There are many careers and occupations that are known to stand the test of time. Medical practitioners, accountants, and teachers have existed for millennia and will probably exist until the robocalypse. Today, we need to add computer and information technology professionals to that list.
If you really want to get technical, computers started back in the early 1800s. However, computers as we recognize them today were invented over 70 years ago. They have significantly evolved during this time, from what used to be large, room-sized computers that would occupy as many as 1800 square feet of space, to fitting in the palms of our hands.
Whether the roles that exist today are called computer engineers, programmers, or database administrators, the tech industry has now become a permanent and lucrative industry that you should consider getting into.
1. It’s where the jobs are and will be.
Although the role of a computer engineer or computer programmer has been changing and evolving along with technological advancements, these careers are here to stay. They will change and evolve over time as technology moves further into robotics, Internet of Things, cognitive computing, and so on, but if you are looking for an exciting career and job security, this is the place to be.
This chart tells us that this industry is growing very rapidly, and by 2020 we are expecting to have a shortage of 1 million computer programmers or engineers. This type of shortage implies several things. For one, with higher demand than supply, employers will pay high salaries to fill these positions. It also means that you will have more choice in selecting what company you wish to work for.
2. The average salaries are very high compared to other fields.
The United States Department of Labor Statistics shows a software developer earning an average of 93K per year. And that was in 2012. This has increased significantly over the last few years.
In hot market hubs such as Silicon Valley, an entry-level software developer will earn a starting salary of 90-100K+.
3. It is standing the test of time.
Technology companies are lasting longer than originally thought — we now have technology companies like IBM that have been around for over 100 years. IBM demonstrates how a technology company adapts. For example, they’ve moved from mostly mainframe computers to cognitive systems like Watson, which lets companies predict health trends or recommends trending gifts during the holidays.
If you look at our aspirations as a race, we want to have flying cars, we want to invent teleportation, we want to explore the universe and live on other planets and the list goes on. All these things would not be even considered possible without computer technology. This will continue to drive demand for these types of careers.
4. Demand in universities continues to grow.
Universities worldwide continue to see unprecedented growth in their computer science/engineering enrolment and have been expanding to keep up with the demand.
“An introductory computer science course at Harvard College broke records this fall, becoming the most-registered-for class at the prestigious institution and proving once again that computer science is among the fastest-growing areas in education.” — D. Frank Smith, Edtechmagazine
Here’s a list of the best global universities for computer science:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- Harvard University
- University of California—Berkeley
- Tsinghua University
- University of Texas—Austen
- Nanyang Technological University
- University of California—San Diego
- National University of Singapore
If you are interested in the criteria on how these were ranked, click here.
5. You want to be rich and famous.
Many of the richest people in the world have become rich through technology. That includes bigs names like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and many other incredibly wealthy individuals.
As I mentioned, computer science, software development, computer engineering, or other terms that define and represent technological roles and careers may evolve over time, but are clearly the foundation for the future. The market is definitely headed that way as we advance technology to the next level. I don’t see any signs of this trend slowing down.
Featured photo credit: Andras Horvath via flickr.com