Studying Technology at a U.S. University
April 19, 2017
When the electrical engineers of the late ’70s and early ’80s introduced the world’s first mobile phones, they never would have imagined the world we live in today. Mobile phones now have features like mobile payment systems and video conferencing, all running on a multi-core processor in your pocket.
Today’s economy has become an intertwined, international marketplace where ideas are the driving force rather than basic goods. Technological advancements continue to change the way people live their lives all over the world and employers are looking to capitalize on this. Individuals who possess a combination of technical training and a certain level of creativity are in high-demand.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment growth will be driven by the increasing reliance on information technology and the continuing importance of maintaining system and network security. In order to fill high-tech positions, employers are seeking well-educated and qualified individuals who understand the latest developments in technology.
Today’s students will decide how technology will shape our future.
Technology Education in the U.S.A.
U.S. universities and colleges offer a greater variety of programs with a specialized focus in areas such as security, user interface design and geospatial technology. Program coursework incorporates both theoretical and hands-on practical training.
A new trend in technology education is a heightened focus on “soft skills.” Soft skills are the interpersonal skills required to be effective in a professional setting. These include oral and written communication skills, project management, and teamwork. These skills will make you a more dynamic employee and increase your chances of success.
What to Look for in a Program
It is important that a program’s curriculum reflect the latest in technology. Therefore, the university or college must strive to update its curriculum so that it is relevant. There’s nothing worse than spending a year focused on a specific platform, only to read a news article announcing that platform’s pending demise.
The school should also provide the equipment needed to study your area of interest. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to study network engineering at a school that did not provide the equipment needed for practical training.
Students in certain specialized degree programs may also have access to high-end industrial tools and equipment. There’s nothing more exciting than getting a chance to work with a piece of equipment that you’ve read about and otherwise couldn’t afford. In addition to modern equipment, network connection speeds are equally important. Fast connectivity is now a high priority because distributed computing has become more common. Many American colleges and universities even offer gigabit Internet connections. This gives students the ability to develop new and creative uses for networked communications, without being encumbered by a limited Internet connection.
Seek schools that employ faculty with industry experience. It is also important that the program seeks the advice of technology professionals when shaping future curriculum. A school that regularly reaches out and works with the surrounding community will be the first to know about emerging technologies.
Degrees and Certificates
You can qualify for many careers in technology with a Certificate or Associate of Applied Science degree. These degrees can be earned at technical or community colleges, private specialized training schools, and for-profit training companies. In addition, you could continue with a bachelor’s or master’s degree if you are interested in a management, research or security position in technology.
Technology Fields of Study
Electrical Engineering:Combines the best of engineering and technology in areas such as robotics, simulation, and real-time systems.
Computer Science: Incorporates advanced work with software, programming languages, graphics, operating systems, and user interfaces.
Information Technology (IT):Installing and configuring software and hardware, data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, and the management and administration of entire systems.
Software Development: Writing business application programs to instruct a computer to perform a variety of tasks. It involves analysis of the expected output, information flow, and writing and testing of the code.
Web Development: Developing server-based applications using standard web protocols. It typically involves a combination of IT and software developer skills, alongside an ability to design a functional user interface.