Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Careers in Information Technology Services [Second Installment]

Employment in IT services is projected to grow 3.9 percent annually from 2010 to 2020, outpacing similar professional, scientific, and technical industries and the economy as a whole.

Computer and Mathematical Occupations

The high demand for these services has created a large number of fast-growing and high-paying jobs. Today’s The Daily Leap post is the second of three installments on computer and mathematical occupations, which comprise about 56 percent of the industry’s workforce.

Job Duties

Computer programmers make up 8 percent of the IT services industry. By writing computer code, they turn the designs created by software developers into instructions a computer can follow.

Computer systems analysts make up 9 percent of the industry. These workers analyze an organization’s computer systems and recommend ways to make the business run more efficiently. For example, they may assist organizations that want to switch all or part of their systems to cloud computing. Computer systems analysts employed in this industry often serve as consultants.

Computer support specialists make up 8 percent of the IT services industry. They provide help and advice to consumers or organizations that are using computer software or equipment. Some assist customers who call the company to speak to a specialist when they are having trouble with a software program or networking device. Other computer support specialists work in a company’s IT department and provide support for other company employees who are having computer problems.


The following table shows projected growth rate between 2010 and 2020, and median annual wage and typical entry-level education requirements in May 2011.

Occupation Projected Growth Rate Median Annual Wage Typical Education Needed for Entry
Computer programmers 29% $72,100 Bachelor’s degree
Computer systems analysts 43% $82,160 Bachelor’s degree
Computer support specialists 43% $48,800 Some college, no degree

The projected growth in employment of computer programmers is attributable to increased demand for new and updated software. However, computer programming jobs are expected to be increasingly outsourced to countries with lower production costs, resulting in a slower projected growth rate over the next decade.

In general, computer systems analysts will be hired by businesses to reorganize IT departments to operate more efficiently. While computer support specialists will be needed as organizations continue to upgrade to increasingly complex computer systems and equipment.

For more detailed information on these computing and mathematical occupations in the IT services industry, click the Occupational Outlook Handbook link.

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