Mobile computing in 2013 extends beyond apps designed to entertain or to improve personal productivity. Mobile computing devices include thin, lightweight laptops, netbooks, smartphones, media players, gaming consoles, ebook readers, and ambient computing devices. Google’s Glass—a computer built into an eyeglass device—extends the scope of mobile computing even farther (Loukides, 2013). The need to mobilize in order to improve efficiency and competitive advantage has driven companies to invest heavily in mobile technology (Taylor, 2012).
The State of the Mobile Computing Industry and Current Job Opportunities*
There are over 1 million apps on iTunes and Google Play. However, the majority of the apps are for the consumer (Klais, 2013). What about the enterprise? By 2018, 70 percent of mobile professionals will conduct their daily work on personal devices. This is called bring your own device (BYOD). This disruptive phenomenon is causing information technology (IT) departments challenges in terms of accountability, management, and oversight (Gartner, 2013). This in turn is causing them to scramble to find solutions by investigating mobile device management systems like MobileIron, AirWatch, and NotifyMDM (Hess, 2012).
An April 2013 article in the Chicago Tribune quotes an MIT researcher’s report stating, “Mobile computing is spreading faster than any other consumer technology in history” (RIP, PC, 2013). There are many opportunities in the mobile computing marketplace. A cursory search of the major online employment sites shows the following entry level opportunities: graphics designer for mobile computing applications; Java, HTML5, CSS, jQuery developers; front-end engineer (develops mobile and desktop apps); mobile engineer using Android operating system (OS) and software development kit (SDK); iPhone OS (iOS) development engineer, and PHP programmers for cloud services. All of these jobs represent skills and programming languages that Purdue Global students will learn. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software development positions are expected to grow at the rate of 30 percent each year while the average for all job growth is 14 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013). The future seems bright for the mobile device software developer.
Purdue Global’s Mobile Computing Career Focus Area—Meeting Real World Need
To prepare for these exciting new career opportunities, Purdue Global students learn to program under three of the major mobile operating systems: Android, iOS, and Windows Phone 8. Web (CSS, HTML5, and JQuery). Database classes can also be taken as electives to round out the student's knowledge. Students will take two Java courses as a prerequisite to the first mobile application development class, and will take a series of three mobile application development classes with the third class resulting in a mobile app to be marketed in an app store.
Academic Chair Stephen Bayer feels that the mobile computing industry will likely be highly competitive, and growth opportunity may exist in the increasing the need to access corporate data securely through mobile devices and convert existing web portals to mobile use. More opportunities may exist in developing applications and marketing them through the various app stores. At Purdue Global, we are proud to be on the cutting edge of preparing our students for this future in mobile computing.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent the views of Purdue Global.