Job Growth in the Next Decade: Information Technology
May 09, 2011
Given the United States' recent economic troubles, it may seem odd to talk about job growth. Yet according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), certain professions may be looking at a worker shortage by 2018. Education-Portal.com takes a look at the employment sectors where the BLS predicts the most opportunities. Up today: information technology (IT).
By Eric Garneau
It sounds like a very '90s thing to suggest that the best jobs are in computers. The turn-of-the-century dot-com boom and bust clearly illustrated that just because you have a handle on technology doesn't mean you have a guaranteed place in the global economy. But the truth is that the world becomes increasingly digital all the time, and those who've accrued the right skills in the technology sector can probably expect a reasonable measure of job security.
Leading the pack in computer-based job opportunities for the next decade is the network systems and data communications analyst. The analyst's job is to establish interoffice networks by installing the appropriate hardware and software. He or she also facilitates Internet access by setting up local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs). Network security also falls under the analyst's domain.
Positive Job Outlook for IT Professionals
The BLS predicts a 53% growth in available jobs in the field between 2008-2018. Why? Businesses around the world continue to upgrade their technology as better alternatives get released. It's the analyst's job to stay on top of the latest technological developments and help his or her employers implement them. Wireless technology, especially, is becoming more prominent; there are even rumblings of a nationwide wireless network on the way. No doubt the skills of the network systems and data communications analyst will be in high demand as our technological infrastructure continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Solid Earning Potential
As of May 2009, the BLS reported that network systems and data communications analysts earned a mean annual salary of $76,560. That varies depending on the industry in which a given professional works; for instance, analysts in computer manufacturing earned a mean salary of $92,030, and those in aerospace product and parts manufacturing brought home $89,380 annually.
In May 2009, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Washington were the top-employing states in the industry, while New Jersey, California and Maryland paid their workers the most. As far as specific metropolitan areas, Tallahassee, FL had the most employment in the profession per thousand workers, while Lebanon, PA had the highest paying jobs, averaging $113,770 per worker. Statistics may change in the next decade, but generally it seems that urban environments with high concentrations of people and businesses present analysts with the best opportunities.
If you love technology, here's some other computer jobs you might investigate.