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A Science Unto Itself
Computers have taken such a prominent place in our society that they rate an entire category science all by themselves -- 'computer science'. Most of us, at least those of us who are baby boomers or younger, studied computer science in school. We learned first how they would take over, then how they are taking over and finally, you youngsters out there learned how they did, in fact, take over.
But exactly what is it that they took over? Well, now when we drive through the McDonalds drive-thru all of the menu items show up on a computer screen to make sure the teenager squawking through the voice box took the order exactly as I had intended. That's not too bad.
Nearly every industry, every job, every life is touched by computers and their capabilities every day. We don't travel, work, commute, eat or even have fun without the help of computers. They have reached into every aspect of our lives.
Most every manufacturing facility has become computerized. My car has a computer in the motor. Even my refrigerator has a computer chip in the ice and water-dispensing unit. I guess that makes for smart water. Other than dramatically raising the cost of repairs, those are all things that don't bother me.
Building, purchasing and maintaining a computer is an adventure in frustration all by itself. Let's see, there is hardware and software, desktops and laptops, PDAs and all other forms of handheld gadgets, monitors and flatscreens, Internet, Intranet, networking and tons of technology. And of course there are printers, computer faxes, scanners, cameras, and a myriad of other gadgets... but it really only begins there. Computers have become a staple in American homes. Because of the importance of computers in our daily lives, we, as a society, have made a significant effort to make computers available to all people. Libraries, schools, Internet cafes even some bars and restaurants have computers available for public use.
Sixty-two percent of American homes have a computer with Internet service according to the US Census Report. This number is up from only 8% in 1984. Twenty years has made an extraordinary difference in the number of people using the Internet in their homes.
The technology surrounding the booming computer industry has certainly kept up with the steady increase in computer usage. Music and movie downloading, gaming and chat capabilities are examples of industries that have exploded with high technology and creative computer engineers. People who kept up with the increase in technology during the last twenty years, found themselves at a tremendous financial advantage.
Career opportunities are numerous in the computer industry. IT specific careers alone are numerous. IT Consulting, IT Financial/Leasing, IT Security and IT Solutions are just the beginning of the opportunities. Computer hardware engineers, graphic artists, gaming creators, network solutions, software solutions, web design, web hosting, eCommerce solutions, document management solutions, mobile networking and software solutions- well, you get it, the list is endless. Even mechanics have to learn about computers to do their jobs.
Even data entry clerks and computer recycling have their place in the enormous computer industry. The American English Dictionary has had more than 100 words added in the last ten years to accommodate the computer explosion.
Just by accessing this article you have proven that you haven't been left out of the computer boom!