As the world turns to computer knowledge and technologies, more and more opportunities present themselves. We are in a tech-driven society, from robotics to the Internet of Things (IoT) to machine learning to artificial intelligence. There is no greater way to take your career and expertise to the next level than obtaining a Masters in Computer Information Systems (CIS).
Holding a masters in computer information systems is a gate path to a massive category of industries. From security to finance, to software development to health, a Master’s in CIS is at the core of almost every business.
- I. What the Coursework in MS in Computer Information Systems Entails
- II. Educational Opportunities with an MSCIS
- III. Eligibility for the Master’s Program
- IV. Skills for Successful Pursuit of masters in computer information systems
- V. The Cost of Pursuing a Masters CIS
- VI. Professional Association in Computer Information Systems
- VII. Factors to Consider in Selecting a School for MSCIS
What the Coursework in MS in Computer Information Systems Entails
A master’s degree in CIS is much more practical than theory. Students will tend to work more on database management projects, computer systems, and other uses of technologies. Additionally, the program allows students to learn how to integrate this knowledge into the actual work environment.
The master’s program aims at equipping students with prerequisite knowledge for high demanding roles in technology. The program is made so that students can use current technologies in providing solutions to daily challenges.
The program also gives learners a unique opportunity to study how they can create new applications and technologies that will revolutionize the business and research spaces. Some of the core courses that the program covers include:
- Database designs
- Data Communication
- System design
- System Analysis
- Data Analytics
- Project Management
- Computer networks
- IT security
- Software development
The duration of the program is dependent on the choice of the student. Learners who choose to study on a full-time basis are likely to complete the program within two years. Generally, such master’s programs require students to complete 30 to 40 credit hours.
Typically, you will be required to write a thesis under the supervision of an advisor and principal reader within your department. In most cases, the advisor is a full-time faculty member, while the principal reader may be a part-time faculty member possessing a Ph.D.
Careers for MSCIS Graduates
Based on how the latest technologies are looming over the horizon, this degree is an excellent choice. Today, business operations in all sectors rely on information systems for better performance and efficiency. It is no wonder that graduates with a Masters in Computer Information Systems’ average salary are around $95,000.
Chief Information Officer
This position is a senior position in nearly all industries. The chief information officer (CIO) is responsible for all significant functions surrounding the IT department. Such duties may include drafting policies and procedures for the organization’s IT department. Developing new technologies and determining budgets for all IT related issues in the company.
Depending on the location, employer, and experience, the average salary is $165,519.
The duty is to oversee the computer network, architecture, infrastructure, and data security. Data managers usually work alongside top executives to develop security policies and implement information security across the organization.
The average salary is about $148,290.
This position involves supervising other employees in the IT departments. The IT directors help to identify business system requirements and implementation of policies set by top management. They also assist with budgeting and coordination of IT activities.
The average salary for IT directors is around $160 275.
Chief Technology Officers
The chief technology officer (CTO) is a high ranking position within the IT departments. The primary goal of the CTO is to comprehend and interpret technologies that assist a business to achieve its primary objective.Jobs available for graduates with MSCIS include:
- Application Development: The master’s degree equips you with the appropriate skills for web, desktop, or mobile application development.
- Cloud Administration: Graduates have the privilege of learning how to use and operate cloud networks for enhanced flow of information.
- Data Analysis: MSCIS allows graduates to generate meaningful reports from data to spur business growth and decisions.
- Database Management: The degree gives graduates the necessary expertise and tools for efficient management of information.
- Project Management: Graduates acquire competencies that allow them to design and implement IT projects from scratch.
- System Security: The biggest threat in adopting modern technologies is cyber-crime. The program will assist you in staying ahead of hackers, scammers, and other opportunists. Such criminals use fraudulent methods to access sensitive company data that may lead to dire consequences to the organization.
Educational Opportunities with an MSCIS
Finishing your master’s degree opens up a door for you to enroll for a doctorate. A Ph.D. allows you to explore and discover technological solutions for research and business challenges.
Eligibility for the Master’s Program
You require a strong background in programming, information systems, computer systems, quantitative analysis, mathematics, and software development to pursue this degree.
A relevant undergraduate degree must have a strong GPA of over 3.0 if you have no experience. Students with a lower GPA in their bachelor’s degree may also qualify if they have two to three years of experience in related fields.
Skills for Successful Pursuit of masters in computer information systems
A master’s degree in CIS is relatively demanding. It is essential to have the following skills.
- Problem-solving skills: Computer information systems assist us in solving daily problems. It is therefore critical for students to be able to solve sophisticated and complicated scenarios. Consequently, you need to be a rational thinker with close attention to details and as logical as possible.
- Leadership Skills: The program help students to understand how to manage, motivate and guide people within the IT department. Therefore, the pursuit of this degree will allow you to have proper governance to ensure policies are in place to protect sensitive data.
- Specialized Industry Knowledge: Students learn knowledge that matches the demands of various industries. The program gives you a unique understanding of information systems for particular sectors. Additionally, learners get commercial awareness and business acumen in their various fields.
- Analytical Skills: The courses will equip you with mathematical skills that enhance the analysis of data. The program exposes students to new tools and software that allow learners to analyze big data.
The Cost of Pursuing a Masters CIS
Various factors determine the cost of MSCIS. The state residency for public colleges saves students a considerable amount of money than the out-of-state tuition fee.
Another factor is online learning as opposed to traditional brick and mortar classrooms. Studying online helps to cut the cost of transportation and course materials. Nonetheless, some schools have a flat rate irrespective of the state of residence or online learning.
Some schools charge the degree based on the number of credits. Typically, the cost for each credit may be between $420 and $820. Therefore, for the entire program, students should expect to pay around $11000 to $35000 for tuition.
Professional Association in Computer Information Systems
Students should gain membership in professional associations. Here, students can gain job leads, access to networking events, and access beneficial resources such as journals or publications.
Some of the associations for CIS experts are:
- National Cybersecurity Student Association: The association enhance networking among students with a heightened interest in system security. The membership fee for students is $25 for a whole year.
- Information Systems Security Association International (ISSA): The union has over a hundred chapters throughout the United States. Members enjoy access to seminars and journals regarding CIS. ISSA also has international branches in Asia, Europe, Latin America, South Pacific, and the Middle East.
- Association for Information Systems (AIS): This association targets professionals in the research, study, and practice of information systems around the world. Its membership spans North, South, Central America, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
Factors to Consider in Selecting a School for MSCIS
- Accreditation: It is vital to ensure that you select a school endorsed by the U.S Department of Education. Moreover, be keen to see that the school meets regional and global training requirements. Such accreditation will safeguard your occupation and increase your employability.
- Student Instructor Ratio: A school with a favorable class ratio will allow close interactions between the faculty and the student. Such institutions have more incredible student performance and access to support.
- Resources: The physical amenities of graduate schools are essential for excellent performance in your graduate studies. You require a library stocked with suitable books and reference materials or labs equipped with relevant tools to complete your research.
- Flexibility: Select a school that integrates well with your schedule. Suppose you are a full-time student, you may consider the traditional system of education. Online learning may be more appropriate if you are living far off from the university. Evening or part-time schooling may work best for employed individuals.
- Faculty Experience: Select a school with professors who have a track record of delivering quality education.
- Specialization: Look for a school specializing in computer technology areas of study and provide computer information systems as a single program. Such professional accreditation means that the school has met or exceeded the set standard by multiple agencies across America.
- Robust Alumni Community: Seek to find a school with a solid alumni community. Such schools have a strong professional connection that may assist you in collaborations and networking.
This article highlights on the coursework, professional associations, careers, eligibility, skills, cost and factors to consider in selecting a training institution to pursue the masters program. A Master’s degree in computer information systems offers a broad spectrum of opportunities. Students hone their skills, which allow them to stand out in the market place and compete for more exciting and challenging positions.