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In an age when technology reigns supreme, HCC creates broad career pathways

HCC SW President Apple Coding. Photo credit HCC SW.

HCC SW President Apple Coding. Photo credit HCC SW.

by Madeline Burillo-Hopkins, Ed.D., President, HCC Southwest College
HOUSTON – Our typical day today is so much different from how it was barely 10 to 15 years ago.
You are awakened by your watch alarm followed by a calendar day view of your meetings for the day and a quick scan of texts and email messages before you even are out of bed. Upon walking to your kitchen your coffee is already made by a programmable machine. As you finally get into your self-driving car, your GPS automatically sets the car navigation to your work address even without your command because it “knows” that’s your morning pattern.
After your electronic driver has taken you to the office, you start answering emails and making calls about the latest product prototype being produced by the 3D printer of your company as part of a major client sales presentation. If you are a business owner or manager, you are already grappling with the immense productivity potential, yet you’re also faced with ethical and cybersecurity concerns that all these technological advances represent across industrial sectors. But if you are like me, you could feel overwhelmed by the mere rate of innovation among all the new developments.
Changing Job Demands with Leaps in Technology
There’s no doubt technology has changed not only our daily life, but also production, service deliveries, global supply chain, logistics, communications, and even how we interact with our home appliances. We are all connected through the internet of things. We have access to information in real time, we can create ideas into drawings using software connected to 3D printers and produce prototypes in all types of materials in our homes.
With the integration of augmented reality now into cellphones, the pace of innovation will not slow but we will experience another 10 years of disruptive innovations limited only by the capacity of our workforce. Augmented reality alone as an industry, is predicted to hit global revenues of $90 billion by 2020.
With the new developments in artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, Chatbots, and the significant leaps forward in terms of industry adoption, there’s no doubt that no other era as the millennium requires now all individuals in the workforce to become lifelong learners.

COMM_HCC_SW_ Computer Class in sessionThe jobs of tomorrow are emerging while jobs we know today will disappear. Even jobs in construction, traditionally viewed as manual skills, will evolve. For example, we now have the capacity to build entire homes in concrete and other materials using industrial-size 3D printing. Based on these developments and others, however, there are several job sectors we can expect to grow in demand exponentially. Our challenge in education will be to increase awareness of these new career fields for the next and current workforce-age generations, develop instructional programs in these new emerging fields, and integrate in our curriculum the new collaborative engagement skills required in the workplace.
All these technology developments require lines of code and programming. As such, coding is becoming – if not already – the most in-demand skill across industries. According to a recent article on Glassdoor.com, eight of the top 25 jobs this year are technology positions. Similarly, researchers from Burning Glass Technologies found that jobs that require coding skills pay up to $22,000 per year more, on average, with nearly half of all jobs that pay more than $58,000 requiring some coding skills, according to their analysis.
The gathering of all the data through such technology hardware also makes these systems vulnerable to cyberattacks. Hence, cybersecurity is one of the fastest fields in information technology.
Advanced Manufacturing Infused with Hi-Tech
In manufacturing, we are seeing not only the increasing disruption and growth of 3D but also automation and robotics artificial intelligence. Industrial maintenance now requires technicians with a matrix of electronics, basic coding, machining and hydraulics, for example, to maintain the new machines of the millennium. Similarly, medical instrument technicians will require cross-discipline technical skills to support the operations of equipment used in healthcare.
As a workforce educational leader in the U.S.A., Houston Community College Advanced Manufacturing Centers of Excellence deliver innovative educational programs in state-of-the-art facilities, to train and educate new workers into these careers with high opportunities and incumbent workers to upgrade their skills to remain competitive. For example, HCC offers courses in high demand in CNC, manufacturing engineering, and 3D software skills such as Auto desk, Fusion and Solidworks, AutoCAD, Inventor, 3D Slah and Tinkercad.
Leading-Edge Programs in Coding, Cybersecurity
The HCC Digital and Informational Technology Center of Excellence offers the latest technology programs in cybersecurity, coding, geographical information science, and digital gaming and simulation.
Future developments at HCC includes Robotics and Drone technology programs, and integration of these applications into all other educational programs reflecting the world around us. We invite all readers to stop by one of our campuses and learn more about all the cutting-edge fields offered by the college as well as our continuing education short-term courses for incumbent workers to upgrade their skills.
Enroll in HCC Programs
Call 713.718.2277 or register at hccs.edu/apply. Learn More About HCC. Visit hccs.edu or call 713.718.2000 or email student.info@hccs.edu

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