The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers some promising data on the future of computers and information technology within the United States. According to the federal bureau, jobs within this industry are expected to grow faster than in many other occupations over the next eight years. By 2024, it is anticipated that IT employment will have grown by 12 percent, with an additional 488,500 jobs having been added to the job market. Here are three careers that might interest you in earning an information technology degree.
1. Computer Network Architect
If you study for an IT Networking and Security degree, you might find yourself proudly handing out a business card that says you’re a “Computer Network Architect”. What does a computer network architect do? According to the BLS, the specialists “design and build data communication networks”. You will have your hands in the technology used to give people worldwide networking capabilities. You might start in an entry-level position where you connect local offices onto one server, but you have the potential to build networking infrastructures designed to put people onto one global platform.
This is a full-time job with some overtime to be expected. Your IT networking and security bachelor’s degree will get your foot in the door of this career. You can expect to earn higher wages than other vocations, even when you first start out. The BLS reports that the median annual wage for computer network architects in May of 2015 was $100,240. This is much more than other median annual salaries, and even if you don’t begin with six figures, it shouldn’t take long to work your way up the pay scale. Projected growth for this career is 9 percent between 2014 and 2024.
2. Information Security Analyst
Get into the heart of protecting a business or government agency by working as an information security analyst. This career is one that, per the BLS, works to “plan and carry out security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems”. When you consider the number of hackers in cyber space writing and spreading viruses just for fun, this career is sure to be dynamic. You will not get bored in your efforts to combat cyber crime, and you will feel a sense of pride as you protect critical information such as trade secrets and financial data.
Cyber attacks are increasing every day and, as was proved by the infamous Target breach, they can be devastating to a company. You might find yourself working for a business or finance company, computer company, or a consulting firm. The BLS reports that you’ll need a bachelor’s degree, and you can expect to earn on average an annual salary of $90,120. This field is going to grow much more than computer network architecture, as the BLS anticipates an 18-percent jump from 2014 to 2024, which makes sense when you consider hacking has become a career for many, as well.
3. Network and Computer Systems Administrator
If you want to be in the heart of every organization out there, it’s time to earn your bachelor’s degree and look for work as a network and computer systems administrator. You will be involved in the day-to-day operations of the company for which you work, including ensuring all users are connected to the appropriate networks and have access to the tools they need. If something breaks down computer wise, the business will turn to you to fix it. You are crucial to the business’ entire computer networking system and may find yourself the most popular person on the job.
You can work in any industry as a network and computer systems administrator, because every industry runs on computer networks, including public and private businesses. Network and computer systems administrators make, on average, $77,810 per year, but you can expect to earn more as you gain experience and work in more advanced networking systems. The BLS projects job growth in this field to be 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is above average compared to other careers, and the world really is your oyster when you head out to find your first employer.
This field is growing rapidly, and if the Bureau of Labor Statistics is correct in its projections, you won’t be hurting for a job upon graduation. Switch your major or earn your degree in information technology, and enter into a dynamic career that will never leave you bored.