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Career Profile: Networking Technology Careers

Can’t think of the last time you did anything at work or home (and everywhere in-between) without some form of technology? That’s why the computer and information technology field is loaded with opportunity. From laptops, to phones, to games to home appliances, to cars, computer technology is everywhere.

Since this field has a wide variety of jobs at varying levels of education and experience, it is definitely a field worth exploring. Not to mention, it has high salaries, low unemployment and rapid growth (much higher than the average 11% of all careers) as well as great work-life balance.

Sound too good to be true? Check out our summary of the IT jobs ranked as the top four by U.S. News and World Report  using data from the of Labor Statistics’ 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Software Developer

What would your phone, computer or tablet be without apps and software? Nothing. Software developers are the creative and technical minds behind designing and improving them. And since you just can’t live without either, software developers are in high demand. The career is expected to grow 22 percent between 2012 – 2022, which is a whopping increase of 222,600 jobs. A Bachelor’s degree in computer science will get you in the door and earning a median salary of about $93,000 a year. That’s nearly three times more than the median $34,750 of all jobs and it requires no work experience to break into the field.

Computer Systems Analyst

With the keyword being ‘systems,’ these analysts are concerned with how a company’s hardware, software and networks all work together. Process-minded and business-minded individuals who know computers may find interest here. In fact, entry-level education is a combination of a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science, business or liberal arts and skills in information technology or programming. Growth between 2012 and 2022 is projected to be 25 percent (127,700 jobs) and the median salary is nearly $80,000 a year.

Information Security Analyst

As cyber attacks, security breaches and other technological risks grow, so does the demand for information security analysts, the fastest growing of the top 4 jobs. At 37 percent projected growth, this job will increase by 27,400 workers by the year 2022. Information security analysts monitor and protect the security of organizations’ computers and networks, and employers value their service to the tune of $86,170 per year with a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field and less than five years work experience.

Web Developer

With an associate’s degree in web design or a related field, knowledge of programming and graphic design, and a love for creating websites you could become a web developer. Web developers create the look of websites and make sure they are fast and able to handle a lot of traffic. In 2012 about one-fourth of web developers were self-employed, which also gives you the potential for having a side gig. The annual median salary without experience can be as high as $62,000. The growth in web developer jobs is predicted to be 20 percent (28,500) from 2012 to 2022.

Other computer and IT jobs worth exploring are:

  • Computer network architects who design and build data communication networks and intranets.
  • Database administrators, who use specialized software to store and organize data; make it accessible to authorized users; and secure it from unauthorized users.
  • Computer support specialists, who provide help and advice to organizations and employees.

You can find information about these jobs and more in the field at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

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