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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Systems Engineers in Tampa, Florida

Computer systems engineers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Tampa, Florida area. There are currently 13,050 jobs for computer systems engineers in Florida and this is projected to grow by 36% to about 17,750 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for computer systems engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 30.4% over the next eight years. Computer systems engineers generally research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications.

Computer systems engineers earn approximately $39 per hour or $82,100 per year on average in Florida. Nationally they average about $44 hourly or $92,430 yearly. Computer systems engineers earn more than people working in the category of Computer generally in Florida and more than people in the Computer category nationally. Jobs in this field include: software development engineer, beta tester, and system administrator.

There are fifty-four schools of higher education in the Tampa area, including nine within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree to start your career as a computer systems engineer. Computer systems engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so it will take about four years to learn to be a computer systems engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Systems Engineer

In general, computer systems engineers research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. They also set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements.

Computer systems engineers modify existing software to fix errors, to adapt it to new hardware or to upgrade interfaces and improve performance. They also analyze data to establish, recommend and plan installation of a new system or modification of an existing system. Equally important, computer systems engineers have to store and manipulate data for analysis of system capabilities and requirements. They are often called upon to confer with customers or other departments on project status, proposals and technical issues such as software system layout and maintenance. They are expected to ready reports and correspondence concerning project specifications, efforts and status. Finally, computer systems engineers design and direct software system testing and validation procedures.

Every day, computer systems engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for computer systems engineers to direct installation of software system. They are often called upon to confer with engineering staff to review interface between hardware and software, design specifications and performance requirements and resolve customer problems. They also advise customer about, or perform, maintenance of software system. They are sometimes expected to recommend purchase of apparatus to control dust and humidity in area of system installation. Somewhat less frequently, computer systems engineers are also expected to supervise and assign work to programmers, designers, technologists and technicians and other engineering and scientific personnel.

And finally, they sometimes have to utilize microcontrollers to design control signals, implement control algorithms and measure process variables such as temperatures, pressures and positions.

Like many other jobs, computer systems engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

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 Scientist. Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
  • 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.
  • 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 Systems Engineer 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.

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 3 areas of study related to Computer Systems Engineer. They are:

  • Information Technology, bachelor's degree which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Computer Engineering, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-six, thirty-one, and twelve students respectively in 2008.

Career Institute of Florida - Saint Petersburg, FL

Career Institute of Florida, 701 94th Ave N, Ste 100, Saint Petersburg, FL 33702. Career Institute of Florida is a small school located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 179 students. Career Institute of Florida has a one to two year program in Information Technology which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Schiller International University - Largo, FL

Schiller International University, 300 East Bay Dr, Largo, FL 33770. Schiller International University is a small university located in Largo, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 549 students and an admission rate of 91%. Schiller International University has a master's degree program in Computer Engineering which graduated three students 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.

Florida Career College - Clearwater, FL

Florida Career College, 410 Park Place Blvd, Clearwater, FL 33759. Florida Career College is a small college located in Clearwater, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 784 students. Florida Career College has a one to two year program in System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager which graduated one student in 2008.

International Academy of Design and Technology - Tampa, FL

International Academy of Design and Technology, 5104 Eisenhower Blvd, Tampa, FL 33634. International Academy of Design and Technology is a small school located in Tampa, Florida. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,916 students. International Academy of Design and Technology has a bachelor's degree program in Information Technology which graduated one student in 2008.

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

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.

Ethics in IT: All IT professionals including: Systems administrators, auditors, information security officers, programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, Information service providers, contractors, consultants.

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

EC Council Certified Secure Programmer: EC-Council's Certified Secure Programmer is being offered to provide the essential and fundamental skills to programmers and application developers in secure programming.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Certified Software Measurement Specialist: An industry certification for individuals working in the field of software measurement.

For more information, see the International Function Point Users Group website.

Associate of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium: Associate of (ISC) status is available to those who have gained competence in key areas of industry knowledge and information security concepts and can pass either the CISSP® or SSCP® examinations, but lack the years of practical work experience required for full accreditation.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certification and Accreditation Professional: The CAP credential is an objective measure of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for personnel involved in the Certification and Accreditation process.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. 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.

Certified Web Professional - Internetworking Specialist: A CWP Internetworking Specialist defines network architecture, identifies infrastructure components, monitors and analyzes network performance.

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.

Certified Software Test Engineer: The Certified Software Tester (CSTE) certification is intended to establish standards for initial qualification and provide direction for the testing function through an aggressive educational program.

For more information, see the Quality Assurance Institute website.

Security Certified Network Professional: The SCNP program focuses on defensive security technologies, such as Firewalls and Intrusion Detection.

For more information, see the Security Certified Program website.

Certified Team Developer: GUPTA's Team Developer is a visual object-oriented RAD tool that is proven to shorten the development cycle; providing developers the tools to quickly design, develop and deploy their Windows or Linux solution.

For more information, see the Unify 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.