Computer Information Systems and Services FAQ

Computer Technology Jobs are Growing!

Jobs in computer technologies are projected to grow faster than most other occupations.  All job-growth projections, including regional, statewide and national indicate strong growth in information technology jobs. 

What is the job outlook for Information Technology?

Northeast Ohio
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services projects that computer-related occupations will account for eight of the ten fastest-growing occupations between 2000 and 2010.  To read the complete report, visit
http://lmi.state.oh.us/PROJ/projections/MSA/Cleveland.pdf

Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria PMSA
Fastest Growing Occupations   
Source: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services

Occupation Title 

Employment
Growth Rate
2000-2010

Annual
Openings

Average 
Wage 2002

Computer Support Specialists 

82.5%

 332

$20.84

Computer Software Engineers, Applications 

64.3%

129

$31.92

Computer Software Engineers,
Systems Software
 

63.3%

63

$31.17

Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts 

61.6%

48

$30.52

Database Administrators 

61.3%

78

$27.32

Network and Computer Systems Administrators 

60.8%

121

$26.16

Desktop Publishers 

60.6%

26

$13.91

Personal and Home Care Aides 

55.9%

121

$8.41

Medical Assistants 

49.8%

169

$11.88

Computer Systems Analysts    

48.2%

227

$30.33

 

State of Ohio
Closer-to-home projections for Ohio project four of the top 10 growth occupations to be IT related.
Source:
http://lmi.state.oh.us/PROJ/projections/ohio/OccupationalTrends.pdf

Fastest Growing OccupationsNationwide
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that five of the top 12 jobs with the greatest growth percentage are IT jobs. See the chart to the right. 

What is the impact on U. S. jobs due to offshoring of IT jobs to India and other countries?

“Offshoring” is when a company sends some of its jobs to another country, typically because of lower wages. This is sometimes confused with “outsourcing” where a company brings in employees from another company (which could be a local company)  to perform some function.

Due to the nature of software development, it was among the first jobs to be offshored to a large degree. However, improvements in technology and telecommunications have allowed other jobs to be offshored, including accounting, customer service and even reading X Rays!

While offshoring is a real issue, and some US IT jobs have been lost, one must be careful to separate hype and sensationalism from reality.

While no one can be sure about the complete long term impact of offshoring on the US job market, here are a few things to consider:

  • Some feel that ultimately, offshoring will result in a net gain of technology jobs in the US. 
  • Regardless of one's career choice, globalization and offshoring is likely to have some impact. The best way for an individual to be prepared for being competitive in the global marketplace is to develop a strong foundation, learn a wide range of skills, be adaptable and become a lifelong learner.

What was the “dot com bust”?
What impact did it have on the IT job market?

The dot com bust occurred in 2000-2001, and refers to a sharp drop in the stock price of Internet-related companies. In the 90's many recognized the potential use of the internet for commercial purposes without having a clear idea of how to achieve the potential. As a result, investors drove up stock prices in all Internet companies, regardless of how sound their long term possibilities were. In 2000-2001, the stock market “corrected” itself and stock prices dropped to reflect the actual value of Internet companies.

It is important to recognize the dot com bust as a phenomenon related to stock prices, and not the technology itself.  One website devoted to internet marketing wrote the following:

“The dot com bust was really about Internet stocks. They went up; they went down ... and the media ate it up…. The dot com bust has absolutely nothing to do with the hundreds of thousands -- perhaps millions -- of people who quietly went about building websites and making money online. They built their businesses and sold their goods and services. Apparently this hard work and good fortune was not -- and still is not -- newsworthy. Go figure.  “

Source: http://dianev.com/web-design-help/web_design_basics/dot_com_bust_online_business.html 

The Internet has fundamentally changed business and IT. Traditional companies as well as Internet companies with sound plans have found, and will continue to find innovative ways to use the Internet and other technologies.

Is there a University Partnership Program for CISS students?

Currently, there is a "Two plus Two" Articulation Agreement with the University of Akron for networking students and steps are being taken to formalize a partnership with courses being delivered on the LCCC campus.

Of course, many courses from LCCC will transfer to any college irrespective of whether or not there is a formal partnership agreement. If one is planning to transfer to a school for which there is no partnership agreement, it is best to discuss with the school which credits from LCCC are likely to transfer. See www.lorainccc.edu/transfer for more details.  In addition, www.transfer.org allows you to check to see what courses at LCCC are equivalent to courses at other colleges and universities and can be transferred.

Technology changes so fast. How do I keep my skills from becoming obsolete?
The rapid change of technology is part of what makes it an exciting to many people. The challenge is to keep current with the technology. This can be done in many ways, both formally and informally. One can enroll in classes or seminars – both credit and non-credit. Additionally, one can belong to professional organizations. Informally, there are many good resources: books, web sites, magazines that one can use to keep current. Additionally, one can work on personal projects – such as a personal website – to practice the new skills one learns. Being a lifelong learner is important for anyone who wants to work in IT.

Many IT job postings I have seen require some experience. How can a new grad get the experience if most jobs require experience?
This is a challenge that new grads have continually faced, in many disciplines. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Some internships are available through LCCC's Work Based Learning program. These internships are a great way to get started in a career.  Contact Erin Corwin (ecorwin@lorainccc.edu). In addition, LCCC's Career Services offer other resources for students.
  • One way to get some experience is to volunteer to do some work for an organization one with which one has some affiliation – for example, one could create a small web site for a campus club. 
  • Have reasonable expectations for the first job. You might not get your dream job right off, however, you can still gain relevant experience. If one's goal is to be a software developer, for example, one can work as a software tester, or in a help desk to gain experience.
  • There are two student clubs for students interested in IT: LCCC NEOSA Student Club and LCCC ACM Student Club.

 

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