The Growing Career Field of Technology and Design

Technology and design careers are in demand now more than ever due to advancements in technology and the rise of consumer and organizational usage.

Numerous vocational careers in the fields of technology and design are expected to experience job growth from 2016 to 2026. This career field requires an array of different computer skills, including knowledge and experience with different software programs. Universities, technical colleges and other educational institutions have courses and certification programs available in order for students to acquire the necessary skills and experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2017, the median annual wage for the careers listed below are the following:

  • Computer support technician careers – $50,210
  • Web developing careers – $67,990
  • Architectural drafting careers – $52,870
  • Graphic designing careers – $48,700

Computer Support Careers

Computer network support technicians, also referred to as a technical support specialists, analyze and evaluate computer networking problems and errors. Part of their job description includes routine and planned upkeep of a company’s network along with solving information technology (IT) problems properly and efficiently.

A computer user support technician or help-desk technician provides technical assistance to consumers. Typically, he or she will be employed by a software company or a support service firm that assists in providing helpful instructions to an array of different clients and customers. Computer user support technicians usually operate in call centers and answer technical questions. Often, they also provide general walkthroughs for fixing home appliances or re-establishing network connections.

At a minimum, the position typically requires a high school diploma. However, employers usually prefer an individual with an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer engineering. The individual must have familiarity with advanced computer skills and understand how to troubleshoot common problems.

Troubleshooting is the systematic method of identifying problems and correcting situations involving advanced machinery, electronic devices or software programs. Efficient communication skills are also required for the position because of the amount of interaction between clients, peers and supervisors through numerous channels.

Web Design Careers

Web designers and developers create websites and applications that follow the instructions and needs of a client or a company. They ensure that the product is visually appealing while creating the site or application by utilizing multimedia content, including audio, graphics and videos.

Along with these tasks, web designers maintain and manage the site to ensure that everything is operating efficiently and correctly. In recent years, it has become essential for web developers to understand code and design sites that are compatible with mobile devices.

These professionals oversee what applications and multimedia content will be appropriate and best suited for an application. They must also collaborate with clients or management to discuss the different needs and the design of the site.

Typically, employers require candidates to possess at least an associate’s degree in web design. However, most web developers will have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar area of concentration. Along with these educational qualifications, employers require web developers to have extensive experience in graphic design since they will be involved in the visual appearance and appeal of the website.

Familiarity with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), JavaScript, code and other multimedia publishing applications is often required by employers. Employers also expect web developers to keep up with new applications and different coding languages.

Architectural Drafting Careers

Architectural drafters create and design architectural and structural blueprints of different buildings and landscapes for construction companies. They develop blueprints and construction plans for different projects using various computer-assisted design (CAD) systems.

Some architectural drafters concentrate in either residential or commercial construction, while others specialize in certain materials such as steel, reinforced concrete and wood. Architectural drafters recommend operational changes and technical designs to optimize efficiency and performance of the overall project. They also estimate the costs and resources needed for the completion of the job.

These drafters must possess knowledge and experience regarding different design programs and building designs to acquire a position in this field. More often than not, employers prefer a candidate who has earned a certification or bachelor’s degree within the field. Numerous community and technical colleges offer voluntary certification through the American Design Drafting Association (ADDA).

Certification renewal is required every five years. However, drafters who are employed for at least three years will automatically meet the renewal requirement. Architectural drafters must also possess the creative skills necessary to create technical drawings through blueprints and construction plans along with these qualifications.

Graphic Design Careers

Also known as graphic artists, graphic designers create visual concepts for clients or for art directors through the use of computer software or by hand. They are typically involved in projects where their responsibilities will involve creating the overall layout and design for advertisements, brochures, magazines, corporate reports and other numerous mediums.

Graphic designers create visuals such as a logos, original images and illustrations to assist in delivering a specific message from the hiring entity through the use of digital illustration, photo editing programs and layout software. Graphic designers utilize both text and images. They typically decide on the type of font, size, color, headings and other visual properties for a website or application. In many instances, graphic designers also specialize in a particular subcategory of the field to better appeal to specific clients and projects.

Those who employ graphic designers require candidates to possess a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a similar field. However, individuals with bachelor’s degrees in other fields can meet the necessary qualifications if they have technical training in graphic design.

The National Association of Schools of Art and Design endorses almost 350 postsecondary educational institutes with programs in art and design. The program includes studio art, principles of design, computerized design and other helpful courses. Employers require individuals to participate in formal software training programs to remain up to date with new computer graphics and design software.

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