A Technology Degree Vs. A Non-Technical Career Path
Let’s just say it: not going to college is easy.
The second easiest thing to do in life is following along with whatever happens to be right in front of you or where others lead you.
However, when we think about what we want out of life, how often does the word ‘easy’ come up? Aren’t we shooting for goals like ‘self-fulfilling’ or ‘helping others’ or ‘making a difference in the world’ or ‘dollar-dollar bills, y’all’? If that’s you, then let’s be honest. None of those goals are easy.
Getting to those goals will take hustle. Determination. Grit. The list goes on.
The pursuit of our goals ultimately, is—what? The pursuit of happiness. Happiness might look different from person to person, but isn’t it what we all strive for? Especially when making big decisions like what to major in or where to go to college?
If you have a lot of interests too, you’re probably questioning which ones you are most passionate about and which you could actually make a career out of. Can pursuing your interests alone allow you to accomplish those big life goals, though?
What if there was a way you could have it all?
You Don't Have To Have Your Entire Future Mapped Out Right Now
I think I’ll be happy as a gardener. And I don’t need a technology degree to be a gardener.
You’re absolutely right. But, what is it about being a gardener that inspires you? Is it getting your hands dirty and enjoying the delicious harvest of your hard work at lunchtime? Is it selling your beautiful flowers and organic swiss chard at a farmer’s market on the weekends? Or, perhaps it’s selecting the perfect rhododendron roseum elegans to go with the wisteria in your customer’s garden design?
If any of that sounds like something you’ll enjoy and have no problem making a living out of, by all means, go forth and pursue.
But YOU also have an interest in technology or you wouldn’t be reading this. Do you think you’re considering an “easier” path like gardening because you’re afraid of the unknown and it’s hard to picture your life after a technology degree?
Erin Ali is a UAT graduate and Lead Producer for Forza Motorsport at Turn 10 Studio who also worked with revolutionary gaming companies like Twitch, Blizzard Entertainment, and more. She explains, "I have spent my entire career finding who I am and what I want to do and should do. Please remember you don’t have to have it all figured out by the time you are interviewing for your first job in the industry.”
With how rapidly technology is advancing and as we've seen the demand for technology talent explode over the last two decades, we can assume that many careers of the future don't even exist yet. It's hard to visualize the future and try to make a concrete plan for what you think you'll enjoy doing when there will be so many new career opportunities, due to the ongoing rapid development of new technology.
Pursue Your Passion Through A Technology Degree
Some picture a technical career as being stuck inside, working at a gray cubicle staring at blue light all day, or in a dark dungeon-like server room, never seeing the outside—or, a plant.
What you may not be realizing is that you're not limited by a technology degree. With technology, you don't have to live life in a box. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. You have more options and control over your future with a technology degree. Technology is a tool that can apply to anything. It can take you anywhere, just as it has since mankind first started using "tools".
So, budding gardener, what if you applied what you learned at UAT and invented a next-generation, more efficient gardening system like hydroponics? Or, maybe you want to build a plant-health app with a sensor that detects problems like overwatering, pest infestations and malnutrition. Or, what if you joined a garden-focused technology development project to help feed millions in need across the globe?
Also, while you’re at UAT, you don’t have to focus on technology 24/7. You could join the Gardening Club, start your own club or help plan gardening events. You could also focus your projects, when applicable, around gardening innovation and technologies, or any of your other interests.
Or maybe you want to go into nursing or be a machinist or a carpenter or a chef or an artist. All of these are careers that many may find worthwhile and fulfilling, but they also have something else in common…
For all, you can make them better with a technology degree.
Without a doubt, you can eschew the tech and go full out with green thumbs into gardening, nursing, or any other non-technical field, but have you fully considered the option that’s less limiting?
Every modern career field requires not only today’s technology but tomorrow’s technology, too. So, it’s no surprise that the current emerging and top-ranked careers for aspects like satisfaction, salary, opportunities, and more (which are probably many of your life’s goals) are primarily based around technology.
And sure, a technology degree from UAT is an investment. But as John Hawley, UAT Alumnus and Sr. Informatics Analyst at Aetna states, “It will pay dividends later.”
A Degree in Technology That Comes With A White Hat
While many use their technical education to improve fields, making the technology of today better for tomorrow, others use them to fight crime. Literally.
We mustn’t forget about the bad guys who are out there, too. “The technological adversary of today and tomorrow is skilled, motivated, and working hard to cause harm”, states UAT Lead Cyber Security Professor Aaron Jones and Software Developer for law enforcement agencies.
How beneficial is the improvement of technology if someone can easily replicate or steal it to use with the intention of harming others?
“It is our job to do all we can to protect others and ourselves from these kinds of threats”, says Jones, in reference to a recent Apple iOS update hack. “Not so that our graduates can waste away in some cubicle farm, never seeing the light of day.”
UAT Cyber Security graduates are helping to protect modern-day civilization and its future. For all people—individuals, businesses, governments, and throughout all industries. Cyber security professionals are basically superheroes and a career in cyber security can have major perks, including job security and higher salary ranges.
I’m not smart enough to do that kind of thing.
Who came up with things like computers and computer code and all the different computing languages? People. Some were really smart, but most of them were determined to find a solution and worked really hard to make a difference. And more than anything, they weren’t afraid of what they didn’t know or how they’d get from college to a career they enjoyed.
You’re just like that. You can accomplish big things for what you’re passionate about, too. And do you know what else?
In the end, you will have an advanced degree from UAT that will not only get your foot in the door for the first step in your professional life, but it will also help you to make a real difference wherever you are. Because no matter what field you want to pursue, you can make it better with one of our world-class degrees.
Inspiration To Innovate Trumps Fear
Don’t be afraid of technology. Embrace it. It is already a part of whatever career you decide to jump into and will continue to become more entrenched with every passing year. You have probably heard somebody say “get a business degree because you can do anything with it.” That’s not bad advice, but let’s be real, this is 2021, so here’s an update:
Get a technology degree because you can do anything with it.
You can be the one evolving it for tomorrow. And it's tomorrow’s technology that really makes the difference.
By taking on a degree from UAT specifically, you will have a head start in the workforce and the technology that will be there tomorrow because that's what UAT is all about. And you’ll have proven that you can innovate.
No Seriously! — It’s your graduation requirement to create a Student Innovation Project that makes a claim to innovation, and it’s comparable to a Master’s Thesis.
And you’ll do all of this well before your peers, who head into the workforce after taking 5-6 years to earn their degree at the state schools. With UAT, you can graduate in less than 3 years. By the time your friends make it to their first day on the job, maybe you’ll already be their manager.
Technology in a (Non)Technical Life
In the next few articles, we will explore some of the nontechnical careers a person can choose and look at how a degree from UAT can help expand your opportunities while you’re still pursuing your passion. We’ll break down aspects like careers, salaries, outcomes, emerging technology, alumni or innovators within those fields, and more. Want to be a gardener? Go for it, but if you want more for your life, follow along to learn how can a degree from UAT help you become a gardener set apart from the rest.
We are only limited by our imaginations. With technology, we can do anything.