Is Information Systems A Good Major: A Quick IT Career Guide

As a post-secondary student or high school graduate faced with the dilemma of what career path to follow, you may begin to wonder if information systems is a good major especially if you have a flair for computer and tech gadgets.

The short answer is yes, information systems is a great field with interesting career opportunities for you. Tech is the happening thing and it’s currently applicable to every other field today be it education, business, or the public sector.

This article explains what information systems major entails, career opportunities for graduates in the field, salary scale, and more.

What is an information systems major?

Information systems major is the study of computer science coupled with business intelligence. Information system professionals use data management and communication technologies to solve problems for companies, governments, and society.

As an information systems major, the curriculum would teach you how to build databases, analyze data, design business applications, and improve networks, computer programming, cybersecurity, and so on.

You could apply your skills to work as an IT professional in financial institutions, SaaS or tech companies, IT service providers, schools, and healthcare facilities.

SEE: What IT Stands For In The Computer Industry

Is information systems major hard?

That would be a question of your interest and aptitude. However, Information systems is a highly technical field that requires knowledge of computers and math.

Although you may not do as much math as computer science majors, you need to be really interested in math.

Some of the courses you should expect to take include finite math, algorithm, system analysis, network theory, operating systems, database management, statistics, and so on. Most of these courses have strong math and technology components.

In the course of study, students will have to embark on IT-related internships, practicums, and capstone projects. These programs enable students to apply all they’ve learned in practice.

If your math isn’t really strong, you may want to consider applying for a business administration major or a major in communications.

SEE: Is Computer Science Hard

Benefits of studying information systems

If you’re still skeptical about why you should consider applying for an information systems major, here are some of the advantages that it presents:

1. Wide range of career options

IT skills are one of the most in-demand skills today. There is hardly any business or field that doesn’t apply technology in its operations. For instance, healthcare professionals are using technology to track patients’ records easily and securely.

Technology is improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the educational system. Financial institutions use tech to offer better services to their customers in a secure and reliable way.

These institutions need IT professionals to set up a working technology system and manage them. Moreover, you can work as a data analyst, software engineer, or IT support staff in a SaaS or tech company.

SEE: What Are Technology Skills That Are Valuable

2. Financial benefit

Apart from the variety of job opportunities in the field of information systems, the opportunity for money-making is also worthwhile. According to the bureau of labor statistics, information system managers earn an average annual income of $159,010.

Compared to many other jobs, IT-related jobs offer better rewards because of their high demand. And the good thing is, as you gain more experience and expertise on the job, you can enjoy even better pay and benefits.

3. Opportunity for remote work

Some IT-related jobs give you the opportunity and flexibility to work from wherever you are. You may decide to be a freelancer working on your own terms or work from home as a full-time employee.

With careers such as software development, IT support technician, and web development, you can work from anywhere around the globe.

4. Functional, hands-on learning

Information systems is a course that involves a lot of practicals. Schools make available tech gadgets you need to practice with as you learn the theory.

Moreover, your computer is the major equipment for practice. Hence, you are able to practice whatever you learn on the go.

SEE: Hands-On Learning Benefits And Implementation Tips

5. Job security

Another major benefit of opting for information systems major is the ease at which you can get jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 48,500 openings for computer and information systems managers each year so you can almost never be out of a job.

As more businesses continue to rely on information systems the demand for experts who can plan and oversee computer hardware and software needs will continue to rise.

What jobs can you do with a degree in Information systems?

There are a variety of career paths to follow with an IS degree. Whether you would love to work in a health firm, business organization, or an IT firm, here are a few jobs that you can do as an IS degree holder:

1. Computer and information systems manager

This is a high-level job that comes with a lot of responsibility and of course, good pay. Computer and information systems management caters to all hardware and software needs of an organization.

These activities may span across software development, data security, and database management. They manage a team or department of IT professionals in an organization.

SEE: What to Do with a Degree in Computer Science

2. Data analyst

A data analyst also known as a computer system analyst, information technology specialist, or even operation analyst is one who collects, track, organizes, and interpret data for businesses.

Apart from the technical data analysis skills, they are able to draw relevant conclusions from the data they derive so businesses or individuals can make better decisions.

SEE: What Does An IT Analyst Do

3. Computer programmer

A computer programmer designs and updates software solutions and source code as well as manages various operating systems. Also, they may use computer-assisted software engineering tools to automate some coding.

They sometimes collaborate with software developers to create programs for an organization. The good thing about this job is that it allows for creativity and innovation.

4. Computer network architects

These are professionals who plan, design, and create data communication networks which includes local area network (LANs), wide area network (WANs), and intranets.

They advise an organization on the best data communication route to follow and draft the layout of the process. They also ensure data security while building these systems.

5. Database administrators and architects

Data administrators and architects are specialists who create and organize systems to store and secure a wide range of data. These data may include financial information of customers, shipping records, and so on.

They also ensure the security of these data and make them accessible for users when needed. In organizations that deal with heavy data, the role of data administrator could be separated from the data architect.

Information systems careers and salaries

IT professionals enjoy a massive pay rate. According to the bureau of labor statistics, here is a list of jobs with their average annual salary:

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager: $151,150
  • Computer Programmer: $89,190
  • Computer network architect:  $116,780
  • Software developer: $110,140
  • Information security analyst: $102,600
  • Computer systems analyst: $93,730
  • Operations research analyst: $82,360
  • Network and computer systems administrator: $80,600
  • Computer support specialist: $57,910

SEE: Computer Science Fields That Pay Most

FAQs

What level of computer proficiency do you need for an IS career?

It all depends on what aspect of information systems you want to focus on.

Computer programmers for instance need high-level coding skills while those interested in project management may not require much computer knowledge.

What is the difference between MIS and CIS?

Computer Information system focuses more on the technology involved while MIS focuses more on the business side.

A degree in CIS will help you gain skills to support an organization’s computer networks and maintain cybersecurity. While MIS prepares you to use data for business growth and development.

Can you get an information system degree online?

Yes.

Information system degrees are available online at different universities. Arizona State University and the University of Florida offer online information systems degrees.

SEE: Do Online Courses Certificates Matter?

Is an information systems degree worth it?

Yes, obtaining a degree in information systems can open doors to many opportunities. There are a lot of job opportunities out there for IT professionals and the demand keeps rising.

Another good thing is the good pay that comes with jobs in the field. However, don’t forget that you need a good grasp of mathematics and computer science to excel in IS majors.

Interestingly, with MOOCs and several online learning platforms, you can learn IT-related skills online without attending a college or university.

Since information systems require a lot of math, learn how to get better at math in this article.

I hope this article helped.

Thanks for reading.