Computer Service & Repair Expertise a Valuable Asset

Like any intricate, sophisticated piece of equipment, computers and their components will break down, often at the most inconvenient times. That’s why the field of computer service and repair is such a crucial, highly-utilized and valued career commodity and opportunity. Computers don’t often fail completely, a part or piece of hardware is usually in need of repair or replacement or there’s a connectivity failure. Technicians and specialists repair and service the computer parts, network connections equipment, such as the external hard drive or monitor. They must have experience working with the most commonly used software and a variety of operating systems. Some computer repair workers are employees of organizations or self–employed and onsite work with the user’s equipment is usually required.

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Launch Your Career in Computer Technology

A career in computer technology affords you countless opportunities to become a proficient information technology generalist or concentrate in areas that include hardware and software design, systems and database management, networks and more. With exciting advancements coming to life daily in specialty areas like robotics, cybercrime prevention and artificial intelligence, you’ll be on the cutting edge of the computer technology industry.

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Program Your Future With a Software Engineering Degree

Call them geniuses. Call them computer wizards. Just don’t call them software developers. Though software engineers, developers and programmers oftentimes have overlap in responsibilities, software engineers are the only ones who use engineering principals and procedures to design, develop, and troubleshoot software programs. These workers can be found developing anything from web applications to flight systems for airplanes to satellite technologies and may find work in obvious technology hotspots like computer companies, video game firms, healthcare, and automotive companies as well as defense contractors, government agencies, and private companies of all sizes.

Software engineers can break into their field with a bachelor’s degree, but many employers actively seek those with a master’s too. Coursework on the bachelor’s degree level is usually a mix of computer science, math, and information systems classes that center on embedded systems, data structures, programming, software architecture, operating systems, and problem-solving strategies. Some institutions may also require students to take physics, technical communication, or logic courses in addition to completing self-designed thesis projects.

What you’ll cover in a master’s software engineering degree depends on your college or university. Many programs simply continue to build on principles and technologies you’ve touched on during undergraduate study. Some incorporate new courses in areas like software distribution, management, mobile applications, or computer design. Students can earn their master’s degree in a generalized software engineering program, specialize in an area like software engineering management or embedded engineering or opt for a joint degree program that combines software engineering with an MBA. On both the undergraduate and graduate levels, students will have to complete individual projects and team-based assignments in an effort to prepare them to work as part of a larger team in the working world. On both the master’s and bachelor’s levels, you’ll have a number of choices when it comes to how you want to study. Unsurprisingly, there are lots of campus-based programs as well as online software engineering degrees you can earn without leaving home.

There’s a reason that software engineering has a spot on CareerBliss’s top 20 happiest jobs in America. Those who make it into this field enjoy good job prospects, a killer paycheck and, in many circumstances, the ability to work from home at least part-time. According to Payscale.com, those entering the field with a bachelor’s degree earn median starting salaries of $59,100 per year. Once they gain some experience, that figure shoots up to $90,700 by mid-career. Pay varies by employer and by state. In highly lucrative states like Washington and California, median software engineer salaries sit at $97,483 and $102,766 respectively.

The job outlook is also really positive for software engineers and developers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the field is set to grow 30 percent between now and 2020 due in large part to the rapid expansion of mobile technologies and the increased need of healthcare technology. The job is waiting. The paycheck is waiting. The degree is waiting. All you’ve got to do is go get them.

Network Administrators Are the Backbone of Business

Without these workers, businesses, government entities, and nonprofit organizations would all come to a grinding halt. Network administrators specialize in making sure that the computer systems we all rely on stay functional. These workers are responsible for installing hardware and software, maintaining the existing computer infrastructure, adding or removing users from company computer systems, and updating technology as the organization requires. While they’re critical to ensuring that nearly every kind of businesses can actually do business, network admins rarely work directly with those who use their networks. Instead, they work behind the scenes to optimize system performance, solve problems, and anticipate issues before they impact the organization. If your e-mail is working and your company’s server is up and running, you can thank a network administrator.

It’s possible to land your first job in the field with an associate network administration degree or a certificate in a specialized area like Cisco or Microsoft systems. However, many employers look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in information systems, information technology, or a related program of study. Coursework at the associate degree level focuses on network infrastructure. Students learn the basics of systems design, network installation and maintenance, system security issues, and how operating systems like Mac, Windows, and Linux work. Many degree programs also prepare students to take certification tests in specific technologies like CompTIA A+ (Computing Technology Industry Association), CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), or MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional).

At the bachelor’s degree level, coursework gets more complex. In addition to getting an introduction to networks and gaining training for certification tests, bachelor’s degree candidates also learn systems administration, web development, wireless technologies, and possibly some computer programming. Many schools also throw some business classes into the mix. Students may also be required to take courses in business administration, project management, or technical writing to make them more viable job candidates.

Whether you pursue a certificate, two or four-year degree, how you study will be up to you. Full-time, part-time, and online network administration degree options abound in both two and four-year colleges and universities.

Future network administrators, prepare yourselves for a great career. The job market is blossoming, the pay is outstanding, and the work environment ain’t bad. Careerbuilder.com reports that the average salary nationwide in this field is $78,671 per year. Since almost every type of business, government entity, and nonprofit organization has a need for reliable computer systems, trained network administrators have a wide array of potential employers and can work in any corner of the US. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job prospects won’t stop any time soon. Between now and 2020, the field of network and computer systems administration is projected to grow 28 percent. Just be prepared to do some serious continuing education as your career progresses. As technology evolves, network administrators will be expected to stay ahead of the learning curve and on top of changes in computer systems.

Want One of the Best Jobs in America? Try Computer Programming

computer programming degrees and schoolsUS News and World Report ranked computer programmers #5 on their Best Technology Jobs list and #13 on their list of the top 100 jobs. That’s because compared to other gigs, programmers have it made. Dedicated to writing, developing, and de-bugging software, computer programmers can be found in tech companies, financial services firms, corporations, healthcare companies, and every level of the government. While grads in other majors struggle to find work, computer programmers hit the ground running with a job market that’s expected to grow 22 percent between now and 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many jobs also come with the ability to work remotely which could mean skipping the morning commute a few days per week or fulfilling your 9 to 5 from an exotic locale. Computer programmers oftentimes enjoy impressive company benefits packages that include health and dental care, tuition reimbursement, and substantial paid time off.

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