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Computer Information Systems

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Computer Information Systems Major

Computer information systems is a major that typically falls into the Computer & Information Sciences category.

There are 729 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in CIS, 1,043 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 389 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 104 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting a CIS Degree?

Computer information systems is the 18th most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly 29,600 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. This major attracts more men than women. About 80.6% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of CIS majors is as follows:

  • Asian: 12.9%
  • Black or African American: 8.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 10.8%
  • White: 51.1%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 8%
  • Other Races: 8.3%
Computer Information Systems Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in CIS. About 8% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending CIS majors to the U.S. are India, China and Saudi Arabia.

What Will You Learn as a Computer Information Systems Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to CIS to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for CIS Majors

CIS majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

Important Knowledge Areas for Computer Information Systems Majors

Skills for CIS Majors

A major in CIS prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

Important Skills for Computer Information Systems Majors

Abilities for CIS Majors

A major in CIS will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

Important Abilities for CIS Majors

What Can You Do With a CIS Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with CIS:

Careers Related to Computer Information Systems
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Computer Science Professors



Computer and Information Research Scientists



Web Administrators



Database Administrators



Software Developers, Applications



Network and Computer Systems Administrators



Computer and Information Systems Managers



Software Developers, Systems Software



Informatics Nurse Specialists



Telecommunications Engineering Specialists



Computer Information Systems Major Salary

Average salaries range from $93,000 to $114,000 for careers related to CIS. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for a CIS Major  ( 93000 to 114000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

Your salary will be largely dependent on the career path you follow and what area of the country (or world) you work. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Computer Information Systems Major Jobs

Some careers associated with CIS require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to CIS have obtained the following education levels.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Computer Information Systems
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Computer Information Systems Programs

There are 1,043 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, with 181 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Online learners benefit from being able to watch lectures remotely and complete coursework on their schedule, but they also take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to dropout.

Is a Computer Information Systems Major Worth It?

The median salary for a CIS grad is $102,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 163% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,271,400 after 20 years!

computer information systems salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
Image Credit: U.S. Army graphic via License

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