Almost every aspect of business, popular culture and even our personal lives is greatly influenced by technology. Next time you hop on a bus, airplane or pubic transit system, just take a look around and you’ll see that nearly everyone has a personal technology device of some sort (e.g., cell phone, laptop, ipad, notepad, etc.) Technology has also become the prime facilitator of disseminating information, sharing products and keeping track of current events and news. We have become so dependent on technology, it’s hard to imagine life without it. As technology wends its way into every facet of society, the job market for the skilled computer and IT professionals who understand it is ever expanding.
Employment Outlook and Earning Potential
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that job growth for computer scientists and database administrators will exceed 37% over the next decade and the industry will add 200,000 new positions. That’s a phenomenal rate of growth given that the average growth for all occupations in the United States over the same period is estimated at just 14%. As such, it comes as no surprise that tech jobs dominate the list of “100 Best Jobs of 2013″ recently published by U.S. News & World Report.
Some of the top tech jobs (as well as some of the top paying) filled by computer scientists, include:
- Computer Systems Analyst
Computer Systems Analysts design and develop computer systems and are intimately familiar with computer networks, software and hardware. The media salary for computer systems analysts is about $79,000 a year.
- Database Administrator
Database Administrators install, configure, update, monitor and maintain databases for organizations of all types and sizes. They also design and develop strategies for improving database capacity and performance. On average database administrators make around $76,000–some more, some less.
- Software Developer
Software Developers create/write the code that instructs computers how to perform certain routines or tasks. They design, install, test and maintain software systems. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates this sector will add 143,800 jobs by 2020. The average media salary for software developers is $89,280.
- Computer Programmer
These tech-savvy computer specialists write, rewrite, maintain, test, retest and debug software and programs the support computer functions. Like software developers they are responsible for telling computers how to perform tasks and procedures. Currently, the median annual salary for computer programs is $72,630, however, skilled programs can make in excess of $115,000 a year.
- IT Manager
These are the go-to computer specialists that usually head up the IT departments for corporations and organizations. They make sure a company’s network is always up and operating smoothly. Experienced IT Managers, with advanced degrees, on average make $118,010 a year.
Computer Science Education
There isn’t any other degree that can prepare you for a career in technology like a degree in computer science. Student’s looking to launch a career in computer science have several degree options available to them: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. While an associate’s degree will help prepare students for entry-level positions, the minimum requirement for most positions is a bachelor’s degree–and the best positions are reserved for advanced degree holders. In fact, an M.S. or Ph.D. in computer science is the degree of choice among most tech employers.
Many students who are serious about their career, in addition to earning a traditional computer science degree, will select a particular area of specialization. In fact, most computer science professionals will specialize in computer engineering, software engineering, information systems, electrical engineering, mathematics or a related industry subfield.
Computer Science Degrees and Education Programs
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