Computers & Technology

Computers and those professionals that maintain, troubleshoot, program, administer, network, and build them are central to most every industry. Modeled after the Cambridge University EDSAC computer, the president of Lyons Tea Co. has the LEO built to solve the problem of production scheduling and delivery of cakes to the hundreds of Lyons tea shops around England. After the success of the first LEO, Lyons went into business manufacturing computers to meet the growing need for data processing systems in business. The LEO was England’s first commercial computer and was performing useful work before any other commercial computer system in the world.

With a two- or four-year IT degree, graduates can find work in a number of occupations, including information security, network architecture, database administration, systems administration and computer support. However, some of these jobs require advanced computer science and programming knowledge, so graduates must enroll in specialized programs or take elective courses. For example, information security requires knowledge of discrete math and algorithms, and database administration requires knowledge of programming. Also, information security analysts usually have certifications, such as ISC or CISSP.

VTech, founded in Hong Kong, had been a manufacturer of Pong-like games and educational toys when they introduce the Laser 128 computer. Instead of simply copying the basic input output system (BIOS) of the Apple II as Franklin Computer had done, they reversed engineered the system and sold it for US $479, a much lower price than the comparable Apple II. While Apple sued to remove the Laser 128 from the market, they were unsuccessful and the Laser remained one of the very few Apple clones” for sale.

Deep learning (DL). Machine learning (ML) and more specifically DL are already on the cusp of revolution. They are widely adopted in datacenters (Amazon making graphical processing units GPUs available for DL, Google running DL on tensor processing units TPUs, Microsoft using field programmable gate arrays FPGAs, etc.), and DL is being explored at the edge of the network to reduce the amount of data propagated back to datacenters. Applications such as image, video, and audio recognition are already being deployed for a variety of verticals. DL heavily depends on accelerators (see #9 below) and is used for a variety of assistive functions (#s 6, 7, and 10).

An IT career doesn’t necessarily require a computer science (CS) degree, although a CS degree opens certain doors that otherwise wouldn’t be available. IT professionals typically work in a business environment installing internal networks and computer systems and perhaps programming. Computer scientists work in a wider range of environments, ranging from businesses to universities to video game design companies. Both of these careers have excellent growth potential and high salaries, with software developers somewhat ahead of IT professionals in earnings.