Careers in computers offer solid employment prospects for individuals who are detail-oriented and comfortable working on projects with teams, and who have technical, mathematical and scientific aptitude. An undergraduate or graduate degree is required for many computer careers, and it is also beneficial to become certified in software programs or programming languages.
Computer programmers write instructions in the form of programs that tell a computer what to do. Programming may be done for an individual application or for an entire system. A bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems or math can lead to a career as a computer programmer, according to StateUniversity.com, a career resources website. In addition to the degree, prospective programmers can make themselves more marketable by becoming certified in computer languages, such as XML or Java. The education of computer programmers continues throughout their careers as new computer languages emerge. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that the median wages for computer programmers in 2008 was $85,430.
Systems analysts help to develop computer hardware that can complete specific tasks. The work done by systems analysts is beneficial in science and business, according to StateUniversity.com. In addition to developing systems, analysts also review existing systems to determine ways to streamline them and make them faster. Education for computer analysts typically consists of a college degree in computer science or a related field, according to StateUniversity.com. Analysts may choose to major in math or engineering if they intend to work in scientific settings. Due to the technical nature of their work, it is helpful for computer analysts to be knowledgeable in at least one computer language. Employment prospects for systems analysts are "excellent," according to the BLS, and the median salary for analysts in 2008 was $75,500.
Computer scientists create and design new technologies, as well as perform research, according to the BLS. In corporations, computer scientists work on projects with profit-making potential. In academia, the focus is on theory and research. Areas in which computer scientists might work include artificial intelligence, robotics and virtual reality. Computer scientists help develop machines that can perform a variety of tasks around the home or in an industrial setting. The BLS notes that most computer scientist positions will require a Ph.D. in either computer science or computer engineering. Employment for computer scientists is expected to increase by about 24 percent through the year 2018, according to the BLS. This is due to the rise in new technology, especially in software publishing and information security. In 2008, the median wage for computer scientists was $97,970, according to the BLS.
Storing and organizing data are the primary duties of a database administrator. The BLS notes that database administrators set up new databases and troubleshoot problems in existing databases when necessary. In addition, database administrators develop security plans in collaboration with network administrators. Database administrators usually hold bachelor's degrees in computer related fields. Beyond the degree, database administrators can increase their marketability through certification, which can also qualify them for advancement. With experience, a database administrator could rise to the position of CTO, or Chief Technology Officer. As the Internet grows, so does the demand for database administrators. Through the year 2018, employment is expected to increase by some 20 percent, according to the BLs. In 2008, the median annual wage for database administrators was $69,740.