Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Scientists in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for computer scientists in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. The national trend for computer scientists sees this job pool growing by about 24.2% over the next eight years. Computer scientists generally conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors.
The average wage in the general category of Computer jobs is $28 per hour or $59,102 per year in Iowa, and an average of $36 per hour or $74,331 per year nationwide. Computer scientists work in a variety of jobs, including: software development engineer, artificial intelligence specialist, and bioinformatics software engineer.
There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including five within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids 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. You can expect to spend about six years studying to be a computer scientist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Scientist
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 Cedar Rapids 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 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 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.
- 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
Coe College - Cedar Rapids, IA
Coe College, 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-5092. Coe College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,326 students and an admission rate of 63%. Coe College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated one student in 2008.
Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus - Cedar Rapids, IA
Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus, 3165 Edgewood Parkway SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus is a small university located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 594 students. Kaplan University-Cedar Rapids Campus has a one to two year program in Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst which graduated two students in 2008.
University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA
University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:
- Computer and Information Sciences, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated one, zero, twenty-four, and six students respectively in 2008.
- Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
Cornell College - Mount Vernon, IA
Cornell College, 600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098. Cornell College is a small college located in Mount Vernon, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,115 students and an admission rate of 44%. Cornell College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated one student in 2008.
Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA
Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:
- Computer Science, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
- Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.
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: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids 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 commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.
The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.