The “T” in STEM is for technology. Like all the fields in the STEM industry, technology professionals are in high demand now, and will continue as predicted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics out to at least 2028. Many of today’s veterans have experience working with computers, as much of the military equipment today is computerized.
Many of these same veterans either had or still have a valid security clearance making them in high demand for companies requiring employees in these career field to have a clearance; these two factors make it one of the easier fields for veterans to enter. But usually computer experience and a security clearance alone are not enough. For many of these career fields a degree is also required.
Military members can and should use Tuition Assistance and Top-Up to get their required degree while still serving; veterans can use their G.I. Bill to get their required education. While most of these careers listed here require at least a bachelor’s degree, two of them only require an associate degree.
This can get one into the field and gaining experience, while pursuing the last two years for a bachelor’s degree at a later date. This positions one for more technologically advanced (and higher paying) career field jobs in the future.
Because of the type of work done in the technology field, a very specific type of person makes the best candidate for this type of work. The person should be:
- Very detail-oriented
- Have better than average deductive reasoning
- Be a critical thinker
- Good at analyzing data and information
- Results oriented
If you are all these things and would like a career in the technology field, here is a variety of five great careers to choose from:
- Information Security Analyst
- Software Developer
- Web Developer
- IT Manager
- Computer Support Specialist
Let’s look at each one in more detail:
Information Security Analyst
– Median Pay: $98,350
– Degree Required: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information assurance or cybersecurity
People working in this field are the virtual security guards of information systems. They plan and carry out security measures designed to protect a company’s computer networks and systems and deter hacking. In a world of increasing cybersecurity threats, a part of this job today is creating a disaster recovery plan on how a company is going to restore their computer networks and systems after a cyber-attack.
Besides the above education requirement, some companies may also require an MBA in information systems depending on the level of the position.
– Median Pay: $105,590
– Degree Required: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering
This computer career came in as #1 on three of the U.S. News and Job Report’s recent ranking lists: 100 Best Jobs, Best STEM Jobs and Best Technology Jobs. People working in this career field as the ones behind the applications and programs found on computers and smartphones. However, not all of their job is creating new apps and programs. They also create updates for existing programs to keep them up-to-date or they may debug software that is experiencing issues. Besides working in the computer-specific industry, this career is also frequently found in large quantities in the manufacturing and finance industries.
– Median Pay: $69,430
– Degree Required: Associate degree in web design/bachelor’s degree in computer programming
At a cursory view, one would assume web developers design and create websites (which they do). But it goes much deeper. What goes into getting a fully functional website that puts a client or company in its best light is not simple. Web developers are the ones that bring a vision of what the client thinks the website should look like to actual fruition. Some developers work on the back end doing the basic construction of the site. Others work the front-end and are responsible how the website looks online. Still others work as webmasters and maintain and update existing websites.
A web developer can work for a company itself, a company that sells a web design services, or operate their own business designing websites and selling maintenance services to clients.
– Median Pay: $142,530
– Degree Required: Bachelor’s degree in computer or information science/ MBA
In this career, IT managers coordinate with company executives in the planning and upgrades of existing hardware and software. They can also negotiate with vendors for SAAS (Software as a Service) products and maintenance. They can also be responsible for installing or upgrading a company or client’s new computer or existing computer systems, respectively. While IT managers are found in most of the career industries, one that is projected to grow rapidly in the near future is healthcare due to the increasing aging population requiring more medical attention.
Computer Support Specialist
– Median Pay: $53,470
– Degree Required: Associate degree in computer-related field/Certification may also be required
For those with great communication skills, this can be a great career. If you have ever worked with a help desk online, most likely the person on the other end was a computer support specialist. From emails to live chats and phone calls, computer support specialists are on the frontlines to help resolve problems that employees, users or clients are experiencing. Computer support specialists are usually well versed in a number of hardware and software areas; many times they can remotely access a computer to make a fix. Other times they can walk the user through the steps necessary to correct an issue.
Technology majors can expect great salaries, and opportunities for training and advancement as this STEM field continues to evolve and grow. If you like working with computers and networks, and want to be on the cutting edge of new emerging technology, then don’t overlook any of these hot, in-demand technology careers.