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List of Careers in the Computer Field

Sally Painter
Two women coworkers working with computer programming

A career in the computer field promises growth opportunities in a constantly changing industry. You can find a computer-related career that is sure to challenge you and offer a rewarding experience.

Web Developer

A web developer is responsible for developing, enhancing and improving websites. You will take the vision and plan of a web design and turn it into an actual product, the website. This includes writing code in several languages to create an attractive and interactive visual design. You'll also add any enhancements required to make the website functional, such as an online payment system. You'll need to write code to accommodate any other type of interaction visitors need when visiting the website. You will be responsible for developing the front end and back end of the website. Some of the computer languages you'll use include:

  • You'll use several developer codes, such as HTML (website structure), CSS (layout and visuals),
  • You'll use HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and/or XHTML (Xtensible HyperText Markup Language) to create a structure or framework for the website.
  • The CSS code allows you to create various visual styles and website layout.
  • Javascript is necessary for any website animations needed.
  • SQL (Structured Query Language) used for relational database management systems.
  • PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), a dynamic scripting language used with SQL.

Education and Salary

Technology is a highly competitive field, so you want to have all the advantages you can. This includes a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. Some companies will take an equivalent in experience for those who don't hold a degree. Many entry level positions require an associate degree in computer science. The mean annual salary is $75,000. You may find working as a contractor is more lucrative with salaries of $115,000. Unless otherwise stated, salaries are according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Website Designers

A website designer is responsible for creating and/or redesigning existing websites and any related/associated applications. You'll also maintain and manage the websites. You'll need specific programming skills that includes various computer languages, such as HTML/XHTML, CSS, Javascript, etc.

Woman designing website

Education and Salary

Entry level positions may only require an associate degree in computer science, while more advanced positions may require a bachelor's degree. You can find work with companies or you may prefer contract work. The mean annual salary is $75,000. Contractors can earn more, sometimes up to $115,000 or higher.

PHP Developer

A PHP Developer is a web developer and/or software developer responsible for the back-end development of web applications. You'll use PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), a dynamic scripting language. PHP is typically used with SQL (Structured Query Language)You are responsible for developing the programs and applications used in websites and for business applications.

Education and Salary

A bachelor's degree in computer science degree is typically required. You may also wish to pursue a PHP certification for a competitive advantage. The mean annual salary is $88,000.

Computer Programmer

A computer programmer writes the code that runs software programs. You'll be responsible for writing and designing the source code for various computer programs. You may work with software developers and engineers. You'll also test, troubleshoot, debug and maintain the code used in various computer applications. There are several computer languages you'll need to know in order to write code, such as, Java, Python, Objective-C, Perl, C, C++, C#, CSS, etc.

Education and Salary

You may find a bachelor's degree in computer programming helpful in a competitive job market. However, many programmers launch their careers with an associate degree. Most companies prefer or require a bachelor's degree in a related computer science or programming. In some jobs, you may be required to have a master's degree. The mean annual salary is $89,000.

Database Developer

A database developer creates database systems specific to a company's needs. You'll need to know computer programming languages, data modeling and computer architectures. You'll create databases, tables, queries, reports, and write documentation for the databases and operational manuals.

Woman data developer working on computer with large screen

Education and Salary

A bachelor's degree in computer science or related information technology is usually expected by employers. The mean annual salary is $85,000.

Network and Computer Systems Administrator

A network or computer systems administrator is in charge of the day-to-day operation of a computer network. You'll be responsible for setting up and maintaining the network system to ensure it operates smoothly and provide support and resolution for any issues.

Education and Salary

A bachelor's degree in computer science, especially network administration is required. In some instances, a company may require a master's degree in network administration and possibly certifications specific to their industry and/or technology. The mean annual salary is $82,000.

Tech Support

Tech support provides troubleshooting and guidance to end-users experiencing problems hardware or software issues. This position is often a helpdesk position for end-user customers or tech support within a company to end-user employees.

Tech support workers

Education and Salary

Depending on the company, you may only be required to hold an associate degree in computer science or related field, Some companies require a bachelor's degree in computer science. Some companies, especially software manufacturers may require certification for specific products. The mean annual salary is $53,000.

Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers research, develop, design, and test new technologies and applications for computer systems and computer components. Most work in a R&D (research and development) department where they build and test different computer models. You may choose to work in specialized computer systems for specific industries, such as manufacturing, agriculture, oil industry, services, etc.

Education and Salary

A bachelor's degree in computer engineering is preferred, although many companies accept degrees in computer science or other related field. Mean annual salary is $114,000.

Computer Forensics Specialist

A computer forensics specialist is also known as a computer forensics investigator. Your duties are to analyze digital information and data to uncover all digital artifacts and the information they contain. This can range from lost data to hacking of servers or networking systems.

Computer hard drive evidence to be examined by forensic computer expert

Investigation of Artifacts

Some of the artifacts may include, JPEG images and various electronic documents, such as emails, documents, banking records, and other types of digital files. You may investigate entire computer systems or a single laptop. Depending on the issue, you may need to present your investigative findings in a report or provide testimony in court. You can find work in the private sector as well as with law enforcement agencies or the military.

Education and Salary

A bachelor's degree in computer forensics is the usual degree required for this job. You may also be required to have specific certifications, such as those offered by the National Computer Forensics Institute or a criminal investigative certification from an organization, such as the National Institute of Justice. The mean annual salary is $93,000.

Software Engineer

A software engineer may participate in software development (software developers are rarely engineers). You'll develop information systems. This will involve designing and developing solutions by installing software that addresses operational issues and information needs and requirements. You'll examine and study systems flow, work processes and data usage to determine what remedies and solutions are required. You'll track and follow the lifecycle of software development.

Education and Salary

You'll need a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer science or other computer related technical training. Some positions require a master's degree. The mean annual salary is $105,000.

Computer Technician

A computer technician is responsible for the installation, repair and maintenance of all types of computer hardware and equipment. You may work for as an in-house tech or find job opportunities with computer repair companies. You may work as a contractor installing computers for various company locations, retail stores and other business locations.

Computer tech repairing equipment

Education and Salary

You may be required to have a technical school degree in computer technician or associate's degree in a related field. The mean annual salary is $28,000 although that may vary by location.

IT Specialist

An information technology specialist implements, maintains, monitors, and troubleshoots the IT systems. You'll design and develop technical solutions and collaborate with various departments to analyze, test and evaluate all software during and after development phases.

Education and Salary

Depending on the company policies, you may need only an associate degree in computer science or related field. However, most companies require a bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering or related field. The mean annual salary is $81,000.

Computer Game Developers

Computer game developers create the software for the video game designer's concepts to transform the ideas into a marketable product.

Education and Salary

You'll need an associate and bachelor's degree in video game development or computer science. Software developers earn a mean annual salary of $105k. According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary is $56,000.

Video Game Computer Programmer

The computer programmer writes the code for the video game so the game system can read and implement the software. Some programmers find certification in specific computer languages is helpful in competing for jobs.

Group of video game designers

Education and Salary

You'll need an associate and bachelor's degree in video game development or computer science. Computer programmers earn a mean annual salary of $84k.

Voice Data Engineer

As a voice data engineer, you'll be responsible for developing, operating and maintaining voice, video, data, and wireless communications. You'll also provide technical guidance in the planning and developing communications networks. The testing and installation of these networks will also be part of your job.

Education and Salary

A bachelor's degree in computer engineering, computer science, information systems, or a related field is usually required. The mean annual salary is $114,000.

Computer Systems Analyst

A computer systems analyst reviews, studies and analyzes an existing computer system. You'll research and evaluate to find solutions to provide a more efficient and productive system. Collaboration with various company departments, such as finance, human resources, payroll, marketing, and others is required to ensure all company needs are taken into consideration for business operations and functionality.

Education and Salary

A bachelor's degree in computer information science or computer since is typically required. The mean annual salary is $88,000.

Professional and Industry Certifications

Many of the professional and academic organizations provide various certifications for computer industry professionals. This type of certification can often give you an edge over competition. Some companies, especially software manufacturers may require specific industry or product certifications.

Choosing a Career in the Computer Field

You can review various career descriptions for computer careers to find one that fits your talents. You may select a computer or technology degree that is versatile to provide you with several career choices.

List of Careers in the Computer Field