Computing in 2020: Why now is the time to get into the industry
More and more, our daily lives are spent in the virtual world. We talk with friends and family online, we find our news on the internet and much of our spare time is used gaming or streaming videos. A recent study showed that in 2019, internet users spent an average of six hours and 42 minutes online a day. That’s over 100 days a year.
But who builds this virtual world? In the same way that we need architects, engineers and construction workers to shape the physical space around us, as our lives move online, people with skills in computing become increasingly in demand as builders of the virtual world.
The industry is so vast and varied that a career in computing could mean anything from programing artificial intelligence to designing video games. However, a degree in computing offers a great foundation of the necessary skills to work in this exciting and ever-evolving industry.
Understanding how computers work and learning to apply this knowledge creatively is at the heart of a degree in computing. This is key for a number of different fields such as:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI plays a huge part in our lives, in ways that we often don’t even notice. Teaching machines to learn human responses has a number of incredible applications, making systems faster, more streamlined and more suited to a user’s needs. For example, huge innovations are taking place in healthcare with AI. Using AI-assisted robots in surgery helps reduce human error in very complex procedures. Recent studies have also shown that deep-learning algorithms are often better at detecting cancers than humans.
Professionals working in AI are typically great problem solvers and creative thinkers who are constantly looking to the future. Sabine Hauert, the co-founder of Robohub predicts that ‘Robots are not going to replace humans, they are going to make their jobs more humane. Difficult, demeaning, demanding, dangerous, dull – these are the jobs the robots will be taking’.
Protecting the online safety of individuals and businesses has never been so important. A global increase in cyber-attacks and online criminal activity in 2020 means that cyber security experts are in high demand.
Cyber criminals are constantly finding new ways to hack, attack, spam, phish and con, making the job of cyber security professionals an ever-changing game. This adds huge variety to careers in cyber security. Take ethical hacking, for example. Ethical hackers find holes in the online security used by businesses, helping them identify how to improve their systems. Keeping one step ahead of criminal hackers means that ethical hackers must be fast learners with a lot of perseverance.
Entertainment is one of the most important ways that computers enhance our everyday lives, making video game development one of the most competitive career paths in computing. This said, there is room for software developers, designers, technical support specialists and more in game design.
Coding skills are also highly valuable in this industry, as well as being highly creative and of course, having a passion for gaming.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
Light switches and air-con that can be controlled using a phone are common sights today. They are all part of the Internet of Things, the digitally connected universe that makes everyday objects ‘smart’. In a ‘smart home’, ordinary household objects are connected to a central hub, such as an Alexa or Google Nest, making daily tasks and functions faster.
But it’s not just the home that we can find the IoT. Entire cities are being repurposed with sensors and ‘smart’ systems, making them safer, more cost efficient and carbon neutral. The Republic of Singapore is on its way to becoming the world’s first smart nation. The city is now equipped with sensors to detect people littering and smoking in smoke-free zones.
This industry is expanding rapidly. The global demand for our devices, homes and cities to work more efficiently and intelligently means that innovators in IoT are highly sought after.
These are just a few examples of the exciting career paths that a degree in computing can lead to. Many graduates also go on to work in digital forensics, big data, social computing and finance.
The world needs more computing graduates
Many countries worldwide have a digital skills deficit, meaning there is a shortage of people with the skills needed in our technologically developing world.
This is good news for graduates in computing. With digital skills in such high demand, careers in computing are often well paid. A recent study from the DCMS found that roles requiring digital skills paid almost one third more.
The digital skills gap also means that there is a wide range of rewarding opportunities for computing graduates all over the world.
If you’re considering a degree in computing, or just want to find out more, you can learn more here.