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Career Information for a Degree in Computer and Information Sciences

Computer and information sciences careers are generally geared towards individuals looking to work with technology. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

Degrees in computer and information sciences can lead to various careers in the computer world. Common job titles for graduates of such degree programs include network and computer systems administrators, database administrators, and computer programmers. Earning a degree in a program that is recognized by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology can be quite beneficial for candidates on the lookout for their first job in the field.

Essential Information

Students looking to work in the field of computer and information sciences generally only need to get their bachelor's degree. In order to succeed, students need to be familiar with software and computer equipment, as well as have great analytical skills. Courses typically included in these technology programs include software design and database management, information security and programming languages. To find an entry-level position after graduation, students may want to enroll in programs that are approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.

Career Network and Computer Systems Administrator Database Administrator Computer Programmer
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Job Growth (2014-24)* 8% 11% -8%
Mean Salary (2015)* $82,200 annually $84,250 annually $84,360 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

A bachelor's degree is usually the only educational requirement for students looking to find an entry-level job in the computer and information sciences industry. These careers emphasize maintaining and creating technology for different organizations. Below are descriptions and overviews of career options for computer and information sciences graduates.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), network and computer system administrators install and run an organization's computer systems (www.bls.gov). While their main concern is functionality, computer system administrators are also concerned with security issues, such as protecting private data. Their responsibilities may extend beyond computer networks to wireless devices and particular systems or networks.

The BLS indicates that employment opportunities for network and computer system administrators are expected to increase by 8% from 2014-2024. Businesses will need to stay competitive by installing faster systems and protecting themselves against hacking. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the mean annual salary for a computer system administrator was $82,200.

Database Administrators

According to O*Net Online, database administrators implement and test computer databases (www.onetonline.org). They ensure that data is secure and transmitting securely through their knowledge of management and security systems. O*Net indicates that database administrators may participate in each phase of system development, from writing code and selecting software to integrating new users. These professionals may also provide technical assistance and resolve problems.

The BLS states that job opportunities for database administrators were expected to grow by 11% from 2014-2024, due to the growing amount of data that needs to be stored and protected. The constant changes in technology will also increase demand for professionals who can make routine updates without losing important data. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the mean salary for a database administrator was $84,250 annually.

Computer Programmers

O*Net defines computer programmers as the professionals who design and test the codes that run computers. They may be assigned a task for which they design a specific program or update an existing one. Depending on the industry they work in, computer programmers may need to be proficient in multiple programming languages. The BLS indicates that programmers may work in teams for large projects and use computer-aided systems for assistance.

The BLS states that employment for computer programmers is expected to decrease by 8% from 2014-2024. Although outsourcing and the increasing ability of users to design their own programs will limit growth somewhat within the U.S., the high demand for new computer software will still allow for new jobs, especially for those with significant training and expertise. In May 2015, the BLS reported the mean annual salary for a computer programmer was $84,360.

The main role of a network and computer system administrator is to make sure a company's computer systems are functional and secure. Database administrators, however, play a much larger role in a company's overall system security measures, and are also responsible for developing code and finding the right software to keep systems secure. The BLS reports that computer programmers will see a fairly significant decline in new job opportunities between 2014-24, citing outsourcing as one of the primary reasons for the decline.


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