If you’re interested in obtaining computer-related employment, welcome to a relatively “hot” job market.
The demand for computer professionals in government and industry has been booming over the past 10 to 15 years, and this general trend is expected to continue well into the 1990s.
Both the increasing dependence of organizations on computing and communications technologies and the rapid proliferation of technology products in the marketplace have created more opportunities for computer-related careers than ever before.
The explosive demand for computer professionals has been accompanied by an unusually acute shortage of qualified people, a trend that is also expected to persist for some time. A major cause of this shortage is the dwindling supply of teachers in the field.
Because graduates of computer fields can earn almost as much as their processors as soon as they graduate many would-be instructors are lured away by high-paying jobs in government and industry.
Without teachers, colleges and universities are hard-pressed to expand their academic programs to meet the growing demand. Also, schools find computer curricula particularly expensive to maintain.
They must pay top salaries for good teachers and continually acquire costly hardware and software. When academic budgets are being cut, as is often the case today, this need is difficult to fulfill.
Thus, a degree in a computer field (if you get into a program) will probably land you several job offers and a good starting salary if your grades are high enough. But beware. Being a computer professional is not for everyone.
If you have neither an aptitude nor an interest in computers- a field that involves grasping a relatively large number of technical concepts- you’d better try your hand at something else.
As in other fields, high salaries generally are earned only by people with talent and dedication, and often only after many years of hard work.
One of the many myths that has propagated in the computer field is that virtually anyone can become a millionaire or be president of his or her own company before age 30, as did many of the founders of the microcomputer revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, actually, nothing could be further from the truth.
Nonetheless, with the right ingredients for success- talent, hard work, patience, and a game plan- who knows? As hinted earlier, the opportunities are plentiful.
We’ll begin this chapter by looking at some of the jobs and careers possible in the computer field. Next we’ll cover the various educational paths to follow to prepare for entry-level jobs.
Finally, we’ll discuss finding a job and ways to maintain professional skills and develop new ones.