Computer Information Systems Program

Computer Information Systems is an exciting and ever-changing field of study that is central to the functioning of all aspects of our society, business, government and our personal lives interconnected via the Internet. We are now seeing the convergence of entertainment, telephone, and business systems with common underlying digital platforms. Mobile and wireless connection options are increasing, along with options to access applications and data storage options through the cloud.

Keeping computer systems and resources functioning with the latest technology benefits, and designing future computer systems is a job category that is generating new jobs. Brad Smith, the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Microsoft reports a need to fill thousands of jobs in the areas of computer engineering and software development (Wall Street Journal, 10/19/2012). The demand for qualified employees with skills in network design and management, programming, business application utilization and web site development is outpacing the available pool of trained potential employees. Central Arizona College is providing Computer Information Systems classes to address this need in the four program areas of:

Networking Administration

Connected computers are the lifeblood of government, business organizations, schools and social networks. Degrees and certificate programs in Networking along with industry certification enable you to qualify for jobs such as:

Network and Computer Systems Administrators design, install, and support an organization’s computer systems. They are responsible for LANs, WANs, network segments, and Internet and intranet systems. They work in a variety of environments, including large corporations, small businesses, and government organizations. They install and maintain network hardware and software, analyze problems, and monitor networks to ensure their availability to users. These workers gather data to evaluate a system’s performance, identify user needs, and determine system and network requirements.

Systems Administrators are responsible for maintaining system efficiency. They ensure that the design of an organization’s computer system allows all of the components, including computers, the network, and software, to work properly together. Administrators also troubleshoot problems reported by users and by automated network monitoring systems and make recommendations for future system upgrades. Many of these workers are also responsible for maintaining network and system security.

Web Administrators are responsible for maintaining Web sites. They oversee issues such as availability to users and speed of access, and are responsible for approving the content of the site. Webmasters also collect and analyze data on Web activity, traffic patterns, and other metrics, as well as monitor and respond to user feedback.

Network Administration Certificate
Network Administration (A.A.S.)


Computer Programmers write programs.  After computer software engineers and systems analysts design software programs, the programmer converts that design into a logical series of instructions that the computer can follow.  The programmer codes these instructions in any of a number of programming languages, depending on the need. The most common languages are C++, web Applications, Visual Basic, and Java.

Computer programmers also update, repair, modify, and expand existing programs. Some, especially those working on large projects that involve many programmers, use computer-assisted software engineering (CASE) tools to automate much of the coding process. These tools enable a programmer to concentrate on writing the unique parts of a program.

Programmers working on smaller projects often use “programmer environments,” applications that increase productivity by combining, compiling, code walk-through, code generation, test data generation, and debugging functions.  Programmers also use libraries of basic code that can be modified or customized for a specific application. This approach yields more reliable and consistent programs and increases programmers’ productivity by eliminating some routine steps.

Computer Programming AAS Degree
Application Development and Web Design Certificate
Computer Programming Certificate

Web Development

Web Developers work in creating and developing a web site for the Internet (World Wide Web) or an intranet (a private network).  Web Development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based Internet applications (web apps), electronic businesses and social network services.  A more comprehensive list of tasks to which web development commonly refers, may include web engineering, web design, web content development, client liaison, client-side scripting, server-side scripting, web server and e-commerce development.

There are three kinds of web developer specializations:  front-end developer, back-end developer and full-stack developer.  Front-end developers deal with the layout and visuals of a website, while back-end developers deal with the functionality of a website.  Back-end developers will program in the functions of a website that will collect data.

For larger organizations and businesses, web development teams can consist of many web developers that follow standard methods like Agile Methodologies while developing websites.  Smaller organizations may only require a single web developer that builds web sites and is the web designer as well as web developer and information systems technician.  Web Development may be a collaborative effort between departments rather than the domain of a designated department.

Web Design Certificate
Web Development AAS Degree

Microcomputer Business Applications

The Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Microcomputer Business Application program prepares students in becoming part of the support system in almost any office configuration in a wide variety of business areas. Students learn to select and use business productivity software, basic web pages skills for integration between business data and the internet. The general education courses provide a well-rounded background that includes writing, reading, communication, mathematics, natural science, social sciences, and humanities and fine arts. Courses in the program prepare for the Microsoft examinations for certification as a Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW).

Microcomputer Business Applications AAS Degree
Microcomputer Business Applications Specialist Certificate

Employment Opportunities

  • Front Desk Coordinator – Greet and direct clients, some filing, data entry and completing other various administrative tasks is required.
  • Receptionist/Secretary – Responsibilities include answering calls, directing information, mail, administrative typing or letters and correspondence, spreadsheets and CSI/MasterSpec specifications.
  • Administrative Assistant/Receptionist – Act as the Receptionist and first point of contact for all visitors.  Provide administrative support to members of the Senior Management team to include but not limited to: maintaining calendars, scheduling and organizing meetings, arranging travel and processing expense reports.  Order all office supplies and ensure supplies are appropriately stocked.  Coordinate and provide support on special events/projects.

Consider the job potential in Computer Information Systems for your future! Demand is high and growing!

National and State Employment Trends for Computer Information Systems

National: Computer Systems jobs which include Networking Administration, Microcomputer Applications, Programming and Web Development are among the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the most new jobs over the 2008–18 decade, resulting in excellent job prospects. Workers can enter this field with many different levels of formal education, but relevant computer skills are always needed. Job prospects will be best for applicants with a bachelor’s or higher degree and relevant experience. Employment is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations and add 286,600 new jobs over the 2008–2018 decade. Excellent job prospects are expected. [Source: BLS Occupational Handbook 2010]

State of Arizona: Employment for Computer Systems jobs is Arizona is expected to reach six thousand jobs by 2015; employment for Computer Software Engineers will represent eleven thousand jobs by the same year. Students who earn a bachelor’s degree are projected to earn an average annual salary of $57,797. Source Downloaded 10/26/16.

Transfer Programs:
The Computer Programming AAS degree has a transfer path to Northern Arizona University.  Check with the CAC advising staff or with Sheryl Daniels, Transition Coordinator for NAU at 520-421-1394 or at
The Network Administration AAS degree has a transfer path to University of Arizona.  Check with the CAC advising staff for further information.