Tuesday, Jun. 02, 2009

Network and Computer Systems

Yes, this registers way high on the geek scale and doesn't necessarily offer a great work/life balance. But the pay is very good, with a median salary of around $75,000, and the hidden beauty of a 24/7 job to keep the office computers humming is that it requires shift work that may allow you to pick your hours. You may also be able to perform some functions remotely, allowing for a more flexible schedule. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says this will be one of the fastest growing and most secure occupations through at least 2016. "The ubiquity of computers and computer networks has resulted in an ongoing need for people to manage these systems and the information they store," according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Systems people are especially in demand in a weak economy because companies generally must keep spending on technology to stay competitive, and they want to get the most for their investment. Some of these positions have moved overseas in recent years. But critical jobs that involve configuring hardware and software are difficult to outsource, and according to CareerBuilder.com CEO Matt Ferguson, they are "on the cutting edge of what's going on." Network administrators are ultimately responsible for keeping a computer network up and running. This requires a very specific skill set. You'll need a related degree in computer sciences.