Programs for Certification in Assistive Technology

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Assistive technology practitioners without appropriate education and relevant experience can pose a danger to the safety of vulnerable assistive technology users. Safety and satisfaction are more likely to result when assistive technology users work with certified assistive technology practitioners. Although certification is not a license to practice, in the future it may be required by employers. Occupational therapists earning certifications as assistive technology practitioners enhance their value to their employers and clients.

California State University at Northridge Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program

  • This program includes a mix of online and in-person classes. Completion of a project customized to the needs of a client is also required. The program encompasses using assistive technology for a wide range of applications in the home, at school, in the workplace and in the community.

    The focus is on providing existing and new assistive technologies for those needing augmentative and alternative communication, environmental controls, seating and positioning assistance, mobility devices and computer access technology. Clients served will have learning, physical, cognitive and/or sensory disabilities.

    Program participants will learn about the resources supporting assistive technology devices and services. They will be able to implement practical knowledge from the program into everyday situations. In addition, they will be able to work as part of a team through a national assessment framework.

    California State University at Northridge
    18111 Nordhoff St.
    Northridge, CA 91330
    818-677-1200
    CSUN.edu

Northern Illinois University Assistive Technology Specialist

  • Those who earn the Certificate of Graduate Study Program for Assistive Technology Specialist are able to identify and procure instructional and assistive technologies for students with multiple mild disabilities. They can assess a student’s technology needs and integrate the appropriate technology into their daily routine. In addition, they will have the knowledge and experience to provide consultation to colleagues and families regarding available assistive technologies.

    The curriculum emphasizes working with other professionals as part of the team serving the client, researching emerging technologies, translating research into practice, supporting technology in academic settings, and preparing students, teachers and parents to use instructional and assistive technologies.

    Northern Illinois University
    1425 W. Lincoln Highway
    DeKalb, IL 60115
    815-753-1000
    NIU.edu

State University of New York at Buffalo Graduate Program in Assistive Technology

  • The Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology employs a dynamic, problem-based approach to learning through classroom projects, community involvement and exposure to current research literature. The goal of this program is to educate practitioners and researchers striving to improve the independence and quality of life of those with disabilities.

    Course work integrates technology to educational, vocational and independent living environments for persons with disabilities. Those completing the program can work as advanced clinical practitioners and assistive technology researchers.

    Students must complete four three-credit graduate courses oriented to the needs of practitioners and clinical researchers. Two of the courses are part of the core curriculum and two are electives. Courses typically meet one evening per week for a semester.

    University of Buffalo
    401 Kimball Tower
    3435 Main St.
    Buffalo, NY 14214
    716-829-3434
    Buffalo.edu

East Carolina University Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology

  • This graduate certificate program is for teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, recreational therapists, rehabilitation counselors, physical therapists, engineers and other professionals who strive to improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

    Courses in this program are online and delivered through distance learning. Students take three core courses and one elective for 12 credits. They must also attend several sessions on the campus to acquire hands-on experience using the assistive technology equipment. Those who gain certification will have a broad-based knowledge of assistive technology and the ability to work as part of a collaborative team to serve the client.

    East Carolina University
    East Fifth Street
    Greenville, NC 27858
    252-328-6131
    ECU.edu

George Mason University Assistive Technology Certificate

  • This certificate program provides training for practitioners working with family members or colleagues who need assistive technology at school, at home, at work or in the community.

    Requirements include completing courses awarding 15 credits. Two core courses are worth five credits. One of these required courses includes a community project. Electives fulfill the remaining 10 credits.

    Flexible class scheduling makes it possible to complete all course work within a calendar year. One-credit courses last five weeks, two-credit courses last 10 weeks and three-credit courses last a full semester.

    George Mason University
    4085 University Drive
    Fairfax, VA 22030
    703-993-3798
    GMU.edu

Challenges in Information Technology Management

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The tremendous growth of the Internet has had an enormous impact on the way we do business, educate our children and socially interact. Information technology management has evolved quickly to meet the needs of the public. There are many challenges that surround the management of information in today’s world. Two major problems are the information explosion and “options overload.”

Information Distribution

  • Information is stored on different computers or servers and managed by different information management systems, and some information many not be available to the average user. For example, a research library or archive that subscribes to several information management systems may have access to information that the common user, relying on a free Internet search engine does not. Plus, all search engines do not list all websites.

Relevance

  • Many mechanisms–search engines in particular–do not have the ability to rank information by relevance. For example, if an individual using a search engine chooses a search term that is too broad, that user may be overwhelmed with millions of results that have nothing to do with the topic. If an individual chooses a topic that is too specific, the corresponding results may be too few.

Profiling

  • Many websites profile their customers. According to Won Kim of South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University, they do this by using recommendation engines to match suggestions with data gathered from customers’ order histories and profiles. A customer may visit an e-commerce site in search of a product or service, and the site may make recommendations that are not relevant to the customer’s search. Having a limited list of the products and services the company offers is often much more useful than a list of products that might potentially interest the consumer based on purchase history or profile information, such as education level or income.

Options Overload

  • Many modern electronic devices burden users with “options overload.” Kim notes that the number of functions a device has usually exceeds the number of keys or switches on it. Because of this, many consumers have no idea what keys (or combinations of keys) are to be used for what function without consulting a manual.

How Technology Affects Strategic Management

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Technology is a broad term that encompasses many tools and innovative processes that employees use to help a company achieve its goals. A company uses the strategic management process, or planning how to use resources for goal achievement, and specific types of technology to ensure the best use of resources in each operational area.

Knowledge

  • If you look at technology as knowledge, employees are both producers of knowledge and keepers of knowledge. Their knowledge is an asset that managers seek to develop through the strategic management process, including identifying what the organization will do to develop employees through training and professional development. Strategic managers also decide how employee knowledge will be stored electronically in the company knowledge base, such as an information system.

Product Innovations

  • Employees can also affect the attainment of strategic goals by suggesting product innovations. This occurs when employees apply their ideas to fix problems with products or make them better. Employees must receive the right amount of input in the product development process to be utilized effectively in a strategically managed company. For example, managers use nonmanagers as members of cross-functional product development teams in some organizations.

Competitiveness in Fluctuating Markets

  • Technology also refers to information systems that businesses use to maintain their competitive advantage by responding to their business markets. If a company uses an order tracking system to manage customer orders, it must meet the needs of the company in a changing market and in a stable market. Therefore, a strategic manager plans the ordering system to accommodate many more requests than the present level of production so that the system will still serve the company if it experiences massive growth.

New Capabilities

  • A strategically managed organization sets goals for developing new technologies, or new capabilities, to introduce in a target economy, not just product innovations. This relates to expanding the organization’s market position, another goal of strategic management. A firm can create new markets when it introduces new technologies if it believes in front-end investment in technology development.

Business Strategies for Information Technology Management

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Information technology management is a process companies use that takes advantage of available information technology resources to create competitive business operations. Business owners and managers may struggle to fully implement information technology into their company because of expense, maintenance and upgrade requirements. However, developing information technology management strategies can help company owners and managers find the best ways to use technology to improve their company’s operations and standing in the business environment.

Corporate Strategy

  • Corporate strategies set the overall direction of a company. Business owners and managers typically determine which economic markets the company will operate in, how the company will acquire resources and how to diversify products in the marketplace. Information technology can help a company achieve these goals, for example, through the use of a website to sell goods or services in markets where the company does not have a presence and by electronically ordering materials from suppliers and using business software to create forecasts for production and sales.

Business Strategy

  • Business strategies focus on one division, department or product line in a business. Owners and managers can use information technology to transfer information between departments and integrate activities to cut eliminate needless activities. Many businesses successfully use information technology to improve their internal business functions. Creating and using information technology-based strategies helps owners and managers set goals and objectives and conduct a performance review process to determine how well the company achieves these objectives.

Functional Strategy

  • Functional strategies use information technology to focus on the management of specific, daily activities that occur in a business. These strategies help improve accounting, finance, human resources or research and development. Information technology—primarily computers, software applications and intranets—allow companies to automate manual processes and improve individual employee output. While this can sound simple in theory, actually putting information technology to work can be complicated, especially for large organizations. Functional strategies attempt to improve a company from the bottom up, using short-term time frames to complete the implementation process.

Business Technology Management Degree Careers

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A degree in business technology management focuses on the combination of business management and computer and information systems. It gives students a competitive edge in the constantly changing business and information technology workplace. Graduates are prepared to pursue an array of career options such as positions in business technology management as well as the management analysis field.

Business Technology Manager

  • A business technology manager focuses on both business and computer and technology aspects of an organization. He supervises computer and technology specialists such as systems analysts, software engineers and computer support specialists. He also focuses on business development. A business technology manager must have at least a bachelor’s degree in business technology management or a computer-related field. Many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Many business technology managers obtain professional certification such as a CompTIA certification to remain competitive in the field. As of 2010, Simply Hired states the average annual salary for business technology managers is $75,000.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

  • A computer and information systems manager is responsible for assisting with the application and management of technology for businesses and organizations. She arranges and organizes computer tasks including hardware and software installation and upgrades, system programming and employment of computer networks. She manages computer and information systems tasks by delegating work to other information technology professionals including computer support specialists, computer programmers and computer software engineers. Many computer and information systems managers evaluate the goals and needs of their organizations to develop and implement new information technology. Computer and information systems managers must have at least a bachelor’s degree and related management experience. Many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in a technology related field. Simply Hired states as of 2010, computer and information systems managers earn average salaries of $59,000 per year.

Management Analyst

  • A management analyst is responsible for helping organizations stay competitive in the ever-changing business field. She evaluates the structure, effectiveness and revenue of an organization and creates and presents methods for improvement. She obtains relevant information such as inventory reports, job performances and market trends and creates reports to present to higher management professionals. A management analyst needs at least a bachelor’s degree, but some positions require a master’s degree and extensive work experience. As of 2010, as stated by Simply Hired, the average annual salary for management analysts is $63,000.

Importance of Public Relations for Small and Medium Sized Companies

In today’s world, public relations are the effective way to promote and boost up the business of a company. Therefore, public relation agencies are beneficial not only for the large companies and for enterprises, but for small and medium size businesses.

For example, if you are the owner of a small or any medium sized business, you will be wondered to explore how a reputable firm on public relations Toronto can be proved immensely helpful for your business. Let’s explore some of the benefits of the public relations applicable for small and medium businesses.

Wide Range of Services Offered by A Public Relation Agency

The great thing about public relation activities is that they help to build a positive image of your company. They not only promote your business, but also bring your company in the limelight. In this regard, the PR agencies utilize different social media networks to bring you, your business and different special features of your business under the public interest. By publishing news in different social media, featuring in the magazines and newspaper, people will have a positive image about your business.

A good and experienced agency of public relations Toronto always focuses on the improvement of profits. After all, this is the core aim of every businessman. By identifying the target market and audience, the good PR agency helps to promote your business in those areas where you can gain more sales profit.

For example, a renowned public relation firm should have good contact in the television and radio field so that they can get you the opportunity to talk about your product or service on television or radio and hence you will get better exposure for your business. After expansion of the reputation of your business, many people some forward to buy your product or choose your service that will ultimately lead more profit for you.

When you consider about hiring a public relation firm for your small or medium sized business, you may be worried about the cost of their service. It is true that initially it appears to be expensive to hire the PR agency, but considering it for the long run for your business, hiring a public relation agency tends to be cheaper.

For example, if you wish to hire a good public relation agency, you need to invest around part of thousands of dollars. But once you appoint the firm, they help you or your company’s representative to promote the business through media channels and newscasts. Thus, your business will ultimately gain lots of exposures that cost millions of dollars.

In addition, these public relation agencies are skilled in launching intelligent advertisements that do not sound like a traditional advertisement, but indirectly they provide information about your business. Thus, the viewers and readers not only obtain information about a product relevant to your company, but also come to know how your business can supply that product effectively to them.

These are only few of the wide range of services offered by the public relation firm. Once you make your mind to hire a good public relation agency, you must perform some research to ensure effective result of the public relation campaigns.

 

 

Salary of a Principal Consultant

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Principal consultants may be employed by corporations or firms, and they are also private contractors. Their ranges of jobs, responsibilities and duties vary from mortgage fraud auditing, quality assurance consulting, and loan work-out consulting (loss mitigation) to investment and fund managers to business and technology consultants. There are hundreds of job titles that easily lend themselves to the job title “principal consultant.”

Salary Ranges

  • Salary ranges for principal consultants depend on the job and what kind of work it entails. The salaries depend on the industry it is in, what level of education the consultant has, how many years of experience, what region they work in and the nature of the work involved. The average salary of a principal consultant is from $94,000 to a little more than $110,000 per year.

Senior Principal Consultant

  • Senior principal consultants can be software engineers, technical support staff, software development managers, and applications engineers. Senior principal consultants earn about $76,000 per year depending on the company they work for.

Principal Consultant

  • Principal consultants in California make about $81,000 per year, per Simply Hired. The average salary in Colorado is $82,000 per year. The average in Illinois is about $80,000 per year and in New York, it is in the mid-80s ($85,000 annually). Principal consultants work in information technology, the life sciences, logistics and sales, as well as many other fields and industries.

Principal Sales Consultant

  • Principal sales consultant jobs cover a multitude of positions and skill levels. For instance, a principal sales consultant in the private sector who works with government accounts may be responsible for technical presales, functional support, mentoring less experienced sales consultants, and developing sales opportunities in need of creative solutions. They also help to develop productivity tools and training, and many are likely private contractors. On average, a principal sales consultant in Los Angeles makes around $84,000 per year and a consultant in Washington, DC makes $102,000 per year.

Companies that Hire Principal Consultants

  • All of the many different job titles and salary ranges under principal consultant cannot be covered here. This section lists the names of a few of the many companies that higher principal consultants. They are Oracle, Accenture, Sogeti USA, Keane, International Business Machines (IBM), SRA International, RCM Technologies, SAP America, Fujitsu Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many more. The salary ranges of principal consultants for these companies tend to fall between $80,000 to $170,000 or more per year.

How Much Money Does a Consultant Make?

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Two common types of consultants include management and IT, or information technology, consultants. Both types of consultants work with major corporations, small businesses, government offices, hospitals and other business establishments. Management consultants usually help companies solve labor, payroll, operational and product issues, such as plant efficiency. IT consultants help companies run their computer networks more efficiently. Both management and IT consultants usually earn annual salaries. Additionally, these professionals may receive bonuses and profit sharing incentives.

Average Annual Salary

  • Management consultants earn annual salaries between $63,690 and $115,194, while IT consultants earn $56,228 to $88,772 per year, according to 2011 data from PayScale.com. Including incentive payments, management consultants earn total incomes of $73,089 to $176,411 per year, while IT consultants can earn up to $59,304 to $103,418 annually. PayScale.com data does not reflect actual ranges but rather the top quarter and bottom three-quarters of salaries.

Years of Experience

  • Both management and IT consultants can expect significant salary increases as they gain experience in their respective fields. For example, management consultants with less than one year of experience earn annual salaries of $55,415 to $91,957, per PayScale.com. With five to nine years of experience, management consultants can expect to earn salaries of $76,996 to $113,693 per year. And those with 20 or more years of experience earn annual salaries of $91,844 to $158,805.

    IT consultants with less than one year of experience earn annual salaries of $45,852 to $60,612. With five to nine years of experience, they can expect to earn salaries of $61,156 to $88,136 per year. Those with at least 20 years of experience earn annual salaries between $79,476 and $118,337.

Employer Type

  • Management and IT consultants’ salaries can also vary according to their types of employers. For example, management consultants that are self-employed earn some of the highest annual salaries at $75,000 to $156,339, per PayScale.com. Those working for private practice firms also earn relatively high salaries at $66,693 to $120,372 per year.

    IT consultants also earn some of their highest salaries when self-employed at $40,000 to $122,449. Those working as contract employees also earn relatively high salaries at $50,868 to $98,722. However, contract employees do not usually receive benefits. Non-profit organizations also pay their IT consultants relatively high annual salaries at $48,788 to $90,757.

Salary by City

  • Management consultants earn some of their highest annual salaries in Chicago at $62,590 to $123,067, according to PayScale.com. Those in San Francisco and New York City also earn comparatively high salaries at $74,757 to $121,253 and $67,936 to $120,920 per year, respectively.

    IT consultants earn some of their highest annual salaries in New York City at $59,553 to $96,046. These professionals also earn relatively high salaries in Los Angeles at $59,973 to $91,128 per year. Additionally, those in Houston can expect to earn salaries between $56,373 and $90,718 per year.

About Safety Consultant Salaries

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As technology increases our standard of living, careers will continue to become increasingly specialized. Safety consultants are a subset of engineers that are employed to deal exclusively with risk-management. Those considering a career as a safety consultant should consider the job description, day to day operations and potential salary. Here’s a look at the career path and salary range of a safety consultant.

What is a safety consultant?

  • A safety consultant is someone hired by an organization to ensure that the policies and practices being utilized fall within acceptable levels of risk. For example, a safety consultant would be required where a company is working with hazardous chemicals to ensure the company is operating within the bounds of the law and that the organization is using best practices to minimize the chance of an accident.

What does a safety consultant do?

  • A safety consultant operates in an advisory or supervisory capacity. Through his use of specialized knowledge, the safety consultant works with an organization to define potential problems, conduct research, obtain data through surveys and studies, and analyzes the final data to suggest an appropriate course of action. In that sense, one might think of a safety consultant as a kind of engineering lawyer.

Median salary

  • While the median salary for a safety consultant will vary depending on the region, the average salary for a safety consultant in the United States is currently $60, 935. The low end of that salary range is $49, 946 and the high end is $83,066. Because the national average falls closer to the low end of the spectrum, prospective safety consultant should expect to earn less than the median.

Salary range over years of experience

  • Of course, one can also expect the salary of a safety consultant to climb in proportion to years of experience. On average, a safety consultant with 1 to 4 years of experience is paid $43,774 annually. An average safety consultant with 5 to 9 years of experience makes $54,082 per year. From 10 to 19 years of experience, one can expect to earn $67,922. And with over two decades of experience, a safety consultant can make $74,122. In general, those looking to enter the field should expect to work for about a decade before making near the national average.

Considerations

  • The career of safety consultant offers decent room for advancement, with the opportunity to increase one’s salary over $30,000 over two decades of work. Individuals considering the field should realize that salary growth comes at a fairly slow pace, and should not expect to see significant salary increases until they have accumulated at least a decade of experience. But for those willing to stay the course, the career of safety consultant ensures a healthy standard of living.

Principal Consultant Job Description

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A principal consultant normally works for a consulting firm that specializes in financial, technical, management, marketing or scientific industries. The consulting firm is hired by an organization to offer expertise, information, contacts, management and tools that the client cannot provide themselves. This professional typically faces strict deadlines to meet the expectations of the consulting firm’s client. A principal consultant is normally a senior member of the consulting team or a lead consultant on client projects.

Summary of the Job Description

  • The principal consultant is normally responsible for leading the team during client projects. He’s also responsible for the analysis, design, scheduling, construction and delivery of solutions to meet client expectations. The principal consultant is the main contact between the client and consulting firm and oversees the day-to-day operations of the project until completion. In some cases, the principal consultant will lead several client projects.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The principal consultant works with clients on an assigned project to identify solutions to business problems and streamlines processes. These duties include managing and mentoring the team of consultants assigned to project; executing and completing assigned projects within the time, scope and budget negotiated with the client; evaluating existing systems and procedures and making recommendations for improvement; designing prototypes and proof of concepts that best fit the client’s needs; and ensuring client satisfaction until the project is complete.

Educational Requirements

  • A principal consultant is required to have a bachelor’s degree in the specified discipline of the consulting firm. Some firms require a master’s degree in business administration. Because the principal consultant is the team leader, he may be required to have project management certification. In addition, some jobs require prior work experience in the particular industry, such as engineering or health care.

Technical Knowlege Requirements

  • Most consulting firms prefer their principal consultants have expertise in the consulting firm’s specialty and hold any certifications applicable to it. For example, a principal consultant employed at a firm specializing in technology normally requires technical expertise in programming, development tools and methodologies and system protocols. The job may require certifications in different technologies.

Non-Technical Skill Requirements

  • Because the principal consultant is normally the lead consultant on a project, she must have time-management and planning skills, sales skills and interpersonal skills. In most cases, a principal consultant must have more than 10 years of experience.

Additional Insight

  • Because of the demands of a consulting position, principal consultants are normally promoted from within the consulting firm quickly if they excel in a specific area of expertise or have good interpersonal skills. When hiring a principal consultant, most organizations will accept some skills in different technical disciplines if the candidate offers strong interpersonal, sales and project management skills or previous experience with a consulting firm. Technical responsibilities can be delegated to other team members, and the principal consultant can manage the project to ensure delivery of expected results in a timely manner.

How to Write a Consulting Report

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Consultants play an important role in the business world. From small nonprofit organizations to large international corporations, companies rely on the expertise of consultants to make critical business decisions. Consultants are hired on a contract basis. A consultant’s final product depends on the nature of the consultation. Many consultants produce reports for their clients. The reports offer expert insight into the chosen topic. Use preparation, excellent writing ability and attention to detail to create a thorough consulting report.

Instructions

  1. Create a title page. Type your name, the name of your company, the name of the report and the name of the client. Include the date the report was delivered to the client.
  2. Include an introduction. Write an introduction that explains the purpose of the report. Outline the basic issues addressed in the report. Include methods and approaches used to analyze the given topic.
  3. Provide analysis of the issues. Give each issue a descriptive heading. For example, “Sodium Content in Lunch Entrees” is possible heading in a consulting report about school lunches. Under each heading detail the particular issue. Offer in-depth analysis of the issue. Include alternatives, possible solutions and recommendations for each issue. Use researched data and statistics.
  4. Create a list of recommendations. Gather all of the recommendations from the analysis sections into one section. List each recommendation in a concise, easy-to-understand manner. For example, “Partner with local vegetarian restaurants to serve vegetarian breakfast and lunch meals in the school once a month” is a possible recommendation for a consulting report.
  5. Write a conclusion. Provide a concise summary of the issues and findings explored in the report.
  6. Write an executive summary. An executive summary is a concise description of what the report contains. Copy important sections from the body of the report and paste them into the executive summary. Include the major findings, analysis and conclusions. According to Custom Papers, a good executive summary allows the reader to understand the basic content of the report without reading the report.
  7. Place the executive summary before the introduction.
  8. Create a table of contents. List each section of the report followed by the page number where that section is found.
  9. Place the table of contents before the executive summary.

The Average Salary of an IT Consultant

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An information technology (IT) consultant advises companies and other organizations about computer systems. He assists with selecting servers and other network items for businesses to link all the computers in a building or company together. She helps select new programs, hardware and software programs to meet a company’s needs and provide solutions to challenges. An IT consultant is responsible for handling any issues or problems that arise in clients’ computer systems, and he performs maintenance to keep such systems in good working order. According to PayScale.com, the average salary of an IT consultant depends largely upon a number of factors, such as her work experience and employer type.

Work Experience

  • An IT consultant’s salary depends largely upon how much work experience she has in the field, according to PayScale.com. In August 2009, IT consultants with less than one year of experienced earned between $49,055 and $60,632, while those with one to four years averaged $50,233 to $70,561. The average salary for five to nine years of experience was between $63,250 and $92,567. From years 10 to 19, IT consultants’ average salaries were between $72,721 and $107,227. Once he worked in the field for 20 years or more, an IT consultant earned $83,018 to $119,800.

Employer Type

  • The type of employer an IT consultant worked for also affected her average salary range. Self-employed IT consultants earn the highest maximum salaries, but also report some of the lowest average starting salaries. Hospitals, the federal government and foundations pay some of the highest starting salaries, comparatively. Some of the lowest-paying employers of IT consultants were school districts, state and local governments, and colleges and universities, where workers earned as much as 50 percent less than their peers in other areas.

Certification

  • IT consultants can earn certifications with a masterful understanding of the company’s products and services. The consultant’s certification also affected the salary. In 2009, IT consultants with Project Management Professional Certification received the highest maximum salaries at $108,502. In addition, Microsoft and Java certifications tended to result in higher salaries than Service Technician certifications or those offered for Cisco telecommunication products.

Skills

  • In August 2009, some consultants specialized in particular areas of information technology, such as UNIX systems, where consultants earned between $61,627 and $100,631. Others focused on specific programming languages, and of these, Oracle tended to result in higher pay rates than other languages like SQL or Java. A specialty in general use of Microsoft products or specifically on Windows or Office led to lower salaries than both UNIX and languages.

Education

  • An IT consultants’ education level also affected average salary ranges in August 2009. The highest-paid consultants held masters of business administration degrees, earning between $64,762 and $100,205, while those with masters of science degrees in computer science earned between $64,952 and $96,177. IT consultants who held bachelors of business management degrees in management of information systems were the lowest paid between $51,206 and $81,597.

How to Start an Information Technology Business

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As small businesses continue to grow, many companies are choosing to forego the expense of employing a full time Information Technology department and instead choosing to utilize an information technology business to keep essential systems up and running. If you have an IT background and have dreamed of owning your own business, there are a few simple steps that will have you well on your way.

Instructions

  1. Have solid credentials. This means both knowledge and formal education. A degree in computer science will be helpful, as well as degrees in related fields of computer technology. Know what systems and software are in common use today, as well as some of the lesser known equivalents. Being able to articulate the range of your knowledge to prospective customers will help to build confidence plus also make it possible to appeal to a wider range of clients.
  2. Obtain a business license. This is usually not difficult to do. In most jurisdictions, the business license for starting up a service related business such as IT support requires filling out a few forms and paying a fee. Having the business license will provide you with a degree of legitimacy in the local business community and may open some doors as well.
  3. Set up an office. Even though much of your day will involve site visits to clients to run diagnostics on servers and related components and troubleshooting minor problems, you still need a permanent location with a phone, a desk, and a couple of chairs. The existence of the office, however humble, tells potential clients you are permanent and ill be around for the long haul.
  4. Acquire your own testing equipment and hardware. This will include portable devices you can use on site, as well as equipment that you keep at the office and use when it is necessary to bring a monitor, hard drive, or server into the office for more detailed work. Also, make sure you have the proper tools to open casings and work with motherboards and other internal components without constantly having to run out to buy something.
  5. Establish your basic fees. Many IT support businesses offer one to three packages of service for a monthly fee. The packages will specify what your normal and standard services will be each month, as they relate to maintenance, repair, consultations, and other IT related functions. Offering more than one package will make it possible to earn clients with varying ranges of support needs.
  6. Network in the community. Proactively ask existing customers for recommendations. Join the local chamber of commerce and show up at gatherings. Leave business cards posted on bulletin boards and other places where business cards are routinely collected. Find a few other small business owners in the area who are willing to pass out your cards and contact information in exchange for you returning the favor.

Job Description for an Information Technology Consultant

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Information technology systems are complex and often require the services of experts to operate efficiently. Many organizations, especially smaller firms, may not have the expertise in-house. Enter the information technology consultant, who can help install equipment, and assess, troubleshoot and resolve problems. IT consultants are typically self-employed or work for consulting firms, and they may work on short- or long-term projects. An IT consultant’s job duties will vary according to her specialty or the customer’s needs.

Basic Skills and Characteristics

  • The ability to interpret complex information and develop a plan to resolve problems is a key skill for IT consultants. Information might come from a variety of sources, such as the software the customer is using, the reports from the organization’s IT staff and the employees who use the system. The IT consultant must sift through all of this data to determine what changes are necessary and how the changes may affect a project. An IT consultant must be able to work with all levels of staff in an organization, which requires excellent communication skills. She must also be able to simplify complex issues to ensure that everyone understands the nature of the problems and solutions.

Major Tasks

  • IT consultants have two primary tasks. The first is to assess an organization’s systems and procedures. They may review training procedures or test software, for example The second task is to design a solution that will improve the organization’s efficiency. The IT consultant might consult with the management and staff of an organization, and provide a cost-benefit analysis of possible upgrades or other changes. She could develop new ways to use an existing system or to increase functionality, and oversee the installation and configuration of new systems.

Secondary Duties

  • An IT consultant’s other tasks might include programming; evaluating workflows related to the organization’s information system; and developing flowcharts or other diagrams to illustrate recommended changes and activities. Most IT consultants specialize in a particular area of the field. Systems designers are typically called in to help choose and install an information technology system. Software quality analysts test systems and diagnose problems, and develop recommendations to improve the system. Programmer analysts update software, create applications and debug systems to make them operate better.

How to Get There

  • Most IT consultants have a bachelor’s degree in computer or information science, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and some employers prefer a master’s degree. In some cases, the consultant’s major is in liberal arts or another field but she has gained extensive programming and technical expertise. Consultants often need experience in the industry, and often specialize in a particular field, such as health care or finance. An IT consultant must also take classes or study on her own to remain current in the field.

How to Become a Technology Consultant

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A technology consultant provides support and system design expertise to companies and businesses looking to implement or upgrade an information technology network. To become a technology consultant, you can either get the proper training to qualify for internal, permanent positions with consulting companies or work for yourself on a contract basis.

Get the Training

  1. Do a 4-year bachelor’s degree in a technology-related field, such as computer science, information systems management or electronics. Since the focus of your consulting career is going to be providing technological support, you don’t need advanced, formal business training.
  2. Go on to take specialized courses in information technology once you graduate from college. Available through professional schools and other accredited institutions, IT education is a key way to signal yourself as a true professional in a world of “do-it-yourself” individuals without hard credentials.
  3. Consider adding a graduate degree to your education portfolio to give yourself an edge in the workplace.
  4. Keep your skill set up-to-date at all times as you get your career off the ground by enrolling in inexpensive technology classes at your local city college. Information technology changes fast. Change with it.

Start Working

  1. Do small-scale technology consulting on a freelance basis for independent businesses looking to implement some IT to their workplace. Advertise yourself locally, and work at reduced (or even free) rates until you have built up enough experience on your resume to start applying for jobs.
  2. Expect that you’ll need at least a couple of years of proven experience before you’ll start turning heads in the professional world as you try to become a technology consultant.
  3. Know that the technology consulting industry is roughly broken up into three categories: professional services, staffing companies and independents. Professional services companies are large IT consulting firms who employ a large, steady workforce to meet the needs of their clients. Staffing agencies, on the other hand, outsource IT professionals on a contract basis according to market demand.
  4. Keep an eye toward going into business for yourself, once you have built up an impressive enough resume and have access to a steady client base without the aid of an agency or consulting firm. To become an independent technology consultant, expect to work professionally for a period of at least 3 to 5 years before you’ll have the know-how to go out on your own.

Information Technology for Hotel & Restaurant Management

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Information technology streamlines nearly every aspect of operations in the hospitality industry, from managing hotel reservations to facilitating communication between restaurant servers and chefs in the kitchen. Computer software also assists management with back-end operations, from completing payroll to tracking inventory.

Types

  • According to O*Net OnLine, food service managers typically use point of sale software, calendar and scheduling software, accounting software, inventory management software, and analytical or scientific software. Hotel managers use these same programs, but also use facilities management software and customer relationship software.

Significance

  • Information technology in the hospitality field enables managers to digitally track every aspect of business operations and identify areas for improvement. For example, customer relationship software enables front desk employees to check guests in and acknowledge frequent guests, while point of sale software enables restaurant managers to run detailed sales reports to gauge the popularity of specials or other menu items.

Considerations

  • It’s easy to rely on software, but power outages, database failures and network interruptions still plague any information technology system. Hospitality managers must have a contingency plan with department-specific “emergency kits” to use when a system goes offline.

How Does Technology Affect Business Decisions?

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Technology makes information available to decision makers, helping to improve the quality and speed of decision making. Technology also makes it easier for people to collaborate so they can execute joint business decisions. Organizations use communication technology to update employees on business decisions and ensure the right people implement those decisions.

Information

  • Individuals or groups who make business decisions need rapid access to information to formulate and justify their decisions. Information can include historical corporate data, customer records, market trends, financial data and competitor profiles. This information may reside in varying databases within an organization, however, making it difficult for decision makers to get a complete picture. Investing in a networked data management system enables organizations to store data in central locations that decision makers can access via a secure network.

Collection

  • Technology can also improve the collection of information needed for business decisions. Providing network links between a central database and local retail outlets, for example, enables organizations to collect the latest sales data and make decisions based on up-to-date information. Similarly, members of a supply chain can collect and share market and production data to make more accurate decisions about production and stock levels.

Process

  • Data alone cannot improve business decisions. According to Strategic Consultancy DSS Resources, data management must reflect decision-making processes. Many information technology (IT) departments believe that their responsibility is just to deliver large quantities of data to the decision maker’s desktop. Raw data, however, is unlikely to reflect the decision makers’ needs, creating a disconnect between IT and business.

Tools

  • The decision-making process consists of a number of stages including decision preparation, decision structuring, decision making, and decision management. Data requirements are different at each stage, so large volumes of raw data are unnecessary. Business intelligence software tools are available that allow users to select, analyze and manipulate data into the form they need at different stages of the process.

Groups

  • In many organizations, decision making is a group process, particularly for a project such as new product development. Technology supports decision making in a group environment by allowing all members to access essential data via a network. Groups can also use collaboration tools such as audio or video conferencing to conduct meetings between members in different locations as a way to speed up decision making.

The Impact of Information Technology on Supply Chain Management

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Supply chain management typically involves supervising the transfer of products and goods, such as from a supplier, then to a manufacturer, a wholesaler, a retailer and finally to the consumer. Information technology (IT) refers to the use of computer-based programs to store and manipulate information. IT advances directly can correlate to supply chain management improvements, such as through the rise of effective virtual supply chains.

Basics

  • One significant impact of IT relates to the quality of information available within the supply chain. Companies can develop Web-based programs or intranets to distribute information, such as about new products, delays or changes. IT allows everyone in the supply chain to be integrated and thus, stay informed, which when used appropriately can translate into management efficiency and reduced risks.

Financial

  • Technology creates many financial impacts for supply chains. Management teams can leverage technology to develop cost-effective supply chains. For instance, suppliers, manufacturers and wholesalers can receive orders and payments electronically through secure connections. Costs, such as shipping, also can be reduced by establishing optimal networks, perhaps using suppliers located within 50 instead of 100 miles of a manufacturer.

Features

  • Another impact involves troubleshooting. Technology allows parties within the supply chain to identify challenges, such as delays in manufacturing or shipment. For example, if a supplier is unable to meet a scheduled delivery of materials to a regional manufacturer, then there is a risk of creating a bottleneck (constriction in the supply chain). Bottlenecks can lead to lost sales revenues and devalued materials or supplies.

Significance

  • Market changes readily can be addressed when IT successfully is woven into supply chain management. If economic conditions change and inventory levels are growing (because of little or no sales), then adjustments can be made to decrease manufacturing.

    Consider a sports store that sells 1,000 fewer basketballs than it purchased during the first quarter of the year. If the manufacturer produces and ships to the sports store 1,000 more basketballs during the second quarter, the store’s inventory will grow to 2,000 basketballs. By not stopping or slowing production levels, the sport store’s financial health will be negatively impacted because it must carry excess inventory. IT can help establish a just-in-time inventory system, which maintains low inventory levels and costs by monitoring retail sales and understanding production timeframes. Thus, the basketball manufacturer could adjust its production schedule in response to slow sales.

Considerations

  • IT impacts can be ineffective without necessary internal support. One challenge is the high cost of initial development and implementation. Systems quickly can become outdated (for example, compare Windows 95 and Windows 2008). Another issue regards information sharing, as supply chain parties might be hesitant or unwilling to provide data.

The Role of Technology in CRM

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Technology and customer relationship management (CRM) software go hand and hand. CRM is software. It's software that extents across the organizational structure beginning with a web-based, user-friendly interface for sales executives and customer service personnel and ending with massive databases and knowledge management systems. In some applications, the web-based interface extends to the customer as well.

What is CRM?

  • The primary objective of any company or corporation is the get and keep a customer. Customer relationship management (CRM) is an information technology-driven strategy companies use to get and keep a customer. According to TechTarget.com, CRM systems ensure “management, salespeople, people providing service, and perhaps the customer can directly access information, match customer needs with product plans and offerings, remind customers of service requirements, know what other products a customer had purchased, and so forth.” With this level of knowledge and empowerment, corporations can provide the services required to get and keep the customer buying.

The Evolution of CRM

  • CRM evolved out of the need for sales executives to maximize the use of technology in sales processes. This started with the introduction of the personal information manager (PIM). PIM was a small electronic notebook where sales people kept names and addresses of contacts. Over time, the PIM evolved into computer-based contact management systems. Well-known contact management systems are ACT and Goldmine. Given the increased need for flexibility and access to more information, contact management systems evolved into sales force automation (SFA) and SFA eventually evolved into CRM. Unlike earlier versions, CRM systems offered sales executives access to enterprise-wide data such as real time orders, product delivery information and customer complaints/resolution. This was all in a effort to not only make a sale, but to keep customers engaged and buying new products and services.

Technology and CRM

  • Everything about CRM is information technology-driven. Technology is pervasive from the basic user-friendly interface to complex back-end database and knowledge management systems. Massive databases are the heart of any CRM system. Data is collected from multiple sources ranging from data entry from customer service personnel to online data collection forms made available to the customer via a web browser. Sales executives or customer service personnel can access this data via the worldwide web, an extranet relationship with a corporate partners or an internal corporate intranet. Given the rise of PDAs and smartphones, many companies offer CRM mobile applications to sales executives in the field.

Technology Components

  • CRM applications has three primary technology components that are referred to as customer touch points, applications, and data stores. Customer touch points are the primary human interface with customers. This is the beginning of the sales process. Sales people or customer service personnel communicate with the customer and input data into the system. Or, with the web, this interface could be through an online form where the customer is asking for more information. Applications is the software interface between the customer touch points and corporate databases. Data stores represent the data stored in the databases as well as the knowledge management systems designed to interpret the data and map out customer buying habits or buying behavior patterns.

The Future of CRM

  • The future of CRM is in simplied, low-cost, high-tech implementations, all in an attempt to make CRM systems more flexible and accessible to small businesses as well as large corporations. According to Destinationcrm.com, future CRM technology will include: VOIP technology; speech recognition technology for customer service interface, CRM application service providers where companies pay a monthly fee to access CRM technology, social networking applications and many more. As the global economy expands and competition increases, a CRM system can make the difference between keeping a customer and losing a customer. So, CRM technology will evolve as necessary to service this increasing demand.

The Impact of Technology on Management Theories

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Management theory, developed over the past century, describes how companies plan, organize, staff, lead and control their employees. Effective managers get people to accomplish goals and use materials wisely to achieve profitability and maintain a competitive advantage. Advances in technology have enabled standardization, automation and globalization at a rate that early management theorists probably never thought possible. Complex information technology solutions, including hardware and software, allow businesses to create, store and retrieve data from locations throughout the world. In businesses large and small, all departments, including marketing, sales, finance and manufacturing, now typically depend on the company’s IT infrastructure to manage the operations and functions necessary to complete business processes.

Impact on Scientific Theory

  • In the early 1900s, Frederick Taylor, an American mechanical engineer, described how the scientific method could be applied to managing workers. By simplifying and optimizing the way tasks were performed, managers could direct workers to complete tasks in one consistent way. By improving industrial efficiency and reducing human error, managers improve productivity and increase profits. Through the introduction of technology, such as computer hardware and software, tasks formerly performed by humans are now done by specialized machines, reducing monotony, safety concerns and variation.

Impact on Organization Theory

  • Also in the early 1900s, Henri Fayol, a French mining engineer, developed a series of 14 principles that described how to manage a company. He theorized that there were six functions of management: forecasting, planning, organizing, commanding, coordinating and controlling. The impact of technology on his management theories extends to every department in most companies, as computer hardware and software applications have replaced paper-based systems of organizing and directing work.

Impact on Contingency Theory

  • The contingency theory of management states that there is no one best of managing. Leadership style that proves effective in one situation may be inappropriate in others. Success often depends on a variety of situational factors, including the capabilities of the manager’s subordinates and the information the manager has available to make an informed decision. With the use of mobile computing, mobile phones and other always-available technology, managers have more information at their disposal than ever before. In fact, too much information may make it difficult to make a decision. Managers need to filter the news, data and other content they receive in print, audio and video formats in order to function effectively.

Impact on Systems Approach

  • Using a systems approach to management allows managers to view their company as a complex system consisting of interdependent departments. By aligning employee performance goals to strategic goals, all personnel work to solve the same problems. Technology enables all parts of an organization to communicate easily. Using telecommunication, email, social networking tools such as wikis, blogs and forums, managers and employees collaborate across the globe to solve company problems. Enterprise software and hardware systems link departments so the entire entity functions as cohesive whole.

The Impact of Technology on Controlling Functions of Management

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Functions of management including planning, organization, analyzing data and making decisions regarding both goals and employee motivation or direction. These functions apply to most management jobs and can affect how successful a manager is. The higher the level of management, the broader functions tend to become, even as managers continue to specialize in particular areas. There are few factors that affect these management functions across the board like technology and technological improvements, especially regarding the development of online communication.

Training

  • Training is a vital part of many management positions. Managers need to pass standards and experience down to other employees on a regular basis. Thanks to new technological developments, many managers can use online programs to train employees even when they cannot meet them in person. Managers can also organize online databases of training information for employees to use whenever they need to. This is known as e-learning, a rapidly growing field with many different facets that is changing the way many organizations train employees.

Field Communications

  • Managers must often be in direct contact with employees to give them updated information or instruction on their current tasks. This is especially true of sales managers and other positions where action is important and decisions can affect the success of the business. Technology has allowed these managers to communicate effortlessly with employees across long distances through mobile applications. Sales teams can now talk to managers in the field and also send relevant documents by text, instant message and email through their phones.

Collaboration

  • Collaboration is one of the key aspects of cloud computing in service-oriented businesses. Once managers had to gather teams together and pass documents around from person to person to receive input. Now employees can all log into a single program, work on a document at the same time and send it along to the next step. These programs contain detailed log-in information so managers can trace mistakes properly and correct problems with greater accuracy.

Data Analysis

  • Technology has revolutionized the way that managers analyze data and make decisions based on it. Computer applications can now immediately produce results on sales, marketing plans and the business’s relationship with consumers whenever managers want the information. Data management systems are more complex and more intelligent than in the past. More and more managers are using online systems to track not only their company but also their competitors and to learn what consumers are saying using applications like Twitter and Facebook.

What Are the Jobs in Information Technology?

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Information technology (IT) is a branch of engineering that deals with computers and telecommunications. There are a variety of jobs available to those with an educational background in IT.

Software Engineers

  • Software engineers design computer programs through which users can perform a variety of operations.

Hardware Engineers

  • Hardware engineers design the physical computer components and peripherals as well as computer systems.

IT Consultants

  • IT consultants advise businesses on the best way to use technology to improve their productivity and reduce costs. IT consultants make recommendations for computer hardware, software, peripherals and systems, as well as telecommunications upgrades, changes and additions.

Programmers

  • Programmers take the programs created by software engineers and convert the design into a language that is understood by computers. Once this conversion is complete, the programmer tests to ensure that the program is functioning as planned.

Network Administrators

  • Network administrators work for businesses by performing duties related to and in support of their computer systems. Administrators are responsible for keeping all computers up-to-date, installing new programs, and providing technical support as needed.

Database Specialists

  • Database specialists create specialized programs that compile and organize information that is vital to the operation of a business, such as client information, order history, and inventory listings. Database specialists are also required to maintain and update these systems as needed.

Careers in Communications Technology

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In today’s society, it is crucial that technology functions both efficiently and consistently. People entering the field of communications technology will be responsible not only for sustaining and improving upon current communication systems, but also for creating entirely new forms of technology. Careers in communications technology span across all areas of industry, from software and hardware companies to media companies and financial institutions.

Qualifications

  • Each position within the field of communications technology requires its own specific set of skills. However, for any kind of job in the field of communications technology, applicants must have a strong understanding of communication systems and how they are developed and maintained.

    Although some employers only require previous work experience or specific certifications, for positions such as managerial roles, a bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement, and graduate degrees are preferred. Companies primarily focused on computer science and engineering will prefer applicants with degrees in information or computer science, engineering, or mathematics, while companies focused on business applications will hire graduates who have business and information systems experience.

Software Engineer

  • Software engineers design and develop software applications, such as word processors or communication networks. They write algorithms that essentially tell the computer what to do, and work closely with programmers during the design and maintenance processes of software development. According to Simplyhired.com, software engineers made an average of $69,000 a year in 2009.

Hardware Engineer

  • Hardware engineers are the architects behind the physical components of computer and communications technology. They are responsible for building and testing prototypes, and developing concepts that are cost effective and technologically sound. In 2009, the average hardware engineer salary was $71,000.

Database Developer

  • Database developers are responsible for the creation and maintenance of databases. Businesses and other organizations use databases to store and categorize information, and it is the job of the database developer to analyze, correct and answer questions pertaining to the system. Database developers made about $74,000 annually in 2009, according to SimplyHired.com.

Software Programmer

  • Software programmers are responsible for “teaching” a computer or network how to tolerate and interact with new programs. They do this by communicating with the computer or network via a programming language, such as Java. Software programmers also maintain and update programs, in addition to other computing tasks. Of the roles for communications technology outlined above, software programmers make the most—on average—at $79,000 per year.

Outlook

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs related to computers and databases are expected to grow at a faster than average rate—37 percent—by 2016. In fact, the communications technology industry as a whole is “projected to be one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. economy” in the next decade, says the BLS.

Music Technology Degree Jobs

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Music technologists compose and arrange music using modern technology. Graduate programs in music technology allow musically or technically talented students to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees. With job opportunities in music, film, video recording arts, television and media post-production, music technology is a career with strong growth potential.

Music Software Developer

  • Music software developers are musicians who produce music, create music-related systems and develop music-related software. Developers of music software combine the skills of a computer programmer with the talents of a musician. Music software developers work specialist jobs in the film, music, multimedia animation, games and television industries.

Multimedia Specialist

  • Multimedia specialists are music and sound specialists that work with a team to design interactive and cross-over media projects, such as web, game or interactive application development. Often a multimedia specialist works as an independent contractor instead of as a traditional employee.

Audio Engineer

  • Audio engineers design, install and operate broadcasting and sound recording equipment. Often based in recording or broadcast studios, an audio engineer will record, edit, mix and master sound in order to get a polished finished product. Audio engineers train to use a variety of sound equipment including speaker systems, tape decks, microphones, signal processors, mixer consoles and digital audio applications.

Music Publisher

  • Typically employed by a record label, music publishers proofread and edit music manuscripts and choose which pieces to publish. They must be adept at marketing, promoting and distribution and need to understand how to develop and nurture artists.

Sound Technician

  • Sound technicians install, operate, repair and maintain sound and audio recording equipment. An entry-level job, sound technicians only need an associate degree to be competitive in the job market. Often employed at recording studios and live performances, sound technicians are responsible for sound checks, proper function of sound equipment and the quality of live and recorded sound.

The Impact of Information Technology on Jobs

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Information technology has significantly advanced the way businesses do business and the way people do their jobs all over the world. Data, information and research are available at the speed of light, and workers everywhere have access to it. Be it on the Internet, on a company intranet or on a mobile phone or some other type of electronic device, the technology is farther along now from than ever before, with new advances progressing daily.

Before Information TechnologyBefore current technology came to the forefront, we had about seven basic modes of communication: telephone, telegraph wire, television, radio, mail, fax machines, eventually the pager (or beeper) and the grapevine—over the fence. Many of those technologies were barely old enough to be fully retired when telephonic mobility, the Internet and intranets came into play. Radio signals and wires, plus telephonic cabling, gave us the ability to transport and transfer tons of information faster than the Pony Express, the wiretaps or even physical travel could take it; now those tons of information have been broken into bytes of information that move even faster.

The Information AgeThe advent of the mobility, people being attached to their information sources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is still a relatively recent occurrence. With the progress that is being made, there is no telling what is in store in the future, but we are already more than several light years away from where we were just 20 years ago. On the job, workers are able to access the information they need within 2 seconds instead of 2 to 7 days. These technologies have all but obliterated the need for post offices or even the expense of overnight mail due to highly sensitive documents that can be encrypted (electronically scrambled) and digitally signed. Also, due to increased security measures, it is virtually impossible for outsiders to access sensitive or private company information. Hacking and computer viruses seem to be on a huge downward spiral.

At-Work Technologies: SoftwareFrom agriculture to zoos, thousands of different types of technology are at work and in place to help workers get their jobs done faster and easier and without having to haul down heavy boxes for what used to amount to hours of visual inspection looking for documents or files. Software technologies have also made it possible for people to work from home or to work remotely just about anywhere and also to do their work in a much more efficient and independent manner. For instance, in the garment industry, preproduction (or CAD, computer-assisted design) software packages are used to make digitized dress and clothing patterns. The patterns are then marked up with computerized fabrics that cut the time and wasted materials for physical sampling by about 30 percent.

At-Work Technologies: Hardware and PeripheralsIn all environments, no matter what the industry, software technology would be nothing without the tools that make it all possible. These tools include computers and monitors, printers, scanners, digital cameras, web cameras, video cams, handhelds (personal digital assistants or PDAs), printers, digitized faxes, mobile phones and hard line phones, copy machines, duplicators, intrusion alarms and monitoring equipment and microphones.

Specifics on Available TechnologiesInformation technology on the job is available for many different types of uses and applications, web based or off line. Some of these technologies include e-Commerce (the ability to shop, keep inventory, keep track of returns and deal with customer service issues); e-Learning (the ability to go to school and earn a certificate or degree without having to leave home); day trading (the ability to self-purchase stock and stock options without having to physically call a broker); voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP–the ability to plan meetings and see, talk, hear and speak with people thousands of miles away and all over the world by using inexpensive hardware and software); and also by the use of wireless communications such as cell phones and PDAs.

How to Get an Entry Level Position in Information Technology

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Information technology offers a wide variety of possible careers, but first you must get your foot in the door. You could specialize in programming, security, network administration or another area. Getting an entry-level position in information technology is typically a matter of four things: your basic education, experience, specialty certifications and technical skills.

Preparation Is The Key

  • Start with the formal education your specialty requires. Although hands-on technical skill is extremely valuable, most employers are looking for some proof of your knowledge. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that with the exception of computer support specialists and web developers, most information technology occupations require a bachelor’s degree. Many companies look for experience even in entry-level positions. Highlight previous work experience, college internships or volunteer work in information technology on your resume. Information technology is a field in which change is a constant. Last year’s top certifications might be passé this year. Obtain one or more certifications in your specialty to enhance your value to a potential employer. Don’t hesitate to ask for a chance to demonstrate your technical skills during the application and interview process.

Highest Paying Medical Technology Careers

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A medical technologist is a scientist who assists doctors in laboratories, operating rooms or medical offices. Medical technologists typically have a bachelor’s degree and can specialize in many areas. Some states may require medical technologists to be licensed or take continuing education courses. The median salary for all medical technologists is about $57,000. Some specialists earn more.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

  • Diagnostic medical sonographers earn $43,000 to $83,000 a year. Sonogrophers can complete their education through vocational schools, traditional colleges, in hospitals or the with the military. Radiology is an aging science; sonography is quickly becoming doctors’ and hospitals’ primary choice when diagnosing patients. Sonography uses sound waves to produce an image. Doctors use ultra-sonography to show expectant mothers images of their unborn children. A sonographer will use special equipment to produce images to aid the doctor’s diagnosis.

Nurse Practitioner

  • Nurse practitioners (or registered nurses) earn between $43,000 and $90,000 annually. Most registered nurses (RN) work in hospitals and constitute the largest group of medical professionals in the United States. Standard duties for nurse practitioners include treating patients; providing comfort and support to patients and their families; administering medications; performing tests and reviewing/analyzing the results; performing general health screening; and assisting surgeons.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

  • A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) aids anesthesiologists and can earn between $130,000 and $158,000 a year. A master’s degree is required for this career path. A CRNA teams with anesthesiologists, surgeons and other medical professionals during medical procedures. CRNAs prepare patients for surgery and anesthesia; they also administer and maintain the anesthesia.

Careers in Manufacturing Technology

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Manufacturing in the United States and other developed countries has seen jobs go overseas in the past several years due to the availability of low-cost labor, with U.S. manufacturing decreasing from 28 percent in 1962 to less than 9 percent in 2011, according to a study from Deloitte University Press. One of the most stunning examples of hard reality occurred in 2012, when President Obama asked Apple CEO Steve Jobs about bringing manufacturing of the iPhone back to the United States. According to “The New York Times,” Jobs said point blank, “Those jobs aren’t coming back.” A major shift however, is underway, and technology – rather than manual labor – will be driving manufacturing in the years to come and has already begun to create job opportunities both at home and abroad.

Automation and Robotics Drive the Future

  • The trend toward more automation and robotics is one of the major factors that will affect employment positively in the foreseeable future. Manufacturing will shift toward new growth in developed economies like the United States. Advances in automation have shifted the game, outpacing the labor/cost equation with new increases in computer power, sensor technology and control systems. According to a study, “The Automation Evolution,” published by Deloitte University Press, a significant gap for technical talent exists in the U.S., and many states are putting programs in place to encourage education and training in manufacturing technology. North Carolina’s Biotechnology Center has implemented a training development program for bioscience, and Georgia’s Quickstart program is bringing in more industrial investment with customized industrial technology training.

Manufacturing is Technology

  • The question about jobs isn’t whether manufacturing or technology should create jobs – the fact is, manufacturing today is driven by technology, and increasingly, manufacturing jobs require higher education, even on the production floor. In addition to specialized fields like development and operation of robotics equipment, manufacturing engineers and technologists will typically work to develop tools, processes, machines and equipment that are used to produce products. It may be true that it takes fewer people to manufacture products than before, but somebody still has to create and maintain the robots and develop those automated processes. Jobs in technology lie in that area – working to reduce costs. Rather than manufacturing through a labor-intensive process that calls for an offshoring strategy to take advantage of lower labor costs, manufacturing technology today is bringing production back to the United States – but the nature of production is that manufacturing is no longer a low-skilled arena. As low-skilled jobs go by the wayside, new jobs in technical customer service, technical sales and marketing, engineering and operation of CAD/CAM equipment and robotics are on the rise.

Manufacturing Technology Compensation

  • With more jobs than people to fill them, fields relating to manufacturing technology, particularly on the development side, are paying more than ever. Careers in robotics engineering for example, will grow between 3 and 7 percent through 2022, with median salary ranges over $90,000 annually, according to the Department of Labor’s O*Net Online. Manufacturing technology requires a highly strategic approach as well, so careers in consulting are increasingly focused on bringing in consultants with a deep understanding of both manufacturing technology and business management. First-year-out undergraduates in 2014 were getting total compensation packages of over $90,000 from top-flight consultancies like Accenture, Deloitte and Ernst & Young, according to Management Consulted, a popular resource for consulting jobs. The shift toward a more automated manufacturing environment represents a major challenge, especially to established companies, and they continue to need expert guidance from those who understand both the technology and the business end of the process.

The Changing Face of the Factory Floor

  • Today’s factory looks a lot different than it did 30 years ago, and it is more likely to be staffed by college graduates and highly skilled workers than low-skilled entry-level employees. Federally funded high-tech manufacturing hubs in Chicago, Detroit and other industrial centers are already in place, and for the first time since the 1990s, manufacturing jobs are on the increase. Make no mistake though, these new jobs are high-tech and high-skilled. Low-end mass production is a thing of the past. Manufacturing technology, robotics and automated systems will drive manufacturing and provide more jobs in the future.

Information Technology Jobs in the Music Industry

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The ways in which music is produced and marketed have changed significantly as technology has advanced, and many music careers now involve information technology. The broad category of information technology consists of any job in which technology is used to create, store or transfer information, reports “Entrepreneur” magazine. Tech-savvy individuals who wish to work in the music industry can pursue one of many music-related information technology paths.

Mixer

  • Mixers use technology to create music. These specialists take individual musical tracks and combine them using mixing boards or computer software to create a full-bodied song. Individuals who work in this position often work in close contact with the artists. They are responsible for the sound quality and overall appeal of the music they work with, as it is often their mixing that separates a nice song from a potential hit.

Music Video Editor

  • Music video editors combine the music with visual components to create an engaging and attractive multimedia product. Individuals who edit music videos use their information technology skills to manipulate audio and video files and combine them to create a musical product. Although music video editors do not often have complete creative control of the finished product, they do have some power in shaping the overall look of the video creation.

Digital Marketer

  • The way in which music makers are presented to the public has changed greatly over the years. Today much marketing is done in the digital setting, with artists and record labels setting up online advertisements to inform and entice listeners. Digital marketers work to create these online advertisements and inform web users of artists and their music. These information technology professionals create ads for musical artists and work to either place or sell the advertisements to ensure they reach web users.

Artist Website Designer

  • Website designers often build a digital persona for a musical artist, as many potential listeners turn to the web when gathering information about an artist they may potentially follow. A well-organized and attractive website presents the artist as a professional and may entice would-be listeners to pick up or download the artist’s album.

A List of Careers in Medical Technology

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Medical technology careers give you the chance to be involved in healing, either directly or indirectly. Among other things, you can work with patients, machines, patient information systems and computers. This field is expected to offer excellent growth opportunities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and for many of them you can train in only a year or two. Here are some examples.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

  • A nuclear medicine technologist operates diagnostic imaging machines and gives patients radiopharmaceuticals to help diagnose and treat disease. You should be able to put people at ease in what can be a scary medical situation, while performing body image scans and monitoring each patient’s response. Nuclear medicine technologists work in hospitals, clinics, imaging centers, nursing homes and medical centers.

Surgical Technologist

  • Your career as a surgical technologist may take you into hospitals, clinics and surgery centers. You will set up the surgical suites for operations, ensuring that the proper sterile instruments and equipment are in place, along with antibacterial washes and other necessary supplies. You will prepare the patient for surgery by washing, shaving and disinfecting the operation site. You will also assist in surgery and bring patients to the recovery area when the surgery is done. Good people skills and coordination are a must, as you may be preparing and transporting frightened patients for surgery.

EEG Technologist

  • A career as an EEG technologist may be for you if you’re interested in how the brain works. An EEG technologist operates an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine to help diagnose strokes, brain tumors and other brain disorders. You may work in a hospital or an EEG lab. You will take a patient’s medical history, apply electrodes, record EEG readings and review the information, all while reassuring the patient and making him feel at ease.

List of Information Technology Careers

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Information technology encompasses all jobs related to computing technology, including networking, software, hardware and the Internet. There are a number of information technology positions that extend from entry-level to management, with a wide array of salaries. Some positions require interaction with people while others do not. If you have any interest in information technology, there is probably a job that fits your personality.

Computer Support Specialist

  • Computer support specialists are usually divided into two categories: technical support specialists and help-desk technicians. Technical support specialists work for organizations, helping address computer-user issues using automatic diagnostics programs. They may write training manuals and offer training. Help desk technicians address customer computer-related inquiries and provide assistance. Educational requirements for this position may vary from a certificate to a bachelor’s degree.

Systems Analyst

  • Systems analysts interact with clients, meeting with prospective customers and determining needs through interviews and observation. Systems analysts work in specific areas such as business, financial systems, accounting and engineering. They also prepare financial analyses regarding purchasing proposed technology and work with programmers to ensure systems are functional. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or information technology is usually required for this position.

Computer Software Engineer

  • Computer software engineers are responsible for the design and development of computer software. They analyze a user’s needs and develop appropriate software using flowcharts and diagrams. Software computer engineer jobs include designing computer games, business applications, network control systems and operating systems. Most software engineers have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree.

Computer Programmer

  • Taking information provided by systems analysts or software engineers, a computer programmer writes the computer program. Translating the information into a language the computer can read, computer programmers also make repairs or improvements to existing programs. Computer programmer positions may require a certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree.

Information Systems Manager

  • An information systems manager’s main responsibility is to ensurethat an organization possesses the necessary technology to meet its goals. They oversee all technical areas of an organization along with managing other information technology professionals. Information systems managers may also evaluate new technologies, develop technical standards and determine how to implement any new technology. A bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field is generally required.

How to Monitor Technology Trends

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Technology changes at a rapid pace, and new technologies and offerings come to market in a rapid manner. Keeping up to date on what trends are both emerging and fading away is the first step in understanding how technology evolves and advances. There are steps you can take to keep apprised of the trends currently impacting technology and those on the horizon.

Instructions

  1. Make a list of the technology that impacts your daily life. Use this list as a base guideline to learn about technology and the base technologies that are being used today. For example, a smart phone uses technologies such as semiconductors, microprocessors, media storage, LCD screen technology, broadband access and Bluetooth. Make notes regarding which technologies are most beneficial to you and which ones could use enhancements.
  2. Read articles, white papers, vendor-issued press releases and product specifications for vendors that you are aware of. For example, read press releases and product announcement for companies such as Research In Motion, Google and Verizon if you are still working off of your smart phone technology list. Bookmark pages and use the terms and products mentioned to further search the Internet for additional information, reviews and comparisons of the products.
  3. Read articles and information on magazine websites devoted to technology such as PC World Magazine, Computer World Magazine and the Technology News section of The New York Times. Visit the websites on a weekly basis to scan through current news and events to monitor which topics and trends are receiving the most publicity. Sign up for all news feeds and email notifications for technology topics.
  4. Read blogs written by technology-specific writers. Find the blogs through the magazine websites or by performing a search on the writer’s name. Bookmark the blogs and sign up through the blog directly for notifications of new postings and news feeds for blogs that are of interest to you.
  5. Bookmark and visit social media sites, making sure to note the feeds associated for technology and technology-specific areas. Search through groups, individual contributors and company-produced feeds to further keep track of new and timely information.
  6. Keep a running list of terms, topics and products that continually appear and get mentioned in all of the information portals and mediums you are tracking. Take notes and print out information to further examine and study the trends that you see developing.

How to Use Technology to Save Time

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Whether you’re spending too much time getting bogged down by email or your life seems to revolve around meetings, there’s no doubt that you could stand to shave off mindless minutes at work. Modern time-saving technology goes way beyond word processing and spreadsheets. With the use of a smartphone and a few computer applications that help you hold meetings, manage your tasks or keep you from time-wasting social media, you can make better use of the precious few hours in the workday.

Scheduling and Task Management

  • Use basic scheduling tools such as your Outlook calendar to lay out your daily tasks. Having a set schedule not only helps you stay on task, but it also alerts others you work with — such as a secretary or your staff — to when you’re available for impromptu questions, and when you shouldn’t be disturbed. This saves the time of having to contact everyone individually. To ensure you’re using your allotted time wisely, set a timer for each task. Apps such as TomatoTimer or Toggl help manage the time you spend on each item.

Manage Social Media

  • If you’re using social media to promote your company, you can spend a lot of time sending tweets, posting photos to Instagram, or checking in on Facebook. To save time, download a social media management tool that lets you check on multiple platforms — and post from them — all at once. Buffer, HootSuite and SproutSocial are some of the options to try. If you find yourself wasting way too much time on social media for personal use, download a blocking program, such as AntiSocial or LeechBlock, that only allows you access to your feeds during certain hours of the day.

Meet Electronically

  • Personal interaction with clients and customers is valuable, but it can also really eat up time. Instead of meeting face-to-face with that important client every week — which requires a drive across town — use an application such as Skype or Apple’s native FaceTime to meet via video chat. The same goes for meetings you have with co-workers or colleagues. Instead of spending time walking across the company campus and then waiting for everyone to assemble, spend five minutes checking in via WebEx or GoogleHangouts.

Automate Where You Can

  • If you’re a business manager or owner who spends time paying office bills, managing inventory or scheduling staff, you owe it to yourself to automate those systems. If you own a bakery, for example, it might take some time to break down your ingredients into recipe sizes and enter them into an inventory system to manage your baking inventory. But in the end, it will save you time by helping you assess how much inventory you need on a daily or weekly basis. Apps such as Inventory Tracker and Lettuce keep track of goods you have on hand and let you know when it’s time to order more. This saves you from having to sort out every detail on your own. You can also save time by setting up automatic payments for your bills so don’t have to spend time writing out checks.

How Does Technology Affect Business Decisions?

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Technology makes information available to decision makers, helping to improve the quality and speed of decision making. Technology also makes it easier for people to collaborate so they can execute joint business decisions. Organizations use communication technology to update employees on business decisions and ensure the right people implement those decisions.

Information

  • Individuals or groups who make business decisions need rapid access to information to formulate and justify their decisions. Information can include historical corporate data, customer records, market trends, financial data and competitor profiles. This information may reside in varying databases within an organization, however, making it difficult for decision makers to get a complete picture. Investing in a networked data management system enables organizations to store data in central locations that decision makers can access via a secure network.

Collection

  • Technology can also improve the collection of information needed for business decisions. Providing network links between a central database and local retail outlets, for example, enables organizations to collect the latest sales data and make decisions based on up-to-date information. Similarly, members of a supply chain can collect and share market and production data to make more accurate decisions about production and stock levels.

Process

  • Data alone cannot improve business decisions. According to Strategic Consultancy DSS Resources, data management must reflect decision-making processes. Many information technology (IT) departments believe that their responsibility is just to deliver large quantities of data to the decision maker’s desktop. Raw data, however, is unlikely to reflect the decision makers’ needs, creating a disconnect between IT and business.

Tools

  • The decision-making process consists of a number of stages including decision preparation, decision structuring, decision making, and decision management. Data requirements are different at each stage, so large volumes of raw data are unnecessary. Business intelligence software tools are available that allow users to select, analyze and manipulate data into the form they need at different stages of the process.

Groups

  • In many organizations, decision making is a group process, particularly for a project such as new product development. Technology supports decision making in a group environment by allowing all members to access essential data via a network. Groups can also use collaboration tools such as audio or video conferencing to conduct meetings between members in different locations as a way to speed up decision making.

How to Create a Technology Needs Assessment

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A Technology Needs Assessment is written to provide the management of an enterprise with the information they need to make technology investment decisions. The enterprise may be a large corporation, a small business, a non-profit, or even a small unit or office within one of these entities. In all cases the task is the same: to examine the technology needs of the study site and document these needs so that technology strategy can be planned and corresponding investments made.

Instructions

  1. Begin by surveying and documenting all the existing technology at the study site. This survey will record all hardware along with its age and condition, all software along with the release version and any patches that have been applied, and should make reference to the business processes that are supported by the technology. The survey needs to be exhaustive, accurate and well-documented.
  2. Identify deficiencies in the existing technology. Some of these will already have emerged incidentally during the initial technology sweep. You should now interview site leadership and staff with the goal of exposing all the ways in which the existing technology fails to support the mission of the enterprise. Technology deficiencies can arise due to problems with slow, outdated hardware, or software that does not work well enough, or because of a lack of additional hardware or appropriate software. Document all the known and perceived deficiencies.
  3. Research solutions to the deficiencies. This will require some expert knowledge and careful judgment. In almost all cases there is a good argument for upgrading hardware to current standards. Software upgrades require more care, since the latest version is not always the best. Consult on-line forums and technology discussion groups for the opinions of experienced professionals on these topics. Assessment site management may suggest they need some new software. Investigate this suggestion and draw conclusions about its effectiveness and suitability. Look for alternative products, and compare costs.
  4. Consult the enterprise Technology Master Plan or Strategy document, if there is one. Your recommendations should be consistent with that document. If you make proposals in ignorance of a corporate policy you may be at variance with existing standards and that compromises the value of your assessment.
  5. Write up your findings and conclusions in a comprehensive document that includes your technology survey, a listing of deficiencies and the effects these have on the site’s business function, along with your recommendations for upgrades, if any. If you recommend any new software be purchased or licensed, provide the supporting rationale in terms of improvements to business functions that will result. In all cases provide the estimated costs of any changes you recommend.

How to Use Information Technology

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Information technology is the process of using computer devices to obtain and handle information and data. It is something that is used by people all over the world in their businesses as well as in their homes. Before the information-technology age came to be, individuals had to obtain and handle their information by hand, which was quite time-consuming; however, those days are over. You don’t need to have a degree in information technology to use it. All you need is a computer device and the desire to work with information.

Instructions

  1. Use information technology to increase productivity in your home or business. Programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint can be used to create word documents, spreadsheets and presentations. By using programs such as these, you will save time and effort, instead of wasting time by writing out documents and data information with your hands.
  2. Utilize databases in your home or office that will allow you to store data on your clients and customers. Many customers, when they connect with organizations, provide information such as their name, address, telephone number, e-mail address and, sometimes, their social security numbers. By storing the client’s information in the database, you can shred the paperwork that contains confidential information. Because the information is being stored in a database, you can also have more control over who can view the information. You can assign usernames and passwords that are required to log into the database to access the information.
  3. Use information technology as a means to communicate. With so many features available, such as e-mail and instant messaging, you are sure to find a communication method that is more convenient than picking up a telephone.
  4. Use information technology to learn new information. With the power of the Internet, you have access to tons of information that some people pay to receive schooling for. You can search for any subject you would like to know about by entering the subject matter on an Internet search engine, such as Google.com, Yahoo.com, or Bing.com.
  5. Use information technology to create an online business. Through the Internet, you have access to billions more customers that will never step foot through your doors. If you have a business idea, you can market it online and make information technology work for you.
  6. Use information technology in your automobile by installing a GPS (Global Positioning System) device. The GPS device will help you to always know your location, even when you are lost. The GPS device can also help track your automobile if you should ever become the victim of auto theft.

How Does Technology Affect Economics?

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Technological change is part of the economic process. The economist Joseph Schumpeter once described economic innovation as “the perennial gale of creative destruction,” Competition and the drive to find better, more efficient ways to produce goods and provide services leads businesses to take advantage of every new technology. Technological innovation comes with a price, however, destroying some jobs while creating others.

Technology in History

  • The impact of technology has been felt for centuries. The woolen mills of the early Industrial Revolution put cottage industries operating hand looms out of business. The internal combustion engine left many harness makers and blacksmiths jobless. And the more contemporary technological revolution has displaced secretaries, postal workers and telephone operators. Technological innovation makes it possible to do more with less. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 for $1 billion. Instagram had 30 million customers and just 11 employees. By contrast, Kodak, which had just filed for bankruptcy, had 145,000 employees at the height of its operations. Displaced workers are usually first to feel the impact of innovation, with the middle and under classes bearing the brunt of unemployment.

Technology and Economic Growth

  • According to classical economic theory, the accumulation of physical capital – tools, trucks, bulldozers and assembly lines, for example – is responsible for increasing human productivity. You can drive a nail with a rock, a hammer or a nail gun, but you will be most productive with the latter. But capital goods do not account for all economic growth. Technology plays a significant role in fueling economic growth. The impact of technology can be seen in advances in manufacturing where robots perform precision operations and in hospitals where robots are used to make medical procedures less invasive. Advances in technology are improving batteries to create better performance in everything from hand-held devices to electric automobiles. Predicting the advances made possible by technology is challenging, but they will continue unabated.

The Downside of Technological Change

  • A negative aspect of technological change is its impact on income distribution. Workers who are displaced by technological advances may find it difficult to become re-employed as new jobs require advanced skills they do not possess. Technology impacts the number of jobs needed to produce goods and services. At the turn of the 20th century, a third of American workers were employed in agriculture. Asof publication, only 2 percent of the labor force works on the farm, producing more than their predecessors. A report from Oxford University states that 47 percent of all jobs may be automated in the coming decades. Middle-class jobs will be lost, and the gap between the haves and the have-nots will widen.

Prospering with Technological Change

  • The rate of technological change makes it necessary to take a fresh look at education. While the technological revolution opens opportunities for better jobs, workers must be retrained and re-educated to take advantage of them. Education must be less by rote and more focused on creative thinking. The Internet has made online learning an alternative to traditional classroom instruction, and many academic institutions are turning to blended learning – a mix of classroom and online. Online opportunities such as Khan Academy or the colleges that post their academic courses for anyone to audit for non-credit are examples of the technological wave that can give workers the knowledge to gain higher-paying jobs.

Information About Modern Technology

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Technology is well-established. From car remotes to medical procedures, technology is part of our lives. Each day, new technological ideas or products are introduced. Because technology is so prevalent in the modern world, it is worth exploring what effects modern technology has on us. The effects of technology can be both positive and negative.

Accountability

  • Technology has given us nearly instant communication. In addition, more people are able to view information and products than ever before. The increase in communicative ability and access to data is beneficial in that it creates a certain level of accountability. For instance, members of the media are under more pressure to report accurately, since the data they report is seen by potentially millions of people worldwide.

Travel

  • Better technology in many instances has led to better travel. Planes fly more efficiently to more places than ever before, for example. The benefit is that it is very easy to transport both people and goods from place to place. The resulting global economy keeps prices low. People do not need to work or live only in their native area. However, better travel also means that people are more likely to spread disease from place to place, and a global economy means that some inferior or unsafe products may be widely distributed.

Health Improvements

  • For the most part, increased technology has led to improvements in health. Doctors now have ways to tell how sterile an environment or tool is. They have many different machines that can monitor vital signs or that can be used in medical procedures. Without this technology, many people would not recover from their illnesses, and disease would spread more rapidly.

Health and Other Concerns

  • Although modern technology can improve health, there is concern that the excessive use of technology may promote some health problems. For instance, those who work in front of a computer screen or who watch a lot of television every day are more sedentary, which can lead to physical problems. There also is concern that technology is reducing the social skills held by people and that it allows for a decrease in safety, such as with child pornography posted on the Internet. Additionally, modern technology may be creating some problems in that it can be used improperly, such as with atomic bombs during war.

Considerations/Regulations

  • Whether technology is beneficial or harmful depends largely on the way it is used and who is wielding the technology. For instance, computer email can be used to share family photographs, or it can be used to send out attachments that damage the recipient’s computer and steal information. Some regulations on modern technology thus are needed in order to guarantee or to protect individual and social safety.

How to Install Smart House Technology

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On the shores of Lake Washington Bill Gates lives in a $113 million smart house where automation controls everything from lighting to security. Today smart house technology begins with PC based starter kits that now sell for less than $500. A smart house relies on networking, programming and automation to move many of our home’s functions to a cyber autonomic nervous system. As just one example, you could push a movie button on a touch pad which would dim your lights, close the drapes, turn on the popcorn maker, put your phone on voice mail, adjusting heating or air conditioning in unused parts of your home for the duration of the DVD, and then turn on your home theater system. If your children use this function on their own, you could also check the ratings of the DVD’s they watch, Because this technology is efficient, it can also save money. We’ll look at the benefits, and how to apply them.

Instructions

  1. Let’s start with economy. Last summer, I was working on a television show in Arizona. The entire crew stayed in a home kept in the mid seventies, while the air outside topped 115 degrees. Although signs warned us to turn the thermostat up while we were away, we usually forgot, cooling an empty home for an entire work day. A programable thermostat would have cut our energy consumption dramatically by telling the cooling system when to stop and reset so that while we were actually there we’d still be in comfort. The same programming could be applied to furnaces and hot water heaters. Many offices already use motion sensors to switch on lighting. The same sensors have now migrated into homes and can determine when a home owner goes to bed to turn off the light and adjust the thermostat. Heavy electrical use machines, like washing machines or dryers could be programmed to turn on and work at when electrical rates drop.
  2. Home safety can also be programmed. Security systems can form the networking backbone of many smart houses. In addition to alarms, cameras are now commonly available that you could watch world wide from any PC when you’re away. Many home fires are started by electrical short circuits. In your home today, every device has power fed to it. In a smart house, power is only turned on when the device is needed. If a short circuit occurs, power can be disconnected, the kind of action you’d expect from a simple circuit breaker, but here’s the additional protection. Smart houses also detect gas water leaks and monitor smoke alarms. Power would also be shut down and the appropriate agency summoned. If you look at your home today, you’ll see many DC voltage transformers for radios, fax machines, and more. These wall warts are on all the time wasting power. Smart homes allow for different kinds of current to be fed to different devices only when needed, promoting safety through lower voltages where appropriate while again saving homeowners money.
  3. To begin, analyze your needs. With your family, discuss exactly which automation features you’ll require. If you are building from scratch, your requirements will influence your home’s layout. In a retrofit, you’ll be limited by your house’s floor plan. Get advice from as many people as you can who are now using automation. What did they do wrong? What works best? Decide on whether you plan to do the installation yourself or hire a professional.
  4. Decide on your network. There are four main kinds. Structured wiring is a specialized secure network of multi-conductor cable that distributes data and power for phones, computers, home entertainment systems, and any appliances that can be controlled by a microprocessor – think a remote control or timer. It’s the best choice for new construction but is hard to install in an existing home. Wireless networks are flexible and easy to put in. However they are subject to interference from baby monitors and mobile phones. Power line networks use a home’s existing electrical wires to transmit data. They can be disrupted by power surges and failures. If your system is unencrypted it could be accessed by a neighbor on your same local transformer – so much for home security. Phone line networks control your appliances over your existing phone lines. The devices are multiplexed, assigned different frequencies, but again require hard wire installation, although the wiring is small diamater compared to a fully structured network.
  5. Once you’ve decided on your network, then choose your control devices. Smarthome.com or housesmarttech.com are good sites to browse to see what’s available.
  6. Some smart house technology has already filtered down to common uses. For example, ground fault interrupters are better than simple fuses, because they can instantly detect a potentially fatal shock where electricity could run to ground through a person. These circuits shut down immediately and are now commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens, and outside outlets.

How Does Technology Improve Customer Service?

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Customer service is the lifeblood of any organization, and it is not just a department but must be the attitude of the entire company. Employees can be trained to provide the best service possible to the customer. However, if the technology is not adequate, customers, and employees, will quickly become disheartened and frustrated. A frustrated customer (or employee) can lead to lower company revenues through lost sales or lost productivity. Technology, used properly, can help employees work more efficiently and ease customer frustrations. There are various ways technology can be used to improve customer service.

Increased automation

  • Contact centers are increasingly using voice recognition and call-routing technologies. The customer can speak to a computer or press keys that will route him or her to the appropriate department to handle the request. Call routing improves customer service by allowing the customer to go straight to the person that can handle his or her needs. This saves the customer from repeating the request to numerous representative and ultimately saves time for the customer and saves money for the organization. Research technologies and consultants can help automate routine processes. Visit similar businesses to understand how they have implemented technology in their operating processes. Interview other businesses to discover how automation has impacted their business positively and negatively.

Customer empowerment

  • Technology also empowers the customer. With technology, the customer can get what is needed from the company. Self-checkout lines have become popular in retail outlets. The customer goes into the store to get what is needed and can check out without interacting with the company’s associates. The customer is satisfied because he or she can quickly get exactly what is needed, purchase and pay for the item without a long wait. The customer may also choose not to self-checkout and prefer to use a cashier line. This, again, increases customer service because he or she has an option. The customer has control over how he or she interacts with the organization. Look to see what the company can allow the customers to access themselves. When evaluating, be prepared to change or completely eliminate some processes. Simplify the processes to make it easier for the customer.

Customer education

  • Colleges have used technology to literally educate their customers, the students. Technology has created the ability to provide online classes to students. Online colleges tout the fact that students can learn at their convenience. Online classes are often smaller than regular, university classes. The students work in a virtual classroom with a virtual whiteboard. Companies also can educate their customers about items as simple as operating hours or as drastic as company shutdowns. Airlines and hotels use technology to send customers reminders of flight check-ins or hotel reservations. This not only helps customers by helping them remember important events on behalf of the company, but it also helps the company by providing a way to confirm the customer’s initial request. Keep the external and internal channels of customer communication updated. For example, the company websites should have the most current information; this includes external websites and the company’s intranet. Have an action plan for quickly and accurately updating the company’s information. This plan should include the use of websites, social media and phone messages.

More channels of ordering

  • The internet, telephone and even social media have helped to provide customers with increased, more efficient ways of ordering products. In addition, customers can order a product or service when it is convenient for them. Review the organization’s channels of ordering. If the customer cannot order by telephone anytime, provide other channels of ordering such as through the company’s website, blog or even through social media. Check to ensure the customer can provide payment information securely via the internet and telephone. If the customer orders via mail or fax, ensure that the organization is PCI-compliant, which also keeps customer payment information secure.

Cut costs

  • Technology means getting more done in a smaller amount of time. Use technology to increase the number of products produced or to complete more processes. For example, technology is used to create more cars in a shorter amount of time. If technology were not available, the cost to create a car would be very expensive. In turn, the price of the car would be burdensome to the average family. However, with technology, the company can create the car at a fraction of the cost and charge the customer less. Technology keeps costs low while providing a quality product to the customer. Begin using technology in those areas where there is “low-hanging fruit.” For example, instead of making paper copies to send to other departments, scan the documents and place them on a shared server. This saves money in office supplies, time in document distribution and allows the receiving departments the ability to always access the information.

How Does Technology Impact Communication?

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Technology is constantly altering the way we live our lives. From how we eat to how we travel and work to how we entertain ourselves, technology has become an integral part of our day. However, the aspect of our lives that has been most impacted is likely the way we communicate with one another. These changes have been for both better and worse, but have unequivocally impacted the way we interact with the people in our lives.

SpeedTechnology has amplified the rate at which we communicate with the world around us. Developments like email, instant messaging, texting, cell phones, Twitter, social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, and video conferencing have allowed us to connect with each other at breakneck speeds. This has helped us in some ways by allowing us to get in touch with each other quickly for both business and emergency needs. However, with speed sometimes comes recklessness. In a heated moment, people may send a text or email they later come to regret, but can’t take back because it was sent in a matter of seconds.

AccessibilityTechnology has changed how when contact each other, when, and where. With cell phone service being much more consistent than it was in the 1990s, and a growing market of smartphones with mobile internet and email access, messages can literally be transmitted anywhere at any time. This is uniquely helpful in a professional sense, because it allows you to stay in touch with colleagues when on a business trip or out of the country. Unfortunately, this accessibility can also become a burden. Blackberry phones have earned the nickname \”Crackberry,\” referencing a growing addiction to connectivity and a fast-paced lifestyle, perhaps distracting from other important communicative processes.

EfficiencyTechnology has greatly impacted the efficiency of our communicative acts. Instead of having to have a long conversation with a client about his kids and home life before asking a quick question about an order, a brief and to-the-point email can be sent to accomplish the same task. While this has made some business interactions a little easier, our reliance on technology to communicate with one another can sometimes lead to conflict. There is no nonverbal context to a text message or email, which means that sarcasm or jokes can sometimes be misinterpreted, leading to hurt feelings.

Family ConnectionsTechnology has made it easier for families to stay in contact with each other. Instead of having to rely on physical photographs being sent every couple of months, new parents can now send photo text messages (MSM) to proud grandparents every day. Video telephone calls made with platforms like Skype can let parents on overseas business trips talk to and see their kids. Members of the military can keep up to date with their family affairs and receive encouragement via email while deployed. The only time this becomes a problem is when technology becomes the only mode of connection, which can make more traditional family members feel isolated.

NewsTechnology has exploded access to news for the public. We are able to communicate about events as they happen with platforms like Twitter or news tickers that can be downloaded to your desktop. Moreover, the internet has changed the way we communicate news by giving literally anyone a voice with blogs and websites. This free flow of information serves as a check on public figures sometimes, but can also lead to misinformation and confusion.

Uses of Secondary Storage Devices

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Secondary storage devices are a very useful component to have. Many times, they also go by the name external hard drives. Different people use them for different purposes, as they are very versatile.

Computer Backup

  • The majority of secondary storage devices are used for a very simple task: backing up data. Most likely, your computer is filled with all of your music, pictures, videos and other items of value. You may also have expensive applications that you paid for loaded onto it. Backing up your data is always recommended in case of a hard drive crash on your computer.

External Hard Drive

  • Another common use of secondary storage devices is to serve as an external hard drive. If the hard drive on your computer is getting full, why not add an external hard drive? This simplifies the process of upgrading more storage as you do not have to crack open your computer. Simply add a secondary storage device via a USB port and you now have up to two terabytes of extra space added to your computer. This is also an ideal solution for notebook users who are unable to upgrade the hard drives in their computers.

Network Attached Storage

  • Many businesses will connect secondary storage devices to their network. This acts as an easy way for them to share files. When you connect a secondary storage device to your network, you can set specific permissions for anyone on your network to connect to it.

For Travel and Easy Transport

  • Secondary storage devices are becoming more and more portable as technology progresses. A very popular use of secondary storage devices has become using them to transport data. Whether you are going on an airplane and need to bring files to your boss, or just want to run a computer game to your friend, secondary devices will do the trick.

Forget Mechanical Drives: You Need an SSD In Your PC

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Let’s get this out of the way right up front: When it comes to speed, a solid-state drive (SSD) is the single most important component you can have in a computer. The key thing to look for when buying a computer is a solid-state drive — not a faster CPU, not more RAM, not a more powerful video card.

Your Hard Drive is the Bottleneck

Your computer’s hard drive is probably its bottleneck — the slowest component in the computer that slows everything down. A faster CPU or more RAM won’t do much good if your mechanical hard drive is holding everything back.

When you’re using the computer for normal desktop use, the hard drive is generally what’s slowing you down. When you click a program’s icon to launch it, open a file or even save a file to your hard drive, that wait you experience — even if it’s just a moment’s pause — is because the mechanical hard drive has to physically move its heads to a different part of its spinning magnetic platter and read the data from it.

Benchmarks Don’t Lie

Solid-state drives are primarily made from the same sort of flash memory you’ll find in USB flash drives, smartphones, and other solid-state devices. The SSD has no moving parts, just like a USB flash drive. You’ll never need to wait for a head to move back and forth, as you do with a mechanical hard drive.

This results in a massive performance increase. How big? Well, that depends on how you measure it. I upgraded a laptop that came with a mechanical hard drive to a modern solid-state drive a few months ago, and I ran benchmarks on both drives.

For some types of disk activity, the SSD was a mere two-and-a-half time faster. But for a mechanical drive’s slowest activity — reading from random locations all over the disk — the benchmark showed the SSD was four hundred times faster.

That’s a huge increase. It’s because an SSD isn’t just upgrading to a newer, faster drive — it’s upgrading to a newer generation of technology entirely, like when computers ditched floppy disk drives for CDs and then USB flash drives.

It’s not just benchmarks, either. If your computer boots in a minute or two, it could easily boot in 20 seconds or perhaps even less. When you open a program or file, that small delay will be eliminated and the computer will respond instantly. It’s a huge difference in real use.

Be certain it’s an SSD

You can upgrade your current computer to an SSD, but that’s a geeky thing most computer users won’t actually want to do.

Instead, when you find yourself shopping for a new computer, treat an SSD as the most important component for performance. Don’t choose a computer with a faster CPU and more RAM that has an old, slow mechanical drive over a computer with a slower CPU, a bit less RAM, and a speedy, modern SSD. That SSD-powered computer will probably be much faster in real use. And SSDs have come down significantly in price.

Some computer manufacturers seem to love pushing their old mechanical hard drives. It’s a numbers game to them — they can claim 1 TB, 2 TB or 3 TB of storage space next to a solid-state drive that might have only 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of storage. But you probably don’t need an entire terabyte of storage on your computer. You likely will benefit more from faster storage.

If you do happen to need all that space — perhaps you have a lot of music and video files on your computer — then you can connect an external hard drive to your computer over a USB cable and store all your media files there. Remember, you’ll get the most benefit from an SSD for the operating system and program files. So if you don’t have enough room for all of your data, that’s fine; relegate those files to a mechanical drive. But make no mistake: An SSD will completely change the experience of using a PC.

How Much Data Can a Flash Drive Hold?

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Flash drives, also known as thumb or USB drives, are small external storage drives that connect to a computer’s USB drive. Users can employ these drives to move data between computers or to back up data.

Identification

  • Flash drives and other external storage media typically state the maximum data capacity on the drive itself or on the drive’s packaging. In addition to this, Windows users can determine the maximum capacity and available capacity of a flash drive by right clicking the drive in “My Computer” to view the capacity.

Maxiumum Capacity

  • As of October 2010, the maximum capacity of a flash drive is 256 gigabytes. Kingston’s 256 GB DataTraveler is larger than some computer hard drives, which makes them ideal for copying an entire hard drive. Flash drives are also available in much smaller capacities including 512MB, 1GB, 4GB and 8GB.

Considerations

  • Generally, the flash drives that can hold more data cost more money than smaller drives. In addition to this, the number of files a flash drive can hold depends on the type and size of the file. For example, a 512 megabyte card will only be able to hold about 232 photos at a 6-megapixel resolution while the same card can hold roughly 464 photos at a 3-MP resolution. Generally, a flash drive can hold more images than audio files and more audio files than video files.

Misconceptions

  • An 8GB flash drive will not hold exactly 8GB, similar to how a computer’s hard drive will actually have less room than advertised. Drives dedicate some space to formatting data and this reduces the overall capacity.

What Are the Functions of a Hard Drive?

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“Hard drive” is a common term used in the computer world for the component in computers and electronics that provides long-term storage of information.

The Hard Drive as Storage

As you use your computer, you create documents and other bits of information to be stored. The hard drive saves these items, alongside the software and files that allow you to easily use and interact with your computer, including the operating system.

When you open an application or document, your computer accesses it from the hard drive. Larger files or programs can take longer to access because the computer needs to retrieve the information from the hard drive before presenting it to you in a useable way.

Measuring Hard Drive Storage

Hard drives come in a variety of storage sizes. As of publication, hard drives are typically measured in gigabytes and terabytes , which are units of measurement for a hard drive’s storage capacity.

For example, 500GB hard drives are common in many modern computers. The average four-minute song on iTunes is approximately 4MB in size. There are 1,000 megabytes in 1 gigabyte. This means that a computer with a 500GB hard drive could store 250,000 songs.

Tip

  • Due to the increasing popularity of streaming services and cloud storage, hard drive capacity is less of a concern to the average user purchasing a new computer. Streaming services, such as Spotify, allow users to access extremely large content libraries over Wi-Fi or cellular data without taking up hard drive storage. Cloud storage allows users to store content securely and wirelessly, eliminating the need for large hard drives.

Drive Types

Standard Hard Disk Drive

A hard disk drive consists of circular metal disc-shaped platters which store the computer’s data. An actuator arm runs between the platters, reading data off the hard drive. These platters constantly spin while the computer is on, almost like a vinyl record player. HDDs are the most common and inexpensive form of hard drive.

Solid State Drive

Unlike a hard disk drive, a solid state drive has no moving parts and the data is stored on flash memory chips instead of metallic platters. SSD technology is faster than HDD and less prone to failure since there are no moving parts. Since SSDs are newer technology, they cost more per unit of storage than an HDD.

Metals Used in Hard Drives

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Hard drives are used to store computer data. The technology has been steadily improving, with drives reaching sizes of 2 terabytes. Hard drives are constructed with various metals and alloys.

Ferromagnetic Materials

  • Hard drives use magnetically charged metals to save data. The magnetic forces manipulate the metals to represent either a 1 or a 0 in binary, which translates into data.

Platters

  • Platters are where the data in a hard drive is stored, and are constructed of aluminum alloy.

Spindle

  • The spindle which reads the platters by transmitting a magnetic signal is constructed of copper wire.

Enclosures

  • Hard drive enclosures that house all the technology are constructed of aluminum.

Screws

  • The screws used to mount the hard drive in a computer are made with steel.

How to Watch Video From a Flash Drive on a DVD Player

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As technology continues to advance, you don’t even need to burn home movies to disc to watch them on your television. High-end DVD player models (and all Blu-ray disc players) feature USB inputs that can be used to house USB flash drives filled with movies. You can then access the files through your DVD player’s main menu and watch them on your TV screen. You just need to follow the proper directions.

Instructions

  1. Look in the instruction manual for your DVD player to see what type of video files it supports. DVD players won’t just support any file format–most support .MKV or .AVI files, among a few other popular formats. Be sure to look in the “Technical Specifications” listing in your DVD player’s instruction manual to see what formats it will support before potentially wasting your time.
  2. Put your USB flash drive into a USB port on your computer.
  3. Open your USB flash drive by clicking on “My Computer” and then clicking on the icon for your flash drive.
  4. Drag the appropriately formatted video files into this window. They will now be transferred to your USB flash drive.
  5. Remove the USB flash drive from your computer.
  6. Put your USB flash drive into an open USB port on your DVD player.
  7. Use your DVD player’s remote control to navigate to the “USB Flash Drive” menu. Select the file you want to play from the list by highlighting it and pressing the “Enter” or “Play” buttons on the remote. The file will now play on your TV screen.

How Much Space Can a Hard Drive Hold?

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Hard drives are the most common method of storing digital data, used with all types of computers. They offer greater storage capacity than any other commercially available storage medium.

Hard Drive Storage Capacities

  • As of 2010, hard drives are available with storage capacities up to 2 terabytes (TB), with 3.5TB hard drives on the horizon.

Labeling Accuracy

  • Hard drive manufacturers round off their numbers in stating the capacity of their hard drives. For instance, 1 gigabyte actually equals 1,073,741,824 bytes, but hard drive manufacturers round the number down. Similarly, a hard drive labeled as a 250 gigabytes (GB) drive actually holds only 232.88GB.

Determining Free Space

  • On a Windows PC, you can determine how much space you have available on your hard drive by clicking on the “Computer” or “My Computer” icon, depending on which version of Windows software you are running. On a Mac, you can find your available hard drive capacity by clicking on the hard drive icon and then on “Get Info.”

What are USB Storage Devices

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USB Storage devices are portable devices that hold user data and files. USB storage devices include external hard drives and flash drives. These types of portable drives connect to a computer via a USB port on the computer, and can be easily moved from computer to computer. USB storage devices can be used to hold files ranging from video and audio files to documents and program files.

Types

  • There are a variety of types of USB storage devices available. One kind of such device is known as an external hard drive. These drives are large capacity drives, often as big (even larger) than the drives found inside a computer. They are often powered by external power supplies, and used as backup drives to backup data on a computer.

    Another type of USB storage drive is a USB Flash Drive. These small devices can fit in one’s pocket and are about the size of a human thumb. They also go by the names thumb drives, flash drives and keychain drives. These drives are low-powered devices, and are powered by the USB connection.

Size

  • The physical size of a USB storage device varies, and is often determined by what kind of storage medium is used. External hard drives, as their name suggests, are actual full size hard drives in a case. These drives range in size from a deck of cards to a mid-sized book.

    USB flash drives use flash based memory instead of an actual hard drive, and due to this, they are smaller and lighter than external hard drives. Physically, they are about the size of a human thumb, with some being smaller or larger, depending on case design and amount of flash memory on board.

    Storage wise, external hard drives often hold more gigabytes of data than a flash or thumb drive. External hard drives can range in storage size from 50GB (50 gigabytes) to hard drives that can hold multiple terabytes (such as 2TB hard drives) of data. A gigabyte contains about 1,000 megabytes and a terabyte contains about 1,000,000 megabytes of space.

Function

  • Both external hard drives and flash drives function as external storage space for a user’s files. External hard drives are typically used for backing up entire hard drives worth of data or for storing large files that do not need to be kept on a computer’s hard drive such as movie files.

    USB flash drives are typically used to move files between computers, such as loading a PowerPoint presentation from one’s computer to the flash drive so that it can be accessed on an office computer. Users may also use flash drives to save work started on one computer so it can be completed later on another computer.

    Both types of drives connect to a computer via a USB connection on the computer. This type of connection allows the storage device to be detected instantly and accessed immediately. There is no need to restart the computer or install special drivers to access the device.

Considerations

  • USB storage drives should be unmounted or ejected from the system prior to physically disconnecting the device from the USB port. This ensures that any data transfers between device and computer are not interrupted. This is done by right-clicking on the USB drive icon on the computer desktop and clicking “Eject” or “Stop Device.”

    Users who want to back up entire hard drives worth of data should consider a large external hard drive. Those looking for a way to move small files between computers or to keep documents and files for access on the go should consider a USB flash drive.

Speculation

  • As technology continues to advance, the storage capacity of USB storage devices is likely to greatly increase. Flash USB drives are limited by the amount of flash storage that can be placed inside the casing, but as technology for Solid State Hard Drives and smaller flash memory components improves, the storage capacity of these thumb drives is expected to grow.

How to Use My Flash Drive on My PS3

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Many different features about the PlayStation 3 gaming system make it a great entertainment platform. One of the best of these features is the USB compatibility of the PS3 system. Each console features four USB ports, allowing the system to interface seamlessly with USB devices such as keyboards, mice and flash drives. It’s astonishingly easy to use a flash drive with your PS3 once you follow a few basic steps.

Instructions

  1. Install your flash memory drive’s driver software using a traditional personal computer. You won’t be able to use your flash memory drive with your PS3 system unless the flash drive is already working properly and has all requisite driver software installed on it.
  2. Copy any data from your computer that you want to transfer to your PlayStation 3 onto the flash memory drive. Large files may take up to several minutes to transfer to your flash drive.
  3. Turn your PlayStation 3 game system on using your PS3 wireless controller, and wait for the main menu to load. Always turn the system on and boot it up before inserting hardware into the USB ports.
  4. Insert your flash memory drive into an open USB port on your PS3 console. Access the data on the flash drive by going to the Video, Audio and Picture tabs in the main menu. Also, use the PS3 data storage tools to copy any data from your PS3 onto the flash memory drive.
  5. Transfer files from your PS3 to your PC hard drive, using your flash memory drive, to back them up and save space on your PS3 hard drive.