What Is a Technical Discipline?

Unsure which type of coding bootcamp to choose? We've rounded up the most popular technical disciplines to help you narrow the search.

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by Charlotte Cornbrooks

Published August 18, 2022

Reviewed by Monali Mirel Chuatico

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Founded in 1911, IBM is generally considered the first "tech" company, although the organization began work as early as the 1880s. At that time, it was focused on computing, tabulating, and recording information.

The tech industry has evolved exponentially since the turn of the 20th century. The 1950s had processors the size of a room; the 1970s witnessed the birth of Microsoft and Apple; the 1990s finally put personal computers in the office landscape. As time goes on, tech jobs only become more complex.

Like any industry, tech has specialties or subcategories. If you meet two people who work in tech, chances are they don't work in the same specialty. These specialties are often referred to as technical disciplines.

For people considering a tech career, it's important to know what different technical disciplines there are, the job availability for the disciplines, and which ones are offered at coding bootcamps.

What Is a Technical Discipline?

While the term technical discipline may sound intimidating, it simply refers to the different areas of expertise within the tech industry. The Association for Computing Machinery identifies only five technical disciplines: computer engineering, computer science, information systems, information technology, and software engineering.

Now that technology is involved in nearly every aspect of our lives, the tech industry has further defined technical disciplines. Common technical disciplines you can find being offered at coding bootcamps include:

Each of these subjects has a matching tech career that can be pursued in the real world.

Even some of these disciplines offer sub-specialties. For example, "web development" is a broad term. You might find bootcamp courses in web development, but you might see courses in full-stack, front-end, or back-end web development.

As the tech world continues to evolve, so too do coding bootcamps. More niche subjects are now being offered as courses, including tech sales, Python, and game design.

What Technical Disciplines Do Coding Bootcamps Offer?

Coding bootcamps pick and choose which technical disciplines they offer. We've rounded out some of the most popular disciplines below.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the protection of devices, networks, and data from unauthorized or criminal use. It also encompasses the protection of confidential information and the integrity of files.

Some cybersecurity jobs focus on one or two of these components; other jobs require general competency in cybersecurity. Keep in mind that some cybersecurity jobs require background checks or security clearance.

In a cybersecurity course, you can expect to learn: network security, system security, Python, risk factors, and compliance procedures. Courses may include more or less depending on the length of the course and the bootcamp.

After a cybersecurity bootcamp, there will be a variety of jobs open to you. Jobs in cybersecurity may include information security analyst, computer network architect, database administrator, database architect, network systems administrator, and more. If you have additional technical skills, other opportunities may be available too.

Data Science and Data Analytics

If you haven't already, you should add managing your digital footprint to your regular to-do list. When managing your digital footprint, stored data is one of the biggest concerns. Cookies, website memberships, browsing history, and more are all part of the data trail you leave online.

Companies hire data scientists and data analysts to build models with data, explore data sets, and analyze data. Simply put, data scientists focus on building models and exploring data sets, while data analysts draw conclusions from the data presented.

To work in either, you will often need high-level skills in Excel. For data science, the following programs may appear on a bootcamp curriculum: Python, SQL, R, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Tableau, and Hadoop. Data analysis requires programming skills like Python and SQL, as well as conceptual skills like data visualization, data cleaning, critical thinking, and communication.

Skills in data science or analysis translate to careers as data engineers, machine learning engineers, data architects, statisticians, and more.

Software Engineering

"Software" encompasses everything computers do with their physical components (the hardware). A software engineer takes a wide view of software development, directing the scope of the work and the order of operations guided by engineering principles.

You may see software engineers and software developers used in the same space. The simple distinction is that software engineers are responsible for the entire program or system, whereas developers work within the developed program. Sometimes this is referred to as back-end and front-end development, respectively.

If you pursue software engineering at a coding bootcamp you might focus on databases and networking. Software engineers commonly use Java, C++, SQL, and Python.

With an education in software engineering, you can work for almost any industry as everything requires software. Popular job titles in software engineering include applications software developer and systems software developer.

UX/UI Design

UX/UI stands for user experience and user interface concerning software or hardware. UX covers user research, user interaction, information architecture, prototypes, and user scenarios. UI includes visual design, graphic design, layouts, typography, and color use.

If you enroll in a UX, UI, or UX/UI bootcamp, you can expect to learn conceptual and hard skills. Common software proficiency needed for the field includes Adobe, Sketch, and Figma. Conceptual skills needed for UX/UI include wireframing, grids, inclusive design, facilitating and implementing feedback, and information design.

A variety of fields offer UX/UI jobs and UX or UI jobs exclusively. Other roles for UX/UI professionals include interaction design, visual design, UX research, UX writing, and product design. Of course, other roles may open for you based on previous experience and skills.

Web Development

Websites rely on web developers to create, manage, and maintain them. Web developers work on web applications or web-based software as well. Often known as webmasters, web developers run websites from soup to nuts for companies and organizations of all sizes.

When working on web-based products, you can expect to learn HTML. Additional programs that web developers utilize include Javascript, SQL, Ruby framework, and ReactJS. These programs are helpful for both the design components and functionality of websites.

Since every business, organization, and many individuals, use websites, jobs for webmasters abound. The field continues to grow at a faster than average rate. Web developers might work for large companies, freelance for various clients, or web design companies like Squarespace or WordPress.

Other Technical Disciplines

Technical disciplines continue to evolve quickly, just like the industry they fall under. As consumer needs shift and emerge, new technical disciplines emerge, and existing disciplines change.

We have provided a list of some technical disciplines with high growth potential. However, some providers offer courses that focus on a specific attribute, such as artificial intelligence (AI), statistics and probability, and iOS.

Some bootcamps offer courses in specific programming languages like Java, Python, or React. These courses may be part-time or full-time, but they will generally be shorter than a bootcamp course on a broader topic like web development.

Frequently Asked Questions About Technical Disciplines

Are coding bootcamps worth it?

A bootcamp's worth is subjective. To determine if a bootcamp might work for you, consider other details first.

First, determine where your ambitions lie. Do you want to make more money? Are you looking to change careers? Are you passionate about tech?

Second, do your research. Bootcamps are not yet regulated by independent bodies like colleges and universities are. That means not all bootcamps have the same opportunities or credibility with different employers.

Finally, evaluate your existing commitments. Bootcamps demand an intense time commitment. This has both financial and personal implications that should be carefully considered.

Which technical discipline is the easiest?

It all depends on your perspective. If you don't have an eye for or interest in design, UX/UI will not feel easy for you. If you find research and analysis tedious, data analytics might not feel easy for you. However, many consider both these disciplines to be "easier."

You won't find one consistent answer on "the easiest job in tech." Tech sales (an emerging discipline) may rank highly as an easy job in tech. It requires no coding experience and offers many workplace perks that we associate with the tech industry.

Do all technical disciplines require coding?

No, they don't. Project management, systems administration, project management, tech sales, and tech support do not typically require coding. These roles focus more on the business and operations support side of tech.

Some sources will cite UX/UI as a coding-free field. While UX/UI doesn't necessarily require coding, it is a valuable skill to have. Seeing as most bootcamps teach some coding in UX/UI programs, it's misleading to list UX/UI as a code-free job.

Feature Image: izusek / E+ / Getty Images

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