If working with computers, writing code and designing software and/or hardware are your passion, you may find a career you love by choosing one of these jobs related to the IT field.
If you’re looking for a fast growing career opportunity, check out the potential for database administration or software development, as those two industries are expected to experience rapid growth over the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
1. Database Administrators
Database administrators are responsible for securing, organizing, and making data available to the end user.
They do this by utilizing software and creating, merging or maintaining databases.
The day-to-day operation and efficiency of the database falls into their purview, and they must backup data to prevent loss and be able to restore information promptly in the event of a loss.
If you want to become a database administrator, you’ll need to be proficient in the languages of databases because different companies may be using different languages for their databases.
Most employers are looking for individuals with at least a bachelor’s degree in management information systems or a bachelor’s in an IT related field, and many will prefer candidates with advanced degrees in computer-related fields.
Job growth potential is higher than average with a projected 31% growth over the next 10 years, and the BLS median income for database administrators was $73,490.
2. Software Developers
While we don’t often stop to think about it, every time we use a software program to help us complete a task more quickly and efficiently, somewhere in the world, there is a team of software developers who made it all possible. Software developers may create, test and complete new software designs and programs or make enhancements to existing programs to make them work better.
Individuals with a passion for computer science, software engineering and other IT related fields make the world a better connected, information rich world with their innovations and new discoveries and are the perfect candidates for careers in software development.
Additionally, job seekers for this occupation should have at least a bachelor’s degree in one of these disciplines and many employers will give preference to those with advanced degrees. Job growth predictions for this career are also above average with an estimate of about 30% growth in the next decade and a 2010 median pay of $90,530.
3. Web Developers
Web developers create websites, and whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company wanting to expand your brand awareness and market penetration, or Mr. Joe Public who wants to establish an Internet presence, you probably understand the power of a well-designed website in today’s increasingly digital world. However, if you don’t have the skills and expertise or time to invest in developing your own site, you’ll probably hire a web developer to do the job for you.
As an occupation, individuals may decide to become web developers, web designers, web programmers, webmasters, some combination of aspects of all these facets, or they may specialize in just one field of interest.
These job seekers typically have at least an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in an IT related field such as computer science, and they may also have completed a master’s degree in business administration. While this occupation is not projected to grow as rapidly as that of database administration or software development, the BLS stills predicts an impressive 22% job growth in the next 10 years. With median salaries in 2010 of $75,660, this could prove to be a lucrative career choice for job seekers.
4. Systems Analysts
With the inclusion of computer systems in more and more companies worldwide comes the need for those systems to work at peak proficiency. The systems analyst is the point person who analyzes a company’s computer system and recommends whether making changes to a current system or replacing it with a new system would be the best way to increase efficiency. He or she performs tasks such as:
- Designing new systems
- Training users
- Consulting with IT departments
- Developing enhancements to existing systems
Having a bachelor’s degree in an IT related field may give individual’s preference with employers, but having the experience to write computer programs might be acceptable in conjunction with other types of bachelor or technical degrees, certificates or awards.
As with the other IT careers, employers may prefer to hire individuals with MBA’s or advanced degrees in computer science and other computer-related fields. Median pay in 2010 was $77,740 with a projected 22%, 10 year job growth outlook.
5. Computer Support Specialists
Computer support specialists may go by other job titles such as customer service desk technicians, technical support staff, or IT support technicians, but they essentially perform the same job: helping people use computer software and equipment to its best advantage.
Individuals can enter this occupation with an associate’s degree or work experience in a related field, but will generally obtain more formal education at some point to help them advance in the IT job market. Job growth expectations over the long term are slightly higher than average (18%) with 2010 median wages at the $46,260 mark.
6. Computer Hardware Engineer
Looking at the 2010 median wage for computer hardware engineers – $98,810 according to the BLS – might prompt one to think that this occupation is the gold standard for those wanting to work in a computer-related field.
However, of the five jobs in IT fields we’ve examined so far, computer hardware engineering is projected to have the slowest 10-year growth at 9%. The reason for such slow growth is because those jobs are being absorbed into broader IT classifications. For instance, many companies are finding that it is easier to train a software engineer to handle basic hardware engineering tasks than to do the opposite.
Computer hardware engineers are the architects of the computer chips, circuitry and other hardware and peripherals of which computers are comprised, and they typically have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in either electrical or computer engineering but have taken some type of computer sciences courses to prepare them for working with the computer’s software systems as well as the hardware.
With the increasing focus on a digitally based society and as the importance of the Internet grows, jobs related to IT should continue to proliferate and offer good earnings potentials to job seekers. If you are currently doing your college prep planning, you may want to look at earning a degree in a computer related field or at least have a minor in an IT field.
If you are looking for ways to enhance your current employment situation or transition to a new career path, you may want to consider whether making a change to one of these occupations would be worth your time and the investment in obtaining the necessary educational credentials (if you do not already have them).
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Image: “Data Transferring Concept” courtesy of rajcreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook