What Does a Technologist Do?
Technology is the collective term for many discrete techniques, practices, processes, and systems used in the development of products or services or in achieving goals, including scientific experimentation. Technological change is a dynamic discipline with significant social, economic, cultural, and political implications. Technological change usually involves a radical restructuring of industrial, commercial, and organizational structures, as well as a reorganization of knowledge and information systems.
Technologists are involved in research and development at every stage of the product or service development process. They use state-of-the-art techniques and computer programs to design, develop, evaluate, test, optimize, maintain, or improve products and services. Technologists are responsible for managing the technology roadmap and ensuring that investments are made in research and development for new products and services. They may be managers, producers, suppliers, or distributors.
Technologists should have strong interpersonal skills and be able to apply scientific knowledge in a variety of work settings. A bachelor’s degree in a program including computer science, engineering, software science, math, physics, or chemistry is usually necessary for most technologists. Most technologists start out as line engineers, obtaining an early career training in one of several computer intensive fields such as microprocessor programming, numerical analysis, software design, or computer systems. As technologists advance through the ranks, they gain experience and knowledge in other areas as well. Some engineers become trainers, consultants, or administrators.
The scope of technological knowledge varies widely and is subject to constant change. Technologists can be involved in a wide variety of activities. In the manufacturing area, they can be involved in all aspects of production, from designing the products to placing them in production. In the service area, they may focus on a specific business unit, such as human resources, marketing, accounting, or production and warehousing. Technologists can also find employment outside of the manufacturing or service fields. Many technologists begin their careers as consultants.
Many graduates will find that their technical skills are in strong demand by a variety of employers. A good technologist should be able to perform a wide range of functions. Graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in computer science, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering should have no trouble finding a position in most cities. Salaries vary according to location and experience, but some jobs pay more than a hundred dollars per hour. Technologists who obtain additional education generally advance to management positions and receive raises and promotions as their career progresses.
There are a number of colleges and universities that offer bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees in a range of computer-related fields. These programs will prepare graduates for a wide range of positions, many of which will involve working with the general public. Graduates may be able to find work as instructors in various community colleges or vocational-technical schools, or they may pursue higher-level positions in various fields such as software development, networking, or information technology. Once a technologist has their foot in the door, there are many opportunities for advancement; available positions usually include project managers, consultants, designers, maintenance workers, programmers, and others.