Learn about Computer Information Systems

Basics of Computer Information Systems

Virtually every organization, private and public has a computer network that requires maintenance and regular support. Companies have local area networks, wide area networks, intranet systems and other forms of intercommunication and data sharing systems that need to be organized, installed and then managed. Network and computer system administrators provide the software and hardware needs necessary to keep systems running efficiently and upgrade these features when necessary.

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online network and computer systems administrator program:

  • Network and computer systems Administrators work in a wide variety of industries with many other professionals such as computer network architects and computer and information systems managers as well as others not familiar with information technology.
  • While educational requirements vary, many employers require at least a bachelor's degree. However, some hire workers with just a postsecondary certificate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i].
  • While there are no state regulated licenses or certifications required for a career in network and computer system administration, these achievements are ways in which job candidates may enhance their careers in the industry. Some of the most common certifications are offered by big tech companies.
  • Pursuing a higher position at a company in this field may require significant tech experience as well as other certifications. Before signing up for an online program, research whether your prospective institution may provide guidance and training specifically for completing certification exams.

Is an Computer Information Systems Degree PROGRAM FOR YOU?

By studying to become a network and computer system administrator using an online program, you may be able to pursue an education without drastically changing your personal schedule. Online programs vary, but many may give you the tools to study on your own time while juggling your other responsibilities. What's more, classes may teach you about the basic hardware and software skills necessary for a career in network and computer system administration.


There are many career paths you may choose to pursue after attending online courses in a network and computer system administrator program. Computer networks are an asset nearly every business needs, so study careers for their specific responsibilities and then look for a certain business you may be interested in working for.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators (i)

While network and computer system administrators play a large role in installing and supporting a company's network, their responsibilities extend to other more analytical roles as well. They also collect data to measure network performance and ensure the system is meeting business needs and analyze what an organization needs in its system before installing upgrades.

  • Median Salary: $81,100 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 6% (As fast as average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's Degree

Computer and Information Systems Managers (ii)

Often referred to as IT managers, these professionals spearhead virtually all the information technology goals of an organization. They identify, plan and coordinate ways in which computer-related activities can make the company better and are the main individuals responsible for making sure these efforts are achieved. They play an administrative role that is supported by their advanced tech knowledge.

  • Median Salary: $139,220 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 12% (Faster than average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's Degree

Computer Network Architects (iii)

These professionals help build and design data communication networks for various organizations. The networks they create range in size from massive data networks that work on a global scale to small operations that link different areas of an office building. They choose what hardware is specifically needed for these efforts and consider other criteria such as data security in the process.

  • Median Salary: $104,650 per year
  • Job growth through 2026: 6% (As fast as average)
  • Typical Entry-level education: Bachelor's Degree

(i) bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/network-and-computer-systems-administrators.htm | (ii) bls.gov/ooh/management/computer-and-information-systems-managers.htm | (iii) bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-network-architects.htm