Computer Hardware Careers Outlook
Although the U.S. Department of Labor predicts an overall decline of 7 percent in employment opportunities in the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry, employment opportunities for some positions are still largely good, especially among professional and related occupations. The Department of Labor predicts that three of the 10 fastest growing jobs from 2004 to 2014 will be computer-related.
The computer hardware industry is boosted by several key factors. The Internet continues to provide faster ways to obtain more information, attracting many new computer users. New computer peripherals, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), use advanced microchip technology that requires the work of qualified computer professionals. Computer networking is expanding into all fields of business, creating opportunities for systems analysts. The power of semiconductors, integrated circuits in particular, is important outside of the computer industry. These electronic components give power to aircraft navigational systems as well as electronic consumer goods, such as cellular phones, toys, and refrigerators. Also, computer professionals who can translate technolingo into layperson’s terms (for example, technical writers and computer support specialists) will be in high demand.
However, though many opportunities within the industry exist, expect competition for these jobs to stay fierce. A degree in computer science or electrical engineering is a prerequisite for most companies, though nonscience degree holders may be considered if they have ample computer training or practical experience along with various computer courses. Management opportunities favor those with advanced degrees in computer science, computer engineering, management information systems (MIS), or an MBA. Certification is also becoming more important in this industry, as employers seek to hire the best-educated and most qualified candidates from a growing pool of applicants. Along with having strong programming and analytical skills, successful industry workers should be excellent communicators and quick thinkers. They should also have good business sense.
In the past, industry giants were located only in California’s Silicon Valley or the San Francisco Bay area. Up-and-coming computer hardware companies are now established throughout the United States in states including Texas, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Idaho. Major computer hardware companies include IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Intel, and Dell.
Though the computer hardware industry is not immune to economic volatility or changes in profit margins, qualified computer workers with advanced education and certification will always be needed.
- Computer Hardware Career Field
- Computer Hardware Career Field Structure
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Careers in Computer Hardware:
- Computer-Aided Design Drafters and Technicians
- Computer and Electronics Sales Representatives
- Computer and Office Machine Service Technicians
- Computer Network Administrators
- Computer Programmers
- Computer Systems Programmer/Analysts
- Computer Trainers
- Data Entry Clerks
- Database Specialists
- Data Processing Technicians
- Desktop Publishing Specialists
- Graphic Designers
- Graphics Programmers
- Hardware Engineers
- Information Brokers
- Internet Developers
- Internet Security Specialists
- Microelectronics Technicians
- Quality Assurance Testers
- Semiconductor Technicians
- Software Designers
- Software Engineers
- Systems Setup Specialists
- Technical Support Specialists
- Technical Writers and Editors
- Webmaster Career
Related Career Fields:
Related Career Clusters:
- Information Technology Career Cluster
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Career Cluster