As baby boomers age they’re constantly in search of technology that allows them to live longer and with more conveniences—and they appear to be succeeding in their quest. Even though that may sound like an egotistical venture, it turns out their search has led to key factors in the sudden boom in technology over the past 20 years. But the good news is new technologies mean new jobs that didn’t exist even 10 years ago. As with anything on the cutting edge getting in on the ground level (or at least early on) can put you on the path to a long and lucrative career. With this in mind, here are three areas of college study that definitely will be able to sustain you for at least the next 20 years.

Technology Management

In a global economy people have to be able to exchange data and ideas regularly (sometimes on a moment’s notice), whether they’re in the next room or on the other side of the world. Technology management involves keeping systems up and running that allow businesses to do exactly that. A combination of computer networking, systems engineering, social media, search engine optimization, database management, and communications, technology management is the lynchpin in any organization. And as such, individuals who are able to run entire IT departments are highly sought after in terms of jobs and careers.

Usually people who desire a career in technology management generally pursue degrees in information technology, business systems analysis, information management systems, technical business administration, or information assurance and security. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are available in all these areas, however, in today’s job market a college degree of some kind is definitely required to get your foot in the door. And the best part? EVERY business today has an IT department and they need someone (usually several “someones”) to run it. That means as a technology manager you can work in any industry, which translates to steady employment.

Information Systems

Like technology management, a career in information systems means you wrangle technology in such a way as to keep organizations open for business. The difference here is that information systems analysts and managers generally take care of the software end of things (whereas a technology manager makes sure that all the computer systems and communication stay connected and running).

In most cases, companies need their software programs customized to fit their specific needs. A technology manager typically doesn’t do that, but a computer programmer will. A professional in the field of information systems studies how software works so that they can assist in the customization and integration of software programs within a company. There is no doubt that there’s a lot of overlap between technology management and information systems, but as a general rule of thumb, think of information systems as the study of computer software and technology management as the study of data communications and hardware.

For a career in information systems consider degrees in computer science, database management, accounting, business management, computer engineering, systems design, and systems security.

Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering is the development of technology and products that collectively improve the health of the general population. Devices such as artificial limbs and organs (i.e., hearts), asthma inhalers, magnetic imaging, noninvasive blood monitors (for diabetics), and emergency medical tools and instruments (like those used in by EMTs and in operating rooms) all exist due to the science of biomedical engineering. Basically, biomedical engineering combines computer technology and engineering with the study of medicine to create a new professional field in which you can now get a degree. Because patents and inventions in biomedical engineering lead to an overall higher quality of life for people in general, biomedical engineering is a hot, new career field that shows no signs of slowing down, and was labelled one of the best new career choices of 2011 by U.S. News and World Report.

Up until recently degrees in biomedical engineering were obtained only in graduate school. And even then only a select few colleges offered them. Now with the popularity of the biomedical engineering undergraduate degrees in this field are also available.

No one has a crystal ball, so we don’t know what the future holds in terms of a better economy and job market, however, one thing is for certain. Technology is NOT going away. And now that technology has become integrated into just about every industry, a technical degree of some sort will carry well across whatever economic ebbs and tides the future holds.

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