Careers in technology are vast in terms of industry sectors, type of employers and individual positions. From start-ups to tech firms, the opportunities that exist for those interested in technology are diverse and multi-dimensional.
Computers can be divided into three road categories, by operation and industry sector:
For more info see the Vault.com
Industry Guide on Information Technology: Log in or create an account (you will need to create an account using your Colgate e-mail address to view this content) >Industries & Professions >Information Technology >see “Related Professions” and “Related Industries” at the bottom of the page.
- Hardware refers to the physical equipment of a computer, such as motherboards, memory chips, and microprocessors.
- Software includes the programs that tell the hardware exactly what to do and how to do it.
- The internet is composed of numerous global networks that are connected to each other.
Types of Employers
Large corporations are major employers of technology professionals as well. Many maintain information systems (IS) or information technology (IT) departments, which hire people for many different positions. The number of in-house information systems departments has grown with the increased usage of computers in the workplace. Almost all companies, including banks, insurance companies, consumer products firms, and government agencies, have IS or IT departments.
Other employers of technology professionals are consulting firms. They hire college graduates with majors in computer science to help them integrate the latest technology into their clients' business. Most of these jobs are headquartered in large cities and require a lot of travel. (Vault)
In addition, due to the computer industry′s diversity, there are a multitude of jobs available in a wide variety of industries. Ninety-two percent of information technology jobs are in industries such as banking, education, health care, transportation, retail, entertainment, hospitality, and fashion.
Prepare for Jobs and Internships
Information, tips, and strategies to help prepare you as an undergraduate.
Be familiar with these terms and use them in application materials and networking conversations:
- Big Data
- Dark Data
- The Cloud
- The Next Big Thing
- Web x.0
- Web 2.0
- 3-D Printer
- Higgs Boson
Industry News and Trends
Knowledge of industry news can give you a sense of the culture and make you a better interview candidate.
Technology is constantly evolving and changing. A few of the rapidly developing areas include:
- Web 2.0 includes smartphone, GPS navigators, Android phone, Wikipedia, Facebook, and YouTube.
- Information Security due to compliance regulations, cyber-attacks, and increased awareness by the U.S. government for the need of increased IT security.
- Virtualization to share hardware resources and applications.
(Source: Spotlight on Careers)
Education and Certification
Most entry level positions require a bachelor’s degree (computer science, math, engineering, and other majors if you have related experience/training). Additionally, some positions require certain certification. Examples include:
Institute for Certification of Computing Professionals - For certification information.
- MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional)
- MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist)
- Cisco’s CCIE
- Red Hat's RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer)
- VCP (VMware Certified Professional)
- CSSA (Certified SonicWALL Security Administrator)
- PMP (Project Management Professional)
- ACSP (Apple Certified Support Professional)
- CompTIA's Network+ and A+
- CompTIA's Healthcare IT Technician
Quality Assurance Institute- For certification information as an analyst.
Some positions may require coursework or training in a particular application, operating system, or other technology. Examples include:
- Continuous Integration System
- Enterprise resource planning software
- Scripting Languages
- Relational Databases
Knowing what your career goals are is the first step in deciding whether or not to pursue an advanced degree or certification in technology. For example, most employers prefer applicants for a computer systems analyst position to have at least a bachelor's degree or a graduate degree for the more technically complex jobs. If you plan on becoming a director or manager, it would be a good idea to take leadership or management professional development courses, perhaps even go on to receive an MBA. That being said, there are many occupations, such as computer scientist, that do not require advanced degrees, unless you want to get into an academic position. Read help wanted ads and the Occupational Outlook Handbook
, which is published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They provide all kinds of information you will find extremely helpful, including how much education you need for certain professions. Online Resources:
Professional Associations & Conferences
(Please check each association for membership information and conference dates.)
- Technology Alliance of Central New York - Facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.
- TechAmerica - TechAmerica is a trade association that represents the information technology industry, including hardware, software, telecommunications products and services, Internet and online services, systems integration, and professional services.
- Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - This organization is responsible for coordinating the assignment of Internet domain names.
- Internet Society - This professional organization sets technical standards and provides leadership in addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet.
- National Center for Super Computing Applications - For news on research projects and new technology developments and to learn about areas of science employing high-performance computing.
- World Wide Web Consortium - Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the World Wide Web, founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in 1994. Visit its Web site for information on Web technology and news.
- Business Software Alliance - The Business Software Alliance (BSA) is the voice of the world's software industry and its hardware partners on a wide range of business and policy affairs.
- The Entertainment Software Industry Association - For information on the entertainment software industry.
- IEEE Computer Society - For information on scholarships and student membership.
- Software & Information Industry Association - For more information on careers in computer software.
- Computer Research Association - CRA’s mission is to strengthen research and advanced education in the computing fields, expand opportunities for women and minorities, and improve public and policymaker understanding of the importance of computing and computing research in our society.
- Association for Computing Machinery - Contact ACM for information on internships, student membership, and the ACM student magazine Crossroads.
- Society for Technical Communication - For information on careers and internships in technical writing.
- Information Technology Association of America - For information about the IT industry.
- National Science Foundation – The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the NSF Minority Graduate Fellowship are three-year fellowships open to U.S. citizens who are at or near the beginning of their graduate study in science or engineering. These fellowships provide a cost-of-education allowance and a stipend for living expenses.
- AAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships
- DOE Computational Science – Students in their first or second year of graduate study in the physical, engineering, computer, mathematical, or life sciences are eligible to apply for the DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship. Exceptional senior undergraduates who can meet all the requirements listed here may also apply.
- Association for Women in Science – The AWIS Educational Foundation provides predoctoral awards, open to advanced doctoral students, and undergraduate awards, for college students in their first, second, or third year of college. Each year about ten predoctoral students receive a full award for $1000 or a Citation of Merit for $500.
- FastWeb – A free database of national, local, and college-specific scholarships.
Below are some opportunities that may interest you from naviGATE
, Colgate's internship and job database.
The Liberal Arts Career NetWORK (LACN) and Nationwide Internships Consortium (NIC) are databases of internships and entry-level jobs posted by employers interested in hiring liberal arts students.
Connect to Careers
Latest stories about internships, workshops, professional networks, and more.