The Comprehensive Guide to Finding Your Perfect Technology Career

So, you’re interested in computers and you’re intrigued by the world of technology, but your interests and ideas about what you want to do as a career are always changing. Let us help.

To help you zero in on your perfect career, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of things you need to know about the technology industry. To start, opportunities in the field are abundant – we’re talking 30 percent projected growth for software developers and 31 percent for database administrators through 2020 – according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

And that’s not all. Growth is happening all over the industry.

Technology is one of the fastest growing industries and largest sources of employment in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In fact, the industry is expected to add 1.6 million jobs through 2014.

If you’re not on board yet, let’s take a look at where to begin, the skills needed and career options for a better look into the world of technology.

Where to begin

There are many degrees under the umbrella of technology, but let’s focus on a few of the degrees that can get you started in the tech field. Below you’ll find links to six different tech degrees as well as some sample courses that are essential to earning that particular degree.  

Computer science

(Sample courses include: Artificial Intelligence; Operating Systems Design)

Cyber security

(Sample courses include: Hacker Techniques, Tools and Applications; Network Security and Cryptography)

Game and simulation programming

(Sample courses include: Application of Physics for Game and Simulation Production; Engineering Virtual Worlds)

Information systems management

(Sample courses include: Logic and Troubleshooting; Microsoft Windows Server)

Information technology management

(Sample courses include: Cloud computing; Virtualization)

Software application development

(Sample courses include: Mobile Application Development; Object-oriented Programming)

The skills needed for a technology career

To be an effective employee in the technology industry, having an array of hard skills that are specific to the technology field is essential. Generally speaking, you need a firm understanding of mathematics, data and logic concepts communication skills and attention to detail, according to wiseGEEK.com. Additionally, employers are looking for employees who have well-developed soft skills such as adaptability and transferrable technology skills, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Below, are 10 specific hard skills needed for a career in technology, based on an analysis of 344,707 job postings over the past year.*

tech-skills

*Source: BurningGlass.com (Analysis of 344,707 job postings; 4/23/12 to 4/22/13)

What are my career options?

With projections of 30 percent growth in the field, it goes without saying that careers in technology are in high demand. 

So, given the skills that you already have, combined with those you could learn from earning a Bachelor’s degree in technology and your personal interests, you should start to get a pretty clear understanding of the technology career that will make your family proud (and your friends jealous!).

Below is a sampling of technology jobs from an analysis of 344,707 online job postings from the past year.* The best part about the jobs we highlighted is that all of them are projected to grow by at least 20 percent through 2020!

tech-careers

*Source: BurningGlass.com (Analysis of 344,707 job postings; 4/23/12 to 4/22/13)

Software application developer

Description: Software application developers work with computer application software in the creation, development and modification stages.

Projected job growth: 20-28 percent

Computer systems analyst

Description: Computer systems analysts work heavily with engineering, business and science data processing problems to fix and implement improvements for computer systems.

Projected job growth: 20-28 percent

Network and computer systems administrator

Description: Workers in this field typically will configure, install and support an organizations local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN) and Internet systems for quality performance.

Projected job growth: 20-28 percent

Web developer

Description: Typical duties of a web developer include analyzing and implementing user needs for website capacity, content, graphics and performance.

Projected job growth: 20-28 percent

Database administrator

Description: Database administrators coordinate, implement and plan security measures to safeguard computer databases for optimal security.

Projected job growth: 29 percent

Software developer

Description: Software developers formulate and set operational specifications for software requirements.

Projected job growth: 29 percent

Where do I go from here?

It’s pretty clear that there are many choices for a career when it comes to the technology industry. It’s really just a matter of matching your skills with your interests, earning the right technology degree and going after that job that is going to make your family proud and your friends envious.  

So, if you’re still curious and want to learn more about the technology field, then check out the difference between computer science and information technology or find out what the experts of the programming field are saying about a career in technology.

If you’re looking for something more hands-on, sharpen your tech skills with our comprehensive guide to Microsoft Excel.

External links provided on Rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced.

Kendall Bird is an Online Community Specialist for Rasmussen College. With her Bachelor’s degree in public relations and a passion for social media, she enjoys writing motivating and enthusiastic blog content to encourage future, current and former students to learn more about their discipline of study. Kendall’s ultimate goal is to generate a positive community through blogging to promote learning and change lives.

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