IT careers have been building since the early 1980’s and, 3 decades later they are showing no signs of slowing down! Earning an online degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or Software Engineering ensures strong career opportunities for students and professionals alike. Individuals with these skills will continue to be in high demand because of our society’s increasing dependence on technology and the need for individuals who can innovate and problem solve across a variety of disciplines and industries.
Job growth in this field is due in part to the expanding presence of technology and to the increase in the specialties within the field. Individuals are earning degrees with emphasis on computing security, systems administration, systems design, systems analyst, tech support analyst, database administrator, software design and construction, just to name a few.
Although the specific area of expertise will depend upon the emphasis of the online degree program, a quality BS in Technology will include Computing and Security, Networking/ Server Technology as well as Systems Analysis among their areas of concentration. Jobs in this area include but are not limited to the following:
Information Security Engineer
Network Operations Technician
Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst
Network and Computer systems Administrator
Network Planning Analyst
The great news is that the employment and salary projections are expected to continue to grow. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Network and Computer Systems Administrators median income in 2010 was $69,160 per year with a 28% increase in growth in the next decade (faster than average)i. Internationally, an IT Security Manager averaged $108,241 in 2007ii and averaged $80,004 in 2012 domesticallyiii. A Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst earned a median income of $60,000 with a projected job growth rate of 54.6% between 2004 and 2014.iv
Advanced online degrees including and MS in Computer Science and Software Engineering bring even more opportunities and earning potential. A quality online MS program will include emphasis on software maintenance, software testing and software construction among the areas of focus. Individuals with these degrees are responsible for the creation and design of the coding and architecture of the software that will be used to meet the needs of a variety of clients across many industries. Jobs in this area include but are not limited to the following:
Product System Design Engineer
Software Testing Engineer
IT Vendor Relationship Manager
Employment and salaries for individuals with advanced degrees and experience in this field are expected to grow. Software developers earned an average of $90,530 per year and the field is expected to grow at a rate of 30% (much faster than average).v Software Test Engineers have a median income of $87,600 with a projected growth rate of 28% between 2006-2016.vi IT Vendor Relationship Managers earn an median salary of $110,528.vii
Expertise in these fields yields strong financial rewards and professionals use their problem solving, research and design skills to impact huge numbers of people and industries. Individuals with advanced degrees and experience in Computer Science report both high levels of satisfaction and job security. In fact, in 2010 CareerCast.com released a study of 200 best and worst jobs and software engineer ranked number 2 of the best jobs to have based on job outlook, income, stress, work environment and physical demands.ix If there was ever a compelling reason to consider earning an online degree in the IT industry this ranking should cement the decision.