Computer Industry Careers

Health Care Jobs, Computer Careers, Medical Jobs




Computer Industry Career Overview


The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Projections for 2004-2014 state that computer and mathematical science occupations are projected to add 967,000 jobs and grow 30.7% — faster than other professional occupational subgroups. The demand for computer-related occupations should increase as organizations continue to adopt and integrate increasingly sophisticated and complex technologies. Growth will not be as rapid as during the previous decade, however, as the software industry begins to mature and as routine work is increasingly out-sourced overseas. Employment in this “information supersector” is expected to increase by 54.6% for network systems and data communications analysts, by 46% for computer software engineers, by 38.4% for network and computer systems administrators, by 38.2% for database administrators, by 31.4% for computer systems analysts, 23% for computer support specialists, but by only 2% for computer programmers.
Source : Health Care Job Explosion!, Fourth Edition By Dennis V. Damp

A major component of health care is the managing of information, including patients’ medical records, which can contain massive amounts of data. The push to digitize medical records will require a number of computer professionals for implementation. First instituted by Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital of Harvard Medical School, some facilities are providing patients with online access to their medical records. (Neil Osterweil, CNN MedPage Today, Dec. 27, 2005)


Computer and Information Systems Managers

Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct research and facilitate the computer-related activities of firms. They direct the work of systems analysts, computer programmers, support specialists, and other computer-related workers. These managers plan and coordinate activities such as installation and upgrading of hardware and software, programming and systems design, development of computer networks, and implementation of Internet and intranet sites.

A bachelor’s degree usually is required for management positions, although employers often prefer a graduate degree, especially an MBA with technology as a core component. Computer and information systems managers must possess strong interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics median annual earnings in May 2010 were $115,780.


Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the detailed instructions, called programs, that computers must follow to perform their functions. Programmers also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. Programmers write programs accord-ing to the specifications determined primarily by computer software engineers and systems analysts. Programmers in software development companies may work directly with experts from various fields to create software.

The level of education and experience employers seek has been rising due to the growing number of qualified applicants and the special-ization involved with most programming tasks. Bachelor’s degrees are commonly required. The job calls for patience, persistence, and the ability to work on exacting analytical tasks, especially under pressure. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics median annual earnings in May 2010 were $71,380.


Computer Scientists and Database Administrators

Job tasks and occupational titles used to describe these workers evolve rapidly. Computer scientists work as theorists, researchers, or inventors. Database administrators determine ways to organize and store data. They identify user requirements, set up computer databases, and test and coordinate database systems. Network systems and data communications analysts are needed to design, test, and evaluate systems such as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), the Internet, intranets, and other data communications systems.

A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for many jobs; however, some jobs may require only a 2-year degree. Relevant work experience is also very important. For more technically complex jobs, persons with graduate degrees are preferred. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continuous study is necessary. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics median annual earnings in May 2010 of computer and information scientists in research were $100,660, of database administrators: $73,490, and network systems and data communication analysts: $76,560 in 2009.


Computer Software Engineers

Systems software engineers work for companies that configure, implement, and install complete computer systems. Computer software engineers often work as part of a team that designs new hardware, soft-ware, and systems.
Most employers prefer to hire persons who have at least a bachelor’s degree and broad knowledge of, and experience with, a variety of computer systems and technologies. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer information systems is typical. Most training authorities feel that program certification alone is not sufficient. These engineers must have strong problem-solving, analytical and communication skills. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics median annual earnings in May 2008 were about $87,900.


Computer Support Specialists and Systems Administrators

Computer support specialists provide technical assistance, support, and advice to customers and other users. Network administrators and computer systems administrators design, install, and support an organization’s local-area network (LAN), wide-area network (WAN), network segment, Internet, or intranet system. Systems administrators are the information technology employees responsible for the efficient use of networks by organizations. Computer security specialists may plan, coordinate, and implement the organization’s information security.

Due to the wide range of skills required, there are many paths of entry to a job. Many employers prefer to hire persons with some formal college education. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems is a prerequisite for some jobs; however, other jobs may require only a computer-related associate’s degree. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics median annual earnings of computer support specialists were $46,260 in May 2010, while network and computer systems administrators earned $69,160 in May 2010.


Computer Systems Analysts

Computer systems analysts solve computer problems, plan and develop new computer systems, or devise ways to apply existing systems’ resources to additional operations. Because of the importance of maintaining up-to-date information, systems analysts work on making the computer systems within an organization, or among organizations, compatible so that information can be shared. Many systems analysts are involved with networking.

Rapidly changing technology requires an increasing level of skill and education on the part of employees. Companies look for professionals with a broad background and range of skills, including technical knowledge and interpersonal skills. Many employers seek applicants who have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science, or management information systems (MIS). Median annual earnings of systems analysts were $66,460 in May 2004.

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Resources (Partial Listing)


Additional Computer career and job resources are presented in the paperback version of Health Care Job Explosion! 4th edition by Dennis V. Damp for this occupational group. Resources include Job Ads, Job Hotlines, Job Fairs, Placement services, Associations, Books, Directories and Internet (Web) Sites. Your local library may have this book in their reference section or you can purchase a copy for $19.95 plus shipping with all major credit cards from our toll free service at 1-800-782-7424 (Orders Only). Also available at all major bookstores. Also explore jobs at VA hospitals and other federal government employment options.


Those interested in pursuing a career in computers and health care may want browse the Digital Library at (http://www.acm.org/) and check out other publications by the Association for Computing Machinery. The ACM Career Resource Center has a section for students to network with professionals. Other organizations and/or web sites include:

American Medical Informatics Association (http://www.amia.org/)

National Association of Health/Data Organizations (http://www.nahdo.org)
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (http://www.himss.org)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society (http://www.computer.org)
Medical Records Institute (http://www.medrecinst.com).


Health Care Jobs, Computer Careers, Medical Jobs