Get Your Computer Career On Track
- The variety of computer jobs and career paths has increased substantially in the last decade.
- Computer career training is more accessible and affordable than ever before.
Computer careers can be found within five diverse areas: Enterprise Computing, Embedded Systems, Systems Software, Web and Mobile. In general, careers in the first three sectors require higher education and more experience than the last two. Web and Mobile have spawned the most new job types and career paths within the last fifteen years.
Enterprise Computing: This is the traditional source of computer jobs covering corporate information management, large-scale databases, data processing and extensive network and communications systems. Government and academic computing environments are similar in scale and complexity.
Embedded Systems: This niche sector covers the design and development of industrial products with specific requirements such as low power consumption, ultra-small sizes, durability and reliability. Embedded systems are found in circuit boards, airplane engines, anti-lock brakes on cars and medical imaging equipment like MRI or CAT scans.
Systems Software: Desktop or systems software are applications which are meant to be used on a desktop computer or within a server environment. Development projects can range from operating systems to a scientific analysis program to a powerful graphics tool on your personal computer.
Web: This area includes the development of web sites and web-based tools like Google Apps, the maintenance of the systems hardware needed to support web projects and the management of content for the Web like intranets and support portals.
Mobile: Mobile products are designed, developed and deployed for handheld devices like tablets, smartphones, barcode scanners and body monitors. Applications can include utility programs, games or productivity aids.
Training is Key
The best qualification for a computer career are degrees from accredited four and two year colleges. Bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees in Computer Science, Information Systems, Software Engineering or Mathematics command higher starting salaries in any of the five career areas.
A two year associates degree can lead to careers in entry level web development, application development, technical support, data processing and technical operations. With additional training, these positions can be stepping stones to more senior computer careers.
Computer education is not confined to a college campus. With a home computer, students can learn course material, complete assignments and practice coding and development techniques from anywhere.
Students can choose shorter, focused courses that fit their time and budget limitations. Anyone can attend online courses in the privacy of their homes on their own schedule and pace.
Coding bootcamps and seminars offer practical computer training throughout the year. These sessions are intensive and can be costly. Their main objective is to teach the ability to code using proven development methods and high level programming languages. They are ideal for experienced programmers who need to update their skills.
There are seminars offered for career changers and those with little to no previous experience. Prior to committing to a course of study consider attending a free or low cost class on programming to judge if a computer career would be a good fit.
Aptitude and Opportunity
The technology field relies on a workforce that can demonstrate and apply knowledge competently and consistently. How that knowledge is gained is less important than in other fields. Many computer programmers are in fact self taught.
No matter how people have entered the computer field most share some common traits. They have a strong interest in technology. They are active learners often improving their skills and personal knowledge. They are patient and committed to practicing the ideas and methods they learn.
If you decide a computer career is right for you, choose the path or technical area that best suit you and your career goals. The computer industry continues to evolve and new opportunities are created every day, especially in Web and mobile technologies.
Be knowledgeable. Be prepared. Be hired.
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