By Alex GaglianoAssociated PressAs the number of Americans pursuing advanced degrees grows, a new class of highly paid professionals is rising.
And while some of those workers are taking a more traditional route to their future, others are opting for an entirely new path.
The profession of informatics is booming.
The average salary of a graduate is now nearly $120,000, up from $91,000 just 10 years ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And the demand for the knowledge that comes with that position is huge.
The demand is driven in large part by the explosion of mobile phones.
More than 70 percent of the 3.4 million graduates of the 2016-17 school year took on a phone in the past year, the Bureau found.
“It’s really a very new field that we have now, and it’s not necessarily the kind of field that you’re going to see all the time in your lifetime,” said Michael W. Levesque, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and an expert on the profession.
Levesque also leads a panel that examines the pay and benefits of the information technology field, including the pay of IT workers.
His group released a report last year that concluded that the median starting salary for an IT worker is about $71,000.
But not everyone in the profession thinks they’ll ever be rich.
In fact, many are in their 20s, and some are making less than $35,000 a year, according, according the Bureau.
“There are a lot of people who think they’ll make less than that,” said Robert L. Hulsey, professor emeritus at Cornell University.
He said a lot are working at tech companies where they have a good salary and have a chance to make some money.
Hulsey said most people in the field think they’re making good money.
But he also said some are not.
He said the industry is going through a transition that has many people wondering what’s going to happen.
“When we think of that transition, it’s really going to have to be that the new IT jobs that we’re going into are much higher paying,” he said.
“People who were working for the last decade and a half, they’re going from being on the low end of the pay scale, to the middle of the scale.
So, they have to have some sort of transition,” he added.