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Online STEM Qualifications That Can Pave the Way for a Career in Technology

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For many people a job in the technology industry is the promised land. Jobs in tech pay high, offer avenues in which to innovate and are often challenging or exiting. The tech industry is a huge employer. In the United States alone, 12.1 million people were employed in the industry in 2019. That figure does not necessarily mean that the tech industry is easy to break into. Employers in the tech industry can take advantage of the fact that jobs in the sector are so desirable by having very high standards for their employees. Relevant qualifications and experience are an absolute must if you want to break through.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been left at a bit of a loose end in our career plans. It can feel very tempting to retrain and seek new qualifications. Unfortunately, attending a university in person or shadowing a tech worker closely is impossible in these viral times. Instead, many people are using their time at home to take courses online. Lots of prestigious universities have expanded their online teaching provisions to meet the increased demand caused by the pandemic. STEM courses are a great way to get a start in the tech industry. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects naturally help students learn how they might innovate and work in tech after their studies are complete.

What follows is a brief guide to some of the STEM subjects you can study online. There are myriad STEM subjects, but these are the specializations most suited to a person wanting to go down a tech industry career path.

Data Science

There are plenty of online data science masters courses, and they set students up well for one of the most in demand jobs in tech: the data scientist role. Harvard University named data science work as the ‘sexiest job’ in the 21st century. This may or may not have been a complex joke. What is certain, however, is that data scientists are in demand in the tech industry because they are indispensable to marketing, business strategy and product development.

We live in the information age. People are producing data more than ever before – generating terabytes of information as they surf the web and work online. It is the data scientist’s job to use scientific principles to create models for harvesting and analyzing this data. An innovative and rigorous data scientist is worth their weight in gold to a tech firm looking to grow.

Electronics

Imagining a technology industry without electronics specialists is remarkably hard. Almost all recent developments in technology rely upon electronic power and componentry. Technology is simply synonymous with electricity. Online courses in electronics range from introductory Diplomas to specialist Doctorates. A great deal of emphasis is being placed on research into efficient and environmentally friendly batteries at the moment. Of special note is the research going into batteries for electric vehicles. One of the problems with historic electric vehicles is their lack of range and the time it takes to charge their power packs. Recent research in the field of electronics has yielded some great results: batteries that can power electric vehicles for longer and charge in around 5 minutes.

Working on the electronics side of tech you will be at the cutting edge of environmentally important projects. You will also be absolutely indispensable. Innovators in electronics technology literally have the power to change the world, and they change the world with power!

Mechanical Engineering

Sure, tech companies employ lots of coding and data science staff, but they also need mechanical engineers in order to actually produce things that work. Mechanical engineering correspondence courses can set up a STEM graduate for important and fruitful work in the tech industry.

It is the job of a mechanical engineer to make sure that designs will actually stand up to the rigors of use. Using scientific principles, a mechanical engineer will be able to audit and experiment with ideas put forward by design staff. Many mechanical engineers are fully integrated into design teams at technology firms. Taking a mechanical engineering course online is usually only worthwhile if you have existing mathematics or physics knowledge in either a professional or academic context.

Engineering Management

Engineering managers are essentially the project managers of the technology world. They combine an acute knowledge of scientific and design principles with business and management acumen.

Engineering managers are often elevated to very senior positions in a technology firm because they have the ability to make or break a project. Online courses in engineering management are taken at postgraduate level: you’ll need business or engineering experience before you can take this step.

Engineering managers are valued very highly in part because they bridge the gap between the technical and business sides of a company. They are often considered to be key communicators between otherwise disparate ends of an organization.

Robotics

Robotics is an interdisciplinary field that combines computer science, mechanical engineering and design to create physical and theoretical robots. Robots are not just science fiction droids – they have real (and expanding) functions within modern society. Robotics courses online focus on teaching the applied mathematics and engineering skills needed to produce and understand the mechanical helpers, healers and workers that make up the euphemistic robot community. There are also complex scientific ethics that need to be carefully studied before a person enters a robotics career.

Computer Science

An online postgraduate degree in computer science can help set you up as a crucial worker in the tech industry. Almost all aspects of tech development rely upon the innovative use of computer systems.

Not only that, but computer science has some surprising applications. Use of computer science principles in technological innovation is driving developments in everything from healthcare to education. The development of neural network machine learning and useful AI technology is rooted in computer science innovation. Computer scientists seem to find their way into every corner of tech – from research and development to marketing.

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