Types of Degrees Data Processing Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many data processing graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Data Processing Majors Need to Know
People with careers related to data processing were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for Data Processing Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Skills for Data Processing Majors
When studying data processing, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities for Data Processing Majors
A major in data processing will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
What Can You Do With a Data Processing Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with data processing:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Geographic Information Systems Technicians||9.3%||$90,270|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Processing?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of data processing majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||18|
|Hispanic or Latino||18|
Students from other countries are interested in Data Processing, too. About 7.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- Saudi Arabia
How Much Do Data Processing Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in data processing made a median starting salary of $33,700 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $33,700 (25th percentile) and $33,700 (75th percentile).
We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to data processing so take that into consideration.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $46,750 to $93,350 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to data processing. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Data Processing
Some careers associated with data processing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
Find out what the typical degree level is for data processing careers below.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||13.2%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||6.1%|
|Some College Courses||8.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||14.7%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.5%|
Online Data Processing Programs
In 2017-2018, 159 schools offered a data processing program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||76||18|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||60||4|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||18||4|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||1||1|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Data Processing Worth It?
The median salary for a data processing grad is $46,750 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 17% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $137,000 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Data Processing
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to data processing.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Computer Information Systems||74,454|
|Computer Systems Networking||13,791|
|Computer Software & Applications||11,900|
|Computer Systems Analysis||2,655|
|Other Computer & Information Sciences||1,303|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Kenneth Jensen under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
Featured Data Management Schools
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