Technology is intervention by design – it's all about using your intellectual resources and practical skills to develop innovative products and solve problems.
Our use of technology began with the creation of simple tools from natural materials: shaping flints into knives, branches into levers, and fire as a way of cooking food and converting forests to grasslands.
The invention of the wheel, gunpowder and the printing press all changed human history, as did telecommunications technologies from the telegraph to the internet and mobile phones.
Better ways to preserve food, harness bacteria to produce medicines and high tech medical instruments like MRI scanners have all dramatically improved our health.
Key technology areas include:
- Biotechnology is about using living things – such as plant and animal cells, bacteria and yeasts – to create new products and solve problems in areas from medicine and food processing to industrial waste treatment.
- Digital technology – also known as information and communications technology – is anything to do with computers, mobile devices and the internet.
- Food technology uses science and engineering to create innovative new food and drink products, improve manufacturing efficiency and develop more sustainable packaging.
- Product development is about turning new ideas into marketable products, processes or services – in areas from mountain bikes to energy-efficient fridges, medical devices to high-performance sports equipment.
Employment prospects are good in many areas of technology:
- The digital industry is a fast growing area and many New Zealand-based software development companies are looking to hire hundreds more people in the next few years.
- Food technologists are also in demand, with many students offered jobs before they have even graduated.
- Product development engineers and technologists are employed in a wide range of different sectors, including fast-growing industries such as electronics.
Key technology qualifications include:
- Degrees in Biotechnology, Bioengineering or Molecular Biology
- Diplomas and degrees in Computer Science, Software Engineering and Information Technology
- Degrees in Food Technology or Food Science
- Diplomas and degrees in Mechanical, Product Development, Mechantronics or Electronics Engineering
Recommended school subjects:
- Technology subjects, especially Digital Technologies