Online information systems degrees teach students about the computer systems development life cycle, which includes the planning, analysis, design, and implementation of computer systems. Students are also equipped with broad-based skills in database management, networking, and programming. Graduates of such programs can then use their interdisciplinary knowledge to come up with solutions to the various problems that cause an organization’s computer systems to be inefficient.
Information systems degrees tend to emphasize business and communication courses to a greater extent than other degree programs in computers and technology. This is because information systems professionals must be able to clearly communicate how the technology solutions they develop for a company fit into the company’s overall business plan and will allow for the business to run more effectively. For example, they must be able to explain to a company’s management team how the hardware and software upgrades they are recommending will be worth the cost because they allow for increased productivity.
Course work in an online information systems degree program often includes general business courses in accounting, financial management, business law, and organizational behavior. Courses specific to information systems management will explore computer architecture and organization, planning for wireless network capacity, and network configurations. Many courses use the case study approach, where professors expose students to real-world issues that information systems professionals face on the job and require them to pose solutions using the IT tools at their disposal.
Graduates of such programs may pursue careers as computer systems analysts, information technology (IT) project managers, computer and information systems managers, or network and computer systems administrators. Nearly every industry needs skilled information systems professionals, with a small sampling including state, local, and federal governments; school districts; financial and insurance companies; and health care organizations.