Written by: Colin Miller, MA Religion Liberty University
Assistant Professor and Director in the College of Business and Technology at North Central University
So, you are a senior and you are about to graduate with a bachelors in Computer Science or Information Technology. You have a few questions:
- Am I equipped to get a job in IT?
- How much can I make as an Information Technology professional?
- What do I do for a career?
To alleviate some anxiety, I have answered the aforementioned questions:
Am I equipped to get a job in IT?
In my humble opinion with over 25 years of IT experience the top 4 IT skills needed are:
- Programming Skills or Coding – The basic building block to being successful in information technology. Regardless of what career path you take, you need to know how to code. You should know how to program in at least two of the following languages:
- Data Analytical Skills – With the advancement of Big Data, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence and Database technology, there is a great need for an analyst to organize and interpret data. They need to have critical thinking skills, attention to detail, and at the very least, know how to program in structured query language (SQL).
- Networking and Securities Skills – Technology today is used to wage war. The threats are virus, malware, and identity theft. The threat actors are organized crime, nation-states, and advanced persistent threats by individuals and activist groups (APTS). IT professionals are needed to oversee and design security systems to secure against internal and external threats.
- Soft Skills – The days of the introverted programmer in a back room are over. Don’t get me wrong; I am an introvert myself. However, it is very important to have soft skills. Today’s IT professional needs to have good communication skills (writing and speaking), good listening skills (requirements gathering, understanding the needs of your client), good leadership skills (training, mentoring, leading), and a good team player (working with team members or cross-functionally).
Through a unique blend of curricular, experiential, and research programs delivered within a student-centric culture, the School of Technology at North Central University, MN prepares its students for successful careers in a global society. Your educational environment in the School of Technology is one where the professors are by your side as you program, innovate, and research solutions to real-world challenges. NCU prepares students in programming skills, data analytical skills, networking/securities skills, and soft skills. Our graduates cultivate a well-balanced portfolio of work of the highest quality with a wide range of interests.
How much can I make as an Information Technology professional?
The programmer analyst is the typical career path for entry-level CS/MIS graduates. The average salary for an entry-level programmer analyst is between $41,000 and $73,000. This is based on educational background, experience, job location and yes GPA. I will not share with you my undergrad experience of being asked what my GPA was by a corporate recruiter. Needless to say, I raised my GPA up significantly and was recruited by a Fortune 500 company upon graduation. The average CS/MIS graduate from North Central University starts at $72,000.
What do I do for a career?
There are many paths one could take for a career in Information Technology.
- Data Analysis/Business Intelligence Developer – A data analyst is someone who collects, processes and performs statistical analyses of data. They can translate numbers and data in a understandable manner to help organizations to make better business decisions.
- Database Administrator – A database administrator (DBA) is responsible for database design, implementation and performance tuning.
- Network Administrator – The network administrator oversees a company’s internal and external network systems, designing and implementing network systems. Providing networking support and cybersecurity is part of this position’s responsibility.
- Programmer Analyst – A programmer analyst writes code or software segments that allow the information system to perform a specific task.
- Project Manager – Project managers operate in the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing projects. They are accountable for the entire project scope, project team, resources, budget and the success or failure of the project.
- Systems Analyst – A systems analyst is responsible for the design and implementation of information systems. Besides having a keen knowledge of computer systems, they need to have a good understanding of business systems and functional areas within an organization.
- Webmaster – A webmaster designs and maintains the organization’s Web site.
A major benefit of being a CS/MIS student of North Central University, MN is that each student is assigned a personal advisor who has expertise in a student’s chosen field. The advisors help, mentors, and guides the student in determining a career path given a student’s strengths and passions.
Want more info? Download the computer science major one sheet below to learn more potential careers, classes you’ll take, and an overview of the major.