LONG TERM JOB OUTLOOK NATIONALLY:
Over the next decade, the two primary areas for employment growth are public health and information technology, according to the most recent long-term occupational employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Computer-related occupations are projected to see strong employment growth as businesses increase their use of information technology to raise efficiency and reduce costs, and are projected to grow more than twice as fast as the average for all occupations. These computer-related occupations will account for over 750,000 new jobs nationally between 2008-2018. While half of these new computer specialist jobs will be in the computer systems design industry, the other half will permeate virtually every sector of industry.
Looking across all science and engineering occupations — computing occupations are projected to be responsible for nearly 60% of all job growth between now and 2018.
The next largest contributor — all fields of Engineering combined — is projected to contribute 13.4% of total growth. All of the life sciences combined: 5.6%. All of the physical sciences combined: 3.1%.
LONG TERM JOB OUTLOOK IN OHIO:
The state of Ohio accounts for 3.74 percent of the nation's jobs in computer and mathematical science occupations (at a mean annual wage of $68,700 in Ohio). Consequently, those 750,000 new jobs nationally could translate into over 28,000 new well-paying computer-related jobs in Ohio.
Moreover, the most recent four-year report on Northeast Ohio's high-tech economy confirms that "growth in high-tech industries benefits all sectors of the region's workforce and is not limited to occupations with technical degrees," showing three non-high-tech jobs complement every one high-tech job in Northeast Ohio's high-tech industries. As a result, increased use of information technology could lead to 100,000 new jobs for Ohioans between 2008-2018.
JOB GROWTH FOR COMPUTING CAREER PATHS:
Kent State's existing computing degrees provide excellent training for many of these high-growth computing-related career paths. Seven of those career paths, with 2008-2018 growth rates and projected new national job openings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics report cited above, are the following:Computer Software Engineers (Applications) 175,100 new jobs = 34.0% growth
Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts 155,800 new jobs = 53.4% growth
Computer Software Engineers (Systems Software)
120,200 new jobs= 30.4% growth
Computer Systems Analyst 108,100 new jobs = 20.3% growth
Network and Computer System Administrators
78,900 new jobs = 23.2% growth
Computer Support Specialists
78,000 new jobs = 13.8% growth
Computer and Information Systems Managers
49,500 new jobs = 16.9% growth
CAREERS IN DIGITAL SCIENCES:
In many cases, computing graduates can benefit from a broader view than that provided by traditional computer-related degree programs. For a growing number of computer-related occupations, the career path will increasingly require broad multidisciplinary training that provides exposure to business processes, information management, software development, telecommunications infrastructure, design, project management, and a host of other skills. While these graduates will lack the deep domain knowledge provided by a traditional degree, they will gain familiarity across a broad spectrum of disciplines.
Kent State University's Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Digital Sciences provide a broad overview across traditional “digital” programs, and prepare graduates to effectively understand and specify the information repositories, software applications, and telecommunication infrastructure needed to support the goals of an organization, and to work with a multi-disciplinary team to meet those needs.
Kent State University's Master of Digital Sciences degree provides a broad overview of the Digital Sciences across traditional “digital” programs. It can serve as a terminal professional degree to augment Bachelors degrees in related units by giving their graduates a broader exposure to the digital sciences and some focused depth in one area outside their own discipline. It can also serve as an entry degree to augment Bachelors degrees in other units by giving their graduates a broad exposure to the digital sciences and a focused introduction to one area outside their own discipline.
These graduates will have the skills to analyze users' needs, plan an enterprise architecture, guide the development of a digital software/hardware system, and manage these complex systems. They will be comfortable working in multidisciplinary teams with computer scientists, computer engineers, business analysts, information architects, etc., and will have sufficiently broad training to bridge the communication gap between disciplines.
Students graduating from the Digital Sciences program will be prepared for entry-level careers as enterprise architects, computer system analysts, digital cognition analysts, application (software) architects, network system analysts, and information technology officers.