By Henry DeVries
Looking for a hot career trend for the next ten years? Look no farther than the cell phone in your hand.
Today's four billion mobile phone users outnumber both Internet users and land-line owners. Cell phones and other mobile devices are now multifunction devices that enable users to surf the Web, listen to music, download podcasts, use maps, access global positioning satellites, shoot and send photos and videos, and send text messages. With the countless new software applications, the number of ways to use smart phones is exploding.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software engineers will see an increase of 32 percent, with an expected 295,000 new jobs created between 2008 and 2018—a much greater increase than predicted for other occupations. Massive growth is also expected in mobile video. The BLS predicts more than twenty-three thousand film- and video-editing jobs will be added through the year 2016.
Demand for software engineers will also continue to grow with the evolution of technologies such as the Internet, as well as the increasing number of websites, mobile-technology devices, and hand-held computers. These newer technologies, coupled with the expanding number of wireless-Internet regions, have created a demand for new products and mobile applications.
In the United States, 80 percent of adults have cell phones. Of those, 37 percent use their phones to access the Web. About 25 percent acquire some news via cell phone. People digest news and information received via cell phone differently than they do with knowledge acquired on the Web.
Cell phones and other mobile devices have evolved far beyond answering and sending voice calls. They are now multifunction devices that enable users to surf the Web, listen to music, download podcasts, use maps, access global-positioning satellites, shoot and send photos and videos, and send text messages. With the hundreds of new software applications for phones, the number of ways to use smart phones is exploding.
Every day, the Web is getting faster and easier to use, and is able to access more information. It provides more opportunities for news organizations, the entertainment industry, and advertisers to live stream directly to cell phones.Graphic designers, videographers, video editors, casual game/app developers, and software engineers are needed to design and develop websites and create video content, software applications, games, interfaces, mobile platforms, and more, as demand continues to increase for Web content and next-generation cell phones.
To help meet the need for app developers for cell phones and other wireless devices, UC San Diego Extension is now offering a Mobile Applications Certificate Program. Led by the Digital Arts Center, the one-year, two-night a week certificate is an advanced training program for smartphone application enthusiasts and industry professionals seeking opportunities to expand their design, programming and software development skills.
“Mobile applications are produced by thousands of mobile application companies across the world,” says Susan Varnum, director of the Digital Arts Center at UC San Diego Extension. “Our mobile apps program is a great compliment to our already successful casual gaming program and both curriculums address the booming mobile media industry.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers also will see a projected increase of 13 percent between the years of 2008 and 2018. An increasing number of graphic designers are needed to develop material for Web pages, interactive media, and multimedia projects.
Employers usually want candidates to have a bachelor’s degree in graphic design for most entry-level and advanced graphic-design positions. They will also accept two-year degrees, associate degrees, and certificates in graphic design from continuing-education classes. Individuals who have experience with website design and animation will have the best job opportunities.