By the time you finish this article, the technology industry will be focused on the next big thing. Maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but speed and innovation is everything when it comes to computers, smartphones and other technology.
Earning a computer science degree can help advance your career, but many developers and programmers are finding that staying agile is another key to success.
In your courses, you'll learn about computer systems designs, user interfaces, development and programming and computer languages.
All of these topics are instrumental for a career in technology. However, you'll need to understand more than just the basics if you plan to stand out from the crowd. With your knowledge of computer principles and concepts, you can quickly learn about the newest advancements and make yourself more marketable.
Mobile app development and website development are the two biggest areas of technology, with no slow-down in sight. Knowing the most popular programming languages goes without saying, but keeping abreast of up-and-coming coding can give you a leg up.
- Java with CSS and HTML
Filling a Gap
The technology field is competitive and you'll be up against plenty of other job candidates who know the same programming languages as you. How do you stand out? Find out what companies lack in their mobile and web strategy, and learn the necessary skills. Native apps and responsive web design are two concepts dominating the field right now. Businesses need both, but don't necessarily have them.
Developers who have a strong background creating native apps for big platforms, such as Apple and Android, are in big demand. Although native apps have been around for a little while, not everyone embraced them right away. For example, huge companies like Facebook didn't initially start out with a native app.
As apps become increasingly popular and require regular updating, developers with mobile app skills are likely to see more opportunity.
Responsive Web Design
Users have little patience for websites that aren't compatible with the device they're using, whether it's a smartphone, tablet or laptop computer. Here's a great example of when being agile can help your career.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a fairly new concept—first mentioned in 2010—and hasn't been adopted by all sites. Multiple platforms and devices have created a demand for developers who can design sites that offer optimal viewing on any device. In other words, it's quickly becoming a requirement. Even Google recommends using it.
As this trend grows, more companies will need developers who understand RWD. Learning it now can give you a head start.
Understanding Marketing and Revenue Goals
The need for mobile app programming and RWD has certainly opened up opportunities for those working in technology, but there's more to consider.
Staying agile in your field now means understanding how a business works and what a company's revenue goals are. An IT professional with a marketing background is rare, but companies will look for employees who have more than one talent. If you have a solid understanding of how technology and business intersect, you're providing an added service to your employer.
RWD is a good example of mixing technology and business. Analyzing a company's web traffic and identifying where abandonment happens is the first step toward adjusting a site's design and improving business.
Today's technology requires workers to keep learning. Holding a computer science degree will get you off to a good start, but knowing—and adapting to—what's popular and in-demand will help you get ahead.