Computing Career Guide 2021: Salary and Degree Info

Nearly all industries look for employees with computing skills. On their own, the computer and technology industries provide a wide range of fast-growing and high-paying professional opportunities. However, the principles of computer programming, computer science, information technology (IT) and other related programs are also applicable to many sectors.

Since technology is continuously evolving, computing degrees have been of great importance not only for a living to make but also for improving the lives of everyone. People’s use of computers and technology is at an all-time high. For example, AI, machine learning, and data mining support assist physicians in diagnosing, managing, and treating diseases faster and better. Persons with disabilities can now perform complex tasks using machines. Retailers improve customer service relationships through technology, E-learning platforms help shape the future of education, and people conduct plenty of functions of just about anything through programming a lot more efficiently.


Computing as a Degree

Computing degree is a unique field. It also is considered as thedegree of the future.” Almost everything is about technology nowadays. Computer and information technology scientists, programmers, and developers build the computing world. While an associate degree is the basic level of education you can get, most employers look for higher degree levels since the industry is continuously changing. You have to remain competitive by learning additional courses. Students continue their education to earn bachelors or even a master’s degree. According to DATA USA, there were about 35,342 computer science degrees and 20,864 information technology degrees awarded in the year 2016. Planning to get into the computing world means looking for accredited universities and colleges that will best serve you with the best computing programs, courses, and excellent faculty to help you discover or perhaps, enhance your talent and skills in computing.  

Here are some of the computing degree programs offered in universities and colleges:

  • 3D Animation & Modeling
  • Cognitive Science
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Forensics
  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Science
  • Database Administration
  • Design
  • Digital Arts
  • E-Commerce
  • Game Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Information Systems Security
  • Information Technology
  • Information Technology Management
  • Mathematics
  • Network Administration
  • Project Management
  • Robotics Engineering Technology
  • Software Engineering
  • Statistics
  • Web Design & Development
  • Web Management & Webmaster

Types of Computing Degree

Associate Degrees in Computing

If you are interested in necessary computer skills such as introductory programming, computer networking, and web foundations, then earning either an Associate of Science or an Associate of Applied Science is for you. Students must complete 60 to 72 credits to receive an Associate’s degree. This includes general education courses in areas like ethics, behavioral science, math, social sciences, and humanities. They may also choose to study part-time or full-time. Full-time students have two years to finish while part-time typically takes 2.5 to 3 years. Core courses may include Introduction to Web Design and Development, Networking and Telecommunications, C++ Programming, Java, and Data Structures.  Additionally, students can use this degree to transfer to a four-year university in the future and earn a bachelor’s degree.

Bachelor’s Degrees in Computing

If you’re all about a next level professional computing career, getting a bachelor’s degree is the right decision. With a minimum of 120 credit hours (maximum of 135 credit hours) of study, students learn core courses which are more in-depth and well-rounded. These courses may include Introduction to Software Systems, Operating System Design and Implementation, Data Structures and Algorithms, and Database Application. Curriculum requirements are typically General Education major elective courses. Students are given 3-4 years to finish the courses and may take either Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science depending on the track they choose.

Master’s Degrees in Computing

A Master’s in Computing may enhance one’s employment marketability since this entails a higher level of knowledge and training. Generally, core courses depend on which specialization students pick. Learners usually master specific programming language or focus on artificial techniques for case studies and research. Typical courses in this degree level include Advanced Operating Systems, Software Development, High-Performance Computer Architecture, Computability and Algorithms, and many more. Complete at least 30 to 45 credit hours of general coursework and master thesis to earn a Master of Arts or a Master of Science degree.

ONLINE OPTIONS: 25 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs
TRADITIONAL OPTIONS: 25 Most Affordable Master’s in Computer Science Degree Programs

Doctorate in Computing

Computer and Information Research scientists invent and design new methods of computing technology. These people hold a Ph.D. or a professional degree. A doctorate is perfect for those wish to start their own research-based companies or become a member of a high-level faculty position. Large companies also prefer individuals with a Ph.D. whose advanced technical skills are indispensable. The degree typically requires 4-8 years to finish with 70-92 credits. Students are required to attend seminar courses, teaching practicum and thesis, including dissertation.

Computing Specializations

Computing degree is a vast field and is ever evolving. It holds several specializations. One must note that trends might not be the same in the next few years, so it is best to look for a specialization that best interests you. Here are some common specializations in computing but are not limited to:

Artificial Intelligence is a vast field that involves computer systems. This specialization requires basic knowledge of computational language and algorithms as well as topics in machine learning, robotics, probabilistic modeling, logical reasoning, and knowledge representation. Useful applications such as data mining and analysis, intelligent tutoring system, speech recognition, and machine vision.

Interactive Intelligence incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning with health and educational technology. Courses may include Software Development Process, Introduction to Graduate Algorithms, Knowledge-Based AI, Introduction to Health Informatics, Educational Technology: Conceptual Foundations, and Computational Social Science.

Computational biology is the study of the application of techniques of computer science, mathematics, and statistics in solving biology-based problems. Learners study computational management, high-performance computing, biological processes, and data-algorithm. This specialization will prepare learners for positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Some of the core courses may include Computational Genomics, Machine Learning or Statistical Machine Learning, Bioinformatics of Gene Expression and Introduction to Biophysical Modeling.

Human-Centered Computing is the study of how humans interact with information technologies by focusing on designing, implementing, and evaluating interactive information technology systems. Coursework in this specialization includes User/Interface studies, Prototyping Interactive Systems, and Issues in Human-Centered Computing. Topics in cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and social computing are also part of the program.

Mobile and Internet Computing provides access to all applications and supports all information flows and process. It is the backbone of e-business using the most streamlined architecture available. It focuses on the sociotechnical nature of modern systems. Networking, interface design, web applications, and operating systems are among the topics in this concentration.

Computational Perception is a combination of computer science, neuroscience, and cognitive science. This is a study of how knowledge is processed in human and machine. Courses may include Computer Vision, Computational Photography, Computational Complexity Theory, Approximation Algorithms, and Computational Science and Engineering Algorithms. This concentration helps learners explore and develop intelligent machines and environments to process modeling, recognizing, and interacting with humans.

Intelligent Robotics is designed to demonstrate how artificial intelligence and software work for robots. This specialization centers on the technical areas of computing, programming, and algorithm design. Some of its courses are Autonomous Robotics, Artificial Intelligence for Robotics, Human-Robot Interaction, Operating Systems & Architecture, Discrete Mathematics, and Data Structures.

High-Performance Computing is designed to help and prepare new generation students to solve high-end and challenging scientific and engineering problems. It also tackles parallel computing and parallel platforms, which include cloud environments, Graphics Processing Unit, and multicore machines. Courses may consist of new software design methods, Computer Networks, Computer Architecture, Object-oriented Programming, High-Performance Parallel Computing: Tools and Applications and Design and Multicore Computing: Concurrency and Parallelism on the Desktop

Scientific Computing delves into the computational dimensions of the natural and social sciences. Graduates with this specialization take on positions in data-intensive science, engineering, finance fields, big-data analytics, modeling proteins for drug discovery, and mining massive internet transaction datasets for business decision support systems. Computational Science and Engineering Algorithms, Introduction to Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations, Big Data Algorithms, Computational Models in the Sciences and Optimization Methods are some of the core courses included in the curriculum.

Visual Analytics is a form of study in which data is used to that produce insight into solving problems are displayed interactively and graphically. This helps people study how the use of visualization can help represent data for a better understanding. Some of the core courses in this specialization are Information Visualization, Computational Data Analysis, Data with Spatial and Temporal Components, Data Ethics and Data Sharing, and Data Provenance.

Software Engineering helps students study software development methodologies, re-engineer, and validate existing software systems, design programs for specific domains, and solve engineering problems. Require courses include Mathematical Foundations of Computing, Languages, and Automata, Software Specialties, Software Re-Engineering, Software Design and Probability and Statistics for Engineers.

System Administration deals with an in-depth understanding of maintaining and connecting a variety of computers and other electrical equipment in an establishment. This provides students with an emphasis on the use of network communication technologies, network administration, and operations, client-server system administration, cloud computing technologies, information technology management frameworks, storage technologies, and project management. Administrative Information Systems, IT Project Management, Project Management for Information Technology Management, Introduction to Networking, Introduction to Routing, Introduction to WAN Technologies and Administering SQL databases

Systems Analysis is the process of observing system for troubleshooting hardware and software issues. It also emphasizes the identification and resolution of problems in the development of computer system models and designs, project management, application development methodologies, and cyber security management. Popular courses for this specialization are UML Based Software Development, Software Testing and Maintenance, Application Development Methodologies, Hardware Configuration, Software Configuration, and Information Systems.

Online vs. Brick & Mortar Computing Degrees

A computing degree is one of the most compatible degrees for online education. If you are interested in learning without having to attend classes on campus or may not have the time and luxury to transport to a college campus, an online computing degree is the best option. Thanks to the incredible innovation in college education, online classes are now available and offered by many colleges and universities.

Although some lectures are better-learned face-to-face and that classrooms are “smart” classrooms with computer-based demonstrations, this degree does not require a lot of in-person labs or discussions. Thus, online education will most likely be the same as traditional on-campus learning. While learning halls and discussion rooms on-campus are still available and helpful to many students, online discussion boards are just as useful. Computing courses and tasks such as Coding may not always require a student’s physical presence, making online education ideal for distance learners.

Online and on-campus Computing learners study and use the same technologies.

Financing Your Education

According to DATA USA, Tuition costs for Information Technology majors are, on average, $5,472 for in-state public colleges, and $28,049 for out of state private colleges. The tuition for Computer Science is $6,478 for in-state public colleges. Out-of-state private colleges charge an average of $31,584.

Some schools do not require students to pay tuition, provided that they do on-campus work or come from a particular region or state. Other than these, different ways to pay for college include grants, scholarships, and loans. Below are the details of college financial aid:

Scholarships do need to be repaid. There are two types of scholarship. Some are awarded based on the financial need of the student while the other one is merit-based, meaning students are awarded the scholarship based on academic achievement or participation in extracurricular activities. Universities award their scholarships to incoming and existing students. There are also outside and private scholarships that require their application procedures and deadlines.

Loans area type of financial aid that has to be repaid after the student graduates. There are several factors to consider before approving the amount of money the student can borrow. These loans are offered by the Federal and State government as well as private lenders and institutions. Federal loans are taken out by either eligible parents or student borrowers taking an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree. State loan requirements vary depending on the state. Private loans are meant to be considered when the student has exhausted his/her federal and state loans.

Grants are another form need-based of financial aid that does not have to be repaid. Grants are provided by the Federal and State government, and some universities and colleges. Federal grants are divided into three types. These are the Federal Pell Grant, which is awarded to students with significant financial needs, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant which is awarded to students with the greatest financial need, and lastly, Federal TEACH Grant which is awarded to Education students. State grant recipients are in-state students.

Work Study provides part-time jobs for students with significant financial needs. This helps students earn money to pay for school expenses. Students may find computing-related jobs in the university. Their skills could be useful in IT departments, libraries, and other school offices.

Some students who are fully employed may inquire for tuition reimbursement programs offered by the company. Some employers may cover a large sum of your tuition. Companies may require specific grades for employees to qualify for the program.

There are also technology scholarships like Generation Google Scholarship, Edison International STEM College Scholarships, Vanguard Women in Information Technology Scholarship, Dell Computer Corporation Scholarship, Dell Computer Corporation Scholarship, and many more.

Computing Career Pathways, Information, and Outlook

Nearly every business makes excellent use of computer and technology in this modern age, so earning a computer degree is a foolproof way of staying relevant in the job market. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that employment of computer and information technology occupations will most likely increase by 13% within the next seven years. This means 557,100 new jobs and the median wage for computing career is at $86,320. This is higher than the annual salary for all occupations, which is $38,640.

10 Most Common Computing Occupational Titles

What jobs do Computing graduates usually land, you ask? We gathered the most popular career pathways of Computing degree holders:

Computer Scientist

Salary: $111,405 per year

Education Requirements: This position typically requires a bachelor’s degree with a major in computer science, information technology, information systems, or software engineering. Most computer scientists are expected to earn either a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in related fields to enhance and keep them up to date with the advancement of technology.

Computer Programmer

Salary: $84,280 per year

Education Requirements: Most computer programmers in an entry level hold undergraduate certificates or associate’s degree, but employers require or encourage candidates to earn or hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, mathematics, information systems. Still, practical programming experience stands as one of the key requirements in computer programming jobs.

IT Manager

Salary: $97,461 per year

Education Requirements: Some IT managers may have started their careers with an associate or a bachelor’s in Computer Science, Information Technology, or Computing fields with significant levels of experience. Most employers require their IT managers to hold a master’s degree with a specialization related to their responsibilities. They may work while earning this master’s degree.

Software Engineer

Salary: $103,035 per year

Education Requirements: The minimum requirement for this an entry-level position is an associate’s degree, but most complex software engineering jobs require a bachelor’s degree major in computer science, computer information systems, software engineering or mathematics. Employers count on ample hands-on experience so internships while pursuing a degree is important.

Software Developer

Salary: $105,590 per year

Education Requirements: Most software developers hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, or a related field.

Web Developer

Salary: $69,430 per year

Education Requirements: Although there is no specific education path for web development, an associate degree is the most common minimum educational requirement. It is traditionally necessary for web developers to hold a bachelor’s degree for career advancement. It is also important to note that developers have to choose a development specialization. This will help them focus on a greater level of efficiency.

Network Administrator

Salary: $68,156 per year

Education Requirements: This job often needs an undergraduate or an advanced degree in Computer Science, Network Administration, or Systems Engineering. Employers also look for those who have gained sufficient experience and certificates in networking.

Application Developer

Salary: $76,195 per year

Education Requirements: Individuals who have earned a diploma in Software Engineering or a related field may fill entry-level positions. Large companies require employees to hold at least a bachelor’s in Software Engineering, Mobile Application Development, Mobile Computing, or Computer Science.

Help Desk Worker

Salary: $44,402 per year

Education Requirements: Help desk careers often start with training at technical schools that take a year at most to complete. Certificates and diplomas may be earned in two semesters. However, help desk professionals need to hold a bachelor’s in computer science or related major to solve and work with complex issues.

IT Professional/Specialist

Salary: $86,012 per year

Education Requirements: A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field is the common requirement for becoming an IT professional or specialist. In the present, most employers require and prefer a master’s degree in computer science, information technology, information system, or a related field. Still, professional experience always counts, especially for big businesses. Smaller organizations are the best place to start your career.

Other Computing Occupational Titles

  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Cloud Architect
  • DevOps Engineer
  • UX Designer & UI Developer
  • SQL Developer
  • Technical Specialist
  • Cloud System Administrator
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • IT Director
  • Programmer Analyst
  • System Architect
  • Webmaster
  • Software Quality Assurance Analyst
  • .NET Developer

30 Highest Paying Computing Careers

Artificial Intelligence Engineers specialize in building developing the software for robots and systems. They test smart systems hypotheses and create processes that enhance organizational operations. The responsibilities of these AI engineers include setting up AI development and production infrastructure. They also educate managers and stakeholders about the potential and limitations of AI, deploy AI models into production, and stay up to date with the latest AI research and trends.

Artificial Intelligence Engineer Salary: $171,715 per year

Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) is the highest position in an IT security department. This job provides leadership for all assurance activities in compliance with an organization’s information security policies. They work with top executives in identifying outstanding issues and risks the organization has. They also appoint and guide a team of experts. Developing and enhancing information security management framework is an essential duty of CISO. They also partner with stakeholders within the organization to improve understanding of risk management processes.

Chief Information Security Officer Salary: $156,918 per year

Chief Information Officers (CIO)- Chief information officers hold an executive position in an organization. They are in charge of the information technology strategy and computer systems necessary to support the organization’s goals. They usually work for large companies/organizations that need CIO to create business value through technology. This means working on the company’s service analysis, market reach, and data security. They delegate tasks to teams in customer service, IT management, supplier management, and information risk management.

Chief Information Officer Salary: $146,212 per year

Computer and Information Systems Managers determine the computing and technology needs of the organization and identify and suggest the upgrades required. They must stay up-to-date with the latest advances and trends in computer system and technology. They also have to possess basic business knowledge so they can assess the cost of computer system upgrades and needs. It takes several years of experience to reach this position. Computer and Information Systems managers negotiate with technology vendors, oversee the safety and use of the organization’s network security and electronic data, and direct the work of other IT professionals.

Computer and Information Systems Manager Salary: $142,530 per year

Blockchain Developers deal with the many facets of computing such as algorithms, data structures, computer networking, and cryptography. This job has been in demand since the rise of cryptocurrency. Blockchain is a specialized database for cryptocurrencies that uses an extensive, public database that is highly secured without having to shell out large amounts of resources. They design, implement, and support a distributed blockchain-based network. Most blockchain developers are expected to be involved with the blockchain community to work on integrating the latest proposals.

Blockchain Developer Salary: $127,000 per year

Applications Development Managers, or sometimes called software engineers, have the primary responsibility of managing a team of analysts and developers who work for the organization’s software applications. These existing applications are evaluated to determine technical changes and monitor project timelines. These professionals also supervise the development and use of applications and upgrade them throughout their task. They have to do research and feasibility studies for software and system products planned for purchase.

Applications Development Managers Salary: $122,489 per year

Software Product Managers work with multifunctional teams (in manufacturing, marketing, finance, sales, quality assurance, and customer service) in the organization. Working with these teams ensures that the product goals are met on time and budget. They lead and manage the vision and profitability of a product line, build and enhance one or several products, conduct market research, and help form new concepts based on the evaluation. As such, a software product manager must possess excellent communication skills needed to work with teams and clients.

Software Product Managers Salary: $113,886 per year

Data Scientists fulfill their jobs through data analytics, automation, and machine learning. Their main goal is to organize and analyze a significant amount of data with the use of software intended for a particular task. They also create machine-learning based tools, perform statistical analysis, continually stay on top of the trends, advise management on the potential of data, and evaluate advanced mathematical models and methods for application in solving an organization’s complicated issues.

Data Scientist Salary: $113,436 per year

Full Stack Developers focus on the overall database and infrastructure management. This task identifies them from web developers who specialize in either front-end or back-end development. Their responsibilities may include creating servers for functionality, designing and developing APIs, designing interactions on web pages, ensuring stack is built for speed and deployment of databases. They are expected to collaborate with external technology vendors and suppliers and conduct meetings with other departments to discuss product requirements and design.

Full Stack Developer Salary: $110,500 per year

Computer Network Architects prioritize data communication networks and extension networks. They design and build these networks, then direct the implementation of the designs. Network modeling is also one of their responsibilities, which involves insights on existing network traffic and evaluate network growth. They have to keep track of the latest upgrades on hardware and software technology and test them to see how these can improve the organization’s network performance. They often work on the field together with engineers and workers who build the network they have designed.

Computer Network Architect Salary: $109,020 per year

Software Developers help businesses provide better product and services by maintaining software systems. They gather and analyze system requirements, create application models, and respond to outages. Some of their responsibilities may include facilitating root cause analysis of system issues, resolving technical design issues, communicating with management and technical support colleagues regularly, and providing comprehensive support to internal customers in achieving a resolution to organizational matters. To function as such, they should have strong analytical and problem-solving skills. They are also expected to multi-task without being distracted.

Software Developers Salary: $105,590 per year

Systems Architects work on networking and computer systems. They build the architecture of computerized systems. They design, configure, operate, and perform maintenance of these systems. These systems include hardware, software, web portals, internet and intranet connections, firewalls, servers, and security. They have to ensure that all in-place system architecture is aligned with an organization’s goals. To do these, they coordinate with software teams, system engineers, and analysts.

Systems Architects Salary: $105,161 per year

Hardware Engineers’ primary responsibilities are designing, testing, and updating computer hardware. They evaluate existing computer systems and models. Designing hardware involves computer components such as circuit boards, routers, and memory devices. They test and update the processes and oversee if modifications are required.  Hardware engineers need to collaborate with other IT and computing professionals to improve products and ensure better results. They work full time in high-tech offices, research labs, and manufacturing firms.

Hardware Engineers Salary: $103,810 per year

Information Security Analysts have the primary objective of protecting an organization’s data, digital assets, and information from cyber attacks. They develop ways to deter hackers who steal information and gain unauthorized access to terminal networks. They design and implement security systems and set security standards by coordinating with IT professionals or administrators of the organization. Other responsibilities of information security analysts include performing external and internal audits, analyzing breach and identify its root cause, updating the organization’s response and recovery plans, and monitoring security access. These professionals are hired by IT service providers, banks, government agencies, and healthcare companies.

Information Security Analyst Salary: $98,350 per year

Cloud Engineers are in charge of several technological responsibilities under cloud computing. This includes cloud computing design, implementation, management, and support. Cloud engineers may take the role of a cloud architect, cloud software engineer, cloud security engineer, cloud systems engineer, and cloud network engineer. It is crucial for a cloud engineer to have the best knowledge of programming languages such as Java, Python, and Ruby. Maintenance and support of cloud applications, selecting appropriate cloud services for cloud applications, and implementing cost-control strategies are some of the other responsibilities cloud engineers have.

Cloud Engineer Salary: $95,000 per year

Database Administrators have the primary goal of storing and organizing the company’s data by using specialized software programs. This means planning and developing of the database as well as troubleshooting any issues, ensuring that data is clearly defined and is retrievable in an emergency. Duties and responsibilities of data administrators include evaluation of database software purchases, establishing users and monitoring their access and security, regularly communicating with technical and operational staff about database and security, and adhering to the standards set by the Data Protection Law. They usually work in organizations and institutions with large databases like universities and insurance companies.

Database Administrator Salary: $90,070 per year

Computer Systems Analysts are responsible for optimizing an organization’s use of technology. They must have a solid understanding of the needs and limitation of business and technology since they have to evaluate the company’s current systems. After evaluating, they have to suggest changes to increase productivity in the organization. They advise and direct IT professionals in creating new designs for hardware and software when necessary. The use of system models, diagram, and charts are vital in directing and coordinating with system developers and engineers in making changes. Computer system analysts work in offices or computer labs, and some may work remotely.

Computer Systems Analyst Salary: $88,740 per year

Java Developers design and develop applications and software using the programming language known as Java. Java is the preferred programming language by millions of developers. They analyze user requirements, determine application features, and endorse changes and to existing applications.  They take part in architectural development activities, identify production and non-production application problems, develop and test software, debug technical issues, and ensure designs comply with client’s specifications.

Java Developer Salary: $88,116 per year

Computer Programmers write and develop code for various programs. After software developers design and create software programs, computer programmers convert the design into instructions computer can follow. Their responsibilities include developing and maintaining an organization’s computing infrastructure and systems software, analyzing and evaluating errors on programs, developing new computer programming methods, and preparing software specification and requirements. Computer programmers spend an enormous amount of time at offices with computer terminals. Some may work from home since technology allows them to work and communicate with the team from remote locations.

Computer Programmer Salary: $84,280 per year

Computer and Information Research Scientists develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software. They invent and design new approaches to technology for business, science, medicine, and in many areas. Some of the computer tasks take a lot of time to accomplish and require complicated algorithms. Computer and information research scientist find ways to simplify these algorithms and provide an improved system. The result of their jobs come in faster technology speed, better networking systems, or improved information security.

Computer and Information Research Scientist: $83,490 per year

Network and Computer Systems Administrators oversee an organization’s day-to-day network operations and keeping networks up to date. They organize and install computer systems like local area networks (LAN), extensive area networks (WANs), network segments, and intranets. Duties and responsibilities include consulting with clients to identify specific system requirements and solutions, budgeting for equipment cost, assisting network architects with design and models, managing cloud and physical network storage. They usually work in offices or computer laboratory.

Network and Computer Systems Administrators Salary: $82,050 per year

Senior IT Auditors examine and evaluate an organization’s physical security, business, and financial controls involving information technology systems. They identify risks to an organization’s information assets and help determine ways to reduce these risks. Other responsibilities may include planning complex audits, assist IT audit managers in the execution of plans, and perform operations audits to determine compliance with policies and procedures in the internal systems. This is a fast-paced job that demands full-time positions.

Senior IT Auditor Salary: $79,906 per year

Ethical Hackers, also called white-hat hackers, are computer security experts who use their skills in identifying problems with computer networks. They are capable of breaching security systems and are allowed by the company to do so. This is to test computer networks to access without authorization. This process identifies the weaknesses in the security system and helps IT security team improve. They may work with clients, communicate with upper management, and collaborate with other teams to reach their objectives. Most employers require certifications for this kind of job.        

Ethical Hacker Salary: $79,260 per year

Software Quality Assurance Engineers work with software quality assurance analysts and management to ensure that the design and software comply with the organization’s standards and procedures. These engineers break up the development process into attainable goals for the teams, and leaders meet deadlines. Some of the general duties of SQA engineers may include creating test plans, documenting test cases, coding tests, and developing standards and procedures to test products and analyze their features. They work in various fields from airport control systems, to pharmaceutical labs, to video game companies.

Software Quality Assurance Engineers Salary: $77,776 per year

Quality Assurance Engineers execute manual and automated tests to ensure the superior quality of products. The manual quality test means evaluating a product by relying on careful observation. The automated analysis conducts a series of repetitive tests to gather data. Their responsibilities may include estimating, planning and coordinating testing activities, creating comprehensive test plans, and reviewing specifications and designs of documents. Reviewing is an essential process in tracking quality assurance metrics. QA engineers conduct tests before a product is launched to ensure that the software runs smoothly and fulfills the client’s requests or needs.

QA Engineer Salary: $71,927 per year

Web Developers have become one of the most in-demand careers. Employment is set to grow 15% in the next seven years. They build and shape user’s and visitor’s website experience. Web developers do these jobs by possessing a combination of graphic design skills and technical computer skills. They create particular web designs and code websites according to client’s requirements. This job requires regular communication with colleagues, profound expertise in Web Applications and programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery and API’s, in-depth knowledge and extensive experience with security principles and their application to E-commerce apps. Skills in cross-browser compatibility, Web User Interface Design (UI), Multimedia Content Development, CSS, CSS3, and more are advantages of getting the job.

Web Developer Salary: $69,430 per year

Data Warehouse Managers are responsible for evaluating an organization’s data metrics related to performance and usage. They also analyze data load and monitor data usage, and oversee data management projects. They also have to work with departments to ensure that the projects stay on time and are within the budget. Managing all maintenance and development processes, train data warehouse staff in the maintenance and development of all data, and recommending changes for the increase in the productivity level of warehouse data are some of the duties and responsibilities expected from data warehouse managers.

Data Warehouse Managers Salary: $56,315 per year

IT Operations Analysts are responsible for the availability of server-based applications and services in an organization. They also have to check that the installation, maintenance, and support of operating systems and other infrastructure are in place. They have to verify that day to day tasks like regular maintenance activities are fulfilled. These activities may be patches, service packs, or upgrades. They are expected to provide 24/7 support and services since they are considered as lifesavers in case repairs are needed in the IT system. They have to proactively monitor system performance and work with the development team in building solutions.

IT Operations Analyst Salary: $55,323 per year

Computer Support Specialists make use of computer software and equipment to provide technical support for an organization’s customer or even employees. They are tasked to watch over computer systems daily and check for minor repairs and errors. They have to ensure networks operate smoothly and that system cables are function accordingly. They are responsible for paying attention to the customer’s need and computer problems, walking customers through problem-solving steps, assisting installation of software, responding to calls and email request for help from non-IT computer users and training users on the proper use and operation of new computer hardware, software, and devices. When they aren’t on in-person visits to assist customers, customer support specialists usually spend their time at the office taking calls or at the computer labs.

Computer Support Specialist Salary: $53,470 per year

Web Editors are responsible for creating, editing, and publishing information, images or contents on websites. They have to be involved in producing new material and present it in an appealing manner, maintain websites by ensuring data is accurate, ensure web contents meet client’s goals and create enthusiasm for visitors of sites, establish good working relationship with the clients and their team, and oversee layouts such as images, graphics and artwork. They are expected to comply with copyright and privacy regulations and work with web developers to improve presentation.

Web Editor Salary: $51,483 per year

Part-time Computing jobs

Most companies look for part-time employees for busy months or seasonal help. Most of these computing jobs are fulfilled through remote support or work from home platforms. Some part-time computing jobs include:

Software Testers deal with the quality assurance of software and are often responsible for creating test-product documentation. They also write and execute test scripts, write bug reports, and carry out all testing needed.

QA Tester Intern/Assistants report to QA Engineers. They assist in developing, maintaining, and implementation of quality systems. They help in product complaint investigations and root cause analysis, assist QA Engineers in writing protocols and validation procedures.

IT Consultants/Technology Consultants primarily support clients with training on software and provide software-related services to them. Some consultants manage and train teams in a specific department.

Help Desk IT Consultants must possess exceptional communication skills. They support complex projects, troubleshooting issues, and other relevant job functions in the company at the office or remotely.

Data Entry Clerk/Operators- Data entry clerks and operators keep track of activities performed by the departments in an organization. This is done by compilation, organizing, and updating text and numerical data and information entered into databases. They have to ensure data is adequately stored and that they are accurate.

Unique Computing Careers

Data detectives investigate data generated by devices, sensors, and sources to solve issues and find IT business answers.  They have to document the process to let other technology professionals in the organization understand why such process was made.

VR Product Testers immerse themselves in gameplay processes to familiarize themselves with the user’s experience. This helps engineers and developers understand the potential scenarios that users encounter. They have to create issue reporting workflow, perform gameplay testing, and stability. They support QA production team

In-House Philosophers arein charge of the “morals” of products. They lead the use of the operating system, advise teams on handling new regulations, and help in the decision-making process of creating, building and implementing technological advancement. They perform all these with ethics in mind.

Mobile Designers provide support for design approach, create design deliverables as process flows, workflows, wire frames, and specification. They work with multiple teams through the design process. Mobile designers must have a strong understanding of Human-Interaction design and JavaScript capabilities.

Travel Computing Careers

Software Developers who work from home and for several clients, often on a freelance basis, often get opportunities to travel. Working for clients means they’ll likely visit clients’ sites or locations.

Software Testers may have clients located in different locations or even in different states, enabling them to travel for projects. Also, it’s possible for software testers to do multiple projects and be physically present to test it and assess the codes.

IT Consultants can expect a lot of time on the road and several trips to clients’ sites. There isn’t a typical day for most IT consultants, so they anticipate being on-the-go to meet clients recurrently and not sitting on the desk all day.


Why should I earn a computing degree?

A computing degree opens a lot of doors to plenty of opportunities to many industries. We live in the digital age, wherein the demand for talented computing degree holders continues to exhibit exponential growth.

Businesses change the way they do things and obtain a reduction in cost by counting on computing experts. This is how they respond to the challenges of the information revolution. Expertise in computing can lead to solving the most complex and multidimensional problems. There are things you will never know if you don’t get a degree. Some courses will undoubtedly add to your knowledge and help work effectively.

A computing degree lets you compete and survive in a world of technological advancements — employees in the computing field report job satisfaction and enjoy high pay.

What are the admission requirements for undergraduate Computing degree?

Entry requirements for a bachelor’s degree in any computing major typically emphasize Mathematics and some universities or institutions may ask for Physics background. Computing degree students may also be expected to have taken up beginner languages such as Java, Pascal, Python, or C++. However, some institutions forbid learning programming before entering university to avoid bad programming habits.

For first-year students- You are asked to submit high school transcripts, SAT/ACT scores, letter/s of recommendation, and an essay. Some distinguished institutions require a minimum math score. However, if you do not meet the Math requirement, you may be accepted as a pre-computing degree student and may transfer to the program after fulfilling minimum GPA in math, physics, computer science, and engineering.

Besides copies of college transcripts, transfer students are required to have completed minimum credits of math, physics, computer science, and engineering courses.

Other institutions allow students to take challenging examinations which may serve as an alternative to the required math course credits.

What kind of certifications do I need for computing jobs?

Certifications in computer science, information technology, and other computing-related careers offer plenty of opportunities. Certifications and licensing help you demonstrate your valuable skills and specialty. These documents also substantiate a professional’s knowledge and experience of products and practices. Systems engineers, software developers, security managers,  and project managers are some of the professions that may require certification/s. Most of these are a high-paying job, so employers look for necessary credentials.

There are two types of certifications: vendor-specific certifications and vendor-neutral certifications. Vendor-specific certifications cover specific technologies, platforms, and practices for the particular company while vendor-neutral certifications are offered regardless of the company the employee works for.

Here are some examples of certifications:

  • Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification
  • Cisco professional-level certification
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certification
  • Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
  • Project Management Professional Global certification
  • Certified Scrummaster
  • Certified Information Security Manager
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • CompTIA A+ Technician

Are there professional computer degree associations or societies I should join?

Connecting with your fellow computer and technology peers allows you to take advantage of the opportunities for personal and professional growth, access job boards, mentorships, and even scholarships. Below are some of the associations and organizations formed to enhance your academic study:

  • Association for Computing Machinery: The world’s largest educational and scientific computing society that was founded in 1947
  • Association for Women in Computing: One of the first professional organizations to represent women in the computing industry and was founded in 1978.
  • Association for Information Science and Technology is a non-profit organization that started in 1937, ASIS&T lead the search for theories, techniques, and technologies for enhanced access to information.
  • IEEE Computer Society is an organization that hosts over 60,000 members. Its main goal is to advance the computer and information processing.
  • Computing Research Association: Established in 1972, the Computing Research Association is a non-profit organization that aims to enhance innovation by joining with industry, government, and academia to strengthen research and advanced education in computing.
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence came to be in 1979. AAAI is an international scientific society that offers training for new AI professionals and promotes research and development for responsible use of AI.

What are the skills and qualifications to get a job in the computing industry?

A degree in computing deals with a lot of aspects in computers like programming languages, software development and more. This overlaps with other disciplines, and there are a lot of skills needed to pursue a career in the industry. So, one should know what skills to learn and earn to stand out in this type of future one creates.

Here are the top marketable and beneficial hard skills to earn and learn:

  • SQL
  • JAVA
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft C#
  • Linux
  • .NET Programming
  • XML
  • Python
  • C++
  • Oracle
  • Ethical hacking and threat modeling
  • Network security architecture development
  • Cloud Computing
  • Metadata design third-party auditing and cloud risk assessment methodologies

These soft skills are highly preferred:

  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal and negotiation skills