Types of Degrees Data Processing Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many data processing graduations there were in 2020-2021 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Data Processing Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, data processing majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Data Processing Majors
Data Processing majors often go into careers in which the following 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
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to data processing:
- 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
Data Processing majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- 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||21|
|Hispanic or Latino||15|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Data Processing. About 14.1% 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 median starting salary of students who graduated in 2017-2019 with a bachelor’s degree in data processing was $46,032 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $39,250 (25th percentile) and $55,217 (75th percentile).
It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in data processing, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Data Processing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $46,750 to $93,350 (25th to 75th percentile). 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 degrees associated with data processing may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. 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 the 2020-2021 academic year, 132 schools offered some type of data processing program. 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)||0||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||44||8|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||18||5|
|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!
Top Ranking Lists for Data Processing
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
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||88,434|
|Computer Systems Networking||14,700|
|Computer Software & Applications||14,336|
|Computer Systems Analysis||2,338|
|Other Computer & Information Sciences||1,755|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- 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.
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