Computer Jobs in 2014: What Are They, What do They Make?
Nearly all businesses rely on computers, whether it be to manage client accounts or simply handle bookkeeping and payroll. This means that opportunities in jobs dealing with computers are growing, although specializations may change as technology evolves. There are three top jobs involving computers that people may go into: hardware, software and networking. The three tend to overlap, but most people choose to focus on one specialty.
Computer Engineer Job Descriptions
Computer jobs that focus on hardware are those that deal with the physical parts of computers, such as processing chips, hard drives and motherboards. Individuals that go into this field will develop, test and build parts and peripherals for computers or a combination of the three. Careers in software require people to develop software or operating systems for computers or the Internet, and these jobs may involve testing, installation or development of software. Networking jobs deal with connecting computers to a closed network and/or the Internet. This field may involve connecting anywhere from less than a dozen computers and peripherals to thousands.
People may also find help desk jobs, and these positions usually require a knowledge of all three topics and the ability to troubleshoot, repair and install hardware, software and networking equipment.
Education Required for Computer Engineering Jobs
No matter what specialty people select, they should continue to educate themselves on the latest technologies and developments to be able to experience continued success in their field. Those who seek hardware jobs will need a background in circuitry and electronics, software jobs require fluency in programming languages and networking jobs necessitate the ability to work in a variety of network topologies and with Internet protocols.
Individuals may be able to find a position by simply choosing to get a Computer Science or Information Technology degree, but many schools now offer specialized programs and degrees that focus on hardware, software or networking. People have the option of either choosing to attend a standard four-year school or go to a trade school that focuses on hands-on training in the field of their choice. Certifications in computer related topics may also aid people in both finding employment, career advancement and improved earnings, and many schools offer courses that help people prepare for these exams.
According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data, which is from 2012, the median salary for a computer hardware or software specialist was around $100,000 a year, and software engineers that develop web applications made slightly less, with median annual earnings of about $66,000. Network and Computer Systems Administrators can expect a median salary of around $76,000 while Computer Network Architects had a median annual wage of $94,000.