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Data Processing Major

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Data Processing

57 Master's Degrees Annually
0 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#258 in Popularity (Master's)
$46,750 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Data Processing Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many data processing graduations there were in 2019-2020 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 155
Graduate Certificate 18

What Data Processing Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to data processing and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Data Processing Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in data processing should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Skills for Data Processing Majors

When studying data processing, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Data Processing Majors

Data Processing majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Data Processing Major?

People with a data processing degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Geographic Information Systems Technicians 9.3% $90,270
Web Administrators 9.3% $90,270

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Data Processing?

155 Master's Degrees Annually
48% Percent Women
23% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 48% of the graduates are women, and 52% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of data processing majors is as follows:

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Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 23
Black or African American 4
Hispanic or Latino 5
White 28
International Students 90
Other Races/Ethnicities 5

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Data Processing. About 58.1% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Nepal
  • Vietnam

How Much Do Data Processing Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Data Processing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $46,750 to $93,350 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Data Processing Major  ( 46750 to 93350 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with data processing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to data processing have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 13.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 6.1%
Some College Courses 8.1%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 14.7%
Bachelor’s Degree 50.9%
Master’s Degree 7.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.5%

Online Data Processing Programs

In 2019-2020, 133 schools offered a data processing program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 43 5
Certificate (2-4 Years) 18 4
Associate’s Degree 76 12
Bachelor’s Degree 5 2
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 7 1
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1 1
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Data Processing Worth It?

The median salary for a data processing grad is $46,750 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 17% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $137,000 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to data processing.

Major Number of Grads
Computer Information Systems 81,384
Computer Science 53,722
Information Technology 38,958
Information Science 18,368
Computer Systems Networking 14,814
Computer Software & Applications 13,180
Computer Programming 10,756
Computer Systems Analysis 2,269
Other Computer & Information Sciences 1,326

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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