Career Outlook For Computer Information Science Associate Degree

The Computer Science job outlook is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than average for all occupations.* Everest Online graduates can look forward to many possible career opportunities after graduation, including but not limited to: 

Computer Support Specialists
Computer support specialists and systems administrators are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations through 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Computer support specialists provide technical assistance, support and advice to customers and other users. This occupational group includes technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. These troubleshooters interpret problems and provide technical support for hardware, software, and systems. They answer telephone calls, analyze problems using automated diagnostic programs, and resolve recurrent difficulties. Support specialists may work either within a company that uses computer systems or directly for a computer hardware or software vendor. Increasingly, these specialists work for help-desk or support services firms, where they provide computer support to clients on a contract basis.

Technical support specialists are troubleshooters, providing valuable assistance to their organization’s computer users. Because many nontechnical employees are not computer experts, they often run into computer problems that they cannot resolve on their own. Technical support specialists install, modify, clean, and repair computer hardware and software. They also may work on monitors, keyboards, printers, and mice.

Technical support specialists answer telephone calls from their organizations’ computer users and may run automatic diagnostics programs to resolve problems. They also may write training manuals and train computer users how to properly use new computer hardware and software. In addition, technical support specialists oversee the daily performance of their company’s computer systems and evaluate software programs for usefulness.

Systems Analysts
Employment opportunities for Systems Analysts are expected to increase much faster than the average as organizations continue to adopt increasingly sophisticated technologies.  Systems analysts solve computer problems and apply computer technology to meet the individual needs of an organization. They help an organization to realize the maximum benefit from its investment in equipment, personnel, and business processes. Systems analysts may plan and develop new computer systems or devise ways to apply existing systems’ resources to additional operations. They may design new systems, including both hardware and software, or add a new software application to harness more of the computer’s power. Most systems analysts work with specific types of systems—for example, business, accounting, or financial systems, or scientific and engineering systems—that vary with the kind of organization. Some systems analysts also are known as systems developers or systems architects.

Systems analysts begin an assignment by discussing the systems problem with managers and users to determine its exact nature. Defining the goals of the system and dividing the solutions into individual steps and separate procedures, systems analysts use techniques such as structured analysis, data modeling, information engineering, mathematical model building, sampling, and cost accounting to plan the system. They specify the inputs to be accessed by the system, design the processing steps, and format the output to meet users’ needs. They also may prepare cost-benefit and return-on-investment analysis to help management decide whether implementing the proposed technology can be financially feasible.

Computer Programmers
Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the detailed instructions, called programs, that computers must follow to perform their functions. They also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. Many technical innovations in programming—advanced computing technologies and sophisticated new languages and programming tools—have redefined the role of a programmer and elevated much of the programming work done today. Job titles and descriptions may vary, depending on the organization. In this occupational statement, computer programmer refers to individuals whose main job function is programming; this group has a wide range of responsibilities and educational backgrounds.

Computer programs tell the computer what to do—which information to identify and access, how to process it, and what equipment to use. Programs vary widely depending upon the type of information to be accessed or generated. For example, the instructions involved in updating financial records are very different from those required to duplicate conditions on board an aircraft for pilots training in a flight simulator. Although simple programs can be written in a few hours, programs that use complex mathematical formulas, whose solutions can only be approximated, or that draw data from many existing systems may require more than a year of work. In most cases, several programmers work together as a team under a senior programmer’s supervision.

*www.bls.gov/oco/ocos304.htm

Source: Adapted from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S, Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, www.bls.gov/oco. Your own hard work, professionalism, experience, work attitude, local market and other factors may impact your personal employment opportunities and pay.