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Data Processing Technology Major

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Data Processing Technology

179 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
57 Master's Degrees Annually
#22 in Popularity
$46,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Data Processing Technology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many data processing technology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 860
Basic Certificate 592
Undergraduate Certificate 434
Bachelor’s Degree 179
Master’s Degree 57
Graduate Certificate 16

What Data Processing Technology Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, data processing tech 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 Tech Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in data processing tech should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • 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 Tech Majors

A major in data processing tech prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

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  • 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 Tech Majors

A major in data processing tech will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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  • 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 Technology Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with data processing tech:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Geographic Information Systems Technicians 9.3% $90,270
Web Administrators 9.3% $90,270

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Data Processing Technology?

179 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
18% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major tends to be male dominated. About 82% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of data processing tech majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Data Processing Tech Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 17
Black or African American 11
Hispanic or Latino 15
White 103
International Students 19
Other Races/Ethnicities 14

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Data Processing Tech, too. About 10.6% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Data Processing Technology Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Data Processing Tech 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.

Median Salary for a Data Processing Technology Major  ( 46750 to 93350 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with data processing tech 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 tech careers below.

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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%
Bachelor’s Degree 50.9%
Master’s Degree 7.2%
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 Technology Programs

In 2018-2019, 155 schools offered a data processing tech 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) 78 20
Certificate (1-2 years) 53 6
Certificate (2-4 Years) 18 3
Associate’s Degree 86 15
Bachelor’s Degree 4 1
Post-Baccalaureate 78 20
Master’s Degree 6 1
Post-Master’s 0 0
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 Technology Worth It?

The median salary for a data processing tech 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!

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References

*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.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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