The explosion in the field of technology in recent decades has created a great need for people with a mastery of the skills and an understanding of the technical concepts essential for success in working with computers. The wide variety of online computer science degrees available today make it possible for those interested in entering this field to receive the necessary training in a way that is most convenient for them.
No longer a field only for engineers interested in working on mainframes, the computer science industry now touches every other field since each industry today must employ capable professionals who can use current and emerging technologies to meet that industry’s particular needs. With the current and expected future growth in global commerce, data sharing, and telecommunications, those with computer science degrees should have a wide variety of job options in the coming years.
Employment Outlook at Computer Science
Because of the pervasive influence of technology in every field today, the job prospects for those with computer science degrees are excellent. The growth in available computer science jobs will be approximately 37% by 2016, which is far greater than the average rate of growth predicated to be about 12%.1 Therefore, jobs for people with the appropriate educational background will be plentiful.
The earning potential for a person with a computer science degree can be great depending on the particular field that person is in. The median earnings for all computer specialists in May of 2006 was $68,500, but this figure doesn’t capture the range of salaries available. For instance, a person with no previous computer experience working in telecommunications today earns approximately $47,500, but a database manager with years of experience can make over $115,000. Web designers and administrators can make between $47,000 and $75,000, and network architects can make between $78,000 and $113,000. Experience definitely plays a role in salary. A new web designer might make $47,000, but a senior web designer with a lot of experience can earn over $100,000.
The field of computer science involves more than working with hardware and software. People who work in this field are primarily problem-solvers, so they require the use of critical thinking skills. Those who make the most money in this field have proven themselves to be excellent at coming up with solutions that technology can potentially solve. In this way, supplementing a computer science background with training in the analysis of business problems, like that provided in a Masters of Business Administration degree, can add to the potential earnings of anyone working in the computer field.
Educational Requirements For Online Computer Science Degrees
While a two-year associate’s degree can get some people into entry level computer positions, a bachelor’s degree is a minimum for those who look for advancement in the field and the higher earnings that accompany it. Bachelor’s degrees in computer science or information science are more technical than a bachelor’s degree in management information systems, which is more business-oriented and often offered in a university’s business school rather than through the computer science department. For those who wish to do research in the field of computer science and teach at the college level, a Ph.D. is required.
Besides online computer science degrees, prospective employees can also earn certificates from private companies like Microsoft or Intel. These certificates are awarded to those who demonstrate a certain level of proficiency in the use of that company’s software applications. While these certificates are certainly a great way of documenting specific skill sets, they do not take the place of earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in terms of job opportunities and potential earnings. Students who want to get an education in criminal justice need to read further.