An information system is comprised of hardware, software, networks, people, procedures, and other components that generate, process, and deliver information within an organization. Information systems stems from computer science, business, and other disciplines. The vocational certificate is the lowest and most affordable postsecondary option for high school graduates and working professionals who want to break into the field. At this level of education, students will take a mix of basic and advanced courses in computer information systems and familiarize themselves with industry-standard technologies.
Computer Information Systems & Operations Certificate
The certificate in computer information systems & operations offers students a well-rounded education in client/server applications, database, operating systems, and SQL. At the certificate level, students will learn the basic concepts and skills needed to do client/server operations jobs and other technical professions. Upon completion of the computer information systems certificate, graduates will be ready to begin an entry-level job or return to school for a higher degree.
The length of a computer information systems certificate depends on your course load and pace, but the standard completion time for this program is six months to one year. Students will take courses in systems analysis, operating systems theory and practice, database systems, and client/server development. In addition to their major courses, students may also be required to take electives or general education courses to broaden their knowledge and skills.
Management Information Systems Certificate
The management information systems certificate provides a comprehensive introduction to computers, industry-standard software, and the many processes and procedures of managing IT. Whether you’re a first-time college student or a working professional, the management information systems certificate gives students the basic knowledge and skills to become effective managers in this technical field. The vocational certificate is also excellent prep for higher information systems degrees, such as the associate and bachelor’s degree.
Like most information systems certificate programs, this one can take anywhere from six months to one year to complete. Some common courses in this program include: database management systems, business programming visual basic, systems analysis and design, data communications and networks, business English, and more. In addition to the major courses, some vocational certificate programs also require students to take freshman or college-prep courses if this is their first time in college.
Information Systems Security Certificate
The information systems security certificate is a post-baccalaureate program designed for students who want to expand their knowledge and skills in the areas of information security and assurance. At the pre-master’s certificate level, students will learn how to meet organizations’ IT goals and prepare for potential security risks. Combining graduate-level skills with the basic fundamentals taught in the information systems bachelor’s degree program, pre-master’s certificate holders have a competitive advantage over those who do not have any graduate training.
Like most information systems certificate programs, this one can take anywhere from six months to one year to complete. Students can expect to take classes in information security and assurance, network management and security, computer and cyber forensics, web security and privacy, and more. Online students can access their classes, lectures, assignments, and grades using a learning management system, such as Blackboard or Moodle.
Information Systems Management Certificate
The information systems management certificate is a graduate-level program designed for students seeking an entry-level career or career advancement in the information systems field. At the pre-master’s certificate level, students will build upon their current knowledge and technical skills, while learning new, advanced ways to design, implement, and support computer-based information systems. Completion of the information systems management certificate will prepare graduates for advanced studies and various technical careers in the field of information systems.
Depending on your course load and pace, the information systems management certificate takes about six months to one year to complete. Some common courses include: information technology infrastructure, systems development process, IT and business strategy, and IT project management. Going to school online means students will likely access their courses, lectures, assignments, and grades through a learning management system provided by the school.
Information Systems Certificate
The information systems certificate is a comprehensive, graduate-level program designed for students who want to continue their education in information systems with and without the intention of earning a master’s or doctorate degree in the field. Through interactive lectures and self-guided activities, students will become proficient in information systems terminology and concepts, computer program design, systems analysis and design, management of information systems, and other subjects. Those who want to take their basic information systems knowledge and skills to the next level should consider earning a pre-master’s certificate.
Information systems certificates generally take about six months to one year to finish, depending on your individual program, course load, and pace. Students can expect to take classes in a variety of subjects, including IT infrastructure, programming, business information systems, data communications, database systems, and project management. Distance learners can access their course materials and correspond with instructors and classmates through a learning management system provided by the school.
Computer Networking & Information Systems Security Certificate
The computer networking and information systems security certificate provides specialized instruction in computer networking, virtual security, and security management. Through interactive lessons and self-guided tutorials, students will become familiar with the computer technology and security processes and procedures needed to perform various information systems jobs. The vocational certificate in computer networking and information systems security is an excellent starting point for those who want to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation, and those who want to work toward a higher degree in information systems.
Depending on your course load and pace, most computer networking and information systems security certificates take less than a year to complete. Students can expect to take a variety of courses, including networking fundamentals, implementing system security, introduction to data analysis, computer security concepts, and MS desktop support. Online students can access their courses, lectures, assignments, and grades through a learning management system, such as Blackboard or Moodle.
What’s Next for Information Systems Certificate Holders?
Graduates of the information systems certificate online are prepared to pursue several entry-level professions, such as computer support specialist and information security analyst. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of jobs for computer support specialists and information security analysts is expected to grow faster than average from 2014 to 2024, with support specialists enjoying 12% total growth and analysts a considerable 18% growth. Such demand is due, in part, to the increased use of information technology and security measures to combat cyber attacks in homes and businesses.
In addition to having good employment projections, these occupations also have favorable salaries. According to a May 2014 report by the BLS, computer support specialists earned an average of $51,820 annually; information security analysts earned $86,170 annually.
After graduating, vocational certificate holders usually enter the workforce or go back to school to pursue a higher degree. The next step, education-wise, for someone with a certificate would be earning a bachelor’s in information systems. This undergraduate degree will take your information systems knowledge to the next level and increase your job opportunities and earning potential.