By Lt. Col. Paul J. Capicik (USAF, Ret.)
I.T. positions are among the fastest growing through 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are the top five I.T. jobs and job groupings:
1. Computer Security Specialist
Government and the enterprise are demanding more computer security specialists to combat cyber criminals. Information security analysts, officers, specialists and managers work in all sectors, designing and implementing security technologies to prevent unauthorized network access.
According to O*Net, sponsored by the Department of Labor, computer security specialist jobs will expand by 39 percent by 2018. (That’s 135,000 new jobs!) The median wage for this position in 2009 was $67,000.
It is advised that members of the armed services obtain advanced education in information systems security, computer science, information technology, or information systems to prepare for these opportunities.
2. Computer Network, Systems and Database Administrators
With the dearth of computer systems running in businesses, government, universities, financial institutions and more, there is an increasing need for network engineers and systems and database administrators across industry.
Network engineers design LANs (Local Area Networks), WANs (Wide Area Networks) and complex hybrid computer networks. Systems administrators design and install smaller or less complex systems. Database administrators support and oversee databases and their software, which house data for retrieval.
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011, jobs will increase by 30 percent across these positions by 2018. The median wage for these jobs was $66,000 in 2008, with pay rates ranging from $41,000 to $104,000.
Appropriate training for these positions include a college degree in computer science, information technology and information systems.
3. Computer Scientists
The emerging technology sector is in constant need of computer scientists to create new technologies and conduct ongoing research. Occupational Outlook Handbook data predicts these professionals will increase in employment by 24 percent by 2018. Salaries vary widely from $57,000 to $151,000.
Advanced degrees in computer science, information systems and information technology are almost always required for these jobs.
4. Computer Software Engineers
Computer software engineers design and develop software. These openings are predicted to grow by 21 percent by 2018, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Given the number of existing jobs in this category, that equates to another 300,000 of these positions for creating software for a variety of commercial and consumer audiences. Salaries range widely from $53,000 to $128,000.
Military members seeking jobs in this field should seek degree programs that specialize in computer science, information systems and information technology.
5. Computer Systems Analysts
Computer systems analysts design specific types of computer systems (for business, financial, or scientific use) and apply them to new tasks. Forecasts from the Occupational Outlook Handbook give this job specialty a 20 percent growth rate into 2018.
Salaries for this career path range widely from $45,000 to $118,000. Appropriate degree programs for proper education in this field include computer science and information science.
To ready yourself for these top positions, consider advancing your education with a Bachelor’s or even Master’s degree. American Sentinel University offers flexible, online degree programs in information systems security, computer science, information technology and information systems to prepare members of the military for these opportunities.
About American Sentinel University
Named a Military-Friendly School by GI Jobs for the third year in a row, American Sentinel University offers outstanding military benefits for service members, spouses and veterans, including reduced tuition rates, an expansive transfer credit policy, no-cost books for active-duty, and personal support for the unique military lifestyle. American Sentinel provides accredited, quality Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs for high-job-growth industries, combining the flexibility of its100% online platform with dedicated personal support. Programs include IT, computer science, GIS, nursing, business intelligence, management, and IT industry certifications.