Information Systems Careers
Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.
2022-09-08 • 25 min read
People and organizations increasingly depend on IT systems for day-to-day operations due to rapid technology breakthroughs and the growing use of mobile devices.
As a result, businesses rely on information systems people to ensure that organizational objectives are supported and that technical tools operate as intended.
This career path offers you a wide range of job options with your information systems degree. You can access highly technical jobs in computer engineering, programming, or network administration to more communication-focused jobs in training or IT support.
With the help of this guide, you'll learn about the requirements for landing a job in the information systems space and the job prospects you can access.
Why Choose Information Systems?
The impact of information systems across businesses, industries, and markets is the best way to understand the importance of this field.
The waves of innovation sweeping across the telecommunication, television, aviation, banking, and other legacy industries result from the advancements in information systems. As a result, these industries rely on the skillset of a computer systems analyst to thrive in today's world.
So an information systems major allows you to work in and make an impact in any industry you choose.
Apart from the high-earning opportunities, the information systems space is a fantastic field for creative problem solvers.
For example, you could develop, implement, and test IT solutions based on shareholders' requirements as a system analyst. Alternatively, you could be an IT consultant helping clients develop their IT infrastructure to support their business.
How to Start Your Information Systems Journey
You can start your career in information systems by obtaining an associate degree to gain access to entry-level positions in the IT field.
For example, with an associate degree, you can get a job as a computer systems analyst, computer support specialist, computer programmer, and network and system administrator.
However, completing a bachelor's degree in information systems opens up a broader range of job opportunities, including software engineers, cybersecurity analysts, database administrators, etc.
Most colleges, including technical, junior, and community colleges, offer a two-year associate degree. These programs focus on teaching technical skills and pure business concepts.
Associate's degree holders in computer information systems can apply for entry-level roles in IT services firms, tech companies such as Apple or Microsoft, and the retail industry.
Computer Systems Analyst
A computer systems analyst manages an organization company's computer systems and processes, making sure they support smooth and productive business operations.
They research new technology, assess it, advise clients on improving existing systems, and supervise the implementation of new technologies.
Average Salary: $99,270
Computer programmers convert software designs into code that gives a program its useful functionality.
Employers typically favor candidates certified in a particular programming language (like R, Python, or Rust) or vendor-specific products. As a programmer, you can also choose to freelance instead of working exclusively for an IT service company or a software publisher.
Average Salary: $93,000
A bachelor's degree gives you more leverage than an associate degree. It opens the door to better information system careers. Bachelor's programs teach non-technical skills like statistics and strategic thinking and technical skills like analysis and system design.
Most bachelor's degrees take four years to complete, but you can choose to enroll in an accelerated program or complete a nano degree online.
A cybersecurity analyst defends companies from online threats and attacks. They react to security alarms and watch for intrusions and other odd activities on networks and computer systems.
Additionally, they develop contingency plans and disaster recovery strategies if a data breach does occur while staying current on the latest cybersecurity risks.
Average Salary: $102,600
A software developer's role can vary depending on the industry. For example, some software developers design mobile and computer applications, while others create user interfaces and essential operating systems.
Additionally, they monitor software programs' performances to determine the required fixes and updates they need.
Average Salary: $110,140
Graduate programs help students improve their current skills or launch new careers by building on their undergraduate degrees and prior work experience.
The typical length of a master's program is two years. Alternatively, students can take part in an online master's degree in information systems security, where they will learn how to control access and ensure business continuity via disaster recovery planning.
Information Systems Manager
Information systems managers overlook the technological operations of a company. They also work with executives to define the company's goals and handle the installation of computer hardware and software.
They are also in charge of their department or team's financial compliance and employee performance.
Average Salary: $159,010
Computer scientists come up with inventive applications for already-existing technologies, such as discovering a Python programming technique that is more effective. They also research fresh IT solutions and ideas. Many computer scientists specialize in social media addiction, cloud computing, and robotics/machine learning.
Average Salary: $131,490
A Ph.D. in information systems enables seasoned professionals to advance to the top executive positions within their organizations or to prepare for research and college teaching careers.
Chief Technology Officer
CIOs are executives that oversee an organization's internal IT projects, rules, and processes, and with a doctorate in information systems, you can get this job.
These experts implement technology that raises employee and organizational performance. In addition, CIOs oversee daily operations and the achievement of an organization's long-term objectives.
Average Salary: $166,677
Chief Information Officer
CIOs are executive-level positions with authority over an organization's internal IT initiatives, rules, and procedures. These experts use technology to raise staff productivity and the effectiveness of the company overall. In addition, CIOs oversee daily operations and assist the organization in achieving its long-term goal.
Average Salary: $170,266
Career Prospects for Information Systems
The employment of information systems managers is expected to increase by 11% between 2020 and 2030. Authorities expect that over the next ten years, there will be about 42,400 job openings for computer and information systems managers.
As of 2020, the average salary for positions in the information systems industry was $91,250. This is more than twice the $41,950 median average for all occupations.
Information systems majors will hold three of the eight positions with the highest growth rates in the next eight years. In addition, six of the ten fastest-growing jobs at the bachelor's level are in the information systems field.
High-Paying Information Systems Jobs
Information Systems Managers
In May 2021, the average salary for information system managers was $159,010. The 10th percentiles with the lowest and highest incomes fell below $95,220 and exceeded $208,000, respectively.
Roles and Responsibilities
Information systems managers frequently assess the company network requirements and recommend potential upgrades to top executives. They also organize and supervise computer hardware and software setup and upkeep.
They are responsible for these:
IT department budget management
Introducing new technologies and software programs to advance business goals
Managing technology inventory across departments
Overseeing software and system update schedules
Drafting documentation and guides for managing IT and security incidences
Gauging and responding to employee IT needs
Hiring and training IT professionals
Researching new systems and networks and managing their adoption
Helping IT employees with advanced problem-solving needs
A bachelor's degree in information systems management can prepare you for a career in today's most in-demand industries, including financial services, IT, aviation, healthcare, and hospitals.
The median yearly salary for web developers was $77,200. The bottom 10% earned under $40,750, while the top 10% made more than $146,430.
Roles and Responsibilities
Web developers build websites and applications and manage web user interfaces. But they also meet with management or shareholders to discuss an interface or website's needs, functionality, and design.
Web developers also hold responsibilities like these:
Track website track and performance
Provide website and application design specifications
Develop and test mobile and desktop applications
Manage and update websites
Collaborate with designers, developers, and management over web development projects
A web designer can work in various sectors, including media, banking, IT, digital processing, and web publishing.
Plus, web developers are in high demand. Major companies like Bank of America, Google, Nordstrom, IBM, Apple, IBM, and Costco no longer require a four-year degree to apply for open positions.
Computer Systems Administrators
According to data from the bureau of labor statistics, a computer systems administrator makes $80,600 on average. The bottom 10% received roughly $49,560, while the top 10% made over $130,830.
Roles and Responsibilities
Computer and network administrators typically have full-time jobs. Computer networks are essential to businesses; therefore, administrators may have to put in extra hours to keep the networks up and running all the time.
After determining an organization's system requirements, a computer systems administrator would manage the installation of network hardware and software.
Additionally, they maintain the computer and network security while performing network updates and repairs and ensuring that systems are running properly.
The responsibilities of computer system administrators include:
Installing and configuring software and hardware for businesses.
Managing system security using firewalls, access controls, and backups.
Setting up user accounts and workstations.
Overseeing network technology tools and servers.
Troubleshooting system issues and outages.
Monitoring and maintaining system performance.
Although the industry with the most computer system administrators hires is the computer services (and related services) industry, they also work in government offices, financial firms, subscription programming industries, and hospitals.
Information Security Analysts
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an information security analyst makes an average of $102,600 annually. The 10th percentiles with the lowest and greatest earnings were below $61,520 and above $165,920.
Roles and Responsibilities
An information security analyst investigates the most recent information technology security trends and scans network and computer systems for vulnerabilities. They also employ and operate technologies like firewalls and data encryption tools to protect sensitive information.
Information security analysts are most frequently employed in the following sectors: computer systems design, global affairs and national security, banking and related operations, commodities, securities, insurance carriers, aircraft and part manufacturing, and general medical and surgical facilities.
The average salary of a data manager is $67,391. However, the lowest earning data managers receive $46,000, while the highest earners receive $119,000.
Roles and Responsibilities
A data manager controls the data and network systems of a business. Examples of the responsibilities of a data manager include these:
Creating and updating policies
Helping management with data processes and reports
Gathering and safeguarding data
Troubleshooting data problems
Today's digital economy is driven by data, which is expanding in a new way partly because of big data. Data is a major factor in almost every sector today. Data managers are currently employed in marketing, business, healthcare, and finance.
A database administrator earned an average yearly salary of $98,860 in May 2020. The bottom 10% earned under $54,070, while the top 10% made more than $155,660.
Roles and Responsibilities
The duties of a database administrator include:
Evaluating and managing databases.
Modifying existing database software.
Maintaining and increasing the performance of company databases.
Securely storing data.
Ensuring data security for businesses.
A database administrator can work in a wide range of industries, including
Computer hardware development.
IT support services.
Banking and Finance
On average, network engineers make approximately $80,600. However, the highest earners make more than $130,830, while the lowest earners make less than $49,560.
Roles and Responsibilities
The key responsibilities of a network engineer include:
Managing computer networks.
Carrying out recovery procedures and data backups
Putting cyber security measures in place for businesses.
Configuring and monitoring antimalware software.
Assessing and optimizing network performance.
Diagnosing and resolving system and network issues.
Network engineers can find work in telecommunications, finance, and insurance, computer systems design, aerospace and defense, internet and web services (like Amazon), computer hardware development, and information technology support services.
The lowest-earning business analyst earned less than $50,190, while the highest earned $163,760. The average wage for business analysts was $93,000.
Roles and Responsibilities
The responsibilities of a business intelligence analyst include:
Gathering and analyzing customer data.
Building analysis guidelines and procedures.
Developing computational programs.
Working with management to improve business processes
Collaborating with the IT department to Implement software improvements.
Working with the IT department to Implement hardware improvements.
Managing analytics data.
Looking over customer files for collecting data.
Industries that need business analysts include real estate, cable, retail, wireless, utilities, and telecom. There are also great opportunities in healthcare, government offices, and healthcare. You can even come across opportunities in specialized fields like space exploration.
Software engineers earned an average of $110,140 per year in May 2020. The 10th percentiles with the lowest and highest incomes earned below $65,210 and more than $170,100.
Roles and Responsibilities
A software engineer designs and develops software programs. Their principal responsibilities include these:
Incorporating software components into existing systems.
Managing quality assurance and training developers.
Ensuring software functionality.
Debugging and upgrading current systems.
Recommending appropriate software programs.
Improving software performance
Managing product development and improvement schedules.
Managing software development projects.
Software engineers can find jobs in the retail industry which hires many software engineers, and in the healthcare industry designing clinical applications, analytics, cloud systems, and other consumer and clinical health applications.
Network architects earn $120,520 annually on average. The highest-earning network architects make $168,890 annually, while the lowest-earning make $63,240 annually.
Roles and Responsibilities
A network architect creates a corporation's computer network system. Their responsibilities include:
Developing network and technology roadmaps
Assessing network technologies for adoption
Upgrading network components.
Maintaining network equipment.
Planning and developing network systems.
As companies continue to design and develop new IT networks and upgrade existing ones, there will be a rise in the demand for network architects. The advancement of healthcare information technology has also increased the employment rate. You'll find network architects in most industries with a network system.
Pros and Cons of Information Systems Careers
Information systems must often be maintained and upgraded to meet the company's and its customers' demands. To accomplish this goal, managers must understand the advantages and disadvantages of these systems.
Information system allows users to access, comprehend, and react to information effectively and efficiently.
Additionally, a quality information system empowers users to perform a wide range of tasks and send, receive, and manage information.
There are several reasons why information systems might not always operate correctly. Systems malfunction, disrupting efficient operations and resulting in unhappy customers.
Inaccurate information can be sent to other systems via inefficient information systems, which could cause more issues for the business and its clients.
Systems are also susceptible to fraud and hackers.
Skills You'll Develop with an Information System Degree
You need a blend of technical and soft skills to succeed in any professional path involving information systems.
Information systems professionals, like those in other information technology roles, need to be adept at explaining IT-related difficulties to those within their company.
When explaining complex IT ideas to non-IT professionals or persuading an audience of the merits of a suggested IT solution, effective oral communication skills can be quite helpful. When developing project documentation, communication skills in writing will be vital.
One of the key prerequisites for many information technology professions is the ability to handle problems rationally and with drive. Regardless of how complex or challenging a problem becomes, an information systems manager should be able to address it successfully.
In addition to technical expertise, this requires proactive decision-making, meticulousness, and critical thinking abilities.
Jobs in information systems involve explaining technology to regular users, including clients, stakeholders, staff members, and business executives from various divisions of an organization.
To help the user overcome their technological challenges, you will need to listen to them attentively and understand them thoroughly. To do this, you should have empathy and good listening skills.
A career in information systems frequently opens up management opportunities in the IT department of a firm. So it's critical to have a fundamental knowledge of management.
This involves having the following abilities: managing departmental time, listening to staff and offering resources, giving performance reviews, and coaching new hires.
To guarantee the software's quality development at each stage, you must also understand the software development lifecycle.
You'll need a balance of hard and soft skills depending on the precise job description for the occupation you're looking for. You must be comfortable with programming, scripting, and markup languages.
Developing solutions also requires familiarizing oneself with networking foundations or understanding how switches, wireless access points, and routers connect devices to a network.
Today, the requirement for technology security is the underlying factor that binds all businesses, nonprofits, and governmental agencies together.
Leaders will be expected to guarantee that security measures are sufficient to industry best practices because a cyberattack might have long-term effects on a firm. In addition to ensuring that the business complies with industry requirements, security aptitude serves the dual purpose of preventing issues.
How to Prepare for a Career in Information Systems
Get A University Degree
The first thing to do is to get a degree. This could be an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. If you already have those, you can pursue a master's degree in information systems. A college degree will give you the techniques and tools used in the industry.
Apply For Internships to Gain Experience
Next is to apply for internship positions. This gives you the practical experience to land your desired job and lets you learn in the field. You can find internship positions on job boards or on LinkedIn.
Additionally, working in these positions is a terrific way to expand your network and learn what it's like to work in the IT industry in the real world. Internships also look great on a resume, as most recruiters take note of your experience when filling a vacancy.
Build Professional Relationships
You can learn more about the industry or potential job openings by getting to know people who are similarly early in their careers. Do not be afraid to approach possible mentors or role models with questions and to build relationships with them.
Grow Your Professional Presence Online
When you apply for jobs, potential employers may look up information about you on the internet as part of their background check. This is why your CV and LinkedIn page must be up to date. In addition, check your social media posts carefully to ensure they represent the image you want to present to potential employers.
Develop Your Soft Skills
Communication and interpersonal skills are as important as technical skills. Hiring managers often complain of the ''soft skills gap'' when hiring IT personnel. Develop your interpersonal and teamwork abilities; employers will value your efforts to foster a caring environment and show sensitivity and understanding.
Carefully Prepare For Interviews
Do your research before any interviews. To do this, list the qualifications for the position and compare them to your experience and qualifications. And decide how to match their requirements with your abilities.
In addition, learn about the company's culture so you can decide if it's a suitable fit for you and so you can ask or provide answers to important questions.
Keep Growing and Learning Even After Landing a Job
You are never truly finished learning about IT because it is always evolving. Read (books, blogs, and papers) to stay informed on changes in application development, software, and hardware and to stay connected with other professionals in the industry.
Look for chances for professional growth in your industry, and think about getting any further training or certifications that could advance your career.
How to Boost Your Information Systems Career
One choice is to acquire a master's degree if you want to advance your information systems career path.
You can go even higher and earn a doctorate in information systems. For this, a student can be required to conduct a proper research fellowship with a professor throughout their first and second years or publish a research project during those years.
In addition, you must fulfill the degree's academic requirements. The student must create a dissertation proposal by the third year and defend that dissertation before a committee for them to receive a degree.
You can also try to get a certificate to help with your preferred career path.
Resources That'll Help Your Career
Here are a few information systems certifications to enhance your resume and give your career the push it needs.
Information Systems analyst: This certification typically assists recent graduates with bachelor's degrees in information systems.
Anyone entering the field or wishing to specialize must have the program proof of their credentials.
Certified Computing Professional(CCP): High-level professionals with a master's can become certified as CCP holders. Due to their extensive training and experience, these professionals can carry out difficult and senior-level jobs.
In addition to passing the Information Systems Analyst Core Exam, a prerequisite for this certificate, candidates must also pass two specialty exams.
Associate Computing Professional(ACP): The ACP certification supports professionals who are new to the industry and necessitates passing the information systems analyst exam and an additional specialist exam in a subject like business information systems, data communications, or networking.
Your career can start off with an advantage over other applicants due to the skills and competencies this credential can give you.
How To Switch To An Information Systems Career
If you're thinking of switching careers, then now is the best time to get the skills you'll need to accomplish this switch. If you already work in an industry that's IT adjacent, you can highlight the transferable skills to make things easier.
For instance, a statistician with accounting knowledge might make a good IT auditor. The same is true for computer programmers and computer systems analysts who want to become certified Microsoft Sharepoint developers.
If you don't have the appropriate experience, consider signing up for an intensive training coding boot camp.
The best IT boot camps teach students object-oriented programming and how to use manual QA testing to assess the whole software lifecycle. Since many of these programs are not recognized, you should evaluate their performance carefully by conducting internet research and chatting with previous participants.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is information systems a good career?
Yes. You can work for almost any industry, including hospitals and specialized medical facilities, by pursuing a profession in information systems.
Because there is a growing demand for new tech services, cybersecurity experts and IT managers have also experienced rapid growth in their career paths.
How is information systems different from computer science?
Information systems focus on business applications and cover a bit of everything, while computer science focuses on technology.
Does information systems require coding?
Although coding concepts are some of the core ideas guiding information system design, implementation, and usage, coding is not always required in information system professions.
Can I be a software engineer with an information systems degree?
Yes. Most organizations want or demand that software engineers have a bachelor's degree in a related field.
So an information systems degree or other degrees in information technology, computer science, and software engineering fits this demand.
Can I get an information systems degree online?
Yes, you can. An online information systems degree lets you learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home.
Can you get an Information Systems job with just a certificate?
Yes, most jobs in the business permit you to work with just a certificate. With entry-level industry credentials like CompTIA A+, ITIL, Network+, and Security+, you can get work as a systems administrator, cybersecurity professional, or help desk technician.
You can finish these certifications in weeks, unlike degrees which take years. You can still get employment without an information systems degree if you possess transferable qualities like communication skills, creativity, people skills, problem-solving abilities, and attention to detail.
Earning an information systems degree at the undergraduate or graduate levels opens the doors for you to pursue a career in high demand. This field offers a wide range of employment responsibilities and allows you to alter career paths as market demands evolve.
Almost all occupations in this industry are anticipated to expand at a pace comparable to or greater than the average growth rate in all industries. This surging demand has increased the dependency that businesses and individuals have on technology.