Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated October 2010
The importance of computer and information sciences cannot be overstated, especially in terms of the demand in the United States for a more skilled workforce. The Internet and other technologies have changed the way we do business in nearly every sector of the global marketplace and the country must take care not to fall behind other nations in technological fields. There is a wide variety of computer and information sciences job opportunities for those with a graduate degree, and careers can be found in a number of different industries.
Whether you’re hoping to begin a career in computer and information sciences or are looking to update your skill set to advance in a current one, a graduate computer and information sciences degree will pave your way for a bright future
The career outlook for those with a graduate degree in this field is a bright one, as businesses in all sectors are in need of computer and information sciences professionals with up-to-date skills. Computer and information sciences careers require an advanced skill set that includes the ability to reason, organize, communicate and analyze on a high level. Those with a graduate computer and information sciences degree are equipped with superior mathematical, research, critical thinking, problem-solving and leadership skills.
Whether you’re interested in using technology creatively as a graphic artist or you’d rather manage IT workers, there are computer and information sciences careers out there for you. In a recent Manpower survey, IT jobs were listed among the top 10 hardest jobs to fill—so those with a computer and information sciences graduate degree are sought-after like never before. From contributing to homeland security, to educating the next generation, to creating the software of tomorrow, the choices of which computer and information sciences career is right for you are endless.
With a graduate computer and information sciences degree, you can expect to be required to keep your knowledge and skills as current as possible. As the field of computer and information sciences continues to grow and evolve, new positions are being created in a variety of industries, including business, management, education, healthcare, engineering, government and research. This means that lifelong learning is essential, but it also means that even newer jobs will always be created. This is a field with serious job security.
Take a look at where a computer and information sciences degree can take you:
Many with a graduate degree in computer and information sciences become computer and information systems managers, who supervise IT workers, assign projects, and determine organizational needs in terms of personnel, hardware, research and computer-related operations. Many computer and information systems managers work in services industries in areas such as finance, insurance, computer and data processing, as well as in government agencies.
These computer and information sciences careers command an average annual salary of $102,000. Computer and information systems managers at colleges and universities can earn about $83,000 a year, those in insurance may take home about $102,000 annually, and those in data processing and hosting can earn $105,000.
Some computer and information systems management jobs, such as chief technology officer (CTO), involve establishing technical standards for organizations and deciding how to spend money on technology. These workers earn an average of $120,000 a year, while a management of information systems (MIS) director can earn about $85,000 annually. MIS directors recommend hardware and software, as well as manage computer information systems and computer resources.
A computer and information sciences career as a computer software engineer can command an average annual salary of $85,000. Computer software engineers working in data processing and hosting can earn about $78,000 a year, and those working in computer systems design services can take home $85,000 annually. Those who choose a career in software publishing can take home about $87,000 a year, while careers in computer manufacturing can command mean annual salaries of $93,000. Computer software engineers can begin careers in research and development and earn about $97,000 a year.
You can also opt for a computer and information sciences career as a computer systems analyst, which carries an average annual salary of $71,000. State government positions can start at about $62,000 a year, while those who work for insurance companies can take home about $70,000 annually. Computer systems analysts working in management can earn about $71,000 a year, and those with jobs in computer systems design services may take home $72,000 a year. Careers with professional and commercial equipment and supply wholesalers can command an average annual salary of $81,000.
Looking for a computer and information sciences career as a computer and information scientist? You can earn an average annual salary between $72,000 and $118,000, depending on a number of factors, including degree earned, position, employer type and size, and more. IT consultants can earn an average annual salary of $71,000, while IT managers can earn around $92,000 a year. Meanwhile, computer and information research scientists can expect to earn about $100,000 annually, and senior computer programmers can earn about $78,000 a year.
Those interested in graphic design can become 2D/3D graphic designers, package or branding designers, desktop publishers or illustrators. Others may choose to enter careers as interface designers, layout artists or logo designers. Multimedia graphic designers can command an average annual salary of $57,000, while senior package designers can earn $82,000 each year. User interface designers can make about $86,000 on average each year. Want to design video games? You could earn about $59,000 a year as a game designer.
The list of possible computer and information sciences careers could go on and on. And there will probably be additional jobs added to that list in the coming years. If you are considering going back to school, a graduate degree in computer and information sciences is one of the most valuable degrees you could choose. Careers in the field are exciting and challenging, as well as abundant and quite lucrative. So use the GradSchools.com directory to pick the program that’s right for you, and start your new career now.
Photo by Paul Keller