At the undergraduate level, an online information systems degree prepares students for a range of career and industry options. As the technology industry grows and changes, new degrees and specializations add more options for applicants to consider.

The following information helps simplify that process by highlighting what an information systems bachelor's degree entails and the careers for which it prepares students. Informed with the classes, concentrations, and skills provided by this degree, applicants ensure that their chosen educational path matches their professional interests and career goals.

What Is Information Systems?

Though people often confuse online information systems degrees with information technology degrees, a clear distinction exists between the two degrees. Information systems incorporates the entire platform, including information technology and all the processes required for transferring information to the end user. In other words, information systems managers act as the tie between the information technology and the business and/or consumer. Managers of information systems must not only understand the technology but also the business aspects of selling and explaining information systems to consumers.

For that reason, students in an online systems bachelor's program take an equal measure of technology and business courses. On the technology side, courses in systems theory, design, and integration plan and prepare for various stages throughout the technology's life cycle, studying risk management and error control. Core business courses, like communication, business ethics, and business law, plus courses that focus on the assessment of business technology issues and opportunity, enrich the communication skills and business acumen of students.

As organizational reliance on information technology continues to strengthen and evolve, analysts project the demand for information systems managers to grow at a faster than average rates. With businesses everywhere adapting to the expanding information technology service requirements, the need for educated professionals capable of integrating and managing complex information systems and business solutions increases. The near-constant evolution and change in these systems also places great importance on new and recent graduates with relevant educations.

What Can I Do with an Online Information Systems Bachelor's Degree?

A bachelor's degree in information systems prepares graduates to enter several fields and industries. While each program offers a core set of skills and training, a student's educational choices, like electives, concentrations, or specializations, provide varied career options and earning potential. Listed below are several of the skills students gain from an information systems program, as well as some of the many career and industry options available to graduates.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Within an online information systems degree, students gain the necessary skills to assess organizational information technology needs and then apply an innovative solution. They also acquire the technical skills required to develop, implement, and maintain information technology solutions and the business skills necessary to diagnose organizational needs and opportunities for improvement. Information systems degree graduates also possess the marketing and communication skills required to roll out a new system and support it.

While a bachelor's degree in information systems is the typical requirement for an information systems manager career, some positions may require graduate degrees or further training. Many programs offer concentrations that allow graduates to enter more specialized fields or positions, such as cybersecurity or cloud computing. Students may also take concentrations in marketing or leadership, providing them with a more direct route into marketing or management positions.

Information systems management graduates typically become systems managers, but the technical skills gained in an online information systems degree also prepare graduates for careers in computer networking, systems analysis, administration, and programming. Students may even take the skills gained from this degree and apply them to industries outside of technology.

From careers in business management to marketing or even logistics, graduates from online information systems programs benefit from a full toolbox of skills and strengths allowing them to enter a range of careers and fields. While other industries may require additional training, certifications, or prior work experience for entry, the broad and diverse training graduates receive from an online information systems bachelor's degree makes them strong candidates for many positions.

Careers and Salary Potential

The typical career path for information systems graduates leads them to the technology industry, but the broad curriculum with elements of business, leadership, team building, and problem solving prepares graduates to enter a range of industries and professions. Below, the following list explores some of the industry and field options available to information systems graduates.

  • Business: Information systems programs equip students with the necessary skills for careers in marketing, leadership, and communication.
  • Financial Industry: Most financial institutions utilize specialized software and databases to store and manage customer information. The technical and business skills acquired in information systems programs stand graduates in good stead for careers in this industry.
  • Web Development: While web development falls within the technology industry, information systems graduates must step off the traditional career path to get to web development. The skills and qualifications acquired from the information systems degree, however, transfer effectively as business analysis and system implementation and management come in handy for web developers.
  • Manufacturing: Many manufacturing companies rely on information systems, but these companies also require professionals with the ability to work within and communicate between multiple divisions and departments.
  • Education or Government: Though some government and academic positions may require candidates with advanced degrees, governmental and educational institutions require critical thinkers to find innovative approaches to solve problems using existing technologies.
Network and Computer Systems Administrator

Annual Median Salary: $81,100

Network administrators setup and maintain computer networks for organizations, troubleshooting and upgrading the system when needed to ensure it runs effectively for everyone.

Information Security Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $95,510

Information security analysts protect the information held, processed, and sent by an organization's network and system.

Database Administrator

Annual Median Salary: $87,020

Database administrators maintain the data storage systems for organizations, ensuring the information's safety, security, and accessibility.

Information Systems Manager

Annual Median Salary: $139,220

Information systems managers assess an organization's information systems needs and then implement, maintain, and manage the appropriate system to accommodate those needs. Managers act as the link between technology and the business side of an organization.

Computer Systems Analyst

Annual Median Salary: $88,270

Computer systems analysts evaluate an organization's computer and technology systems and then suggest, design, and integrate an optimized system or solution.