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Top Jobs for Gadget Lovers

Aimee Chou, EarnMyDegree.com

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Today’s gadget lovers are so over their granddaddies’ widgets.

Instead, they seek the granddaddies of all gadgets: From plug-in hybrid cars to solar-powered ski suits to next-generation Blu-Rays. As high-tech becomes hi-relevance, so do the professionals who bring them to life and on store shelves.

In as little as 18 months, technophilia, strong work ethic and a fast Internet connection can put you on track for an online degree and behind-the-scenes career in Gadget Nirvana. Geek or no geek, opportunities are a-plenty:

For Geeks:
You live for games and fantasy, hardware or software. Your head spins with killer app ideas, and you’ve dissected your watch or computer. If you go ga-ga for gadgets, a career in electronics engineering could be for you:

Software Engineering
Many “killer apps” – which increase sales of supporting hardware – start with software. It’s what the Excel application did for its operating system, Space Invaders for Atari computers and the iPod for the Apple brand. Learn to code and gain tools to create amazing products. Application development, simulation and modeling, artificial intelligence and user-interface optimization are just a few things you’ll learn while enrolled into master’s and doctoral programs in computer science.

Hardware Engineering
The newfangled concept may be a car navigation system or RFID e-passport. Whatever it is, management drives the project and the product. A bachelor’s in organizational management/engineering studies meshes best practices of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering for entry into corporate, private and public sectors. Even veteran engineers can freshen their organizational skill development in a fast-paced age of shrinking microprocessor transistors, with a Ph.D. in engineering management.

Game Design
Support killer apps with killer game-design skills, and join the $7.4 billion entertainment software industry. Learn game development, game maintenance administration with a bachelor’s in game software development. The interactive software you design could be applied in the military, health care, television and even education.

Medical and Industrial Applications
Not all gadgets are for fun, games and communication. Medical and biotech devices are joining the club in the form of tactile video displays, subcutaneous medication delivery patches and portable ultrasound systems. To incorporate them into today’s health care delivery, one must grasp how the system works. Learn the system with a bachelor’s in clinical laboratory science, a certificate in gerontology health care or a health care administration degree with a concentration in informatics for IT management know-how.

For Non-Geeks:
Gadgetry’s inner sanctum is not off limits if you don’t think in binary. Au contraire: As companies scramble to meet budgets, project checkpoints and market demand, your business and creative smarts will go far.

Industry Analysis
Uncover the who, what, where, when and why behind the buy. With a finger on the pulse of retail, manufacturing and Wall Street, the gig can be for predicting unit sales of portable media players or which flagship gadget wins in the second fiscal quarter. Hone your budding analytical acumen with a degree in business intelligence, corporate finance or economics

Marketing/Sales
Why do consumers ages 6 to 60 make a beeline for the Wii, Halo 3 and Xbox 360? How do ads hawk slinky cell phones – in different languages for global audiences? How do you run ad campaigns in multiple media forms, on a limited budget? Answers can be found while getting a master’s degree in advertising and public relations, or executive certificate in international marketing. They also lay in the wiring of the consumer’s brain: A master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology or a specialization in consumer psychology goes beyond the 411 on what attracts, motivates and retains early adopters and laggards alike.

Supply Chain Analysis
Be the brains behind the shipping, packaging and supply operations of a wholesale distributor of consumer electronics. Learn how resources define gadget life cycles and how manufacturers walk the supply and demand tightrope for market share. A bachelor’s degree in supply chain and operations covers the essentials in business planning, global sourcing and procurement, production and logistics of an organization's supply chain.

Contracts Management
They’re made of circuits and silicon, but electronics don’t get to the market or assembly line without paper. Contract paper, that is. A degree in contract management trains students to monitor and measure contract performance, ensure legal compliance, shorten contract lifecycles, expedite procurement and cut down risks.

Product Reviewer
Love to spend hours researching toasters or MP3 players? For technophile wordsmiths, being a guinea pig is a reward in itself. Imagine testing the latest digital cameras or dual high-definition tuners, and writing columns describing their ergonomic features (or lack thereof). Degrees in communication, business communication or communication management add skills both hard and soft – to write compelling prose and research market data reports. 


Last Updated: 25/02/2008 - 10:42 AM


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