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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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 57
Graduate Certificate 16

What Data Processing Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to data processing were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

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

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to data processing:

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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

As a data processing major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

What Can You Do With a Data Processing Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with data processing:

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?

57 Master's Degrees Annually
40% Percent Women
7% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This major attracts more men than women. About 60% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Data Processing Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2
Black or African American 2
Hispanic or Latino 0
White 1
International Students 51
Other Races/Ethnicities 1

Geographic Diversity

Data Processing appeals to people across the globe. About 89.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Vietnam
  • Nepal

How Much Do Data Processing Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $46,750 to $93,350 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to data processing. 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 )
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250K

Some careers associated with data processing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for data processing careers below.

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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 the 2018-2019 academic year, 155 schools offered some type of data processing program. 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) 78 20
Certificate (1-2 years) 53 6
Certificate (2-4 Years) 18 3
Associate’s Degree 86 15
Bachelor’s Degree 4 1
Post-Baccalaureate 78 20
Master’s Degree 6 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 76,482
Computer Science 47,906
Information Technology 33,399
Information Science 17,779
Computer Systems Networking 14,055
Computer Software & Applications 12,793
Computer Programming 10,688
Computer Systems Analysis 2,472
Data Entry 1,382
Other Computer & Information Sciences 1,243

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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