Personal tools
You are here: Home Membership CareerNews Archives ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Document Actions

ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, August 19, 2008

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-request@acm.org

Volume 4, Issue 16, August 19, 2008




Networking Skills Gap Presents Opportunity to IT Workers
Network World, August 6

According to a new research study from IDC, a huge networking skills gap over the next few years could represent a correspondingly huge opportunity for IT professionals with networking skills. In 2007, six hundred thousand IT workers were needed to install, configure, manage and secure networks in North America, representing 14% of the total IT workforce. Over the next three years, another 180,000 IT professionals with networking skills will have to be added to keep up with several changes that are transforming the role of the network. The projected supply of skilled networking workers is not expected to keep pace with demand, resulting in an 8% gap, or 60,000 full-time skilled workers each year over the next three years.

Wireless networking skills will have the highest growth and the greatest skill gap percentage of all the specialties examined by IDC. By 2011, in fact, there will be a demand for nearly 45,000 IT professionals with wireless networking skills, representing nearly 132% growth from 2007. At the same time, only about 28,000 such professionals will be available in North America. This leaves a gap of nearly 38% of demand. In addition, demand for network security skills continues to grow. By 2011, the security skill gap will be 11% or 12%. Another major skill gap looms in VoIP. The current gap between supply and demand of 9% will grow to 19% or 20% by 2011.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Essential Tips for IT Interviews
Datamation, August 5

Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology, shares several tips on how to prepare for an IT interview. Even if you only have limited time to prepare for the interview, she suggests, there are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of success. In today’s competitive IT job market, it’s not enough to look good on paper. You also must demonstrate solid communication skills, a strong work ethic and a personality that’s compatible with the corporate culture. With a little preparation and practice, you should be able to remain calm and confident while persuading the hiring manager that you’re the right candidate for the job.

During the IT interview process, first impressions matter. According to a Robert Half survey of hiring managers, it takes just 10 minutes to form an opinion of job seekers. A strong impression starts with arriving promptly and well-prepared. From the moment you meet your interviewer, project enthusiasm, professionalism and confidence. Because the opening minutes are so influential in hiring decisions, be especially aware of your initial comments and actions and prepare for common questions. Be prepared to respond to questions about the firm, why you want to work there and why you’re looking to leave your current position, as well as some less predictable questions.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


IT Careers in the Cloud
Computerworld, August 4

IT organizations that transition a significant portion of their IT infrastructure activities to hosted service providers over the next decade will likely see changes in the makeup and skills of their IT workforce. As a result, IT leaders will need to develop and retain people with vendor relationship management skills. Moreover, as companies tie together a mix of premises-based and hosted applications, they will need to emphasize systems integration expertise, whether provided by internal staffs or outsourcing providers. The article takes a closer look at the types of skills and expertise that will be needed as the transition to hosted service providers accelerates.

In this environment, large companies will need IT workers who have strong vendor relationship management skills and can help the managed service provider or outsourcer to understand how to facilitate the business. With that in mind, organizations will be looking to IT staffers to improve their vendor negotiation skills. Even companies that outsource the bulk of their IT infrastructure support will still need in-house technical experts who understand how everything fits together and works.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Outlook for IT Jobs in 2009
CIO.com (via InfoWorld), July 30

According to a new Goldman Sachs survey of top CIOs, both IT contractors and in-house IT staff members are starting to face a less-than-optimistic employment outlook for 2009, primarily due to ongoing concerns about a slowing U.S. economy. As a result, global IT services companies will also feel the impact of slower economic growth. A second survey from Goldman Sachs showed that basic PC and network hardware, as well as professional services providers, would bear the largest proportion of spending cuts. The survey also showed that CIOs planned to emphasize cost-cutting measures over investments in new technologies such as cloud computing.

In the new Goldman Sachs staffing survey, demand for discretionary IT projects dropped to its lowest point ever. In a cost-constrained IT budget scenario, CIOs will most likely look to cut their resources first from contract IT staff for application-related development or maintenance work. 48% of respondents indicated that contract staff would be cut, while 30% of respondents said on-site third-party service provider staff would be cut. Another 12% of managers said they would cut staff from offshore third-party service providers. Finally, 11% of respondents indicated that in-house staff could be cut.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Use Summer Slowdown to Build the Brand of Me
Computer Weekly, July 30

The final month of the summer could be an opportune time to jump-start the IT job search. By brushing up on important IT skills, staying updated on current trends, and working on your personal brand, you can optimize your chances for success over the remainder of 2008. Moreover, by boosting your industry knowledge and expanding your personal network, you can lay the groundwork for long-term success as well. The article reviews a series of six easy steps that any IT jobseeker can follow to become a more successful job applicant.

First, update your skills so you don't get left behind. Three key skills to get up to speed with are wireless, Web 2.0 and virtualization. Get a basic grounding in the subject, but don't dive too deep. Secondly, stay abreast of current trends. Take some time to check out interesting websites and get up-to-date with trends. Hunt for interesting examples of next-generation sites offering new ways to inform and entertain. Look for web presence with cutting-edge tools to create, consume, share or discuss all manners of media, from blog posts to video clips.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Six Tips for Reinvigorating a Boring Job
CIO.com (via Computerworld), August 4

For any IT professional, even the most exciting position can lose its appeal over time. Whether it has been two months or two years, there are a number of steps that you can take to reinvigorate a boring job. By molding your job description to your talents and interests, setting a target for your next step up the career ladder, and learning to tackle challenging projects head-on, you can improve your day-to-day performance and productivity on the job. Whether you stay with your current position or seek a new opportunity, you may find over time that you're making positive changes that not only enhance your motivation but also set you on a path toward achieving your career goals.

The first step is to create your own job description that molds your duties to suit your talents and interests. If you enjoy certain components of your job, seek out ways to increase these activities and decrease those you dislike. Most managers want their employees to optimize their potential and will support these efforts as long as they produce results. Next, set a target for your next step up the career ladder. Establishing a tangible goal provides a sense of purpose, a key component of job satisfaction. Consider where you'd like to be in five years and how you plan to get there. Achieving your objective may require new technical training, enhancing your interpersonal skills or additional networking.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


India Companies Turn To Internal Training For IT Expertise Development
Tech Careers (via EE Times), August 4

Indian companies are beefing up the overall quality of their IT workforce with internal educational programs and on-the-job training designed to quickly improve the expertise of new recruits. Especially in the high-tech industry, these steps have been taken due to problems with the country’s uneven education system, which many companies believe is still lagging in the areas of technology research and development. A new report on workforce development efforts at 24 different Indian companies, authored by researchers at Harvard and Duke, raises several interesting questions for U.S.-based IT organizations as they attempt to compete internationally.

The fastest-growing Indian companies have achieved success in spite of skills shortfalls and talent shortages. Indian industry does not rely on its education system to provide it with what it needs. Companies take a more proactive role, hiring for aptitude and potential, not specialized technical skills. Taken on their own, India's workforce development efforts aren't unique or innovative. U.S. and European companies have had such programs in place for decades. The innovation comes from integrating programs into day-to-day operations and systems of career advancement; the use of technology in managing the processes; and the decision-making that is based on them. In India, training of recent university graduates is a major part of corporate strategy, with CEOs and senior employees often deeply involved.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Generation Y the Least Engaged
Management Issues, August 11

A report by Princeton-based consultants BlessingWhite suggests that at least a quarter of Generation Y employees are disengaged across the globe. In some countries of Southeast Asia, the figure rises to around a third of all Gen Y workers. The report, which surveyed more than 7,500 individuals and interviewed 40 senior human resource and line managers, found a strong correlation between seniority within the organization and overall level of engagement. In an effort to find why members of the workforce born since 1980 are less engaged than their peers, the article examines a number of possible causal factors.

Generation Y disengagement levels may reflect, to some extent, their low seniority within organizations. Increased engagement is an expected outcome from power and position. Another contributing factor is that younger employees often do not have a clear picture of what will make them happy. Often, they can't find what they're looking for because they don't have the experience to know what they want. Lack of personal clarity can also influence engagement for Gen Y in particular.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Employment Disconnect
CIO Insight, August 8

At the same time that CIOs complain they can’t find skilled technology workers, many out-of-work or underemployed IT professionals complain they can’t find decent jobs. The employment disconnect is especially disconcerting, given that IT employment in the U.S. is actually at record levels. The article examines the debate over H-1B visas and the factors for the continued popularity of offshore outsourcing solutions, in an attempt to isolate their impact on overall IT employment. While American firms can do more to train veteran IT workers and prepare them with new skills, the uncertain economy and the global competitive outlook means that organizations have fewer resources to deal with displaced IT workers.

The primary problem, according to experts, is a mismatch between what’s being offered and what’s being sought. For example, skills listed on some résumés posted on IT job sites don’t match the requirements employers list in their job offerings. This makes things particularly difficult for employers increasingly selective about hiring people with specific skills. This is part of a broader skills change in the IT workforce: the demand for new skills is on the rise; the demand for older skills is declining, and IT workers with legacy skills are being displaced. At the same time, offshore IT talent continues to be cheaper than U.S.-based talent, making it difficult for some veteran IT workers to find jobs. In some cases, the annual salary of a software developer in a place like India might be one-tenth of the cost of the same developer in the U.S.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Yale’s Spielman Wins Gödel Prize for Showing How Computer Algorithms Solve Problems
Yale University Office of Public Affairs, August 12

Daniel A. Spielman, professor of applied mathematics and computer science at Yale, together with Shang-Hua Ten, professor of computer science at Boston University, were jointly awarded the prestigious Gödel Prize by the Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computing Theory (SIGACT) of the Association for Computing Machinery. The two computer science professors developed a technique that helps predict the success of problem-solving with real data and computers. The award, which recognizes outstanding papers in theoretical computer science, was presented at the International Colloquium on Automata, Languages, and Programming in Reykjavik, Iceland.

In awarding the prize, ACM pointed out that the computer science technique described by Spielman and Teng provides a giant leap forward for predicting the performance of optimization tools for real data. Understanding the mathematical structure of these problems is necessary for the design of efficient protocols and software. The paper by Spielman and Teng, "Smoothed Analysis of Algorithms: Why the Simplex Algorithm Usually Takes Polynomial Time," was published in the Journal of the Association for Computing Machinery in 2004.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top