All Things Political

Computer Services Industry Job Outlook

supplemental resource: Job Outlook by Profession

The computer systems design and related services industry grew dramatically throughout the 1990s, as employment more than doubled. While growth has been decidedly slower since the turn of the century, this industry is still projected to be one of the 10 fastest growing in the Nation. Job opportunities should be excellent for most workers, with the best opportunities occurring for computer specialists.

Wage-and-salary employment is expected to grow 45 percent from 2008 to 2018, about 4 times as fast as the 11 percent growth projected for all industries combined. In addition, this industry will add about 656,400 jobs over the decade, placing it among the 5 industries with the largest job growth. An increasing reliance on information technology will spur demand for computer systems design and related services. Organizations will continue to turn to firms in this industry to maximize their return on investments in equipment, and to help them satisfy their growing computing needs.

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Growth should also result from the increasing need to maintain network and computer system security. Security specialists will be employed more often to asses a system's vulnerability and implement security measures. In addition, analysts and developers will be needed to develop new antivirus software, programs, and procedures. Therefore, employment of systems analysts, software engineers, and consultants in areas such as disaster recovery services, custom security programming, and computer systems security should rise rapidly.

The demand for networking and the need to integrate new hardware, software, and communications technologies will drive demand for consulting and integration. The expansion of the Internet and the proliferation of wireless technologies have created demand for a wide variety of new products and services. For example, the expansion of the wireless Internet has brought a new aspect of mobility to information technology by allowing people to stay connected to the Internet anywhere, anytime. As businesses and individuals become more dependent on this new technology, there will be an increased need for professionals that can design and integrate computer systems, so that they will be compatible with mobile technologies. The healthcare industry, in addition, is expected to increase its use of information technology. The adoption of e-prescribing, electronic health records, and other IT platforms tools will spur demand for computer systems design services. The demand for custom programming services should also increase as the popularity of open-source software and service-oriented architecture grow.

Given the overall rate of growth expected for the entire industry, most occupations should continue to grow rapidly, although some will grow faster than others. The most rapid growth will occur among network systems and data communications analysts. The growing use of sophisticated computer networks and Internet and intranet sites, and the need for faster, more efficient networking products will increase the demand for their services. Other rapidly growing occupations include computer software engineers, database administrators, and network and computer system administrators. Business and financial operations occupations will also see rapid growth, information technology has become a vital aspect of business

Given the rate at which the computer systems design and related services industry is expected to grow, job opportunities should be excellent for most workers. The best opportunities will be in computer specialist occupations, reflecting their growth and the continuing demand for the high-level skills that are needed to keep up with changes in technology. In addition, as individuals and organizations continue to conduct business electronically, the importance of maintaining system and network security will increase. Employment opportunities should be especially good for individuals involved in cyberspace security services, such as disaster recovery services, custom security programming, and security software installation services.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition

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