As a high-schooler, I worked for a local research firm. In the basement of our building was a secure room where the temperature was kept very cold. The only contents of the room were a desk, a monitor, and a large oblong box.
The really “smart guys” in the company referred to the box as the “CPU” and would occasionally enter the room to do who knew what. The CPU was about twice as large as a dining room table, and it hummed. One day, one of those smart guys told me it was a computer and took me to see it.
I began to feel uneasy as my fellow employee, normally a quiet man who kept mostly to himself, began to grow excited as he unlocked the door to the cold room. Standing before the computer, he reminded me of a Bond-villain showing off his death-ray.
His eyes grew wide, his voice excited, and he disturbingly moved his hand back and forth in a gentle caressing manner over humming box. “This is the future,” he said. “With this, we will process unbelievable amounts of information. Nothing will be impossible.” It wasn’t just the temperature in the room that caused me to shiver.
He continued speaking of computers, saying that over time they will get “smaller and faster,” and that one day “there will be one in every home and on every employee’s desk.”
My technological ignorance at the time caused me to not appreciate my colleague’s vision. But there is no denying that the day he foresaw is here. Computers have changed everything. We now have little boxes in our homes that allow us to use voice commands to turn on our TVs, look up esoteric information and even order groceries.
Our daily life brings us into contact with driverless cars and semi-trucks, or Google Maps that allow us to see far-away places as if we were there. Best of all, with our phones we carry more computing power in our pockets than existed with the first Moon-landing. We can even power our games with our minds. Technology is everywhere and, safe to say, it’s here to stay.
In 1851, John Babsone Soule wrote an editorial for the Terre Haute Express wherein he encouraged enterprising young men to take their talents westward and “grow up with the country.” The same reasoning applies to the field of information technology (IT) today. It is the field of promise.
There are literally more open positions in IT than trained individuals to fill them. My advice to any individual looking for a field with an ever-increasing demand is “CHECK OUT IT!”
As a field, IT has no barriers to entry. There are lots of free courses online, and the price for beginning-level certification courses is surprisingly low — in many instances, free. Regardless of whether you’re a high-school student, college student, or an experienced individual, IT is wide open to those willing to learn and work hard.
IT doesn’t care about your age, skin-color, economic status, or sex. All that matters, is your ability.
About the Author — Calvin Harper is an associate editor for GoCertify and a veteran of the publishing industry. Teenage Calvin brought a chicken to work the next day to offer a sacrifice to the oblong box.