Technology and Societal Affect, General

The study of technology and its societal affect is concerned with how society's past and current needs influence scientific and technological advances. Read on to find out more about the degree programs and career options associated with this unique area of study.

Is the Study of Technology and Societal Affect for Me?

Overview of the Field

Technology and societal affect is a multidisciplinary field of study that explores how technological advances and scientific discoveries influence and mirror society, history and politics. Examples include the political ramifications of global warming and ethical debates sparked by advances in medical technology. As a major or degree program, it is usually referred to as science, technology and society studies and may lead to a career in government, medicine, law or business.

Career Options

A formal study of technology and its effect upon society might help you prepare for a career in biotechnology, marketing and information technology. Public policy, communications and industrial engineering may also be of interest. Depending on your level of education, you might qualify for a position as a university researcher or professor, operations research analyst or urban planner. You could also pursue a job as a social media specialist or science writer.

Employment and Salary Information

Based upon information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for marketing managers, as well as urban and regional planners, were projected to increase by an average rate nationwide from 2012-2022. A much-faster-than-average growth in jobs was expected for operations research analysts, with slower-than-average growth projected for industrial engineers during the same decade. As reported by the BLS in May 2013, marketing managers and industrial engineers earned median annual salaries of $123,220 and $80,300 respectively. As of the same month, the median annual salary for an operations research analyst was $74,630, while urban and regional planners earned $65,650 (www.bls.gov).

How Can I Specialize in Technology and Societal Affect?

Educational Options

Degree programs in this unique field of study are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Completion of a relevant graduate program may qualify you for more advanced careers, such as positions in academia, business and government, and could include the study of computer science, education, law or public policy. You might also consider a graduate program in engineering or medicine.

Undergraduate Programs

As an undergraduate, you'll have the opportunity to develop your analytical thinking skills while acquiring a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. For example, your degree requirements may include courses in history, philosophy or the social sciences. In particular, you may explore the relationship between innovation and culture or the impact of automobiles on American society. You might also pursue topics in digital gaming, environmental studies, ethics or evolution.

Graduate

In a master's or doctoral program, you may study bioethics or examine how individuals use science and technology. These are research-intensive courses of study that can you the chance to investigate how society responds to scientific and technological advancements.

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