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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Scientists in Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for computer scientists. There are currently 830 jobs for computer scientists in Florida and this is projected to grow 29% to 1,070 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for computer scientists, which sees this job pool growing by about 24.2% over the next eight years. In general, computer scientists conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors.

A person working as a computer scientist can expect to earn about $42 hourly or $87,880 annually on average in Florida and about $47 per hour or $97,970 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Computer, people working as computer scientists in Florida earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Computer nationally. Jobs in this field include: computational linguist, computer engineer, and software engineer.

There are fifty-four schools of higher education in the Tampa area, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer scientist. The most common level of education for computer scientists is a Master's degree. It will take about six years to learn to be a computer scientist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Scientist

Computer Scientist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, computer scientists conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. They also solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.

Computer scientists assign or schedule tasks so as to meet work priorities and goals. They also analyze problems to design solutions involving computer hardware and software. Equally important, computer scientists have to meet with managers and others to solicit cooperation and resolve problems. Finally, computer scientists evaluate project plans and proposals to gauge feasibility issues.

Every day, computer scientists are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for computer scientists to apply theoretical expertise and innovation to generate or apply new technology. They are often called upon to design performance standards, and evaluate activities in light of established standards. They also design and interpret organizational goals and procedures. They are sometimes expected to participate in staffing decisions and direct training of subordinates. Somewhat less frequently, computer scientists are also expected to confer with users and technicians to establish computing needs and system requirements.

Computer scientists sometimes are asked to layout computers and the software that runs them. They also have to be able to maintain network hardware and software, direct network security measures, and monitor networks to insure availability to system users and evaluate project plans and proposals to gauge feasibility issues. And finally, they sometimes have to approve and adjust operational budgets.

Like many other jobs, computer scientists must want to innovate to meet new challenges and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Tampa include:

  • Applications Programmer. Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
  • Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.
  • Computer Security Specialist. Plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.
  • Computer Support Specialist. Provide technical assistance to computer system users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, and operating systems.
  • Computer Systems Analyst. Analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Computer Systems Engineer. Research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
  • Network Operations Analyst. Determine user requirements and design specifications for computer networks. Plan and implement network upgrades.
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst. Analyze, design, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software. Includes telecommunications specialists who deal with the interfacing of computer and communications equipment. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet system or a segment of a network system. Maintain network hardware and software. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May supervise other network support and client server specialists and plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.
  • Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Scientist Training

Everest University-Brandon - Tampa, FL

Everest University-Brandon, 3924 Coconut Palm Dr, Tampa, FL 33619-1354. Everest University-Brandon is a medium sized university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,968 students and an admission rate of 68%. Everest University-Brandon has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated twenty-eight and four students respectively in 2008.

Everest University-Lakeland - Lakeland, FL

Everest University-Lakeland, 995 E Memorial Blvd Suite110, Lakeland, FL 33801. Everest University-Lakeland is a small university located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 326 students and an admission rate of 67%. Everest University-Lakeland has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences.

University of South Florida - Tampa, FL

University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620-9951. University of South Florida is a large university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 46,174 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of South Florida has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 44 students in 2008.
  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

Everest University-Tampa - Tampa, FL

Everest University-Tampa, 3319 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33614. Everest University-Tampa is a small university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 451 students and an admission rate of 74%. Everest University-Tampa has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated four and nine students respectively in 2008.

Everest University-Largo - Largo, FL

Everest University-Largo, 1199 East Bay Drive, Largo, FL 33770-2556. Everest University-Largo is a small university located in Largo, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 288 students and an admission rate of 67%. Everest University-Largo has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated thirteen and eight students respectively in 2008.

Eckerd College - Saint Petersburg, FL

Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711-4700. Eckerd College is a small college located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,428 students and an admission rate of 66%. Eckerd College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science.

St Petersburg College - Clearwater, FL

St Petersburg College, 14025 58th Street North, Clearwater, FL 33760. St Petersburg College is a large college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,099 students. St Petersburg College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst which graduated thirteen, zero, and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

The University of Tampa - Tampa, FL

The University of Tampa, 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606-1490. The University of Tampa is a medium sized university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,790 students and an admission rate of 50%. The University of Tampa has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated two students in 2008.

Remington College-Largo Campus - Largo, FL

Remington College-Largo Campus, 8550 Ulmerton Rd Unit 100, Largo, FL 33771-3842. Remington College-Largo Campus is a small college located in Largo, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 158 students and an admission rate of 64%. Remington College-Largo Campus has an associate's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated eight students in 2008.

Hillsborough Community College - Tampa, FL

Hillsborough Community College, 39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, FL 33606-3584. Hillsborough Community College is a large college located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,037 students. Hillsborough Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst which graduated five and eight students respectively in 2008.

Southeastern University - Lakeland, FL

Southeastern University, 1000 Longfellow Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33801-6034. Southeastern University is a small university located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,075 students. Southeastern University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences.

Clearwater Christian College - Clearwater, FL

Clearwater Christian College, 3400 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33759-4595. Clearwater Christian College is a small college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 604 students and an admission rate of 89%. Clearwater Christian College has a bachelor's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated three students in 2008.

Florida Southern College - Lakeland, FL

Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801-5698. Florida Southern College is a small college located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,319 students and an admission rate of 67%. Florida Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated four students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

CIW Associate: Certified CIW Associates possess the basic hands-on skills and knowledge that Internet professionals are expected to understand and use.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

CIW Security Analyst: Security Analysts protect an organization's assets and operations.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

Internet and Computing Core Certification: IC is the ideal starting point for anyone interested in learning computer and Internet basics.

For more information, see the Certiport, Inc website.

Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Certified Web Professional - Enterprise Developer: A CWP Enterprise Developer builds n-tier database and legacy connectivity solutions for Web applications, using Java, Java application programming interfaces (APIs), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) solutions, middleware tools, and distributed object models.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.