Information Processing Specialist

New enrollments into this program are restricted as of Spring 2019. Please contact an academic advisor about alternative options.

Program Description

The Information Processing Specialist program provides students with highly marketable skills and the knowledge to meet ever-changing technology in business and industry. Students develop software application skills through the concentrated training in Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office software. The program includes an internship opportunity, in addition to leadership and personal development training through Phi Beta Lambda, a student organization for students enrolled in college programs focused on business-related careers.

Curriculum integrates word processing, database, spreadsheets, desktop publishing, and web development courses.  Students may complete the entire program on the Bismarck State College campus or may complete the program entirely online. The one-year program is designed for students who wish to upgrade their computer application skills and focuses primarily on Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud software. The two-year program includes further database and web development training, internship opportunities, additional communication training, and other general degree requirements.


Students should enjoy working with software applications, such as word processing, be detailed-oriented, enjoy problem-solving, and be interested in working in a back office setting. High school students should have successfully completed English and any available computer and business classes. Keyboarding skills are recommended.

Program Requirements

Those who complete the required curriculum for the two-year program earn an Associate in Applied Science degree. Completion of the one-year program leads to a Program Certificate.

Students should have basic keyboarding skills of approximately 35 words per minute (wpm) or greater or should enroll in BOTE 102 – Keyboarding I. This degree focuses on software applications and students should expect specific software requirements for many courses, including Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Cloud. Students are expected to either use BSC computer labs or purchase required software. Student should ask the instructor about any questions on the software requirements for a specific course. Selected BSC computer labs have all required software installed for this curriculum.

Career Opportunities

Information technology jobs are among the fastest growing in North Dakota. Advancements have profoundly influenced the kinds of jobs available and the way work is organized and performed. Placement includes working as an information-processing specialist in government agencies, educational institutions, law offices, sales offices, service agencies, insurance companies, or bank and investment firms.

Additional Information

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams are part of the Information Processing Specialist program and offer students the opportunity to earn industry certifications.