US News Top Tech Jobs Focus on Michigan Tech Strengths

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Tech careers don't exist in a vacuum; they now have a global scope.
Tech careers don't exist in a vacuum; they now have a global scope.

In its 2013 Best Technology Jobs rankings, US News & World Report leaned heavily on professions in which Michigan Tech graduates excel.

Seven computing and two engineering jobs made the elite list. Ranked one through nine were computer systems analyst, database administrator, software developer, web developer, computer programmer, mechanical engineer, IT manager, computer systems administrator and civil engineer.

Bill Predebon, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, was not surprised to see his field represented.

“One of the main reasons that mechanical engineering is listed is because it’s a very broad field,” he said. “And because systems have become so complex, it’s hard to find any manufactured product that doesn’t involve mechanical engineering, whether it’s a nanodevice, a biomedical implant, a sensor, a spacecraft or a toaster. They all require the knowledge base that mechanical engineering provides.”

Computing professions are similarly diverse, said Charles Wallace, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Computer Science.

“All kinds of companies are looking for graduates with computing skills, not just ‘computer’ companies like Google and Microsoft,” he said. “The auto industry, the health industry, firms involved in power generation, logistics, entertainment . . . you name it.

“The really exciting thing about computing is that it has become ubiquitous,” he added. “You don't just write software for software's sake; you play an integral part in a larger endeavor and become an expert in it.”

US News uses several criteria to compute its job rankings, focusing on salary, employment prospects, stress level and work-life balance.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.