Many recent high school graduates are likely considering a postsecondary education in computer science because those jobs are growing quickly today. But what will demand be when those graduates enter the job market?
Chmura’s JobsEQ, which projects the growth of jobs requiring information technology skills, shows that many but not all of these occupations will grow faster than the national average.
|Current||Forecast (Next 10 Years)|
|Title||Employment||Avg. Annual Wages1||Total Replacement Demand||Total Growth Demand||Avg. Annual Growth Percent|
|Computer Systems Analysts||607,868||$91,600||87,805||133,962||2.0%|
|Software Developers, Applications||853,826||$104,300||144,195||176,596||1.9%|
|Information Security Analysts||103,591||$96,000||13,571||19,057||1.7%|
|Software Developers, Systems Software||448,891||$110,600||61,784||61,759||1.3%|
|Computer User Support Specialists||623,223||$53,100||83,780||84,578||1.3%|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||29,450||$116,300||3,583||2,947||1.0%|
|Computer Network Architects||169,180||$104,200||21,924||16,048||0.9%|
|Network and Computer Systems Administrators||393,327||$84,500||52,469||34,480||0.8%|
|Computer Network Support Specialists||194,859||$67,800||26,311||14,288||0.7%|
|Computer Occupations, All Other||274,708||$88,900||42,359||18,754||0.7%|
|Total - All Occupations||153,412,155||$49,300||40,749,478||10,380,143||0.7%|
On average, information technology occupations are forecast to grow 1.3% per year, nearly twice the average for all occupations. For college freshmen deciding majors and college graduates looking for their first job, identifying occupations with increasing employer demand is extremely important.
At first glance, it’s easy to get caught up in the high average annual growth rates. However, the average annual growth rate can be a misleading statistic without considering the number of jobs to be added as well as replacement demand, which reflects the number of people retiring or changing to a different occupation.
For instance, computer and information research scientists can expect demand for their expertise to grow an annual average 1.0% over the next ten years, which is faster than the national average. However, less than 3,000 new jobs result from that growth. An additional 3,583 research scientist jobs will need to be filled based on replacement demand.
In contrast, computer systems analysts and software applications developers are expected to see both high annual growth rates and a large number of openings over the next ten years. When new growth and replacement demand is combined, over 218,000 positions will need to be filled.
Replacement demand is an important component of future demand for occupations. Without considering replacement demand, one could easily dismiss computer programming as a viable career option due to the negative growth rate over the next ten years. Despite the negative growth rate, the replacement demand for computer programmers is projected at almost 70,000 jobs over the next ten years, more than twice the forecasted contraction over the same period.
Wages also play a crucial role with many students as they are deciding on a career. Three standout occupations, software systems developers, software applications developers, and computer systems analysts, show high growth rates, demand, and wages. While these occupations do not garner wages as high as computer and information research scientists, the required education is typically a bachelor’s degree compared to a doctorate degree for the research scientists.
There are many factors to be considered while choosing a career path, but making sure your skills will be in demand in the future is critical.
This blog was completed with research support from intern Lydia Boswell.