Online Operating Systems Degree Programs

Operating systems are essential to the function of all computer programs because they act as a translator between the computer hardware and translator. As technology constantly increases companies and organizations as well as individuals are updating their operating systems. Online operating systems degree programs provide students with a broad and solid foundation on the concepts of a variety of operating systems and students are prepared to pursue a wide variety of lucrative career paths. Students gain and enhance their critical thinking, problem solving, analytical, technical, troubleshooting, programming, communication, and data management skills. Read more about online operating systems degree programs.

Some Stats

In 2006 computer software engineers held 857,000 jobs. Most were employed in the computer systems design and related services industry. About 17,000 were self-employed. Computer programmers held 435,000 jobs with majority being employed by the computer systems design and related services industry (1).

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook for operating systems graduates differs among degree, field, and position. The employment of computer software engineers is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 38% and adding 324,000 new jobs. Employment of computer programmers is expected to decline slowly, decreasing by 4% (1). Operating systems programmers with 1 to 4 years experience earned average annual salaries between $50,664 and $69,411 (2).

Specialties

Operating systems degree programs enable students to choose from a few different specialties to focus their academic studies and pursue a meaningful career. Operating systems specialties include operating systems programming, Microsoft Windows operating systems, Solaris operating systems, Mac operating systems, real-time operating systems, software development, and operating systems engineering. Students who are interested in a particular specialty should select schools that offer strong programs in that specific area.

What to Expect

Operating systems degree programs differ depending on the school and program, but generally provide students with practical and theoretical applications to manage a variety of computer operating systems. Undergraduate operating systems degrees require general education courses in areas such as English, composition, science, mathematics, history, art, and electives. The core coursework varies depending on program, but many operating systems programs require courses such as different types of operating systems, software development, file management, secure operating systems, functions of operating systems, computer programming, data structures, database systems, and networking. Many programs also provide students with hands-on experiences through lab and simulation environments. Graduate operating systems degree programs focus more on advanced topics and prepare graduates for higher level positions.

The End Result

An undergraduate degree in operating systems provides individuals with an abundance of career options in many different fields. Many operating systems professionals work in large corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and military organizations. Graduate degrees open the door to more advanced career options with larger salaries. Career opportunities for operating systems graduates include:

Operating Systems Programmer
Operating Systems Software Developer
Computer Software Engineer
Computer Programmer
Computer Operator
Operating Systems Specialist
Operating Systems Support Specialist
Operating Systems Analyst
Information Systems Specialist
Operating Systems Administrator
Windows System Administrator
UNIX Systems Programmer

An operating systems career will be rewarding for individuals who have a strong interest in computers and many different operating systems. Students use their knowledge, expertise, and advanced technology to monitor, repair, and upgrade all types of operating systems in a variety of fields. Operating systems professionals must be able to adapt to new challenges and provide solutions to many different issues. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to effectively interact with many different professionals and clients.

(1) SOURCE: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition
(2) SOURCE: Payscale.com, Salary Survey Report