Have you been an envious observer of the lucrative lives of your IT professional friend? As computers and electronics gain a firmer foothold in daily life?and as it becomes increasingly apparent that that foothold won?t be crumbling any time soon?the computer information field continues to expand. The good news? It?s not too late to join in the onrush. Computer information systems classes, or CIS classes, are available in just about every imaginable format.

Do you want to attain the traditional four year bachelor degree? Plenty of colleges, including low-cost local community colleges, offer four-year programs crammed full of computer information systems classes. CIS classes offered in programs such as these promise you a solid foundation of knowledge that you can either build on for further education opportunities, or take directly into the job market.

Or maybe your situation lies at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. You might be a working mother who just wants to pick up some basic information on CIS. You can opt to take computer information systems classes on the side, juggling home life, work, and studies with ease. You don?t have to saddle yourself with a full-time course load?you can spread out the same learning over a longer period of time, and in short bursts.

You might find yourself identifying with one of the two above scenarios, or with neither?maybe you fall somewhere in between. Computer information systems classes and schedules are, for the most part, flexible enough to accommodate your life.

Good news for you and your future: you?ve set your mind on gaining a degree or accreditation for computer information systems. The decision is something to celebrate over. With training in computer information systems (or CIS) under your belt, you open up dazzling potentials for your future CIS career! Now give yourself and pat on the back, and then turn to the harder part of the puzzle: where to find computer information systems colleges.

A few decades ago, you might have struggled to find colleges that fit the bill and offered solid computer information systems courses. Nowadays, it?s a fairly simple matter. CIS colleges are spread out all over the US, each offering a slightly different package of knowledge that you need to help your computer information systems career take off. Some colleges will offer general computer information systems knowledge. These kinds will be highly concept-based and teach skills that you can take with you into almost any kind of industry. Other computer information systems colleges will allow you to choose between several tracks, each one focused on giving you specific skills that you will need for certain professions. Depending on how clear your picture of your post-college life looks at the moment, one option will be better suited for you than the other. No pressure though! The best news of all is that you might not have to know right away. You can take a few preliminary courses first before deciding on your track. Computer information systems colleges are rife with options.

One problem frequently voiced among students who hope to excel in computer information systems schools is this: I don?t know if I have the time. There?s no doubt that computer information systems is a popular choice of study in today?s environment, when the job prospects promise to increase in the future, but many hopefuls who would love a career think that they don?t have the time or money that CIS schools require. That?s where you might be wrong. Computer information systems schools are, in fact, highly accessible!

Luckily, CIS schools are usually extremely understanding of each person?s capabilities. This means that while you will certainly be able to pursue the traditional path of four years of undergraduate study and additional years of graduate study if you so choose, your options also include less strict pathways. Rigidity of the academic curriculum is not something that you will have to worry too much about, as long as you?re still adhering to a certain track within your computer information systems school. So if you want to take classes only part time, you can take longer getting your degree at certain computer information systems schools. If you want full-time courses and a graduation ceremony within three years or even less, that?s possible too!

Research computer information schools carefully to see what practices each one follows. The odds are that, somewhere out there, you?ll find an excellent CIS school that fits your needs.

What will you learn if you choose to enroll in computer information systems programs? It?s understandable to ask such a question, because truth be told, there is an inherent vagueness in this field of study. That?s because computer information systems programs tend to pride themselves on producing people knowledgeable in many aspects of the IT industry. The very definition of a CIS program is one that teaches widely-applicable concept-based knowledge designed to assist in working with all kinds of technology. Computer information systems programs cast a wide net and may cover topics such as: programming, network systems, technical support, administrative support, databases, graphics and animation, and web programs. That?s certainly a lot to take in over the course of computer information systems which may span any time frame from a year or two to upwards of four, if you decide to pursue graduate programs!

Confusing as it may be to pin down exactly what CIS programs entail, their vagueness turns out to be a boon in the end. Because students enrolled in computer information systems programs build such a strong foundation of conceptual knowledge, they are usually able to apply for jobs in extremely diverse industries. This flexibility and freedom of choice are truly enviable in such a volatile job market. That?s not to say, of course, that CIS programs prohibit you from focusing on one area. Each of the above listed topics can certainly be studied in great depth, and many computer information systems programs include tracks. You can specialize in one targeted area and work in that capacity once you?ve graduated.

What exactly is a computer information systems certification, or CIS certification for short? A computer information systems certification is not quite the same thing as a degree. Certification programs in computer information systems are usually shorter than the typical bachelor?s degree in related fields. Certification programs can be as quick as a year, but also might take up to three or even four years to complete. The latter case usually applies only when a student is not enrolled full-time, however, and spreads CIS classes out over a longer stretch of time. As a rule of thumb, getting your computer information systems certification requires fewer credits and fewer hours than getting a bachelor?s degree.

What can you do with a computer information systems certification? That depends, in part, on what you did before receiving the certification and what you intend to do after.

Some people who enroll in computer information systems certification programs already hold degrees in areas such as business. These are people interested in adding to their resumes and making themselves more attractive to employers by demonstrating aptitude in CIS technology. Others might be using the computer information systems certification to move on educationally, transferring credit and prerequisites to longer bachelor?s degree programs. Still others are taking CIS certification programs for the sake of the certification itself, and will immediately move to entry-level positions in the computer information systems industry.

What kind of computer information systems courses should you take once you?re enrolled in a program? That?s a tough question to answer because the range of topics that CIS degrees cover is so broad. The courses you take should accomplish two goals: one, they should all relate to one another to achieve a coherent overall educational package for you. And two, they should relate to the career that you intend to pursue after leaving your computer information systems institution. Courses will help shape the career path that you take later, so choose wisely!

One of the most lucrative careers that CIS majors often opt for is that of computer information systems manager. The manager is responsible for overseeing all the data traffic, internal and also including e-commerce and online communication. Not only will the CIS manager need to oversee these things, but he or is also responsible for planning for the future. Knowledge of programs, the latest databases and technologies, and much more are all required. Computer information systems managers will need knowledge in many different areas, and as such should take courses that reflect this. Most managers took graduate-level courses before becoming qualified for their jobs.

Of course, there are plenty of other career niches to fill. Within a large company, for example, there wills be computer information systems jobs that involve just working with databases, and others that are programming-oriented. If these are where your interests lie, then take courses that are database- and programming-heavy, respectively. Use your computer information systems courses to your full advantage!

Computer information systems institutes exist to address every education need. Whether you want to invest years in a full undergraduate and graduate degree, or simply want some beginner courses to supplement your resume, there are CIS institutes that have the courses you want at the prices you can afford. Here?s a brief survey of what types of institutes you might find out there:

On one end of the spectrum are computer information systems institutes that actually aren?t institutes, at least in the strictest sense of the word. These are quick courses and programs that can be offered by companies, local libraries, individual IT professionals, and the like. They might last anywhere from a few weeks to months and are not designed to give a comprehensive, all-inclusive overview of computer information systems. Instead, they are supplemental and taken for interest or as an addition to another program or degree.

The middle niche of computer information systems institutes is filled by vocational schools, technical institutes, and community colleges. These kinds of institutes demand a greater time commitment, but with greater rewards to match. You can gain a certification which will allow you to work in the CIS industry in entry-level positions.

Finally, there are computer information systems institutes that offer full undergraduate and graduate degrees. These institutions give out bachelor?s and master?s degrees that will help you gain entry into higher-paying positions, such as that of computer information systems manager.

Degrees in computer information systems are not the easiest to come by. You can get a CIS certification in less time, or take a one-time course if you just want to pad your existing knowledge. But degrees offer the richest rewards. If you want to rise to the top of the company ladder, occupying that coveted rung as computer information systems manager for the entire company, then there is no surer path than attaining computer information systems degrees.

Let?s take a look at the timeframe. Like most traditional undergraduate degrees, many institutions offer programs that allow you to receive your CIS bachelor?s degree in four years. There are a few speedier options as well. Community colleges, for example, might be able to promise you a degree in three years if you enroll full-time. Regardless of where you choose to go, however, it?s safe to assume that you?ll be committing at least a few years to your computer information systems degree?so plan accordingly. Nothing is worse than dropping out in the middle and wasting all that time and energy. Realize that many of the existing computer information systems degrees specifically state that you must fulfill your credits within a limited time frame.

After getting your bachelor?s degree in computer information systems, you can choose to add to it with a master?s degree. Some people actually choose to follow their bachelor?s degree in computer information systems with a degree in business or commerce, which are good preparation for the real-life job description of a CIS major. What are the benefits? With advanced CIS degrees, you might make upwards of $100,000 a year!

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