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Studying Computers and Technology For The 21st Century

Trying to choose a major and a future career can be challenging for aspiring students. Of course, the subject you opt to study for two or four years should be something interesting to you personally, but it should also be something that can help you prepare for a growing career field. For many students, computer and technology degrees perfectly fit the bill.

Quick Facts: Technology Industry
Median Pay:   $89,180 per year | $43 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Bachelor's degree
Work Experience:   5 years or more
Number of Jobs, 2014:   3,185,000

Technology Occupations:

  • Computer and information systems managers$127,640
  • Computer systems analysts$82,710
  • Computer programmers$77,550
  • Software developers, applications$95,510
  • Software developers, systems software$102,880
  • Database administrators$80,280
  • Network and computer systems administrators$75,790
  • Computer network architects$98,430
  • Computer network support specialists$61,830

According to a 2013 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), "Unlike many other sectors of the economy, employment in the computer systems design and related services industry (commonly known as IT services) was not significantly affected by the recession of 2007–2009."

This shows the resiliency of an industry that individuals and businesses rely on daily. Discover some of the most popular careers with computer and technology degrees as well as what qualification will be best to get you to your successful career.

Web Developer

In the overwhelming majority of career opportunities in the fields of computers and technology, employees will require a minimum of a four-year bachelor's degree.

However, the exception to the rule is for web developers, who often need just a two-year associate degree in web design. These individuals might work for computing or technological companies, but others work for retail organizations or even private clients.

Daily tasks might include designing the look and layout of a website or ensuring that it functions properly for users. On average, web developers can expect to make a salary of $62,500. Plus, job growth for this position is expected to grow by an impressive 20 percent by 2022.

Software Developer

In any given day, you might use dozens of different software programs and applications that were created by developers. Software developers do everything from designing architectural drawing programs to the map functions you use while driving to your favorite game to play after work, and they do so for a very good salary.

According to the BLS, the median salary of software developers is $93,350, and it requires individuals to have a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related subject. This is one of the fastest-growing careers in the field, with a predicted 22 percent increase in demand over the next decade.

Computer Systems Analyst

Many offices, businesses and corporations rely on a computer system, and having that system work effectively is a great way to boost productivity and reduce problems. In large corporations, there is generally at least one computer systems analyst to ensure that the system is working well.

This job, earning an average salary of $79,680 annually, requires both information technology training and a keen business sense.

Generally, computer systems analysts have one of the many computer and technology degrees at the bachelor's level. Demand for computer systems analysts is predicted to grow by 25 percent by 2022, and most of that growth will come from areas like cyber-security and the implementation of cloud computing.

Computer and Information Research Scientist

While many of the students studying computers and technology opt for a bachelor's degree, others choose to complete an advanced degree in order to secure a career such as a computer and information research scientist. These individuals often tackle the toughest problems in the technology industry, and much of their work may even be theoretical.

Computer and information research scientists may even work from home, telecommute or work freelance for large clients who have specific problems with devices or software.

While this position often requires additional education beyond the undergraduate level, it rewards employees by paying a median salary of $102,190 annually, and offers job stability thanks to a 15% predicted job growth by the BLS.

Computer Network Architect

Another of the many rapidly-growing career options for those studying computers and technology is that of computer network architect. This career option involves designing the local area networks used by businesses, and it might include operating a system for a small office or creating an international network for a multinational corporation.

To become a computer network architect, the best course of action is to earn a bachelor's degree in information systems, engineering or computer science. With an increasing number of businesses and organizations relying on wireless systems and networks, the demand for computer network architects is predicted to grow by 15% in less than a decade, according to the BLS.

In addition to the relative job security for qualified candidates, the average salary of a computer network architect with a bachelor's degree is $91,000.

These are just a handful of the career options for those who graduate with degrees in computers and technology. Whether you opt to earn your bachelor's degree from the comfort of home through an accredited online college or you pursue a traditional associate degree, you can be eligible for a successful career in the 21st century.