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10 Hot Computer Driven Careers

posted Jul 30, 2009, 7:54 AM by TexasTechies .org   [ updated Jul 30, 2009, 7:58 AM ]
When someone mentions "hot careers", what do you think of? If something in the IT (Information Technology) field pops into mind, that's not surprising. The U.S. Dept of Labor (DoL) and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between them, seem to indicate that the top ten fastest growing, high-demand careers between 2000-2014 show a significant number of IT-related jobs.

But many people go into computer science, get a degree, then realize that they don't really want a traditional computer job as a business programmer, network administrator, database administrator, analyst, tech support person and so on.

These traditional IT careers will probably stay in-demand for the foreseeable future, but don't forget the alternatives. There are many enjoyable and high-demand applied careers that involve computer skills. And new and interesting variations of computer jobs emerge every year.

Here are some of the hottest and most desirable computer-related careers. This list is partially based on the BLS Top 30 fastest growing careers and also with interviews of computer professionals.

Note: This list is not ordered by job ranking.

1. Environmental Simulations Developer
computer degrees, it programs With the worldwide interest in Global Warming - what with ex-Vice President Al Gore's movie and book, An Inconvenient Truth, and resulting awards - there'll be more opportunities for careers in this field. One role that'll play a significant part and involves computer programming skills is Environmental Simulations Developer. Such developers will both develop accurate environmental models and run short- and long-term simulations, and collect data (which will be analyzed by environmentalists). As climate change continues to grow in the public conscience, and as governments continue to take this issue seriously, the demand for climate and environmental simulations developers will continue to grow.

2. Video Game Developer. computer degrees, it programs With the continued expansion of the video game market into new demographics, especially with the introduction of the Wii, the video game industry continues to need solid game developers. In fact, there is evidence that video games will be entering new domains, such as the health and education industries, on much larger scales. And while video games might have their detractors, gaming has benefits: imparting therapy, teaching hand/eye coordination, planning and strategy, for starters. That said, demands for newer and more innovative video games will continue to grow. It remains to be seen how soon we'll get to holographic gaming, but video game developers and even video game testers will have plenty of opportunities.

3. Bioinformatics Simulations Modeling. Bioinformatics is an enormously important field that includes the study of genomes, gene sequencing, protein structures, etc., all of which help advance medical discoveries. In addition to scientific skills, bioinformatics requires skills in applied mathematics and modeling, computer science, and more. Bioinformatics is at the forefront of what many consider the most significant age of scientific discovery ever: unlocking the data in the genetic code could revolutionize the very fabric of life itself.

4. 3D Animation Technician. computer degrees, it programs The success of 3D animated movies such as The Incredibles and Beowulf require both creative and technical skills to use the necessary advanced animation systems that are sometimes hybridized with live action footage. Throw in the availability of free or inexpensive 3D applications such as POV-Ray, Bryce, Poser, Terragen and many more - not to mention high-end sytems - and there's lots of technical skills to learn.

Such technology is also used for TV shows and TV commercials, so related career opportunities will increase, given the demand for visual content.

5. Internet Entrepreneur. The Internet offers career opportunities never before available to college graduates. The chance to start and run your own online business is very real. Everything from developing software and web apps to consulting and web publishing are available those with passion. Entrepreneurs tend to be fairly sufficient and internally-driven. And with the new opportunities available online now and in the future, people with both entrepreneurial minds and the necessary website management skills will be in high demand from online publishers and Internet marketers. The more technical skills, the better, including an understanding of how to leverage web services/ applications. For example, the ability to use web tools like Yahoo Pipes to build RSS Radars, custom search engines and data filtering tools could come in very handy in scoping out and developing online opportunities.

6. Medical Modeling Systems Developer and Technician. Health is of course an immensely important market, what with the Baby Boomer generation being both an collective economic powerhouse and growing older, thus interested in health. Advances in medical technology means that future nurses will need increasingly more technical skills. As well, even peripherally-related health products such as hearing aids have to be designed both for function and style. This requires and understanding of the human body, not to mention advanced computer systems to model new technology.

7. Digital Film Production Assistant and Technician Thanks to Internet TV software such as Joost and Babelgum, many dozens of video sharing sites, and of course the traditional film and TV industry - including Pay Per View and Cable - demand for video content will simply grow. While actual reel film might have its advantages and still be in use, post production-wise the trend is digital - both for movies and TV - using sophisticated computer systems that require a specialized training to use. Add to this the pending widespread use of HDTV (High-Def) broadcasting, and the distribution of content online, and additional technical careers will no doubt be available to be filled.

8. Website Network Manager / Administrator. computer degrees, it programs Magazine writers don't have to know the technical details of keeping a print publication afloat. So why should writers in an online publishing network be expected to know all the admin and technical details of managing a site, even if it is CMS? With the growing number of website and blog networks, the need for people with technical skills to maintain the networks will grow as well.

The ideal person will understand how to install CMS platforms such as WordPress and Drupal, maintain domain registrations, manage the content databases and backups, monitor hosting, and move servers if necessary. They might also need to know how to tweak website themes, create plugins, etc. Management skills might also be a requirement.

9. Training Software Developer. Training and self-help solutions are one of the biggest industries in the modern economy. There are abundant career opportunities for developing more advanced and effective teaching software.

Did you know that such a revolutionary technology as the World Wide Web was originally created as an advanced learning tool? Ask Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who is credited with the creation of the World Wide Web, and you'll find that the intent was a means to share information worldwide. Extend that thought a moment and the Web is an ideal platform for advanced learning, what with the Internet as a delivery mechanism for all kinds of multimedia content, both textual and visual.

In addition to the tools themselves, there are huge opportunity for digital entrepreneurs in building a paid membership website that does a great job teaching some specific topic well. As such, there'll be an increased need for training software developers, as well as people who can setup membership sites integrated with an automated subscription payment service such as PayPal.

10. Visual and Audio Content Producers. The greatest growth in online content over the next decade will be in Video and Audio. From viral video production to visual tutorial content producers, the major differentiating factor for online businesses is going to be their ability to create compelling visual and audio content. Familiarity with high-level codes like Action Script and the ability to use video screen capture software such as Camtasia Studio and web-based embeddable video distribution services such as Splashcast, will be very marketable. In addition, the ability to storyboard tutorials and write text content increases your career opportunities, so don't neglect those English & Literature classes!