Data Processing Overview

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.

Required Skills

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.


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. Careers in Data Processing are growing at an average rate, making job outlooks good for recent graduates. Those with previous experience will have an easier time finding jobs and are more likely to be promoted.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Data Processing might open up.

Computer Occupations, All Other
Computer Operators
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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