Computers were developed to make business processes more efficient and affordable, but today, computers do much more. It goes without saying that if you work in one of many technology careers, then you have graduated from being simply a business facilitator to a player in the business world.
To be competitive in a local, national or global marketplace today, a business must be able to conduct business from its website. Whether it is in sales, customer service, help desk support, or providing information, most businesses and organizations today have some kind of online component. Company revenue is directly affected by website crashes, which means a business experiences profit loss when their website goes offline – even for just a few minutes. And sophisticated computer networks are what allow businesses to be run at multiple locations throughout a region and even internationally.
Some careers are changing drastically right now as technological advancements alter the typical tasks and even the job descriptions of computer professionals. For example, telecommunications specialist jobs are now classified among other computer careers, and those who train for the job should pursue an education in programming and networking. Many phones today use computer protocols such as the internet, or they have computer components – smartphones, for example, allow individuals to access emails and perform other functions.
Because of the impact that technology plays on computer-related careers, it is important for you to stay abreast of technology changes as they occur by subscribing to industry journals and by maintaining certifications related to your specific line of work. It is also important for you to obtain a broad knowledge of business functions, which will help you be more adaptable.
Technology Careers: What to Look For
On this site, we describe some of the most prominent computer careers, such as software engineers, and systems analysts. We provide a side-by-side comparison of the computer careers based on salary, job availability and advancement potential. Much of the data we used on this site is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Other sources of salary and job availability data we used include O*NET Online and PayScale.com.
To review job salaries on this site, we compared average starting salaries of computer careers. We estimated that the average starting salary was the average of the 10th and 25th wage percentiles. A wage percentile is determined by considering the salaries of everyone in the United States in that profession. 90 percent of individuals make more than the 10th percentile, 75 percent of individuals make more than the 25th percentile, 50 percent of individuals in a particular profession make more than the 50th percentile and so forth.
Job availability is determined by considering the number of individuals presently employed in computer careers, the number of job openings anticipated over the next 10 years, as well as the percentage of growth expected during the same time. The 10-year period is based on figures from 2008 to 2018.
Whether a career has advancement potential depends on opportunities for advancement within in that profession and whether or not advancement requires more than a bachelor’s degree or can be gained simply from adequate work experience.
Best Technology Jobs
Technology has become the prime facilitator for sharing products, information, and news. Things move at a quicker pace and the obscure can become notable in a flash. For example, political scandals that would have taken days to unfold now do so within minutes of going viral. iTunes not only powers music’s headline names but also accelerates the rise of those from the underground. As technology seemingly advances its way into every nook and cranny of our society, the job market for individuals with vast knowledge of it is ever expanding. Want more proof? Tech jobs dominate the top 10 list of our 100 Best Jobs of 2013. Read more on how we rank the jobs.
Those who can dissect the inner and outer workings of a desktop as easily as scientists do specimen will excel as computer systems analysts. The job entails designing and developing computer systems and knowing the ins and outs of hardware, software, and networks.
Do your neat-freak tendencies extend to the digital sphere? If so, you might want to work as a database administrator. Those with a knack for creating, upgrading, fine-tuning, and testing modifications for databases will go far in this profession.
#3 - Software Developer
If the thought of writing software code in solitude excites you, then you’re in luck—software developers are in the top tier of our list of the Best Technology Jobs. This sector will add 143,800 jobs by 2020.
#4 - Web Developer
Is that website yours—the one with all the neat graphics and widgets? You might be comfortable working as a Web developer. These professionals should see about 65,000 newbies join their ranks in the next few years.
#5 - Computer Programmer
Patience, endurance, and a generous understanding of how machines function will benefit those interested in computer programming. These tech-savvy specialists rewrite, debug, maintain, and test the software and programs essential to key computer functions.
#6 - Mechanical Engineer
A creative mind and math smarts make for a solid foundation when entering this profession. But couple those attributes with real world know-how and you could end up working on projects as diverse as skyscrapers in China or oil platforms in the Gulf coast.
#7 - IT Manager
These tech wizards are the go-to person when your email won’t send or Microsoft Word doesn’t open. As the head of the IT department, they ensure that a company’s network is operating smoothly and that dangerous threats like hackers and malware are kept at bay.
Without the expertise of network and computer systems administrators, your office network would be hampered by a string of technological glitches. Aside from maintaining a healthy computer network, they also lend their tech knowledge to managing telecommunication networks. This profession is expected to add 96,600 new positions by 2020.
#9 - Civil Engineer
Overall Score: 6.9 | Median Salary $77,990 | See Job Openings
The concrete streets you walk, the asphalt highways your wheels caress, and the buildings you sit in were all planned by civil engineers. If you want to be the designer who keeps our society humming, this job is for you.