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Employment: Computer Systems Analysts, Database Administrators, and Computer Scientists




Computer systems analysts, database administrators, and computer scientists held about 979,000 jobs in 2002; including about 89,000 who were self-employed. Employment was distributed among the following detailed occupations:

Computer systems analysts 468,000
Network systems and data communications analysts 186,000
Database administrators 110,000
Computer and information scientists, research 23,000
All other computer specialists 192,000

Although they are increasingly employed in every sector of the economy, the greatest concentration of these workers is in the computer systems design and related services industry. Firms in this industry provide services related to the commercial use of computers on a contract basis, including custom computer programming services; computer systems integration design services; computer facilities management services, including computer systems or data-processing facilities support services for clients; and other computer-related services, such as disaster recovery services and software installation. Many computer systems analysts, database administrators, and computer scientists are employed by Internet service providers, web search portals, and data-processing, hosting, and related services firms. Others work for government, manufacturers of computer and electronic products, insurance companies, financial institutions, and universities.

A growing number of computer specialists, such as systems analysts and network and data communications analysts, are employed on a temporary or contract basis; many of these individuals are self-employed, working independently as contractors or consultants. For example, a company installing a new computer system may need the services of several systems analysts just to get the system running. Because not all of the analysts would be needed once the system is functioning, the company might contract for such employees with a temporary help agency or a consulting firm or with the systems analysts themselves. Such jobs may last from several months up to 2 years or more. This growing practice enables companies to bring in people with the exact skills the firm needs to complete a particular project, rather than having to spend time or money training or retraining existing workers. Often, experienced consultants then train a company’s in-house staff as a project develops.