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Computer Science Careers

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Those who are analytical, good at problem solving and have the ability to pay attention to detail might enjoy a computer science career. This is a promising field with employment outlook ranging from average to much faster than average over the next several years.

 

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers oversee the computer activities of organizations or companies. They implement technology that can help these entities meet their goals. While some employers hire job candidates with a bachelor's degree, many prefer those with a master's degree in business adminstration (MBA). Computer and information systems managers' median annual earnings were $113,720 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming a Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer Systems Analyst

Computer systems analysts assist their employers with the efficient and effective use of computer technology. Many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have bachelor's degrees and for more complex jobs, some require a master's degree. In 2009 computer systems analysts earned a median annual salary of $77,080.
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Computer Software Engineer

Computer software engineers design, test, construct and maintain computer programs to meet users' needs. They specialize in either software applications or software systems. Most employers prefer job candidates with a bachelor's degree in computer science. In 2009, computer systems software engineers earned a median annual salary of $93,470, while computer applications software engineers earned a median annual salary of $87,480.
Learn More About Becoming a Computer Software Engineer

Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, test and oversee the manufacture and installation of computer chips, circuit boards and computer systems. They also work with computer peripherals. To work as a computer hardware engineer one must earn a bachelor's degree. In addition, to work directly with the public, one must have a license. Computer hardware engineers earned a median annual salary of $98,820 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming a Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer Programmer

Computers would be merely pieces of plastic without the computer programmers who write the programs that enable them to perform their functions. One must earn a bachelor's degree, usually in computer science, to work as a computer programmer. Computer programmers earned a median annual salary of $70,940 in 2009.
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Computer Support Specialists

Computer support specialists help companies' customers or staff solve computer-related problems. They may help with difficulties computer users are having with software programs, operating systems, computers or peripherals. While some employers will only hire computer support professionals who have bachelor's degrees in computer science, the level of education required in this field varies. They earned a median annual salary of $44,300 (median wage of $21.30 per hour) in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming a Computer Support Professional

Network Systems Analyst

Network systems analysts analyze, design, test and evaluate network systems including local and wide area networks (LANs and WANs). Generally, a bachelor's degree in computer and information systems is required to work in this field. Network system analysts earned a median annual salary of $73,250 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming a Network Systems Analyst

Software Developer

Systems software developers create operations software that make computers and other devices run. Applications software developers design and produce software and games that make them useful. While a bachelor's degree isn't a strict requirement for this career, earning one can help you prepare for it. In 2011 systems software developers earned a median annual salary of $96,600 and applications software developers earned $89,280 per year. Median hourly wages were, respectively, $46.44 and $42.92.
Learn More About Becoming a Software Developer

Web Developer

Web developers are responsible for the way websites function. They tend to sites' technical aspects. Although experience and certification may be enough to get someone a job as a web developer, many employers prefer to hire job candidates who have earned a bachelor's degree in a computer-related field. Web developers earned a median annual salary of $77,010 in 2009.
Learn More About Becoming a Web Developer

Web Master

Web masters maintain websites and tend to tasks such as design, analysis of user data and responding to user feedback. For most jobs one needs at least an associate degree or a certificate, but more advanced positions require a bachelor's degree in a computer-related major. Web masters earned a median annual salary of $77,010.
Learn More About Becoming a Web Master

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ and
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/ (visited May 18, 2011).

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Comparing Computer Science Careers
  Education License Median Salary
Computer and Information Systems Manager Minimum: Bachelor's
Preferred: Master's
none $113,720
Computer Systems Analyst Bachelor's none $77,080
Computer Software Engineer Bachelor's none $93,470 (systems)
$87,480 (applications)
Computer Hardware Engineer Bachelor's needed if working directly with the public $98,820
Computer Programmer Bachelor's none $70,940
Computer Support Specialist varies none $44,300
Network Systems Analyst Bachelor's none $73,250
Software Developer Minimum: Experience
Preferred: Bachelor's
none $96,600 (systems)
$89,280 (applications)
Web Developer Minimum: Experience and certification
Preferred: Bachelor's
none $77,010
Web Master Associate or certificate none $77,010

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