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How can I learn about careers in technology?

QUESTION: I am thinking about what I want to do in the future and doing some research on careers in the technology field. Can you help me find a general list of career descriptions or some websites that could help get me started? Signed, Technophile

Dear Technophile: Even though we live in Silicon Valley we have to admit to sometimes being confused by the sheer variety of technology jobs available. Fortunately, there are some great Web sites that will help you decipher the different fields. You can find a information technology career planner at and general career planning articles at

Books can also help you explore the field. "Get Your IT Career In Gear!" by Leslie Jaye Goff offers profiles from those working in information technology. There are career descriptions of 80 specific jobs in computers or computer-related fields in "Career Opportunities in Computers and Cyberspace" by Harry Henderson. "The IT Career Builder's Toolkit" by Matthew Moran also has tips for those new to the industry.

In addition to Web sites and books, remember to do some in-person research as well. Speak with those who are working in the field now. Ask them about their careers, how they got started, what they like and dislike and where they see the industry headed. If you can, get a job or internship with a technology company to get first-hand experience. This will help you more than any job description alone can.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.