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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Scientists in Charlotte, North Carolina

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for computer scientists in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. There are currently 360 working computer scientists in North Carolina; this should grow by 24% to 440 working computer scientists in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for computer scientists are expected to grow by about 24.2%. Computer scientists generally 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 $44 hourly or $93,170 per year on average in North Carolina and about $47 hourly 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 North Carolina earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Computer nationally. People working as computer scientists can fill a number of jobs, such as: software engineer, applications engineer, and nanotechnologist.

There are forty-three schools of higher education in the Charlotte area, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Charlotte 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 starting with 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 Charlotte 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

Belmont Abbey College - Belmont, NC

Belmont Abbey College, 100 Belmont-Mt Holly Road, Belmont, NC 28012-1802. Belmont Abbey College is a small college located in Belmont, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,496 students and an admission rate of 63%. Belmont Abbey College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated seven students in 2008.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, NC

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a large university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,300 students and an admission rate of 75%. University of North Carolina at Charlotte has bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree programs in Computer Science which graduated ninety-three, zero, and sixty-three students respectively in 2008.

Johnson C Smith University - Charlotte, NC

Johnson C Smith University, 100 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216-5398. Johnson C Smith University is a small university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,567 students and an admission rate of 46%. Johnson C Smith University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated eight students in 2008.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College - Salisbury, NC

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, 1333 Jake Alexander Blvd, Salisbury, NC 28146-1595. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a medium sized college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,876 students. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated six and two students respectively in 2008.

Gaston College - Dallas, NC

Gaston College, 201 Hwy 321 S, Dallas, NC 28034. Gaston College is a medium sized college located in Dallas, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,557 students. Gaston College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated four and one students respectively in 2008.

Mitchell Community College - Statesville, NC

Mitchell Community College, 500 W Broad Street, Statesville, NC 28677-5293. Mitchell Community College is a small college located in Statesville, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,911 students. Mitchell Community College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Information Science/Studies, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated zero, zero, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated one and five students respectively in 2008.

Livingstone College - Salisbury, NC

Livingstone College, 701 W Monroe St, Salisbury, NC 28144. Livingstone College is a small college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 994 students and an admission rate of 57%. Livingstone College has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated four students in 2008.

York Technical College - Rock Hill, SC

York Technical College, 452 S Anderson Rd, Rock Hill, SC 29730. York Technical College is a medium sized college located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,094 students. York Technical College has a less than one year program in Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.

TechSkills-Charlotte - Charlotte, NC

TechSkills-Charlotte, 4421 Stuart Andrew Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28217. TechSkills-Charlotte is a small school located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 71 students. TechSkills-Charlotte has a less than one year program in Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties.

Lenoir-Rhyne University - Hickory, NC

Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 7th Avenue NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Lenoir-Rhyne University is a small university located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,548 students and an admission rate of 81%. Lenoir-Rhyne University has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree.

Winthrop University - Rock Hill, SC

Winthrop University, 119 Tillman Hall, Rock Hill, SC 29733. Winthrop University is a medium sized university located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,018 students and an admission rate of 70%. Winthrop University has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Computer and Information Sciences & Support Services, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Catawba Valley Community College - Hickory, NC

Catawba Valley Community College, 2550 Hwy 70 SE, Hickory, NC 28602-0699. Catawba Valley Community College is a small college located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,011 students. Catawba Valley Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.

Central Piedmont Community College - Charlotte, NC

Central Piedmont Community College, 1201 Elizabeth Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28204. Central Piedmont Community College is a large college located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,536 students. Central Piedmont Community College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Scientist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree.
  • Information Science/Studies, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.

Wingate University - Wingate, NC

Wingate University, 220 North Camden Road, Wingate, NC 28174-0157. Wingate University is a small university located in Wingate, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,126 students and an admission rate of 55%. Wingate University has a bachelor's degree program in Computer Science which graduated two 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: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina photo by Alaskan Assassin

Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.

The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.