Careers in Technology: 9 Options to Explore

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The technology field keeps pushing the world on to bigger and better things through exciting advancements—and that’s a big part of what makes a technology-focused career so intriguing to you. But with so many careers in technology to potentially choose from, you’re not sure where to start with narrowing down your job options!

There’s a lot of information to take into account, from job prospects and income potential to day-to-day job duties. We’ve gathered the research into one convenient place so you can see an at-a-glance overview of your tech career options.

Consider this your one-stop introduction to various careers in technology so you can choose the role that’s right for you!

9 Careers in technology for you to consider

Many technology careers may sound the same when you’re on the outside looking in. In reality, each of these roles has differences both large and small that can make a big impact on the direction of your tech career. We’ve compiled information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to help you get a better understanding of what’s out there. Read on to learn about the basics of these nine careers in technology.

1. Computer network architect

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $112,6901

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 5%1

Related job titles: Network analyst, network and security engineer, network systems consultant, solutions engineer

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree1

What they do: Computer network architects are the tech pros behind the design and configuration of data communication networks like LANs, WANs and intranets. They work with an organization’s leaders to identify their goals and develop plans for creating enterprise-scale network systems that will help them meet those needs. Some of their daily job duties may include planning network systems, upgrading hardware and staying up to date on the latest network technologies. Typically, this is a role reserved for experienced IT professionals as it requires a broad base of networking knowledge to be effective.

2. Computer programmers

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $86,5501

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): -9%1

Related job titles: Analyst programmer, computer programmer analyst, web applications programmer, Java developer

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree

What they do: Computer programmers write the code that makes every app or piece of software function properly. They use various programming languages to create code, test new code, fix errors in existing code and expand on software to add new features and functionality.

3. Computer support specialists

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $54,7601

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 8%1

Related job titles: Help desk technician, IT specialist, support specialist, help desk analyst, computer technician

Typical education needed: Certification1

What they do: Computer support specialists offer technical support to an organization’s customers or employees when they encounter tech difficulties. They help users troubleshoot problems, ask questions to diagnose the issue and provide feedback to team members about common tech problems that may need to be fixed. In some cases, they also perform hardware maintenance and provide training to employees.

4. Computer systems analysts

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $90,9201

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 7%1

Common job titles: Business systems analyst, computer systems analyst, IT analyst, information systems analyst

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree1

What they do: Computer systems analysts combine an expertise in business and technology to help organizations plan an efficient and effective computer system. They work with company leaders to determine problems and design solutions that fit the organization’s needs and budget. They also oversee the implementation of the new system and perform tests to make sure there are no errors.

5. Database administrators

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $93,7501

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 10%1

Related job titles: Database administrator, database coordinator, systems administrator, database administration manager

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree1

What they do: Database administrators are in charge of the software that stores and organizes data, which could include everything from sensitive health information to customers’ shipping addresses. Their job is to make sure this information is secure from both hackers and data loss, as well as to maintain the database so it operates efficiently.

6. Information security analysts

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $99,7301

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 31%1

Common job titles: Information security officer, network security analyst, systems analyst, information security specialist

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree1

What they do: Information security analysts are tasked with keeping an organization’s data and computer networks secure. They monitor the system for breaches, perform simulated cyberattacks to identify gaps in security and keep company leaders in the loop about the latest best practices in information security.

7. Network and computer systems administrators

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $83,5101

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 4%1

Related job titles: Information systems manager, IT specialist, LAN specialist, LAN administrator, network coordinator, systems administrator

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree1

What they do: It falls to network and computer systems administrators to keep network and computer systems up and running during day-to-day operations. They install network hardware and software, determine and implement necessary upgrades, add and remove users from the network train users and solve network problems as they arise.

8. Software developers

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $107,5101

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 22%1

Related job titles: Application developer, software developer, software architect, software engineer, infrastructure engineer, application integration engineer

Typical education needed: Bachelor’s degree1

What they do: Software developers oversee the development of new software programs, beginning with the design and idea behind the software itself. They work with customers to determine their needs for the software program, including performance, functionality and security. They then pass their program design on to programmers, who write the code that brings it to life.

9. Web developers

2019 median annual salary (BLS): $73,7601

Employment growth projection 2019–2029 (BLS): 8%1

Related job titles: Technology applications engineer, web architect, web design specialist, web developer, webmaster

Typical education needed: Associate’s degree1

What they do: Web developers are the creative and technical minds behind websites, including each website’s design, functionality and performance. They work with customers or their organization’s leaders to determine the website’s needs. Then they write code to build the website and work with a team of graphic designers to incorporate design elements, such as graphics, audio and video. Depending on a web developer’s specialty, they may be responsible for keeping the website updated and secure, integrating graphics and applications or focusing on the overall technical structure of the site.

Choosing your technology career path

You’ve seen your options. Now all that’s left is to decide which of these careers in technology is right for you and equip yourself with education needed to make it happen. If you’re ready to take that step, visit the School of Technology programs page to learn more about the educational offerings at Rasmussen University.

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed February, 2020] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2016. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2021.

Ashley Brooks

Ashley is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She believes in the power of words and knowledge and enjoys using both to encourage others on their learning journeys

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