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What are information systems?
An information system is the combination of resources that creates desired products or services. For companies and organizations, this piece of the computer science world is a vital part of business processes and provides a coherent system for operation, affecting decisions on what technology and analytics to use.³ ⁴
There can be as many as six components of information systems: hardware, software, data, network, people, and internet.⁵
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Different types of information systems
Experts in information systems have the skills to understand infrastructure and advise companies and organizations about ways to improve operations, including finding the best technology solutions to build into existing business architecture.⁶
Professionals may have completed computer information systems courses, some of which lead to an information systems certificate. Courses range from general information systems topics to information systems specializations that may include:
Management information systems (MIS): Plan, direct, and coordinate activities in departments such as electronic data processing, systems analysis, and computer programming.
Information technology (IT): Plan, initiate, and maintain IT projects; lead and guide the work of technical staff; coordinate between technical and business teams; manage projects to meet deadlines, standards, and budgets.
Enterprise data management (EDM) Collect, organize, store, secure, manage, and distribute the data used to operate business; oversee the people who work with database management systems.
Information systems security (INFOSEC): Maintain, monitor, and protect data, network, and computer systems, ensuring that tools are using and storing data properly.
Explore information systems jobs
Experts in information systems can be valuable to companies and organizations. Earning a bachelor’s degree is one starting point for those interested in an information systems career path. Completing an accredited online graduate degree program can provide specialized knowledge and skills to rise even higher in the ranks of an organization. The range of job opportunities may widen for employees with this expertise.
Graduates with degrees in information systems can be hired into various roles such as:
Computer network architect
Computer systems analyst
Information systems analyst
Information systems security engineer
Information systems manager
How to become an information systems analyst online
Information or computer systems analysts may have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).⁷ They may have degrees in other areas, as well. Some employers may prefer to hire candidates with master’s degrees in computer science or business administration with a concentration in information systems. Alternatively, a rigorous boot camp can also cover a broad curriculum.
Subjects that can prepare people for roles as information systems analysts or for jobs in related fields include:
Information systems analysts also typically have these skill sets, according to the BLS:
Analytical skills. Interpret information from different sources and determine how to proceed.
Business acumen. Understand the organization’s business objectives and identify when systems need to be upgraded to meet them.
Communication skills. Explain complex issues to management and other departments in a way they can understand.
Creativity. Develop innovative solutions to complex problems with computers, networks, and systems.
Attention to detail. Examine operations carefully and identify inefficiencies or errors in business processes.
Organizational skills. Coordinate with departments to ensure tasks are completed on time and everyone is adhering to the plan.
Information systems FAQ
Information systems is the business process that includes data, people, and information technology (IT). IT is the digital infrastructure used in information systems.
There are potential benefits to completing a computer information systems course, earning an information systems certificate, or watching an information systems tutorial online. Doing so introduces workers to the field and helps them build their knowledge. Completing an online degree program in information systems may lead to professional opportunities.
Information or computer systems analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in information technology or computer science, according to the BLS. They may have degrees in other areas. Some employers prefer to hire candidates with master’s degrees in fields related to computer science or business administration with a concentration in information systems.
Math problem-solving skills are important for working in information systems. Courses in business statistics and calculus can be useful for someone wanting to enter the field.
A basic understanding of coding is useful in information systems, but in-depth expertise in programming languages is not always required (depending on the job and an expert’s specialty). Information systems is about the business process or operation and encompasses more than the coding aspect of technology and software.
Information systems and computer science are related. Information systems focuses on a business process that includes the parts resulting from computer science, such as software or database, that help meet company or organizational objectives. Computer science focuses on the theory and math of computing. It involves programming software, building databases, and applications.