Organizations use computer procedures and systems to design information systems that operate more effectively and efficiently. Business practices are combined with databases, applications, and programming. Information systems professionals work in various roles in the workforce that include business analysts or consultants, designers, or computer systems analysts in a variety of industries with people from various professions.
Systems analysts and similar careers are in high demand in the U.S. and around the world. Designing gives the blueprint on which a system is developed. It is a preliminary sketch or outline used to plan and carry the design in a skillful way or by artistic arrangement.
Information Systems Design/Analysts
When initiating the process of elicitation and analysis, significant issues have to be understood to make the analysis easier. Those significant issues include people driving the request. They help the analyst focus the information gathering activity. Another issue of importance is the financial benefit. The analyst needs to know what problem the systems will address. Critical functions of the system are defined. The systems must be modular to help create the systems faster. Systems have to be defined in abstract terms to reduce complexity. Ambiguity must be reduced so that the designer can focus on the outcome.
What Is this Program Area?
Students study how to design solutions, and how computer systems are used by organizations to operate more effectively and efficiently. During the pursuit of a degree in systems analysis, students work with faculty in computer and technology departments that have experience in government or industry. Research conducted includes topics such as health and bioinformatics, homeland security, high-performance computing, and cybersecurity. Students gain real-world experience.
Typical Coursework To Expect
The curriculum is molded to fit the students' interests and talents. As students gain interest in essential components of system design and analysis, such as databases, applications, or programming, they have the opportunity to delve deeper into those disciplines. Some schools allow students to take courses from partnership institutions abroad, like Korea, Australia, Peru, Switzerland, Ireland, and Germany. Courses range from one week to a semester.
The focus is on teamwork, business, and communication skills in anticipation of a career in information technology. A polytechnic environment is utilized to become a graduate that is career-ready.
Are There Online Programs?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the increasing use of information security, big data collection and storage, and cloud computing drives the need for knowledgeable information technology professionals.(https://www.onlinedegrees.com/information-systems/) An online information systems degree helps get the knowledge needed to enter a field very much in demand. The general name given to the online programs for this degree is Computer Information Systems that have core classes are:
- System Analysis and Design
- Database Analysis and Design
- Information Systems Analysis and Design
- Systems Analysis and Development
- Database Management Systems and Design
The online Computer Information Systems degree provides computing knowledge and network technology needed to support, develop, and design information systems. Due to an expanding global market that is increasingly internet-connected, big and small businesses need the leadership snd skills of Computer Information System professionals. A CIS degree develops the skills and knowledge required to succeed in a career.
Sample Universities with this Online Program
Schools that have online degree programs that offer one of the core courses mentioned above include:
Regis University – The College of Computer and Information provides various professional, graduate, and undergraduate options for studying Systems Analysis and Design. The College integrates Jesuit values and principles into the program. They emphasize the importance of service through work and life. The online study options permit the College to meet the unique non-traditional needs of students. The program prepares for the pursuit or advancement of various careers in the field.
Saint Louis University – The School of Professional Studies provides various online professional, graduate, and undergraduate program options for busy adults. Its programs are also built on Jesuit tradition and values. The Database Analysis and Design curriculum is tailored to career readiness and encourages professional development and success resources. The School meets the non-traditional students’ needs who seek to advance careers through higher education. Data Analytics is one of the three specialization options offered by the University. It is designed for working professionals. Students with busy schedules have their needs met. A strong foundation in major aspects of the field is developed in database analysis and data. Specialization options permit students to prepare for various niche professional applications. Eligibility requires a student to be 22 years old and have at least three years of experience.
Typical Coursework for this Degree
Introduction to Systems Development – The course introduces the development of information systems. Topics include:
- Information system types
- Database management systems
Students read and create ERD, UML, and data flow diagrams to model objects, data, logic, and processes of information systems. Labs emphasize SQL/QBE querying and modeling to prepare students for future systems, databases, and programming classes. Students are given user requirements to design, construct, and test personal information systems. PC literacy is required.
System Administration A comprehensive system administration introduction is provided. Topics include:
- Authorization and authentication
- Directory services
- System security
Enterprise entry-level systems are emphasized.
System Analysis and Design Methods – The introduction to information analysis and design includes topics:
- Systems support
- Systems design
- Systems analysis
- Project management
- Systems planning
- Development technology
- The systems development life cycle
- Systems analyst
Advanced Analysis and Design – The course is an advanced study of analysis and design techniques and method used by analysts in the development of information systems. The Unified Modeling Language and object-oriented tools are used for describing object behavior and structures. Cases are used for functional processes modeling. Topics include:
- Commercial software package integration
- Web interface design
- Graphical user interface design
- Transition from object-oriented models and analysis to services and components
- System design and application architecture
- Rapid development concepts
Using an object-oriented CASE tool is emphasized. The course surveys other systems analyst skills, such as cost-benefit analysis, project management, communications, and fact-finding (requirements discovery).
Principles of User Experience Design The process of user-centered design for human interaction with computer systems is introduced. Students learn to draw upon user interface design and usability principles rooted in user research and human psychology to conceptualize, prototype, and assess computer systems. Topics include:
- Information architecture
- Visual hierarchy
- Conceptual design, prototyping, and assessment
- User research
The platform-independent course encourages students to experiment with emerging and new technologies.
ALA LITA/Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship is awarded jointly by the Library and Information Technology Association and Information on an annual basis. It is designed to encourage qualified persons to enter the field of library and information technology who plan on a career in the field and demonstrate leadership, academic excellence, and a pursuit of library and information technology vision. The scholarship is to be used for a Master of Library Science program that is ALA-accredited.
The University of Louisiana awards scholarships to CIS majors attending their School’s College of Business. Some transfer students and freshmen are eligible. The CIS Scholastic Excellence Scholarship goes to a full-time undergraduate majoring in CIS who has a minimum GPA of 3.0. The FAFSA must be filed to demonstrate financial need. The scholarship is for two years and a maximum $10,000 per year.
Top Organizations to Know
International Association for Computer Information Systems – In 1960, the organization was known as the Society for Business Education. The purpose was to promote an understanding of computer use when training business students. Its name was changed in 1969 to the Society of Data Educators. The society saw the need for change as technology went from data processing to information systems. In 1987, it became the Association for Computer Educators to reflect the changing times again. The organization became the IACIS in 1990. Through the changes, the Association maintains its service to members. There is a large body of members who have been with the Association for over ten years. That is a testimonial to their needs being met by the Association. The main purpose continues to be promoting development and growth of understanding and knowledge of computer information.
Association of Information Technology Professionals – The society is for IT professionals worldwide. It features conferences, webinars, local chapters, awards for students and professionals, and a career center that has a jobs board and networking options. This organization also was founded with a different title – NMAA, which was an association for accountants. It evolved into an association for data processing professionals – DPMA. In 1996, it took on its current form. The Association has more than 4500 members.
Career Options with this Degree
Careers related to CIS include:
- Computer and Information Scientists
- Computer and Information Scientists
- Computer Hardware Engineers
- Computer Network Architects
- Computer Programmers
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Database Administrator
- Information Security Analysts
- Network and Computer Systems Administrator
- Software Developers
- Top Executives
- Web Developers