What Are the Different Kinds of Computer Occupations?

If you are interested in high-tech and cutting-edge technological advancements, then you may want to consider one of many computer occupations. Some of these include computer support, programming and database administration. Read on to learn more about computer occupations and to discover which one may be right for you. Schools offering Information Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Jobs Within the Computer Industry

The world of electronics are a rapidly growing industry, and there are many jobs becoming available for applicants who are well-acquainted with computers. Below is an overview of a few popular careers within the computer industry, and their outlook for the future.

Important Facts About Computer Occupations

Computer Support Specialist Computer Programmer Computer and Information Systems Manager
Professional Certification May be required by employer; available through software vendors May be required by employer; available for specific programming languages Voluntary; certification available through multiple organizations
Key Skills Astute listening; customer focused; clear communication; problem solving Analytical thinking; attention to detail; troubleshooting ability; concentration Organization; analytical thinking; business acumen; good judgment and decision making
Work Environment Computer systems and design related services; educational services; information companies Computer systems and design related services; software publishers; finance and insurance companies Computer systems and design related services; information companies; management of companies and enterprises
Similar Occupations Customer service representatives; software developers; web developers Computer hardware engineers; computer network architects; computer systems analysts Information security analysts; network and computer systems administrators; top executives

Computer Support

In a computer support role, you'll provide technical assistance to customers, clients and co-workers as necessary on behalf of a company. You'll provide such support over the telephone, via e-mail and in person. If you're good at figuring out the nature of a problem and then solving it, this may be an ideal computer career for you. Along with helping people solve computer issues remotely, you might install, repair and maintain hardware and software on site.

Salary and Job Outlook

As of May 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual wage for a computer support specialist was $50,380 (www.bls.gov). Computer support specialists were projected to experience an employment growth of 12 percent from 2014-2024, according to the BLS.

Education

To work as a computer support specialist, you'll likely need some postsecondary education, such as an associate's or bachelor's degree, and continuing education is usually needed. For the greatest job prospects in this field, consider earning a bachelor's degree related to computer science. This education may give you an advantage over applicants with only professional certificates or associate's degrees, according to BLS data.

Computer Programming

Computer programmers write and develop the code that runs computer programs. In this position, you may use computer languages like C++ and Python to create new programs or make changes to existing programs. Programmers are responsible for testing and debugging new programs and might be expected to work with software developers to assist with the design of software programs.

Salary and Job Outlook

The median annual income for computer programmers was $77,550 as of May 2014, according to BLS. Job opportunities in computer programming were expected to decline by eight percent from 2014-2024.

Education

A bachelor's degree is often required to be a programmer, although having an associate's degree along with knowing programming languages can be enough sometimes. Job prospects are expected to be better for programmers with bachelor's degrees related to computers who have practical experience in the field, according to the BLS.

Computer and Information Systems Management

In the computer and information systems field, you might serve as a chief technology officer, management information systems director, information technology director or IT project manager. The exact duties vary by job title, but the overall goal of information systems management is to oversee and implement the computer technology used in a business or organization. This often entails consulting with other managers and executives to determine business objectives and then applying the technology needed to meet those objectives.

Salary and Job Outlook

As of May 2014, the BLS reports that computer and information system managers earned a median wage of $127,640. The outlook for this career was projected to be favorable in the coming years, with a 15 percent growth of employment expected in the 2014-2024 decade.

Education

To become a computer and information systems manager, you will need at least five years of experience coupled with a bachelor's degree related to computers. Those who are highly experienced and hold Master of Business Administration degrees with concentrations in information systems may experience better job prospects.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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