Technology and Design Careers

The field of technology and design offers those with technical and creative skills to apply their knowledge across a variety of exciting projects.

Those in this field may work one-on-one with customers helping them solve problems with their computers. Others, who prefer a more creative career, may take on roles creating marketing messages for ad campaigns or designing websites to help companies promote their brand. Individuals who prefer advanced technical, mathematical and engineering challenges will enjoy careers where they can apply their skills to infrastructure projects. Whatever the specific path chosen, the field of technology and design is one that offers diverse projects and new challenges every day.

Computer Support Technician

As master problem-solvers, computer support technicians help customers solve technology issues. They spend their day taking questions from customers over the phone, internet chat and email. No problem is too large for a computer support technician. From login issues to software glitches to failed hard drives, computer support technicians can handle just about anything. You can find these technical specialists in just about any industry, including healthcare, education and government.

The work environment for a computer support technician varies by industry. Some work in call-centers helping customers with general computer support issues. Others may work for large corporations helping customers with a product or service the company provides. Most of their work is done remotely and not directly with a customer. However, there may be instances where a computer support technician must visit a customer in-person. Providing computer support can be challenging, as technicians must be great listeners and have extreme patience in helping non-IT users resolve problems. Computer support technicians can offer help with network issues, while others may only provide user assistance.

As a back-end role, the network technicians work with network equipment such as routers, switches, and servers. There are no set education requirements to start a career in computer support. However, some training via a post-secondary education or vocational program is helpful in establishing the foundation necessary to succeed in the role. With technology ever evolving, the need for computer support specialists continues to grow. With a median salary of over $50,000, computer support technicians earn a respectable wage for some pretty diverse and challenging work.

Web Design

As more and more companies evolve to a web-based business model, the need for web designers is on the rise. Companies rely on web designers to create visually appealing and highly functional websites to promote their brand. Web designers play a crucial role in developing the overall look and feel for a site. They devise color schemes and decide which images and typeface to use to create an attractive site. Furthermore, web designers help ensure a positive experience on the website.

They create navigation menus and other design elements to help customers find what they need most efficiently. They also ensure the site is accessible to a variety of devices and users. Many web designers also play a more technical role in developing a website. By using programming languages such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS, they design custom plugins and other useful features for the website. Designers must be excellent communicators, as they often need to communicate the vision for their site to non-technical customers. They must also possess keen attention to detail to ensure that every aspect of the site meets expectations.

They also rely on problem-solving skills that help them to diagnose and respond to issues on the website quickly. Usually, some formal education is required to start a career in web design. Some designers choose to obtain a four-year degree, which gives them advanced training on all web design topics. Others prefer a certificate program that gives them the basic skills necessary to begin their journey. Many of these programs last anywhere from a few weeks to several months and helps new web designers better understand the role and teaches them how to use those tools effectively to create websites.

Graphic Design

Using a vast amount of creativity, graphic designers use their sense of design to create compelling marketing messages for a mass audience. They are visionaries who excel at taking a customer’s design requirements and bringing them to life. Designers create a wide variety of materials including website banners, ads or magazines, logos, billboards, and designs for retail packaging. They have a strong sense of what motivates customers to action and use that knowledge to create designs that compel them to take action.

Graphic artists work in a variety of industries. Some work for ad agencies creating marketing materials for the companies clients. Others work for large corporations as a part of the marketing department where they help create designs for ad campaigns and other materials to further the company brand. Some designers work as freelancers performing design work for their own clients. Freelancers work with a wide variety of clients from small businesses to large corporations. Although not required, a post-secondary degree gives graphic artists the foundation they need to tackle just about any design related project.

Through a degree program, they learn design principles, web design, printing techniques and a variety of other skills that make them well-rounded designers. The path to a web design career usually starts with an internship where the designer works under the direction of a more experienced designer to gain hands-on experience. Many of these internships turn into full-time employment opportunities. As more and more companies compete for customers, they will always need graphic designers to develop their marketing message. As such, the field is expected to grow over four percent through 2026.

Architectural Drafting

Architectural drafting is at the core of the infrastructure we rely on daily. Architectural drafters create the blueprints for bridges, roadways, buildings and more. These blueprints are detailed specifications that tell engineers how to build something. They have exact dimensions, materials required and the quantity of materials needed for the project. Drafters also use specialized design software to create a 3D model of the project. The software also allows them to make changes in real time so that as requirements change, the drafter can make the changes quickly so that the project can progress without delay.

Architectural drafters work in a wide variety of industries. Some work with local governments on urban development projects to design bridges, roadways and housing developments. Others may work for a construction company by developing blueprints for commercial buildings. Due to the highly technical nature of the job, most employers require a degree in architectural drafting. The coursework usually includes drafting basics, computer-aided design, and sketching. Drafters also take advanced level classes in math, computers and engineering. The need for electrical and mechanical drafters is on the rise. With technology continually evolving, there is an excellent opportunity for drafters with specialized technical skills and advanced knowledge of computer-aided design software.

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