Personal tools
You are here: Home Membership CareerNews Archives ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Document Actions

ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ACM CareerNews is intended as an objective career news digest for busy IT professionals. Views expressed are not necessarily those of ACM. To send comments, please write to careernews@hq.acm.org

Volume 9, Issue 2, January 22, 2013




IT Job Market Recovering Faster Than After Dot-Com Bubble Burst
InfoWorld, January 14

In contrast to the situation after the dot-com bubble burst, the current IT job market continues to show signs of strength after recovering from the recent economic recession. More new tech jobs have emerged since the end of the past recession than during the same recovery period following the dot-com bubble burst and the early-1990s recession. Moreover, the unemployment rate among technology professionals is now half that of the national average, with especially low unemployment rates for database administrators and network architects. Since the recession officially ended in June 2009, more than 180,000 tech jobs have been created nationwide.

As of the end of Q4 2012, the unemployment rate for technology professionals was 3.3%, holding steady from Q3. By comparison, the unemployment rate among tech professionals at the end of 2011 was 4.1%; at the end of Q1 in 2012, it was up to 4.4%. Even correcting for some habits of the U.S. BLS - such as combining nontechnical jobs into computer-oriented categories - not only are tech jobs steadily returning, but the unemployment rate among tech pros remains considerably lower than the overall national average. At the end of 2012, the U.S. unemployment rate was 8.7%, more than twice the 4.1% unemployment rate among tech professionals. At this point, the national unemployment rate is around 7.8%, but just 3.3% for technology pros.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Want a Tech Career? Seven Core Skills You'll Need
Brazen Careerist, January 6

Within the IT sector, demand for certain emerging tech skills - such as cloud computing and social media - is increasing rapidly. Experts point out that, if you're looking to switch jobs or get into a career in technology, now is a great time to do so. The article surveys IT experts to find which tech skills will be in greatest demand in 2013, as well as the job openings that are best poised to take advantage of these IT skills.

Listed as one of the fastest-growing tech skills in 2012, cloud computing is a broad term for the distribution of software and computing resources over a network, usually through a Web interface. As mobile devices and laptops become more common, companies are looking for cloud developers, administrators and integration specialists to update their work environments. Demand for social media job skills is up 216% over 2010, primarily driven by the importance that companies attribute to social media in driving traffic and engagement. Employers who want to leverage social media are looking for people with skills in reputation management and online customer engagement. Information security is poised to be one of the best-paying IT jobs in 2013, especially in the federal government market. Employers are looking for people who can secure mobile apps and cloud computing environments on a corporate scale.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


IT Salaries Expected to Grow Only Slightly in 2013
CIO.com, January 14

According to a new survey on 2013 salary trends, the growth in salaries for IT professionals will be modest in the coming year. For IT professionals across the board, salaries were up 1.98% over the past 12 months. Mid-size companies have seen the most growth in salary (up 2.3%), while larger enterprises lag behind, up only 1.61%. In terms of geography, urban/metropolitan areas across North America have seen the greatest improvements in salaries for IT professionals.

Salaries for IT executives and CIOs have gained the most, according to the survey's data. Over the long term, IT executives have fared better in mid-sized companies than large companies. CIOs in companies surveyed had compensation packages that were up on average 1.6% in mid-sized enterprises, compared to 6.04% in larger companies. Another good sign is that outsourcing has peaked and companies are looking to bring IT operations back under their direct control. A number of enterprises are moving help desks and data center operations in-house, which has resulted in an increase demand for data center managers.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Facebook Graph Search: How Job Hunting Will Change Dramatically In 2013
AOL Jobs, January 16

With Facebook introducing its new Graph Search tool in January, the way that jobseekers find jobs over the coming year could see big changes. It means that job search capabilities and social media will converge, bringing additional benefits to job hunters. Graph Search will enable users to search friends, and friends of friends, for all kinds of information. In response, other Internet companies will likely unveil new functionality that will allow job seekers to see who from their social networks are employed at companies that might have job openings for them.

For job seekers, Facebook Graph Search means that it will be easier to find contacts within companies by allowing users to comb their friends' groups for business contacts. Both job seekers and recruiters will be able to mine data to find out, for instance, who you know that works at a specific company. As Facebook Graph Search begins rolling out, the site will be able to compete with job search websites like LinkedIn that also make use of social networks. This should change how people use Facebook: the site's no longer just a social network. And that should benefit workers, because on Facebook you are looking for jobs among networks of people who will actually go out of their way to help you.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Women Take Future of Coding In Own Hands
San Francisco Chronicle, January 17

Programming and coding classes for women are growing in popularity, as they investigate emerging career opportunities that require knowledge of common computer languages used by startup tech companies. There are plenty of coding classes out there, as well as organizations dedicated to getting women involved in programming, since many women prefer to learn without the typical hyper-competitive nature of male-dominated coding groups or hackathons. Organizations geared to women coders attempt to create an environment where women not only feel comfortable asking questions, but can also build a strong network of female coders.

The entry of women into the programming world is based, to some degree, on the bright employment future forecasted for programmers. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that software development jobs in the United States will reach 1.2 million by 2020, up 30% from 2010, a rate of growth much faster than the average for all other occupations. As a result, classes are springing up around the nation, in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Detroit and Philadelphia. Online, independent of gender, there are no shortages of tools to learn computer code. MIT and Stanford post videos of their programming classes, while startups like Codecademy offer interactive courses or tips and guidance on software development.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Skills Survey Reveals Neglected Generation of IT Workers Over 60
ComputerWeekly.com, January 17

With an estimated two billion people worldwide expected to be over age 60 by 2050, organizations around the globe need to re-think their training plans to accommodate this aging workforce. In the U.K., for example, 92% of U.K. business leaders admit to not investing in training and development for employees over 60, leading to concern that older workers are becoming a "neglected generation." Of the more than 500 businesses surveyed, almost half (43.1%) of CEOs claim to invest in training in staff of all ages; however, only 8% said such training investments are made for staff over 60.

By failing to invest in training, British businesses are potentially putting their future at risk: With nearly 85% of British managers not considering training the over 60s as a priority, the problem appears more deep-rooted than just a short-term cost-cutting exercise. Three-quarters of small businesses are more likely to invest in training for all, whereas less than half of larger businesses are prepared to pay for employee development, according to the survey.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Offshoring: Here, There and Everywhere
The Economist, January 19

As part of a special report that examines the changing economics of offshoring in the global economy, The Economist points out that offshoring, in its traditional sense of meaning cheaper labor anywhere on the globe, is maturing, tailing off and to some extent, being reversed. Since the 1980s, the concept of offshoring has meant that Western firms with high labor costs could make huge savings by sending work to countries where wages were much lower. For several different reasons outlined by the article, that is no longer the case. The classic story of globalization - in which U.S. companies send their jobs offshore and shut down manufacturing centers in America - is getting a twist, as highly successful Chinese tech firms start to send jobs to the U.S.

The first and most important reason for the mindset change about offshoring is that the global labor arbitrage that sent companies rushing overseas is running out. Wages in China and India have been going up by 10-20% a year for the past decade, whereas manufacturing pay in America and Europe has barely budged. Other countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, still offer low wages, but not China's scale, efficiency and supply chains. There are still big gaps between wages in different parts of the world, but other factors such as transport costs increasingly offset them.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Beware the Phantom Job Listing
Wall Street Journal, January 8

With the U.S. labor market remaining weak, back-channel methods of hiring are becoming the rule, not the exception, when companies look to fill new positions. Many open jobs are never advertised at all, or are posted only after a leading candidate, such as an internal applicant or someone else with an inside track, has been identified. Sometimes, a hiring manager creates a new position ahead of schedule to accommodate a favored prospect. While this "hidden" job market frustrates applicants, it is perfectly legal to hire without advertising a job or to advertise one almost certain to be filled by an insider. In fact, according to some estimates, nearly 50% of positions are filled on an informal basis.

Even though federal labor rules don't require employers to post openings, HR departments at many companies require them to be listed on a job board or career site for some period. Such postings are meant to make hiring fair and transparent, and may help to protect employers from discrimination lawsuits or audits by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. But hiring managers frequently sidestep personnel requirements, forcing HR representatives to step in and re-educate managers about the reasons for the policies. In some cases, an organization could lose federal grant money if it doesn't recruit widely, and an established recruitment process sometimes turns up better prospects than those found informally. Not all HR departments are willing to fight that fight, and not all managers want to sift through a pile of strangers' résumés.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Who Begat Computing?
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 56 No. 1, January 2013

Moshe Y. Vardi, editor of Communications of the ACM, reflects on the Turing Centenary and the difficulty of assigning credit for the growth of computing to just one individual - Alan Turing - when so many people played key roles in the development of computing during the period 1930-1950. By focusing only on Turing's accomplishments, one could end up believing that Turing single-handedly begat computing, being the father of computability, universal machines, stored-program computers, crypto-analysis, and artificial intelligence. However, as Vardi reminds us, we do not have one founding figure, we have several, and we should recognize and celebrate all of them.

Many cite Alan Turing as the father of computability, but the study of computability was actually launched at Princeton University, where Alonzo Church, together with his students Stephen Kleene and Barkley Rosser, formalized computability in the early 1930s. Later, it was Turing's influential analysis of computability in terms of finite machines and its equivalence to the lambda-calculus and recursiveness that led to our current accepted understanding of computability, referred to as the Church-Turing Thesis. In the same way, Turing is cited as the father of crypto-analysis, but his efforts in deciphering the German Enigma code at Bletchley Park in the early 1940s were part of a collective effort that involved over 12,000 people at one point.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Seven Student Myths of the Online Classroom
eLearn Magazine, January 2013

The flexibility of the online learning environment can give rise to seven different myths or inaccuracies about what is expected from both students and instructors. Many of the same features of a traditional institution of higher education are valid for online universities: books, faculty, administrative processes, and homework. The one key difference is that online universities rarely require face-to-face student and faculty meetings so interactions and assessment must take place in the virtual world. The problem with these myths is that they can lead to disappointment in grades and faculty interactions. Students who are fully cognizant of expectations - their own and from faculty - can rise to the level needed to be successful in this learning environment without the frustrations that sometimes come with myths.

The most popular myth around the online classroom is that students can log into the class any time they want. The fact, however, is that online classes, just as on-campus classes, have due dates for assignments. Discussions must be posted, written essays must be submitted, and quizzes are required to be completed by specified dates. Another popular myth is that instructors are available 24/7 for response and feedback. However, instructors do not sit at a computer day and night waiting for student questions or comments. An online class is not just like texting or emailing: a student posting to an online discussion forum should be like a well-developed essay.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top