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Making the perfect career choice is a lifetime decision that will have a lasting impression on your life and the life of your future family. As we all grow up in life we hear from our parents and mentor’s that if you decide to choose a career that you dislike, you can spend a life time living a miserable lifestyle and your career will have a short life span. In vice-versa, if you find something that you love to do in life and you are able to make that into a long lasting career. It will seem like you have never worked one day in your life. Throughout time, many working class individuals have chosen to pursue educations in careers that will lead to a future living a stable lifestyle but it is not what their true passions are in life. So they are stuck doing something that they hate in life just because they have to work in order to provide a sufficient lifestyle for themselves and family.
Another critical aspect that you must take into consideration when making a career choice is to make a valid consideration on whether you can grow inside of the career decision you make or will you remain static performing one position for the rest of your life. The reason why a lot of individuals choose to go to college is because they are stuck in a dead end job that has no momentum to further gain a promotion or advance in pay. In my opinion, entrepreneurship should be every individual’s long term goal in life.
The ultimate decision making factor in choosing a career and working for a prominent company is to get the working experience making mistakes under another companies supervision, so when you begin to start your own company you will already have the experience to make smart business decisions and know how to make your company prosperous. Even though there are a lot of great career choices out there in the world, I believe that a career in either health and wellness or software engineering would be the best fit for me because they will give me the opportunity to grow, both fields are very challenging, and they both will give me the opportunity to prosper and own a private company. 1
The Importance of Having A Software Engineering Technical Career
Since the late 1940’s the software engineering field has been growing rapidly as a challenging and profound profession for a lot of software students that would like to inquire skills that helps to maximize the quality and create database software. Since this time excellent software programmers have found ways to improve these components by increasing their speed, security, usability, cost, testability, size, readability, and stability. Engineers have developed business software that have changed the world and has adapted this same concept onto many home computers so consumers can have the same usability as larger corporations from the comfort of their own laptop computer.
Computer innovation has evolved greatly since the 1940’s with higher advanced platforms that are able to integrate businesses with consumers easier, through the invention of the World Wide Web. Laptop computers along with tablets have created an easier and more efficient way to access the internet with access to public networks that can be routed from any major hotel or fast food restaurant, and mobile phone technology that has been designed by Mac and Android allow consumers to stay connected to the world from the comfort of a palm sized device. It takes a very talented array of programmers to design these devices and with the world of technology at the forefront of driving innovation; this career field is here to stay. With stability also come growth and business opportunities for talented engineers to step up and continue driving this career field to unknown places.
Opportunity For Growth
Recently CNN money came out with an article titled “Best Jobs in America” which had a detailed listing of the top 100 careers in America with great pay and growth potential. It was not a surprise to see software architects at the top of the list at number 1 with a 10 year job growth forecast of 34% beating out other leading career opportunities such as physician assistants coming in at number 2, and management consultant coming in at number 3. CNN has stated, 2
“Like architects who design buildings, they create the blueprints for software engineers to follow and pitch in with programming too. Plus, architects are often called on to work with customers and product managers, and they serve as a link between a company’s tech and business staffs” (CNN Money, 2010). Making this a well-diversified career field where you get the opportunity to work inside a comfortable office setting but also visit customers at their facilities and help out with customer service issues at remote locations. Along with the exceptional growth potential this career path shares, it also can create amazing entry level financial stability as well as stated in figure 1 below: 10th%| 25th%| 75th%| 90th%|
As you advance your experience and expertise in the software engineering career field, programmers have the option to choose a specific craft such as a technical support engineer, C++ software engineer, or lead software engineer where your average annual income can range from $63,000 upwards to $120,000 a year easily based on an individual’s knowledge.
Even though ultimate career stability along with a great compensation plan and benefits sounds great from the outside looking in we must also understand that with great opportunities also comes a great challenge. Programming in laments terms can be contributed to learning a second language such as 3
Spanish. It takes a lot of dedicated time to perfecting this skill along with training. Depending on your decided expertise there may be a ton of syntax and logical instructions that you have to learn in order to program effectively and unfortunately most of this time is spent outside a classroom or job setting really learning the craft at home on an individual’s personal time.
But in a more positive perspective a lot of these languages such as Java, C#, and Visual Basic derive from the parent language of C++ so if you are able to get a great concept for this computing language the others will come fairly efficient for beginning programmers. Another positive aspect to this career field is since there are such high demands for these positions a lot of companies offer entry level programming positions offered to developers that have no experience so this will give individuals the opportunity to work under mid and senior level technicians to learn the ropes.
A lot of individuals stray away from challenge, growth, and hard work but this is a career field that awards individuals for hard work, and gives techs the opportunity to learn a new aspect of the business every single day which makes this career field interesting. Below in figure 2 is a progression chart that shows the career path a software engineer should take in order to become great at their craft and make a nice 6 figure income.
A career progression chart generally resembles the one below. It may vary from company to company.
| Role| Years of experience|
Trainee software engineer| 0-1|
Software engineer| 1-2|
Senior software engineer| 2-4|
System analyst| 3-5|
Project leader| 5-8|
ExpressComputerOnline.Com career roadmap for software engineers
Building A Business
One could only imagine that one day a company that was started in your parents garage would evolve and become a multi-billion dollar company that has millions of dedicated customers, and releases innovative products that changes the world every year. Well this is not a dream anymore; it has actually been a reality for major companies such as Google, Apple, and Macintosh which have all started out of garages. The biggest disadvantage the many software developers face when building their own business is they do not have a lot of business experience, but with help from outsourcing agencies such as fog creek which specializes in the development and startup of technology companies they state that “if you have an innovative product that can compete for market share versus other companies all you have to do is market, sale, price, and hire exceptionally well” (Fog Creek Software, 2011). Which is not an easy process but if you are able to do it effectively your business will have a fair chance of competing in a vastly competitive marketplace.
How A Health And Wellness Career Will Create A Great Business Career
Individual health and wellness have been in the forefront of the world for many decades now being led by activist groups and government agencies initiating “Go Green” marketing campaigns and household tax credits for individuals and homeowners who convert their lifestyles to a more healthy and energy efficient environment. CNN states that health and wellness physicians
“Perform routine care such as physicals and tests, counseling patients, and even prescribing medication, all under a doctor’s supervision. Today’s doctor shortage will only worsen as boomers age and health care reform brings more patients into the system, creating a huge need for this field” (CNN Money, 2010).
So even with an aging population this will continue to be a career path that will always be in high demand.
Opportunity For Growth
On the CNN money web article that was published earlier in the year physician’s assistants that also are in health and wellness practices partake in the number 2 position with a 39% 10 year annual growth forecast. Even though going green and living health is not new in the minds of many Americans a lot of individuals have not accepted the lifestyle thus living in an unhealthy environment. Statistics have shown that just in woman alone “Recent national data show that 82.1 percent of Black women and 75.7 percent of Hispanic women are overweight or obese compared to 59.5 percent of White women (Ogden, 2012).”
This shows that there is still a lot of room for growth in this industry and still barriers to break down before this money making opportunity really explodes. In college classrooms instructors have put a major emphasis on students teaching their patients how their living environments vastly effect there personal health and living an unhealthy personal lifestyle will have a vastly negative effect on their health. With more educators out there pushing the idea and government agencies pushing the effort there is a ton of room for growth in this industry. Health and wellness physicians make a pretty comfortable lifestyle as represented below in figure 3, and it is also pretty fulfilling knowing that you are changing individual lives by helping them improve their health.
With any career field that is rewarding and has a tremendous opportunity for growth there are some challenges and risk that must be taken into consideration. Just like with the software engineering career path there is a journey that needs to be taken before you have the appropriate authority to recommend patients for certain treatments and products. There was an article posted in the New England Journal by Michael Porter which makes an argument that states, “By shifting our focus on value, simply defined as quality divided by cost, we can lower costs and improve quality (Porter, 2011)”.
So in order to make this a rewarding career path, consumers would have to switch their focus as well which makes this a difficult path to choose. Education will not be a hard factor to fulfill because there are tons of institutions that offer individuals certification opportunities and there was an article on livestrong.com that supports health and wellness professionals that states, “If you have a passion for health and wellness, sharing your interest can enrich the lives of others as well. College majors in kinesiology or exercise science can teach skills for exercise and wellness careers but may not be required to obtain certifications (Case, 2011).” 7
Building A Business
Building a Health and Wellness Company may not be easy but if we are able to get it off the ground and running it does offer a tremendous reward and fulfillment knowing that you are offering individuals great products and services that will change their lives by allowing them to live a healthier fulfilling lifestyle. There are even lots of companies out there in the market today which assist business minded individuals such as Melaleuca in helping individuals start their own health and wellness companies. They provide products along with customer service to those who are small companies and need outsourcing to get started. This helps break down a lot of barriers and makes the transition into entrepreneurship a lot easier.
Developing a career in software engineering or health and wellness can be very growth orientated, lucrative, and rewarding careers that both give back to the community. Even though there are a lot of great career choices out there in the world, I believe that a career in either health and wellness or software engineering would be the best fit for me because they will give me the opportunity to grow, both fields are very challenging, and they both will give me the opportunity to prosper and own a private company.
I was always told in my life that as you begin to mature in life an individual should always have three forms of income coming in which first is a primary income which results from a regular steady job. The second is an alternate income which may result from a part time job or secondary business. While the last form of revenue may result from investing or savings income.
My final career choice decision is to pursue software engineering as my primary income since I have dedicated so much time and effort towards learning the craft, and pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems will help me get a great entry level position with a great starting pay.
Plus I have a passion for innovation and enjoy the challenge of learning something new every day. Second, I also have a passion for helping others and with the sales background that I currently have it would be an excellent opportunity for me to build a business starting a secondary health and wellness company selling health certified products to homeowners that wish to live a healthy and clean lifestyle.
Case, H. (2011, June 14). Exercise & wellness careers. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/325785-exercise-wellness-careers/ CNN Money. (2010). Best jobs in America. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2010/snapshots/1.html CNN
Money. (2010). Best jobs in America. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2010/snapshots/2.html Fog Creek Software. (2011, June 12). Building great software companies. Retrieved from http://www.fogcreek.com/guide/ Ogden, C. (2012, January 10). Overweight and obesity in the u.s. Retrieved from http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/ Porter, M. (2011, March 6). The value proposition for health care. Retrieved from http://cfplt.com/the-value-proposition-for-healthcare-a-challenge-for-physician-leadership/