Computer Science Careers Outlook
Employment for many computer professionals, such as software engineers, systems administrators, computer systems analysts, and database administrators, is expected to increase much faster than average through 2014 as technology becomes more sophisticated and organizations continue to adopt and integrate these technologies, making job openings plentiful. Additionally, faster-than-average growth is predicted for computer support specialists and network administrators. Falling prices of computer hardware and software should continue to encourage more businesses to expand computerized operations and integrate new technologies. To maintain a competitive edge and operate more cost-effectively, firms will continue to demand computer professionals who are knowledgeable about the latest technologies and can apply them to the needs of businesses.
As for the Internet, the expanding integration of Internet technologies has resulted in a rising demand for a variety of skilled professionals who can develop and support Internet, Intranet, and World Wide Web applications. Growth in these areas is expected to create strong demand for computer scientists, engineers, and systems analysts who are knowledgeable about networks, data, and communications security.
Employment opportunities in the computer industry are numerous and varied. Flexibility is key because as the industry shifts into new, unexplored areas, computer professionals have to shift as well. In addition, many computer professionals use certain jobs as springboards to other higher-level jobs. For example, few professionals want to work in technical support long term, but many start there to get a foot in the company’s door in order to be first in line for any internal positions that open up.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of programmers is predicted to grow more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2014. Advanced software capable of writing basic code has eliminated some jobs, and other programming jobs are at risk of being outsourced to other countries. Employment of computer equipment operators is expected to decline, since advances in automation continue to increase, reducing the need for such workers.
Three things are essential to aspiring computer professionals: determination to keep up with the latest technology, flexibility, and formal education. Of course, a solid understanding of computer basics is required as well. However, the technology of today will be obsolete in months, if not weeks, and only those individuals who strive to be on the cutting edge will have long-term growth potential during their careers.
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