst working in an office

Computer information systems majors are prepared for a range of jobs in the technology sector. Right out of school, you might gain experience as a computer support specialist or a web developer.

Later, you may advance to a position as a systems analyst, a database administrator, a software developer, or an information security analyst. With experience may come a promotion to the role of computer and information systems manager, or IT manager.

Some CIS professionals may even join executive leadership teams. For example, you might become an organization’s chief technology officer someday.

How Much Does a CIS Major Make?

Web Developers working together

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that people who work in computer and information technology occupations earn an average of $88,240 per year. Your particular computer information systems salary will depend on your position and the company that employs you.

As a database administrator, you’d likely earn between $51,800 and $148,060 annually. In a position as a computer and information systems manager, you might earn between $87,480 and $208,000 per year.

Some of the top-paying CIS jobs are for information systems managers, who work in the information sector. Their average annual salary is $161,930.

What Is the Difference Between MIS vs. CIS?

Information Security Analysts working

Whether you study management information systems or computer information systems, you’ll learn about technology’s applications for business settings.

CIS professionals put technology in place to support business needs. This could include creating an interface through which a customer registers or a database that stores client information. Working in CIS, you might also maintain and upgrade your company’s computer network.

In MIS, you’d probably be more directly involved in business activities. Your role might include performing data analytics to help strengthen your organization. MIS insights can improve sales, marketing, operations, and budgeting.

What Is the Difference Between Computer Information Systems vs. Computer Science?

Computer Network Architects in a meeting

There are many parallels between a computer information systems degree and a computer science degree. In either program, you would study network designs, programming languages, and data management.

With CIS, though, there’s a business-oriented focus that you won’t get in a computer science program. In a CIS program, you’ll study computing topics through the lens of enterprise applications. This degree will help prepare you to help businesses find technology-driven solutions to their problems.

Instead of business-focused courses, a computer science program typically spends more time addressing computer theories, coding languages, and mathematical concepts.

What Is the Difference Between CIS vs. IT?

IT working on his computer

There are many similarities between the fields of computer information systems and information technology, but they’re not exactly the same.

Computer information systems addresses using technology to collect, organize, and analyze business data. That data can be used as a foundation for decision-making in an organization. CIS students take courses like database programming and information security.

Information technology deals more heavily with the tech itself. IT professionals often install, maintain, and upgrade hardware and software for the computers in an organization. For this role, IT students enroll in classes like advanced networks and interactions with computers.

Is a CIS Degree Worth It?

Software developers collaborating on a project

Yes, a computer information systems degree is worth it for many students. With an average salary of $88,240 and 11% job growth for computer and information technology occupations (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a degree in CIS can help you launch a career in this desirable field.

Common CIS careers include web developer, computer support specialist, information systems manager, software developer, and computer programmer. Even entry-level CIS jobs offer promising salaries. For example, web developers typically earn between $39,550 and $142,080 each year.

One of the top roles in this field is that of a computer and information systems manager. The average salary for this role is $146,360.

Getting Your Computer Information Systems Degree Online

Getting Your Computer Information Systems Degree Online

Computer information systems is a field of study that can help equip you with skills that today’s businesses require. You may explore IT solutions to enterprise needs and discover ways to provide valuable data that will help business leaders make sound decisions.

If you’ve been debating between a career in business or computers, you may consider merging those two interests by studying computer information systems. Your unique blend of knowledge may make you an in-demand applicant for a wide variety of jobs over the next decade and beyond.

If you’re interested in knowing more about what an online degree in computer information systems has to offer, you may begin looking into various CIS programs from accredited colleges.

Joy Cromwelle
WRITTEN BY
Joy Cromwelle
Joy is pursuing her Ph.D. in Public Policy & Foreign Policy and holds a Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management, as well as a Bachelor's in Business Administration. Joy's focus is helping non-traditional students find accelerated degree options and credit for prior learning opportunities.