Today’s scientists and innovators are blurring the line between technology and science fiction, and ambitious, career-focused individuals are scrambling to prepare themselves for the best jobs in tomorrow’s high-tech workforce. As technically advanced industries, services, and capabilities expand in size and sophistication, exciting new jobs are being created in fascinating – and lucrative – fields.
Investing in a technology education, like one offered through a next-generation online educator, will open big windows of opportunity.
Let’s take a look at five high-tech careers that will be in-demand in the next ten years. These jobs focus on developing, implementing, and operating complex technological systems such as computer hardware, software, and applications, or are concentrated in burgeoning new fields like nuclear medicine and nanotechnology.
Computer Hardware Engineers: Like other electronic engineers, computer hardware engineers research, design, develop, test and install electronic circuits and components found exclusively in computers. These engineers are responsible for building a computer’s platform and for ensuring that its hardware – including circuit boards, computer chips, keyboards, modems, and the like – are working correctly. Because these specialists are highly desired, salaries for computer hardware engineers are extremely competitive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average annual salaries in this industry start at $100,180, with the top 10 percent earning $150,000 per year.
Computer Software Engineers: Often working closely with computer hardware engineers, computer software engineers design, develop, implement and test the software programs that put the hardware to work – the software on which thousands of businesses and organizations rely. Like computer hardware engineers, software engineers earn competitive salaries. Average annual salaries for these positions approach $97,000, with the top 10 percent of software engineers making $140,000, according to the BLS.
Mobile Applications Developers: Our cell phones are becoming our computers. With the explosion of smart phones, professional developers of mobile applications are in high demand. These specialized technology professionals design, develop and test the applications on smart phones and other mobile platforms. Other common tasks include ensuring synchronization capabilities and developing device-specific applications and systems. Because the field is so new, the BLS doesn’t provide salary information for mobile applications developers. But software developers who work specifically with software applications, similar to mobile applications, earn average annual salaries of $90,000. Top software application developers command annual salaries starting at $130,000, according to the BLS.
Nuclear Medicine Technologists: Synthesizing medical knowledge and advanced technological aptitude, nuclear medicine technologists administer radiopharmaceuticals to patients. These specialists then monitor characteristics of the drug in the patient’s tissues or organs and operate cameras, scanning devices and other medical imaging devices to produce images for physicians to interpret. The demand for qualified nuclear technologists, especially those with diverse diagnostic backgrounds, will grow as quickly as the rapidly developing field of nuclear medicine is. According to the BLS, nuclear medicine technologists earn average salaries of $68,450. The top 10 percent of these professionals, which includes technologists trained in multiple diagnostic systems, earn $90,000 or more per year.
Nanotechnologists: As one of the sciences with the most potential for drastically changing society, nanotechnology combines scientific advances, molecular and chemical engineering, and micro-computing. Engineers in this field study, develop and test nanomachines with spectacular practical applications like providing a more effective and less damaging way to administer chemotherapy, on a molecular level. The BLS doesn’t provide specific statistics on salaries for nanotechnologists, but the chemical engineers who often work in nanotechnology earn average salaries of almost $92,000. The top 10 percent of chemical engineers earn $132,980 per year, according to the BLS.
To prepare for a position in one of the five most in-demand technology careers, experts suggest pursuing an initial degree in science, math, engineering or technology. This foundation will serve as a strong background when you’re ready to enter the constantly expanding technology field.
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