The College of Undecided

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I am in my third semester of college and have still not decided on a major. Everyone keeps pressuring me to decide, but my interests vary. I don’t want to end up like my parents, who hate what they do and complain about work all the time. I love writing, enjoy philosophy, but I am also a technology person. I love working with computers, and I do understand that this area has a higher demand regarding jobs and earnings. I am obviously leaning this way; however, technology has so many areas. What areas do you see growing and maintaining demand in the next decades?


This predicament is understandable. You are currently enrolled in the biggest college program in the world: The College of Undecided. No worries though, you are not alone.Between 20 to 50 percent of college student enrolled in classes as undecided, and about 75% of students will end up changing majors at least once– and in many cases, several times. Trust us; we understand. Selecting a major is the most important college decision that you will make, and this decision will impact your life. The goal is to select something that will feel like a hobby and pay like an investment.


Technology is always going to be a growing field as humans look to improve everything in a way that is faster, more efficient, and more cost-effective. Whether it is the development of the wheel or the creation of the International Space Station, technology is always advancing society. Areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Software Development, Information Technology (IT) Security, and Network Security, or even medical technology jobs like dna testing in New York, are fields with growing demand. Some of the fields, such as Software Development, currently have more demand than qualified personnel. The trick is to find a field of technology where your specific skill set is an asset.


IBM’s Watson changed the way that businesses view AI. Watson, named after IBM’s founder, is the computer system that beat humans in the game of Jeopardy several years ago. However, the revolutionary aspect that has made AI possible was the development of Machine Learning, the concept that with enough examples, a machine can recognize patterns and learn. This integration led to a massive leap in the technology. Along with the development of distributed and cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence went from something that was seen in movies and read in books to business systems that could solve complex problems. More importantly, the technology is now accessible to companies, and every industry uses it in some manner. This field is still in its infancy and has countless opportunities for growth, development, and implementation.


Software development is another area of growth in the field of technology. According to theBureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for software developers in 2017 was $103,560.00 and had a demand of 1,256,200 jobs with a 24% increase from the previous year. Today, computer programmers are more specialized, as the field is divided between types of programs such as desktop applications, client-server systems, phone and tablet apps, web development, and others. Each has a set of programming languages that programmers use to interpret, express, and deliver ideas that solve problems. Additionally, the industry has requirements that encourage programmers to develop skill sets specifically tied to said field. This industry, although more mature than AI or other fields within technology, also has more potential for continual growth. It is difficult, if not impossible, for hardware and systems to function or collaborate without some software written specifically for that hardware or system.


Collaborative technologies are another field of interest in the realm of technology. The reason is that the development and continual improvement in communications technologies are allowing companies and individuals to consider concepts such as telecommuting, distance learning, and freelancing, among others. This provides individuals with the opportunity to replace their office, university, or workspace with a laptop and an internet connection. Companies can also save a lot of money by eliminating costly infrastructure. However, to do this, organizations and users must incorporate collaborative technologies such as video conferencing. This area still has many opportunities for development and innovation.


Identity theft continues to be a threat to everyone. According to a 2018 Harris Poll, about 60 million people have had their identities stolen. The growing access to data and identifiable information compounds the problem in which hackers target companies with weak or exploitable security and steal such information. Countless news outlets include reports on big organizations that were hacked and had information compromised. This list includes reputable companies like Sony, Target, Facebook, and others. Therefore, businesses are always eager to hire specialists incyber security who can implement protocols to protect their customers’ information and maintain their reputation.


These areas of technology also create a demand for individuals who specialize in managing and maintaining systems and technology. Newer hardware innovations are always in high demand. For example, the innovation of 3D printers has created a need for3D printing service and management of those services. Other technologies follow similar patterns. Therefore, the business industry will also require highly qualified personnel for managing systems such as servers, computer networks, business applications, manufacturing equipment, and other high-tech machines.


Technology creates new types of industry within traditional arenas. For example, marketing specialists must also be able to understand how e-marketing functions. These professionals must adapt to the concepts of Facebook Marketing, Instagram Selling, and Google AdWords so that campaigns target the new way that consumers review and purchase products. For example, they must understand the difference between selling a jam monster product online and an e-commerce workflow. The process of developing and managing technology also creates group work and this further increases the type of jobs available in the sector. For example, companies that manage technology of some sort often require project managers and executives. These are positions that are also in demand and are high-paying.


And technology is being used in the most unlikely of circumstances. Take casino culture, for instance. Casinos are beginning to implement virtual reality games, management software, and big data to analyze gambling trends and increase their profit margins. Visitors who travel to North Bend, OR to hit up the Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park may find themselves playing games more akin to a video game console experience than a classic slot machine–all thanks to new software developments.


Selecting a career is not a task that you should take lightly. We applaud you for taking the time and energy and really thinking about your options. Luckily, technology is an industry that has a wide variety of jobs that can fit a range of personalities–and if you find yourself wanting to expand your skills in the future, or if you find that your field is rapidly evolving, you can always go back and take accredited online degree programs in a technology field. From an artistic graphic designer to detail-oriented systems engineers, technology is an industry that is high-paying, in demand, and exciting!


“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.” — Alan Kay