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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Scientists in Elgin, Illinois

For those living in the Elgin, Illinois area, there are many career and education opportunities for computer scientists. There are currently 1,030 jobs for computer scientists in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 30% to about 1,330 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer scientists are expected to grow by about 24.2%. In general, computer scientists conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors.

Computer scientists earn approximately $46 per hour or $97,100 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $47 per hour or $97,970 annually. Incomes for computer scientists are better than in the overall category of Computer in Illinois, and better than the overall Computer category nationally. Computer scientists work in a variety of jobs, including: scientific programmer analyst, control system computer scientist, and bioinformatics software engineer.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including thirteen within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree 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 Elgin 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Scientist Training

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has 3 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree.
  • Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has an associate's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated three students in 2008.

North Central College - Naperville, IL

North Central College, 30 N Brainard St, Naperville, IL 60540. North Central College is a small college located in Naperville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,726 students and an admission rate of 69%. North Central College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Computer Science.

Argosy University-Schaumburg - Schaumburg, IL

Argosy University-Schaumburg, 999 North Plaza Dr., Suite 111, Schaumburg, IL 60173-5403. Argosy University-Schaumburg is a small university located in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 730 students and an admission rate of 92%. Argosy University-Schaumburg has a doctor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences.

Aurora University - Aurora, IL

Aurora University, 347 S Gladstone Ave, Aurora, IL 60506-4892. Aurora University is a small university located in Aurora, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,291 students and an admission rate of 80%. Aurora University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science.

Lake Forest College - Lake Forest, IL

Lake Forest College, 555 N Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045-2399. Lake Forest College is a small college located in Lake Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,387 students and an admission rate of 59%. Lake Forest College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated twenty-two and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

Benedictine University - Lisle, IL

Benedictine University, 5700 College Rd, Lisle, IL 60532-0900. Benedictine University is a medium sized university located in Lisle, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,053 students and an admission rate of 80%. Benedictine University has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree.

Lewis University - Romeoville, IL

Lewis University, One University Parkway, Romeoville, IL 60446-2200. Lewis University is a medium sized university located in Romeoville, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,536 students and an admission rate of 71%. Lewis University has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree.
  • Computer Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Wheaton College - Wheaton, IL

Wheaton College, 501 College Ave, Wheaton, IL 60187-5593. Wheaton College is a small college located in Wheaton, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,915 students and an admission rate of 62%. Wheaton College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated one student in 2008.

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Computer Science which graduated sixty-five and fifty-three students respectively in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has a less than one year program in Information Science/Studies which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Knowledge Systems Institute - Skokie, IL

Knowledge Systems Institute, 3420 Main St, Skokie, IL 60076. Knowledge Systems Institute is a small school located in Skokie, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 80 students. Knowledge Systems Institute has a master's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated thirteen 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: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.