Hello! This week, we’re talking a little more about U.S. News and World Report’s 100 Best Jobs of 2017 — this time, as it relates to IT jobs in Texas and the programs DCCCD offers to help get you started.
Fair warning: some of these jobs might require a bachelor’s (or maybe even a master’s) degree, and some won’t; the requirements can vary widely by position and even by individual employer. That said, we think you’ll find that we have programs well suited toward getting you started in every single one of them, and all of them offer salaries comfortably above the living wage for many families in Dallas.
Now let’s get started…
A Brief Explanation of Living Wage
For our purposes, a living wage is the absolute minimum amount an individual must earn per year, working full time to support him- or herself and any dependents (if applicable). Obviously that’s going to vary based on how many adults are in the household, as well as how many children. Use the Living Wage calculator on our website to figure out what kind of wages you need to earn to meet your basic needs.
8. Computer Systems Analyst
Computer systems analysts know a little about both information technology and business. They’ll want to learn how an organization uses its technology in order to help it run more efficiently and effectively. For these positions, a bachelor’s degree in information sciences is most common. However, a bachelor’s degree in computer science can also be a great way to enter the field, and choosing from one of our Computer Information Technology career paths is a great first step down that path. Computer systems analysts in Texas make an annual mean wage of about $93,000, and employment for these jobs is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024.
13. Software Developer
Do you use apps on your phone? Then you’ve used something created by a software developer. Workers in this field are creative, but also have the technical expertise to carry out new ideas. An applications developer in Texas makes an annual mean wage of about $104,000, while a systems software developer makes an annual mean wage of about $106,000. It’s probably not a bad idea to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science for these jobs, but it’s not a requirement — some employers will look harder at your expertise and achievements than your higher education credentials. You can earn a programming certificate in as few as one or two semesters, or you can finish an associate degree in computer programming in two years. (Note: you’ll also find programs relevant to this career on our site listed under Internet Development Technologies and Multimedia Technology.)
29. IT Manager
IT managers can usually be found working with the top executives of companies, planning software or hardware upgrades, and negotiating with vendors for the service of current products or the purchase of new ones. A bachelor’s degree is often necessary, but you can also earn a variety of certifications to help polish your resume even more. One of the primary traits of a successful IT manager is to know a little about a lot of different things in order to successfully manage people whose expertise may fall into a broad variety of categories under the IT umbrella. Computer and information systems managers in Texas can earn an annual mean wage of about $154,000.
31. Web Developer
The page you’re reading this article on right now was created by a web developer. Some employers may prefer you have a bachelor’s degree, but many will be more interested in your portfolio or certifications. Web developers in Texas make an annual mean wage just above $71,000 — well above the living wage minimum for most families. These jobs are growing, too — the projected employment for web developers is expected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024. Most Computer Information Technology, Multimedia Technology and Internet Development Technologies certificates at DCCCD can be completed in two or three semesters, or in two years for a web development associate degree.
41. Database Administrator
Moving from #48 to #41 this year, database administrators work to implement security measures to ensure sensitive data is not breached, and they might also fine-tune, upgrade and test modifications to those databases as needed. The requirement of at least a bachelor’s degree is pretty common; however, an associate degree in network administration and support or a certificate in information security is a great way to get started. DCCCD has transfer agreements with tons of universities to help you continue toward a bachelor’s degree when you’re ready. Database administrators in Texas earn an annual mean wage of about $84,000, and employment is projected to grow 11 percent from 2014 to 2024.
52. Information Security Analyst
Information security analysts are the security guards of the technology world, working to protect the computer systems of the organizations for which they work. People in these professions in Texas make an annual mean wage of about $92,000. You can earn an associate degree in network administration and support, an information security certificate or an associate degree or certificate in Digital Forensics to get started, but in order to reach that $89,000 mark over time, it’s still a good idea to eventually earn a bachelor’s degree. Projected growth of employment of information security analysts is 18 percent from 2014 to 2024.
60. Computer Support Specialist
Computer support specialists primarily work with customers experiencing computer issues, often over the phone but also in a variety of settings. A bachelor’s degree may be preferred, but not always, as overall competency and customer service skills are usually the most important part of the job. You can get started in the field with an associate degree or certificate in personal computer support. In Texas, computer user support specialists make an annual mean wage of about $52,000, and computer network support specialists make an annual mean wage of about $71,000. Projected employment growth for these positions is 12 percent from 2014 to 2024.
91. Computer Systems Administrator
Computer systems administrators help manage an organization’s workflow and lines of communication. Some businesses do require a bachelor’s or maybe even a master’s degree, but it varies by company and many also accept an associate degree or professional certifications and/or related work experience. DCCCD offers options for both an associate degree and a variety of certifications in Computer Information Technology to help you get started. Texas has one of the highest employment levels for these positions, and the annual mean wage is about $87,000 with 8 percent projected employment growth from 2014 to 2024.