Technology can be found everywhere and even today’s small businesses are finding they need to embrace it to survive, one local consultant says. Employment in jobs for computer and information managers is expected to grow faster than average through 2014 according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook.
“A bachelor’s degree usually is required for management positions, although employers often prefer a graduate degree, especially an MBA with technology as a core component."
Part of that reason, said local computer consultant Justin Cain, is the need to stay updated, to allow employees to work from virtually anywhere, and the threats posed to businesses that are plugged in through the Internet.
Cain is the CIO of Cain and Associates, a healthcare consulting firm. But he also does computer consulting on his own.
“I’m a jack of all trades computer guy. Most of the stuff I do regarding networking and computers
is pretty much on the side,” Cain said. “I started back in college. I liked computers. I got into it a little bit. I taught myself everything because I had an interest in it and it went from there.”
Cain helps companies plan their infrastructure, make computer purchases, set up software and operating systems and make decisions on networking.
“I’m making sure they are protected from viruses and hackers. Also, I help them know how to use the technology to run the business more efficiently,” he said.
He can help a company set up a virtual private network – allowing employees to work remotely. He can help companies connect offices across town – or across the globe.
“It’s utilizing technology to make businesses run more efficiently while at the same time being sensitive to how much technology costs,” he said.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook reports a bachelor’s degree is becoming a more common requirement for people who want to enter the management side of information technology.
“A bachelor’s degree usually is required for management positions, although employers often prefer a graduate degree, especially an MBA with technology as a core component. This degree differs from a traditional MBA in that there is a heavy emphasis on information technology in addition to the standard business curriculum. This preparation is becoming important because more computer and information systems managers are making important technology decisions as well as business decisions for their organizations,” the Web site reports.
Cain, who has an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Arizona, said there are two ways of getting started in this career field: by trial-and-error and self-taught methods or by attending a formal training program or school.
“The networking and computer world are not really difficult. You just have to have the right mind set and the right way of thinking of things. It’s definitely easier for people who are more analytical then people who are more creative. Not to say it’s not possible. If you’re one of those people who want to know how everything works then you would have a pretty easy time in networking,” he said.