Personal tools
You are here: Home Membership CareerNews Archives ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Document Actions

ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, October 18, 2011

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 7, Issue 20, October 18, 2011




More Demand, Fewer Grads Mean Tech Careers Continue to Boom
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 13

Demand for technology professionals continues to rise, as the technology industry remains one of the fastest growing career fields. Broader use of cheaper, more easily available technology by a variety of industries, combined with an imbalance in the supply and demand of technology professionals, means technology will continue to be a hot career choice. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), employment in the computer sciences and math fields increased by 78% over the most recent tracking period, while employment increased by only 17% in non-science and tech fields. Going forward, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects information technology careers to remain in high demand in coming years.

Tomorrow's computer technology careers will increasingly be outside the computer or technology industry itself. In fact, the Information Technology Association of America found that 92% of IT graduates work outside the IT industry. This is a trend that is expected to continue as technology continues to expand to all realms of life. The future IT worker won't be a technology specialist but rather a generalist, with the ability to establish careers in a wide variety of fields, ranging from health care to business to finance. In addition, as more complex technologies continue to develop, companies will seek employees who stay up to date with new technologies. Many workers are already signing up for computer technology courses because they want to stay on top of advances in the field.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Seven Key Skills New IT Grads Are Lacking
CIO.com (via Computerworld), October 12

According to a growing number of recruiters, undergraduate and graduate programs are no longer able to keep up with the needs of enterprise IT organizations. There's just not enough time to learn all the skills that people need to be successful. IT leaders continue to value the "soft skills" -- particularly communication skills, customer service skills and an understanding of how to behave professionally -- that have topped their list for years. They're also now encountering several gaps in specific business and technical skills. Computerworld surveyed IT managers to find out what skills they wish their newest hires had picked up while they were still in college.

Most importantly, recruiters are looking for an understanding of basic business functions, such as accounts receivables, logistics, operations and marketing. Most students in computer science undergraduate programs still do the majority of their coursework within that field of study -- even though many tech grads end up in corporate IT positions where they're expected to develop applications to facilitate the work done by other departments. And while IT programs at the graduate level are better at getting students into business courses, there can still be a knowledge gap. Hiring managers also value experience with enterprise systems integration and the IT processes that businesses use. Most computer science students spend a majority of their time in college learning how to build their own applications and systems, but many companies find better value in those who can integrate multiple big enterprise applications and commercial packages or can take a function created internally and integrate it into an established system.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Shared Workspaces Grow in Popularity as Workers Seek Affordable Facilities
Wall Street Journal, October 4

Shared workspaces are the latest trend in office space. The offices, set up in a variety of ways but emphasizing open space and the ability to rent a single desk, are also known as co-working spaces. Such offices have long been popular with technology start-ups in California, but as the latest tech wave rises, shared workspaces are popping up in cities around the country. Besides the cost advantages, entrepreneurs in technology and other fields say they like co-working spaces because their open floor plans boost collaboration, offer more flexibility on leases and can even help land VC investors.

The popularity of co-working spaces shows no signs of abating. Loosecubes, a start-up that has created an online marketplace for office sharing, lists more than 2,300 spaces across almost 500 cities and 60 countries, and claims 7,000 registered users. Office spaces amenable to co-sharing are proving to be more popular and lucrative than traditional offices both for established companies looking to change their atmospheres and companies hosting the spaces for start-ups. Some traditional office spaces are tearing up their floor plans to appeal to high-tech start-ups. They are transforming because they think they will achieve greater demand for the space as well as higher rents than could be attained by maintaining the traditional office space.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


High-Skill Visa Reform Needs Action By Congress
Network World, October 11

President Obama's administration has been tweaking U.S. immigration policy and making little changes where it can to try to encourage new types of highly skilled immigrants. However, as President Obama recently noted at a meeting of the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, real changes to high-skill immigration policy will require action from Congress. The goal is to expedite some of the visas that are already in place and try to streamline that process to make it move faster. The leading Democratic reform effort so far is by U.S. Representative Zoe Lofgren, who has backed a bill that would give a green card to any foreign student who graduates with an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or math. In the Senate, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer has also been working on an immigration reform bill.

As the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy points out, the Obama Administration has several goals for skills-based immigration. Most importantly, the president has called for increasing the number of green cards for high skilled workers. The president also supports a specific visa for immigrants who create start-ups. Obama also supports improving the education of U.S. students in technical areas, with the goal of increasing the number of U.S. engineering graduates. According to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas, providing green cards to foreign graduates with advanced degrees is the best example where legislation is needed.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Bridging the IT Skills Gap
CIO (UK) Magazine, October 6

The IT skills shortage continues to be an issue for recruiters in the UK, who have complained for years about the difficulties of identifying, recruiting and retaining appropriately qualified people. Despite the recession, the sector continues to grow: the Technology Insights 2011 report from sector skills council e-skills UK estimates that more than 550,000 new entrants over the next five years are required to fill IT and telecoms professional job roles in the UK. Some of these new entrants are needed to replace the people who retire or leave the industry. But others are needed to fill new jobs, especially with employment in the IT industry predicted to grow at nearly five times the UK average.

The IT skills gap is a result of several factors. Computer science graduates find it harder to get a job than any other group of graduates: six months after graduating, 17% are still unemployed, compared to an average figure for graduates of 10%, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency. At the same time, there has been a dramatic drop in the number of computer science graduates: in 2009, only 15,000 UK residents applied to study computer science courses, compared to 27,000 in 2001. When asked where the biggest shortfall lies, most businesses aren’t complaining about a lack of new graduates; instead the shortfall seems to lie in two main areas. One perennial area is whichever software development skill is currently fashionable: at the moment, the biggest demand is in the areas of mobile device development, cloud computing, rich media, e-commerce, social networking and banking applications. The other, more significant, shortage, is of people with higher-level skills such as project management or business analysis.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Three Ways to Uncover a Hidden Job
Glassdoor Blog, October 12

While most candidates begin their job search online, the majority of the jobs in the United States and other countries are never advertised online. In fact, it is estimated that 85% of all available jobs are filled before they ever reach the help wanted section. By learning the secrets to finding these potential opportunities, you can unlock career opportunities. For IT workers thinking of taking a new step in their career, the article provides a few tips to help you uncover ‘hidden’ job opportunities.

When looking for a new career opportunity, the first step in the process is to identify the types of companies where you would like to work. Brainstorm to create a full list. Make a spreadsheet of the specific firms you plan to target and track your efforts. Consider including small and mid-sized firms. Look at national companies, as well as local ones. Many have area offices. Others have regional presence. Quite a number of consultants and sales professionals now work out of a home office.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


How to Get a Job Using Google
Chicago Tribune, October 11

With the economy in a state of slow recovery and an influx of recent grads in the job market, more Americans than ever before are searching for work. Trends from Google Search reveal that an increasing number of Americans are searching online for jobs, with "job interview" searches increasing by 30% since 2009. Keeping in mind that sites like Google have become a key resource for job seekers, the article provides some tips and tricks to help maximize your job hunt with Google Search.

Using Google Finance, you can review a company's financial news and performance, such as the company's latest stock price, stock prices for their competitors, recent news and more. You can also find design inspiration for your resume on Google Images. If you're worried that your resume looks cluttered or dull, check out Google Images. You should find plenty of inspiration for designing your resume and making it stand out from the rest of the crowd. In addition to learning about the company where you'll be interviewing, it's also important to learn about the person who you'll be meeting. Do a Google Search to find out if they're published, if they've spoken publicly recently, or if they've been mentioned in company news stories or headlines. Knowing these details could impress your prospective employer and give you an edge over your competition.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Gen Y Myth
Management Issues, October 7

The conventional wisdom is that companies are going to have to make some significant changes to accommodate the disruptive ways of Generation Y, who are thought to be obsessed with the latest technology, demand 24/7 access to social media, and want to choose where, when and how they work. However, according to a new study involving almost 25,000 people across 19 countries by a UK-based workplace consultancy, much of the perceived wisdom about Gen Y's attitude and approach to work appears to be wrong. This means that much of what business leaders are being told or have assumed in recent years about working preferences also needs to be radically re-thought.

One common myth is that members of Gen Y are demanding new working practices – demanding the freedom to work remotely, make use of social networks and access to the latest 'must-have' technologies. But the study found that the reality is very different. In fact, younger staff expressed 15-20% less desire than their older colleagues to choose their time and place of work. They actively seek out every opportunity to be in the office in the closest proximity to their boss. It also found a direct correlation between age and appetite for flexible working. Among older staff, seven out of 10 wanted more choice about their work patterns. But just four out of 10 of their younger colleagues are keen to detach themselves from the office environment. These results have real implications for the accepted wisdom of workplace design and the built environment. Many employers are planning radical changes towards 'leaner' working arrangements and less use of formal offices on the assumption that this will be appealing to younger hires.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Rebooting the Computer Science Publication Process
Communications of the ACM, Vol. 54, No. 10, October 2011

Many computer science academics have written lately about problems with how publication procedures have failed to scale as the field has grown. Early reform efforts have focused on trying to shift CS from conferences back to journals. New thinking, however, is attempting to solve for core problems such as low acceptance rates for submitted papers; overloaded reviewers; high numbers of resubmissions; and papers that detail incremental work only. Given these concerns, the author discusses how we can redesign our way to a better structure for the computer science publication process.

What would the high-level design of a computer science publication solution look like? As the author describes, CSPub would be a mashup of conference submission and review management software, combined with technical report archiving services and bibliographic management and tracking and search services. The primary goal would be efficient publication and dissemination. Ultimately, every paper published in the CS field can and should be available, regardless of whether it is a "technical report," a "preprint," a "conference" paper, or a "journal" paper. With CSPub, the top papers will still get in, as always. "Bubble" papers will, at the very least, get the proper priority date of their initial submission and will start getting citations. Conferences might introduce "accepted without presentation" distinctions, allowing more papers to be recognized and to avoid the need for subsequent resubmission.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Future of Online Learning
eLearn Magazine, August 2011

Higher education is undergoing an explosive period of transformation that embraces the digital age and online technologies. This paradigm shift has made advanced education considerably more accessible to current and potential students, driving increased demand for online learning opportunities. By some estimates, online enrollment rose by almost one million students from a year earlier, and nearly 30% of all college and university students now take at least one course online. In addition to benefits such as a more personalized, flexible, and customized learning experience, the phenomenal growth of online learning also presents an uncharted set of challenges for academic institutions. It has also spurred a new set of demands and expectations from a range of stakeholders including students, instructors, regulatory institutions and advocacy groups. By creating and embracing a solid framework for online learning and employing cutting-edge learning management systems, higher education institutions are in a position to significantly improve student outcomes today and into the future.

Academic accountability and transparency are two of the largest catalysts in the transformation of online learning in higher education. As more individuals enroll in online courses, certificate and degree programs, the need for a universal standard of quality is escalating in importance. Seeking consistency and excellence government institutions, advocacy groups and students are calling for greater accountability measures. The mounting focus on accountability and transparency will naturally drive improved course and content quality. Many experts agree academic analytics and assessment solutions that are built into online learning environments, particularly learning management systems, will serve as valuable tools when it comes to assessing and amplifying course and content quality. Higher education institutions will increasingly rely on learning management systems that define the appropriate content for each student, according to their measured abilities, and employ learning modalities and techniques that are proven to drive achievement.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top