Booming Technology Careers Can Focus on Systems or on the Human Side

Man sitting using laptop

According to a recent study, digitally intensive jobs are growing at a rate two-and-a-half times faster than non-digital jobs and jobs requiring advanced digital skills offer 38% higher wages. Most people have heard of the term Information technology, which tends to be very broad and systems focused, whereas careers around Digital Technology and Cultures focus on the human side of technology. Let’s take a look at the different types of careers the two different areas of study have to offer.

Information Technology

Information technology (IT) is also known as information systems or systems administration and is a term used to describe a broad set of skills used by IT professionals utilizing things like existing operating systems, software, applications to solve a specific business problem. Most IT professionals have expertise that focuses on taking care of both an organization’s information technology infrastructure and the people who use it.

Some professionals specialize in developing computerized databases, networks, and other programs; these individuals are known as architects. Other IT professionals can serve as the administrators for these programs.

Job titles for someone who studied Information Technology include Software Developer, Web Developer, Computer Programmer, Systems Analyst and Computer Support Specialist.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at web developers. A web developer is responsible for designing, coding and modifying websites, from layout to function, according to a client’s specifications. A web developer is also responsible for creating visually appealing sites that feature clear user-friendly navigation.

There are different kinds of web developers, but a front-end web developer uses a combination of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build everything a user sees and interacts with on a website—that includes everything from front-end features like fonts, sliders, drop-down menus, and buttons, to the overall manner in which web content like photos, videos, and articles are displayed in your web browser.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment growth for front-end web developers to be 20 percent nationally between 2012 and 2022, which is almost twice the rate of average job growth. This role has a median salary of $58,000 per year, depending on experience, education, and industry according to PayScale.

Become a Front-End Web Developer

The skills for successful front-end web developers may include:

HTML/CSS

JavaScript/jQuery

Version Control/Git

Responsive Design

Testing/Debugging

Analytical skills

Attention to detail

Problem-solving ability

Digital Technology and Cultures

Digital Technology and Cultures goes beyond Information Technology. Someone with a Digital Technology and Cultures background will have the hard and soft skills valued by technical employers. These skills include research, collaboration, oral and written communication, and critical and creative thinking as well as the skills to use a variety of digital tools like Python, Tableau, Google Analytics, HootSuite, and Photoshop. People with a Digital Technology and Cultures background explore and create in such areas as computational thinking, writing for the web, social media, and data visualization.

Some possible job titles for graduates with a degree in Digital Technology and Cultures includes Multimedia Designer, Social Media Manager, Technical Writer and Web Content Manager.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at Technical Writers. A Technical Writer is responsible for taking complex subjects and technical jargon and writing about them in easy to understand terms for things like instructions, white papers, product descriptions, and tutorials.

A technical writer typically works with a subject matter expert to understand technical complexities, then determines what type of documentation needs to be created and who the audience will be. In today’s market, technical writers must be able to do all of this on digital platforms.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in technical writing is expected to grow by 10 percent nationally between 2014 and 2024, with a median salary of $70,000 per year, depending on experience, education, and industry.

Become a Technical Writer

The skills for successful Technical Writers may include:

Bachelor’s degree

Design skills

Digital skills

Technical skills

Analytical skills

Attention to detail

Problem-solving ability

It is clear that digital and technical skills are becoming more necessary than ever for people looking to advance their career or wanting to further their education.

Contact us to learn more about the Digital Technology and Cultures B.A. Degree Completion program or the other B.A. Degree Completion programs, courses, and certificates at the School of New and Continuing Studies (NCS) at Seattle University.

This article was originally published in The Seattle Times on February 11, 2018. 

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  1. Great and helpful blog to everyone. Thanks a lot for sharing this amazing article.

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