Data Processing Technology Degree

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What is Data Processing Technology?

Data Processing Technology or DP is a field of study in business focused on prudent measures to manipulate, store, and retrieve data and the associated equipment. Data Processing Technology is a degree program designed to ensure deep knowledge with respect to how data is stored, retrieved, and input into computer systems using various software applications such as:

  • Word Processing
  • Research
  • Data Analysis
  • Design Software
  • Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Spreadsheets

Data processing technology is an ever-growing field with a bent towards technology, software applications, operating systems, database administration, and programming.  DP managers will need to be experts in a variety of data manipulation, storage, input, and applications specific to each industry.

Top Degrees in Data Processing Technology

Students seeking to enhance their skill set with a degree or certificate in data processing technology have a number of options to consider.  The breadth of programs in data processing varies greatly from school to school.

Accredited colleges and universities offer certificate programs and undergraduate degrees in the field of study to help prepare for additional degrees or work opportunities.  Completion of a degree in DPT, students may go on to earn additional degrees in computer programming, computer networking, database management, computer science, data modeling, business administration, or similar trades.

To help you make sense of your options, we have provided a summary of programs below.  In addition, there are quick links to top colleges and universities to help you efficiently gather information about programs.

Certificates in Data Processing Technology

Certificate programs can be parsed by type and modality.  The types of certificate programs include graduate certificate programs and undergraduate certificate programs.  Undergraduate certificates are geared for students to learn the essentials of data processing.

From rudimentary classes to more advanced fields of study, an undergraduate certificate will help students obtain a firm grasp of the subject matter and prepare them for entry-level positions in the field.  Graduate certificates, on the other hand, are a series of upper level courses aimed at enhancing specific skills.

For example, a graduate certificate may emphasize database administration techniques or data modeling or cloud computing instead of general courses.  Qualified graduate students will utilize certificate programs to upskill, remain competitive, increase the odds of earning a promotion, and/or prepare for a career transition.

Modality of programs can include in-class, online, and hybrid programs.  On-site certificate programs require students to physically attend class at a set time and set place with a group of other students.  Online classes can be synchronous or asynchronous and attended remotely, providing a unique degree of flexibility and access.  Hybrid classes meld online and on-site classes by requiring students to attend a physical class and perform required tasks remotely via distance learning.

Data Processing Associate's Degree

Online associate degree programs in data processing technology can be conferred as an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) depending on the program emphasis.  Associate degrees are designed to be completed in about 2 years for full-time students.   Part-time students will likely take longer depending on the school’s requirements and pace.

Associate degrees blend general education courses with core classes to provide a holistic set of thinking skills for students.  General education courses may include classes such as art, history, communications, business administration, philosophy, psychology, and statistics.  Core classes will vary from school to school as a function of the area(s) of emphasis an college’s resources.  An example of classes may include:

  • Introduction to Computers
  • Relational Databases
  • Computer Systems and Procedures
  • Operating Systems
  • Visual Basic
  • Complex Computer Applications
  • Computer System Management
  • Computers and Programming
  • Information Systems Security
  • Wireless LANs
  • Data Communications
  • Client/Server Systems

Employment & Data Processing Specializations

As the information available to us continues to rapidly accelerate, the need to organize that data is key.  Data processing jobs will be created in every sector in every corner of our economy.  Information processing and data management will remain in-demand despite automation as new techniques for processing data and throughput of information will evolve.  Students looking to expand their horizons may find similar DPT jobs in adjacent fields.  A sampling include: programming, systems design, computer support, database management, data mining, artificial intelligence, research designer, network administrator, and information security.

Data Processing Job Titles

When considering a career in DPT, students will need to understand the varied job titles and vernacular in the industry.  As a result, we have compiled a list of popular job titles to help to better identify associated and adjacent jobs in the field of data processing technology.

  • Applications Analyst
  • Business Systems Analyst
  • Computer Analyst
  • Information Systems Analyst
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Computer Systems Consultant
  • Information Technology Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Systems Analyst

Data Processing Manager Job Duties

A recent survey by the Department of Labor reveals key insights into daily jobs performed by data analysts.  As a result, we have culled the list and consolidated the top 22 job responsibilities into a bite-size list of 5.  The most popular job responsibilities of a data processing manager include the following:

  • Testing, managing, and monitoring computers, networks, and programs and their associated resource management
  • Troubleshooting system and computer program problems to ensure proper system functioning
  • Modifying computers and computer systems to meet evolving demands, internally and externally
  • Utilizing software and hardware to solve business problems like inventory control, data security, data analysis, production, and cloud computing
  • Communicating with peers and upper management to ensure alignment on project resources, strategic initiatives, and system requirements

Data Processing Resources

For additional information about the exciting field of DPT, you can visit the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) website.  Their in-depth articles, resources, programs, and events have come to be known as the industry standard.  Connect with a local AITP chapter and get plugged in to the DPT industry today.

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Career Summary: Data processing technology Major




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