Computer Information Systems covers such a broad range of computer skills that it’s become a field for specialists. You could be a database administrator, programmer, network administrator, computer technician, or web developer. Companies large and small – from the Hewlett-Packards of the world to a start-up down the street – need people skilled in CIS-related specialties. Based on the findings of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, it’s no stretch to say that hundreds of jobs are available every year for people with skills in Computer Information Systems.

Is a degree in Computer Information Systems right for me?

If you like working with information, the Database Administration pathway might be right for you.

Do you like puzzles, logic, music, or mathematics? Explore Programming.

Do you like the artistic side of computing? Web Developer could be a good fit.

If you have no specific interest other than you like working with computers, try out a few classes before deciding on your pathway or creating a customized path in consultation with your faculty advisor.

What will I learn with an A.A.S. degree?

At Front Range Community College, we have four degree pathways for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Computer Information Systems, and each starts with the same two foundational courses – Introduction to PC Applications and Linux.

Beyond the basics, it could be a good idea to take a few more courses in computer areas, just so you can figure out what degree pathway is right for you. You won’t be wasting time or credits because those extra credits can become electives, and they broaden your perspective and knowledge of the CIS field, no matter which pathway you choose:

  • Database Administration: You will learn a variety of ways of creating and accessing databases, including Access and SQL. Hands on application of the skills will help you understand the issues with security and the needs for accurate data.
  • Programming: When you have finished your degree you will have learned three different programming languages and have the skills needed to quickly learn other languages. The degree can lead directly to employment, although most people take a pathway that has many courses that transfer to a bachelor’s degree program for a major in Computer Science. Talk with an academic advisor.
  • Web Developer: You will learn how to integrate all the components of a web page, from the beginning design of web pages with HTML to the advanced programming that happens behind the scenes with languages such as JavaScript and PhP. This is a rapidly changing field and old classes are updated often and new classes are added as soon as possible.
  • Computer Information Systems: This is an individualized pathway customized to your employment or skill development. You develop this pathway in consultation with a CIS program advisor.

A one-semester certificate also is available in Applications Specialist. Two-semester certificates also are available in Web Developer and in Programming. If you have more questions contact a CIS Program advisor. You will get help determining the degree you that best suits you.

Salary & outlook for computer jobs

Here’s what you will see on the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment website for CIS-related occupations:

Job Title Entry Wage Openings/year
Computer User Support Specialist $35,195 636
Web Developer $37,534 195
Computer Programmer $53,195 216
Database Administrator $59,872 123
Software Developer, Applications $61,904 1,118


(Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, 2014)

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