Personal tools
You are here: Home Membership CareerNews Archives ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Document Actions

ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, October 6, 2009

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 5, Issue 19, October 6, 2009




Department of Homeland Security on Lookout for IT Security Pros
eWeek, October 1

The Obama Administration has granted the Department of Homeland Security approval to hire as many as 1,000 cyber-security experts during the next three years. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security are planning to hire IT workers in security-related areas such as vulnerability detection and network and systems engineering. The new hiring initiative, announced by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano at the start of National Cyber-Security Awareness Month, is the result of a collaborative effort between DHS, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Office of Management and Budget. According to Napolitano, this new hiring authority will enable DHS to recruit the best cyber-analysts, developers and engineers to protect the nation against cyber-threats.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the list of U.S. government positions to be filled covers areas such as cyber-risk and strategic analysis, cyber-incident response, and vulnerability detection and assessment. The recent decision to ramp up federal cyber-security hiring follows reports by the Partnership for Public Service and consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton, which recently outlined a number of problems involved in recruiting and hiring cyber-security pros, as well as strategies for resolving these problems.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


IT Career Crisis Management: Five Lucrative Areas
Datamation, September 1

Career management experts have identified five areas of IT expertise that should remain resilient, even lucrative, over the next decade. Now that technology spending has stabilized, companies are starting to do some serious thinking about what their IT infrastructure should look like. Thus, IT workers in the infrastructure business, should track emerging trends and focus on the skills needed to deliver operational technology to clients. Since these IT infrastructure skills are transferrable across industries, they are attractive to a wide range of companies, including outsourcing vendors. Some technologists will work in IT architecture, some in social media, some in vendor management, some in requirements and demand management and some in budgeting.

One emerging area of IT hiring strength is the position of IT architect. These IT architects will focus on SOA, EDA, open source APIs and business processes. They will be highly paid, interface extensively with the vendor community about technology trends and manage enterprise architecture needs. The second major area of hiring strength is social media. Social media experts will explore all things Web 2.0 and beyond. As more and more transactions move to the Web, customer service, innovation, content management, training and a whole range of additional activities will move to the Web. This will require the optimization of collaboration and content, as well as an understanding of social media’s implications for business.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Ten Reasons Why Freelancing Is the Best Job Security
Freelance Switch, September 9

Given the changing dimensions of the IT workplace, there are ten reasons why a successful freelancer may have better job security and a higher chance of future earnings than an equally successful full-time employee. If you’re talented at what you do, and there’s a need for that talent, then you’ll always be able to find work. If you are also personable, enjoy meeting new people, and have a desire to work with other talented individuals, then freelancing can also offer you the types of opportunities that often are not available in more rigidly defined career paths.

As a freelancer, one of the best ways to develop your skills is by working with the most talented people you can find. Working with positive problem-solvers, you will find yourself doing better work. Unlike many traditional office environments, you’re always motivated to perform at your best and to find ways to get people to work together, because you care more about how the finished work will reflect on your personal brand. In addition, you have a better ability to control your income. If you’re doing great work, growing profits, and winning business for a company, you may or may not get the recognition you deserve. When you freelance, you have the ability to give yourself a raise at any time.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Hard Times Have Workers Mulling Career Changes
Boston Globe, September 28

According to a global poll conducted by Monster.com, 89% of job seekers in Europe, the United States, and Canada would consider an industry job change in their search for new employment, given the current economic climate. The Monster Global poll asked 22,444 visitors to its sites across Europe, the U.S. and Canada, “Would you consider a job in another industry?” In addition, the poll asked whether visitors were actively seeking a career change as a way to jump-start their job search. 49% of those polled globally on Monster are actively seeking a change of career direction, while 11% would consider a job change due to a lack of jobs in their current industry.

Just over 47% of the Monster survey respondents were from the U.S., while the remaining 53% of respondents were from Europe, with the majority of them from France, Germany and Spain. Of those willing to make a career change, nearly half (49%) had been considering making a move, compared to 18% who are pondering a move because their current industry is suffering. Moreover, nearly one quarter of job seekers (22%) would be willing to take the first job they are offered, regardless if it’s within their current industry or not. Only 11% responded that they would not consider taking a job in another industry at this time.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Telework Resistance in Agencies at Odds With Benefits
Federal Computer Week, September 25

The U.S. government is considering steps to creating a stronger telework culture at federal agencies in order to maximize the benefits of telework. According to a new report by the Office of Personnel Management, approximately 5% of the nearly two million federal employees teleworked in 2008. That percentage, while small, was actually a slight increase over 2007. Agencies with the greatest increases in total number of teleworkers included the departments of Interior, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration. In part, the increased interest in telework is being driven by benefits such as cost savings and productivity gains.

Although telework initiatives within the U.S. government are still in their early stages, agencies are eager to capture cost savings and other benefits, such as improved morale. One-third of agencies also cited enhanced productivity and improved performance as benefits. Among major barriers to telework, nearly two-thirds of agencies cited concerns about office coverage. More than half saw management resistance and organizational culture as barriers, and one-third cited IT security and IT funding.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Microsoft, Other Top Vendors Help Bring Global IT Skills to Small Business
Computerworld, September 23

Microsoft, Yahoo and several other top technology vendors are making it easier for small and mid-size companies to hire specialized IT consultants located anywhere in the world by partnering with providers of online employment marketplaces. For example, Silicon Valley-based Elance recently announced that it is working with several companies to list the specific skills needed to work with their products, while oDesk says it also has a similar agreements with multiple vendors. Both Elance and oDesk use eBay-like features to match workers with employers. Of late, there has also been a trend toward technology vendors developing relationships with IT contracting firms that match workers with jobs.

Elance and oDesk both provide a way for businesses to hire IT workers and pay them either for a project or at hourly rates. The freelance workers must take tests to prove their skills, and are also subject to eBay-like customer satisfaction ratings. Their increasing relationships with vendors raise the possibility that global competition for IT work is expanding down to the smallest of businesses. The consultants available through the online marketplace can be located anywhere in the world, including the U.S., Europe and Asia. These services enable businesses of any size to tap into a global labor pool to find the skills they need at competitive rates. This opens up a whole new market for small business customers to get the help they need, at a competitive rate. Large companies have always had the ability to tap offshore talent, whether through Indian offshore firms like Infosys, or though large U.S.-based vendors like IBM, which operates large offshore development operations.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Maintaining Networking Momentum after You Land the Job
Personal Branding Blog, October 1

Liz Lynch, founder of the Center for Networking Excellence, suggests that networking is often just as important after you actually start a new job as during the job search itself. Understandably, as soon as you do land a job, you’ll want to stop networking as you acclimate to your new workload. However, given the current economic outlook, having a strong network that can recommend new opportunities for you is the key to minimizing your time out of work. Since you never know when you’ll need your network again, there are several steps you can take to make sure your network is ready to go again whenever you are.

After landing your new job, the first step should be to update your social networking profiles. For example, update your LinkedIn profile by adding in your new company, title and job description. Rewrite your summary, if necessary, and update your contacts. Then, contact all the people who helped on your job search, sending them a personal thank you email or handwritten note. Secondly, start making internal inroads within the organization. Get introduced to the people around you. Being proactive in meeting people in both your department and adjacent ones, rather than waiting for them to come to you, will help you get up to speed more quickly and be more effective in your job. Join the LinkedIn and Facebook groups for your new company, and follow your new employer on Twitter.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


The Secret to Job Search Success: Planning and a Positive Attitude
CIO.com, September 25

Even with a proliferating number of social networking websites and online job boards, the most important assets for today's job seeker are a positive attitude and the ability to develop and execute a job search plan. According to a new study from the University of Missouri, certain personality traits -- specifically, extroversion and conscientiousness -- influence a job seeker's approach to the job search process and, ultimately, their success. Starting with demographic and personality data gathered on 327 graduating, undergraduate and graduate students from two large universities, the researchers analyzed their emotions, "meta-cognitive" activity (planning and goal setting), and any job-search results to date, such as the number of submitted résumés, interviews, or job offers.

The University of Missouri researchers found that conscientious and extroverted job seekers engaged in more meta-cognitive activities. They set goals, developed job search plans, assessed their skills and monitored the progress of their job searches. These activities led them to submit more résumés and increased their chances of landing first-round interviews. Extroverted jobseekers also reported feeling positive throughout the job search process. As a result, they were more likely to engage in meta-cognitive activities, more likely to score follow-up interviews, and more likely to receive job offers than people with less positive attitudes.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


Computer Science Education in the States
Blog @ CACM, September 28

When the Kansas Board of Regents decided to eliminate computer science courses from the core student requirements, ACM and the CSTA intervened, sending the Board a letter recommending that they put computer science back in the core. Due to the way that decisions about computer science education take place -- at the state, rather than federal, level – organizations such as ACM and the CSTA find themselves responding to similar types of situations in other states as well. After reviewing how the Kansas education system works as well as the role of the Kansas State Board of Regents, the article takes a closer look at how and why computer science should remain part of the state’s educational system.

The move to support computer science education in Kansas came after the Kansas State Board of Regents decided to propose changes to the Qualified Admission Regulations, which ultimately determine student admission into state universities and community colleges. Previously, to meet these requirements, students were required to take one year of computer technology. However, a task force recently convened by the Board concluded that this technology requirement is outdated and that the content is being taught in other courses. Based on this conclusion, the Board is proposing to cut the computing technology requirement. It turns out that while the technology requirement was intended to be a basic computing literacy course, it allowed many high schools to develop courses with computer science content.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top


SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award Winner Tapped for “Genius” Grant
ACM Press Room, September 22

Maneesh Agrawala, a computer vision technologist and the recipient of the 2008 SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award, was recently named a 2009 MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Agrawala, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, designs visual interfaces that enhance the ability to synthesize and comprehend complex, digital information. Most importantly, he developed LineDrive, a fully automated system for rendering route maps that resemble hand-drawn sketches. As one of 24 new MacArthur Fellows, Agrawala will receive $500,000 in support over the next five years.

Agrawala’s award recognizes him as a creative researcher with the potential to make important contributions to the computer graphics field. SIGGRAPH honored Maneesh last year for his innovative approach to visualization, computer graphics, and human-computer interaction. His work, demonstrated over recent years at various SIGGRAPH conferences, reflects the way ACM encourages its Special Interest Groups like SIGGRAPH to raise awareness of computing and its vital role in driving innovations that enrich our lives and advance society. In developing LineDrive, Agrawala adopted an innovative approach takes into account many cognitive factors from a user’s navigation of routes, and adapts cartographic techniques to emphasize essential information.


Click Here to View Full Article
to the top