Technology Career Advice

Technology Jobs on the Rise

Monday, August 30, 2010; 10:45 AM

In the market for a career that offers plenty of job growth? Think technology. According to the U.S. Department of Labor's predictions for the fastest-growing careers, technology¿in any number of forms¿is almost a sure bet.

Computer-related jobs are especially high on the Department's list. "In the Information Technology sector, we have seen a significant growth in information security," explains Edward Wilde, Director of Talent and Learning for Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT, Inc.) in Greenbelt, Maryland.. "Companies need to stay in front of the hackers and protect their data, so this will most likely continue to be a growth area."

Among the IT jobs most in demand, according to the Department of Labor, are computer software engineers; computer support specialists; network and computer systems administrators; data communications analysts; desktop publishers; database administrators; computer systems analysts; medical records and health information technicians; computer and information systems managers; and computer and information scientists and researchers.

From a career outlook perspective, engineering also looks to have a rosy future. According to Wilde, there is a lot of growth in systems engineering, especially in the government contracting world. "Having people with the ability to understand how systems work and how they work together is becoming more and more important as the number of systems continue to grow," Wilde says.

Another aspect of engineering¿biomedical engineering, which develops the instruments and devices that advance the practice of medicine¿is reported by the Department of Labor to enjoy a predicted 72 percent growth rate between now and 2018.

Another up-and-coming technology occupation that combines computers and

healthcare--another of the Department of Labor's hot button fields for the coming decade--is nursing informatics. "Health care reform and advances in technology have propelled the need for trained informaticists in health care to new heights," says Marisa L. Wilson, DNSc., MHSc., RN-BC, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Nursing. The 2009 federal stimulus package, for instance, targets millions of dollars of funding for informatics development and deployment. The package includes a goal of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) for every United States resident by 2014 in order to increase efficiency, decrease costs and medical errors, improve communication across providers and care settings, and to facilitate healthcare research.

"Combined with other healthcare reform efforts, these technology infusion activities have wide-scale transformational effects and have a huge impact on the Informatics workforce needs," says Wilson. "Nursing Informaticians, with their combined healthcare and informatics skill sets, are now in demand more than ever before."

According to Wilson, the University of Maryland School of Nursing's Division of Nursing Informatics receives daily requests from hospitals, ambulatory centers, home health corporations, national research companies, and policy organizations for its Masters and Doctoral Informatics students even before graduation. "This is a wonderful field for those who want to combine their clinical expertise with workflow redesign and computer

technology in an ever changing environment," she says.

Cybersecurity is yet another promising technology field. According to the Department of Labor, demand for computer security specialists will grow as businesses and government invest more heavily in cybersecurity, in order to protect vital computer networks and electronic infrastructures from attack.

To underscore the importance of this growing field, President Obama recently announced the hiring of a cybersecurity coordinator and emphasized that cybersecurity is one of our country's most urgent national security priorities.

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