How many times have you heard those in the high-tech development fields having a conversation using lots terminology you haven’t heard of before and have no idea what they mean? Or they are starting to delve deeper into codes or programming languages but you are unclear on what they are talking about?
The high-tech world is saturated with data and information. The more you are exposed to the layers and get a taste of additional topics, the more you discover other worlds and become a better and more skilled high-tech professional. Most of the high-tech people who currently fill jobs in the market, started their career with a degree in the exact sciences or engineering. While degree studies do form a good basis for exposure to the high-tech world, it is not possible to say that this is all that is required to ensure success in the industry.
High-tech studies are continuous and do not stop when you finish your degree, nor after you have been hired. High-tech is a developing and dynamic field and all those involved in the field must constantly adapt to the changes and new technological realities.
Let’s take a step back for a moment – where should we start? Is it worth studying high-tech in the traditional way of degree studies and then entering the job market, or are there better alternatives?
Grow up, learn and become a high-tech professional
There are several ways to study for the different professions in the high-tech world – an academic degree in engineering/computer science, independent learning through the internet/other sources, training and military experience in high-tech, or a dedicated training program. A brief description of each of the options is as follows:
- An academic degree in engineering/computer science – The most traditional way is a degree. The results of the psychometrics (or equivalent), after military service (as applicable), are needed for acceptance to an academic program in computer science, engineering, etc. Academic studies are theoretical and cover a wide range of information. However, you do not graduate with applicable tools that are relevant to the labor market. Practical experience is a key factor, and when choosing a degree, it is important to remember that you will have to acquire it on the fly, and this may make it difficult for you to enter and acclimatize in the various high-tech companies.
- Independent learning through the Internet & other sources of information – There are self-taught people, (probably including those who love adventure and challenges), who choose to learn a certain profession from the high-tech world alone, by continuously browsing the Internet and other research sources of information. The self-study method is complex in its many branches, especially in relation to the other alternatives, and can be ineffective or irrelevant for the job that initially appealed to you.
- Military training – As the technological world spreads its wings and continues to develop, so does the army technology. Today, many Israeli soldiers who are conscribed to technological departments, go through a variety of high-tech training programs such as development, cyber, etc., and at the end of there are able to enter the labor market to gain further experience and depth of knowledge.
- Dedicated training program – Training programs are sometimes viewed as an alternative to a degree, but that’s not all they are. There are many graduates who choose to take part in dedicated training programs to acquire practical experience in just a few months. At Infinity Labs R&D, for example, they teach you how to learn, and don't focus on one specific programming language, so that when you are at a workplace, you can easily learn their language or any new technology you need, to fulfil your role. A decisive advantage is that at the end of the program, you will receive a placement, in one of the leading companies in the high-tech field in Israel.
There are evidently a variety of ways to study high-tech and acquire a knowledge base. However, sometimes just having the knowledge is not enough, and the right question to ask is how I can apply it?
What is the difference between a computer science degree and a training program?
There are some fundamental differences between degree studies in computer science and a training program:
- The length of the study period – An academic degree is usually spread out over four years. In this time, you study a wide range of programs that are not necessarily related to the field you are looking to specialize and work in. A training program only occurs over several months, during which the studies are focused on the chosen field to acquire the specialized skills and tools needed for a career.
- Job security – While an academic degree gives you knowledge sends you on an independent path, after graduation you must navigate your own way to secure a desirable and suitable job. Successful graduation from our training program, enables placement at one of the leading high-tech companies in Israel.
- Experiences and practical exercises – The mindset of an academic institution is theoretical study through lectures and presentations, in large classes with a lecturer. Dedicated training program are conducted in a different format – learning from speaking and lectures is as limited as possible. The focus is on as much practical exercises and experiences in technological laboratories with small teams as possible. There is no lecturer or blackboard and instead there are mentors, who accompany you. These help you to absorb yourself in the field and experience a simulated high-tech work environment.
- Costs – A degree in computer science involves paying an academic institution for your studies. Some training programs in the high-tech field do not require payment at all. At Infinity Labs R&D, for example, the training program is offered as a scholarship. The program is provided at the company's expense, so the participants are not required to finance study expenses. In this model, the success of the graduates is the success of the company.
When we say high-tech studies – what exactly do we mean?
High-tech studies are a very broad concept, Similar to saying 'I work in education'. So let's break it down…
The world of high-tech is a general name that brings together various fields of activity, each of which is a world in its own right. Even within the various high-tech companies, the processes that drive it, pass through several links in the chain, and each of them is responsible for a different part that will lead to the finished product. The most desirable fields in the high-tech market currently are software development, DevOps and cyber. It is important to first establish which field is of the most interest to you, and then move on to training.
There is something new under the sun
From an early age, we were told that in order to make a name for yourself, especially in the high-tech market, you must study a degree. In general, an academic degree is often seen as a mandatory requirement, but from everything we have discussed, it does not guarantee success. While a degree constitutes a good basis, reputation and provides important background on the high-tech industry as a whole, it usually does not provide the practical tools that aid in becoming a professional and experienced high-tech employee.
The new outlook gaining recognition over the last few years is that a degree is not a measure of success. In order to be a skilled high-tech professional, practical training is key and enables the acquisition of a range of tools and knowledge needed for the position.
Is it necessary to do preliminary preparation when studying a high-tech profession?
If you have chosen to participate in a training program from a recognized and reputable company, and you have already passed all the entrance examinations required, you will not need to complete any further preparation. At Infinity Labs R&D, for example, admission to the program is conditional on an extensive process that includes passing interviews and a series of personal and technical tests that you receive practice materials for, even in the screening stages. These materials contain all the information you are expected to know to begin with, so if you have been able to study the materials well and have successfully passed the selection stages, there is no need for any formal preliminary preparation, maybe just a quick refresher of those materials to create a good starting base.