What Do Majors in Technology Study?
Majors in technology study the ways that we use computers and other electronic devices to solve human problems. Often blended with courses in engineering, technology degree programs provide students with skills and knowledge in a wide array of technical areas. Successful technology majors understand not only how a system works, but also how to make it work better. And in the wake of the information economy that has sprung up in America over the last twenty years, quality technology programs cross-train students by exposing them to course work in business, social science and liberal arts.
What Jobs Are Hot in Technology?
Computer Software Engineer
Regardless of the burst of the "dot-com bubble" and despite the "offshoring" of software engineering jobs by some large companies, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts steady, sharp growth for in the job market for skilled computer software engineers for at least the next decade.
Computer equipment manufacturers constantly innovate with new, faster, more reliable hardware. Therefore, software publishers react by releasing constant updates and additional features, even to established software packages like word processors and spreadsheets. In addition, many large companies have pulled computer software development in-house, hiring groups of software engineers to produce proprietary software platforms.
Information Security Specialist
With corporate espionage and identity theft threats haunting the dreams of most American business leaders, experts expect the already burgeoning information security field to thrive over the next ten years. Information security specialists work from offices and in the field, where they analyze threats to corporate computer systems. They prevent the theft of important data, carefully selecting software and hardware that can protect the information and privacy of their employers.
Database administrators function at the heart of the information economy, analyzing data in order to gain insight into customer spending habits or opportunities to develop complex financial deals. Their skills allow companies to manufacture products more efficiently, to ship goods more quickly and to manage financial transactions down to the penny.
Database administrators can work in-house at companies, government agencies or schools. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that database administrators earned a median salary of $80,280 in 2014. Experienced database administrators often work as freelance consultants to a number of clients.
Why Should You Consider a College Major in Technology?
Years ago, before the founders of Yahoo! pasted their first web page together, technology majors labored quietly in computer labs and lecture halls. That has changed, with technology majors enjoying superstar status on some college campuses and even participating in various national competitions. Opportunities for technology majors have broadened considerably, with lab work, internships, and co-curricular research and development projects. Many technology majors participate in groundbreaking studies that evolve into patented solutions. A lucky few, like Michael Dell and the team behind Google, have even launched wildly successful businesses while still enrolled in classes.
What Candidates Make the Best Majors in Technology?
Young computer hackers hoping to blast their way through a bachelor's degree in technology may be disappointed to hear that understanding software only makes up part of the success recipe for technology majors. According to the admissions departments at several prestigious technology institutions, strong technology majors share the following traits:
- They communicate clearly, when writing or speaking
- They can function well on a team
- They can solve problems using critical thinking and experimentation
- They approach challenges with patience and tenacity
- They solve problems with human beings in mind
In addition to those traits, successful students stay current on trends and discoveries by reading online trade journals and participating in discussion groups. Many technology majors may already operate a Web site or develop their own software. Even so, a formal education, online degree program, or even a certificate program can provide a technology major with essential collaboration and critical thinking skills.
- "15-1141 Database Administrators," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151141.htm