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What is a Technologist?

In the broadest sense of the title, a technologist is someone who has developed an in-depth understanding of a specific type of technology. This understanding includes the processes of design, construction, modification, operation, and upkeep associated with their designated specialty. You can think of a technologist as the link between an engineer and a technician. Engineers are designers but rarely are responsible for the construction or upkeep of technology. Technicians understand the design of the technology they operate on but most commonly have roles limited to building and maintenance. Technologists are responsible for both duties across the spectrum of both jobs and those in between, making them incredibly valuable.  

In Nebraska, we are fortunate enough to have several routes to becoming a technologist that spans several different career paths. 

South East Community College

South East has a coding-based program to help students gain the necessary skills to become software technologists. They have three different “Coding Boot Camps” meant to produce software developers ready to contribute to the workforce. 

  1. Back End Software Development Bootcamp: This program is designed to give you the skills to read and write databases, optimize existing processes, solve data-related problems, and modify existing applications for more specific uses. Over 18 weeks, students are taken through seminars covering Java, Relational Databases (SQL, DDL, DML, JDBC), and ends with Web API Design (Spring Boot, REST, JPA, JWT, AWS). The course has five annual offerings: April 27-Aug. 24, June 23-Oct. 20, Aug. 23-Jan. 10, Oct. 26-March 15, Dec. 15-April 27.
  2. Front End Software Development Bootcamp: This Bootcamp is more designed to produce engineers than technologists but still provides many valuable skills. Graduates of this program should expect to learn how to plan, design, and build the interface systems of software programs and web-based applications. This course works in three sections over 18 weeks: starting with Java introduction, the second is front end technologies(HTML, CSS, JQuery, Bootstrap, AJAX, Concluding with Web App Design (ReactJS, JSX, AWS, REST, NPM). Dates available May 24-Sept. 20, July 27-Nov. 16, Sept. 22-Feb. 9, Nov.15-April 4.
  3. Data Engineering Bootcamp: The final Bootcamp is the longest program at 26 weeks and, as the name implies, is designed to produce data engineers, these skills are still valuable for Data technologists. Programs are designed to produce elite data solutions analysts and include python, OOP, Functional Programming, Hadoop, Cloudera, Spark, Dask, IaaS, AWS, Building Data Lakes, Sqoo, Flume, Kafka, and more. Dates offered May 25-Nov. 16, Aug. 23-March 7, Nov 17-June 1. 

SkillBridge

SkillBridge, according to the organization’s website, is “[an] opportunity for Service members to gain valuable civilian work experience through specific industry training, apprenticeships, or internships during the last 180 days of service. SkillBridge connects Service members with industry partners in real-world job experiences.” There are a few different programs provided by Skillbridge that can help members of the military that are about to leave active duty gain the skills necessary to enter the civilian workforce as a technologist. 

In partnership with Code Platoon, SkillBridge has created a coding boot camp designed to allow active military members and their families to learn one of the most in-demand skills in the job market. To participate in the Code Platoon training, those interested must apply and receive approval from their unit commander. SkillBridge fully pays for code Platoon for those who qualify and is a fully remote program with live classes. Topics covered in this fifteen-week class will include full-stack software engineering taught through lectures and facilitated by group and solo projects. 

SkillBridge also has its own Applied Technology Academy provides the opportunity to receive certifications in a variety of digital applications used by companies across the United States. Like the Code Platoon, the program is application-based and requires commander approval. Classes are offered during the day, evening, boot camps, and even on-demand. A few of the vendor brands that the ATA provides certifications for include: Amazon Web Solutions for cloud migration and security purposes; CertNexus, for cybersecurity certification; Cisco to improve networking skills and abilities; Microsoft 365 & advanced Azure. This training is designed to turn you into the future cloud expert of your next employer. There are many programs in addition to the ones listed here that have so many applications across businesses, all of which will help turn military members into the best civilian workers you can find. 

University of Nebraska Lincoln & Omaha

Technologists can be found across the fields of engineering, medicine and more. The University of Nebraska at both Lincoln and Omaha offers majors that can help you get the skills and experience necessary to find a technologist career in any field. 

Medical Technologist 

For those looking to serve as a medical technologist, the career requires you to understand the science behind the technology and science that you are working with. Examples of the majors that meet these criteria, to name a few, include: Biology, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Chemistry, and more. UNO, fortunately, offers even more specific majors, such as Bioinformatics and Biomedical Informatics which are offered as minors at UNL.

Engineering Technologist

Engineering technology is one of the fastest-growing fields that usually require a four-year degree. The top technologist in the engineering field usually has a bachelor’s degree that brings together majors or minors from across the fields of computer science and engineering. Majors such as Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science can be found at UNL and UNO for those interested in this career. Engineering degrees with computer science minors and vice versa can also be helpful for technologists. 

General IT Technologist

Of course, there are many more career paths for technologists that require more general knowledge of technology and the development and processes around it. There are several computer science and info technologies offered at UNO and UNL. At UNO, these include IT innovation, Computer Science, and Information Technology. The college also offers several certificates that specialize further such as Cybersecurity, Artificial intelligence, Communication Networks, Software Engineering, and Systems Analysis & Design. UNL has Computer Science, Mathematics, Software Engineering, and Software Development programs. 

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