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2023 Data Processing Degree Guide

Are you good with numbers? Do you enjoy analyzing information and drawing conclusions? Data Processing may be the major for you.

Data Processing is no longer the mundane task of inputting numbers into a computer. Professionals are able to create their own programs, help businesses or governments retrieve and store data, or teach others how to properly incorporate new technology into their business. When working towards your degree, you will take classes that teach you everything you need to know about computers, software, and data analysis. Some courses students take include computer science, word processing, information technology, computer systems analysis, and business communications. These classes will equip you with the skills to collect, analyze, and report different types of data necessary for conducting business.

Data Processing Degrees Decreasing

#225 Most Popular Major
2k Degrees Awarded
-18.7% Increase in Graduates

Data Processing was the 225th most popular major in the 2020-2021 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 1,955 degrees in this year alone. This 365 less than the prior year, a decrease of 18.7%.

Our 2023 Best Data Processing Schools ranking analyzes 26 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for data processing students. Explore this or one of our many other custom data processing rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Data Processing
2023 Overall Best Data Processing Colleges >

Best Data Processing Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Data Processing
Bachelor's Degrees in Data Processing
Master's Degrees in Data Processing
Doctorate Degrees in Data Processing

Data Processing Degree Requirements

Data processing technicians are very computer savvy. Professionals spend their time working with different types of computer software and programs to collect and analyze information. Those who are successful in this career have a strong background in computer information systems and mathematics. Critical thinking, problem solving, and writing skills are also necessary in this career as professionals must be able to analyze data and effectively communicate results and conclusions.

Graduates with a [Data Processing degree]( can expect to work a typical 40-hour workweek in an office setting. The majority of Data Processing Professionals work for companies, but some decide to become self-employed and work as consultants.

Although it is not required, an internship in this field would be beneficial to students. This hands-on experience will expose students to the programs professionals work with daily and give them an advantage when job hunting after graduation.

Getting Accepted Into a Data Processing Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most data processing degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. In addition to these basic data processing program qualifications, to serve in some data processing careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Data Processing Degree Types

Data Processing degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in data processing to something that takes less time like a . Data Processing programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to data processing, with approximately 52.9% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for data processing workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 50.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 14.7%
High School Diploma 13.2%
Some College Courses 8.1%
Master’s Degree 7.2%

About 63.5% of workers in careers related to data processing obtain at least bachelor's degrees. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in data processing have received.


This of course varies depending on which data processing career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Data Processing Graduate

Average Number of Jobs
$36.8k Average Starting Salary
4% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Data Processing graduates have many career options. Often, graduates choose to go into computer service administration or work for companies creating programs that allow file and data sharing. Since this major equips students with useful computer and office skills, many job options are available. Those with previous experience will have an easier time finding jobs and are more likely to be promoted.

Growth Projected for Data Processing Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your data processing degree? Data Processing careers are expected to grow 4.4% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to data processing.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Computer Workers 313,800 9.3%
Computer Operators 39,700 -22.9%

How Much Money Do Data Processing Grads Make?

Data Processing graduates between 2017-2019 reported earning an average of $36,777 in the 2019-2020 timeframe. Earnings can range from as low as $20,258 to as high as $62,976. As you might expect, salaries for data processing graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Data Processing Careers

Salaries for data processing graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers data processing grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Computer Workers $93,350
Computer Operators $46,750

Getting Your Data Processing Degree

With over 218 different data processing degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased data processing school rankings to help you with this.

Data Processing is one of 10 different types of Computer & Information Sciences programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer Information Systems 88,434
Computer Science 59,565
Information Technology 40,555
Information Science 18,325
Computer Systems Networking 14,700

View All Data Processing Related Majors >


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