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A high-tech future for IT graduates

Computing & ITIt’s hard to imagine, but many computing jobs did not even exist 20 years ago.

Web designer, systems analyst, database administrator… today, businesses and organisations around the world rely on computers and technology to make working life more efficient and more secure.

Radical advances in communications, entertainment and medical device technology have also changed people’s lives. Where would we be without SMS, the internet or ultrasound machines?

There is no doubt that the number of computer and IT jobs are expected to keep on increasing, no matter where in the world you want to work.

In the US, less than half the number of new computer professionals needed by businesses actually have the right qualifications. According to a 2006 CNN Money Magazine report, the best job in America for salary and opportunities was software engineering – ahead of finance, law and medicine.

So, it’s well paid and there’s plenty of work out there. But how do you know which IT course is right for you?

Are you creative enough to think beyond the obvious? Could you design the next iPod? You need to study Computer Engineering; learn how to design digital hardware and software, and you could be the brains behind the next generation of mobile phones, or life-saving surgery equipment.

Are you a champion problem-solver? Do you love the potential of new technology? A Computer Science degree might be perfect for you – it’s the basis of many types of computing careers, such as robotics and digital software that solves real-world problems.

Would you like to help businesses find better ways to get things done? Information Systems is often studied at business schools or combined with a business degree. You’ll be able to help organisations develop their management systems to become more efficient.

Do people ask you to help them with their website, or when they can’t work out where their file disappeared to? An Information Technology (IT) degree will give you the skills you need to make a career out of designing, supporting or troubleshooting technology – whether it’s web design or user support.

Are you more interested in creating software than hardware? Software Engineering helps you see the big picture in any new software development project – including games, internet widgets and big software packages.

You know you’ll love computing if you….

  • Are analytical and love solving complex problems
  • Pay attention to the smallest details
  • Have the creativity and imagination to think beyond the obvious
  • Are good at maths and science
  • Can work both independently and in a team
  • Can explain complex technical details in a way that someone with very limited computer knowledge (whether it’s your CEO or a new intern) will understand

A computing degree will give you the vital technical skills you need, such as programming and ways to build and manage software. This industry is constantly changing so it’s important to keep up-to-date by joining internet forums and reading articles online.

You should also look for practical work-experience too, such as an internship. If you graduate with great professional skills, such as the ability to communicate well and organise your work efficiently, you’ll be in even more demand.

IT study can be combined with other disciplines, such a science, medicine, business or law. In 2007, almost one-fifth of the world’s MBA students had an IT background – and this is where tomorrow’s computer entrepreneurs get their start-up credentials.

Chooi Guan Lim is a self-employed software engineer from Singapore. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) honours program at the University of Queensland in Australia.

He says; "I’ve been using computers for a very long time and have previously undertaken diplomas in multimedia and e-business. I could have delved into a multimedia degree but decided to take up IT instead for something different. 

I managed to get a full scholarship (and) I’m also employed by UQ as a research assistant and tutor. I write software to assist a senior psychology lecturer with her experiments and I provide practical advice and assistance to final-year IT students.

With my honours thesis, I’m doing a project related to digital narrative for children, which is multidisciplinary and not purely focused on computer science. My ultimate aim is to develop ways computers can be used to help people.”

Whatever you decide to study, you have the chance to really shape the future and help make our everyday life more exciting, or more efficient. And maybe you’ll even do both!

For more information on how you can find the right computing or IT course for you, talk with one of our student counsellors.

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