Do you love technology? Do you love computers, coding, devices and data? Are you the type of person who always wants to take things apart to find out how they work – and when you put them back together again, you always try to make them work just that little bit better? If so, then you’re probably a tech geek. The good news is that there are dozens of different career paths out there for someone like you, and many of them are very highly paid indeed.
In this job role, you’ll be engaged in creating effective software solutions for clients, which could be big companies, small start-ups, government departments or not-for-profits. In fact, there’s no end to the types of organization you might be working for, either as a freelancer or a salaried employee. You’ll be designing, building, testing and troubleshooting computer programs and working on information databases or mobile apps. You might create new programs from scratch or adapt existing ones.
You’ll need an IT-related degree or an equivalent qualification, though you may be able to get on a vocational training scheme if you show aptitude and have good grades in math, physics or computer science at high school level. A creative thinker with proven problem-solving abilities, you’ll work well in a team, as well as on your own.
Computer hardware engineer
If you don’t fancy software, how about hardware? In this role, you’ll design and develop computer systems, circuitry and motherboards, as well as printers, modems, monitors, etc. You’ll be a specialist electronics engineer, building prototypes and supervising the manufacturing process.
A great way into this career would be to take a Master of Science degree in lean manufacturing. You can study online – perfect for tech geeks – and learn how to minimize waste while maximizing productivity. Lean manufacturing combines with Six Sigma, which takes a similar approach to data management, aiming for the highest levels of efficiency and value.
IT security is a major issue, and this will continue to be the case, meaning that good cybersecurity specialists will always be in demand. You’ll be protecting confidential and sensitive information and staying one step ahead of the hackers, overseeing systems and anticipating future threats. As well as acting as a digital watchdog, you may have to train regular employees in best cybersecurity practices, or give professional advice.
You can take a cybersecurity degree or take vocational training after a background in computer science, engineering or math. Proven experience counts for a lot, and you’ll keep taking courses throughout your career to keep your certification and clearance up to date.
Designing video games has to be every tech geek’s dream job. If you’re an active gamer with a head full of ideas who still gets excited about upcoming games, then this could be the career for you. The qualifications you’ll need depends on the area you’ll be working on, from animation to programming, but you’ll need a solid portfolio and the ability to be creative and work hard, paying attention to every detail until the product is perfect.
Data science is a huge field and there’s a clear academic route in, but you’ll also need a portfolio of projects you’ve created yourself. Learn basic programming and develop your skills. You’ll be engineering data sets, manipulating algorithms and analyzing the results. You’ll also need to be able to communicate your findings in non-technical language to your clients. For tech geeks, this could be the biggest challenge of all!