High demand tech oppurtunities available for SMC students

While choosing a career is not a simple task, the fascinating and fast growing world of technology is one of the most appealing and promising fields for many Santa Monica College students.
At the break of the 21st century, man has come a long way from world's first electronic device, the fully programmable digital computer called the Z3, based on a binary floating-point number and switching system. Invented during the World War II by Konrad Zuse, a German engineer, it was created to calculate extensive engineering calculations.
Today, technology is a hot and a very competitive area with infinite possibilities. From Computer Science and Information Systems to Design Technology, SMC offers many degrees and academic programs for students interested in working with contemporary high-technology tools.
SMC's CSIS department offers transfer and A.A. degrees and even certificates in Office Information Systems, Computer Information Systems and Computer Science and can open doors to many careers such as being a secretary, a medical assistant, an engineer, a computer systems manager or a programmer and many others.
And if computers are today's and tomorrow's crucial and undeniable tool of technology, learning to work and create with them opens the door to very promising and growing occupations. However, many of the computer science degrees necessitate a higher education.
"You need to go for a master's degree and a much higher education - this field requires a great deal of university coursework," said Rachelle Cohn, a counselor at the career center.
According to collegeboard.com, the official website of the College Board Public Affairs Department, an association whose mission is to help students get the best out of their education and become succesful, revealed an estimation made by government economists that the quickest growing occupation for graduate students is Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts with a predicted growth of 57 percent by 2012.
Computer software engineers are in fourth place with growth expected to be at 46 percent behind Physician Assistants with growth estimated at 49 percent and finally Medical Record Health Information Technicians with a growth expected around 47 percent.
Cohn said that technology fields are in high demand in Los Angeles and throughout California, and she advises students who are looking into popular careers to also consider the geographic location of where they are looking for work.
Cohn recommends that students consult www.bridges.com, which she calls "a great resource for students to look at Technology and Engineering careers."
"Entertainment Technology is a steady and fast growing field, faster growing then any other," said David Javelosa, a teacher at the Academy of Entertainment and Technology. Currently he is working in the video game design program which is coordinated with the University of Southern California Game Design program.
The AET offers certificates in four semesters for Web Design, Computer Animation, Special Effects, Post Production and Gaming Design. "The major thing is that most of our programs are geared towards getting a job," said Javelosa.
He encourages students to take as many classes as possible, as well as to build a strong portfolio which can be achieved in a special project class and be available for any variety of trade shows, events and conferences in order to succeed.
In addition, the AET has its own internship coordinator and many interactive companies, such as Sony, that are located nearby the school providing SMC students with great opportunities for internship placements and experience within professional environments.
Even though the numbers of job offers on campus are very limited, a few can contribute to help students gain professional experience such as graphic or multimedia assistants.
The AET also offers programs to those interested in Design Technology, transfer or A.A. degrees such as Graphic Design and Interior Architectural Design.
For more information please contact the AET counselor at (310) 434-3783.