ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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Volume 13, Issue 1, January 10, 2017

Top 10 Hottest IT Jobs for 2017
Tech Republic, January 3

2017 looks bright for the tech industry, as more companies look to hire IT professionals with advanced skills to continue digital transformation efforts. The IT sector is still growing faster compared to many other occupations. The new year will likely see increased emphasis on soft skills in IT, as more projects overlap with business units. In collaboration between developers and CMOs or CFOs, project management skills, communication skills, and presentation skills will be in-demand by employers. It will also be incredibly important for IT professionals to stay ahead of new technologies and keep their skills sharp in 2017.

Data scientist ranked first on Glassdoor's list of best jobs in America across all industries in 2016, based on the number of job listings open paired with employee insights on earning potential and career opportunities. The site listed 1,736 open jobs in the position, with a median base salary of $116,840. Coming in at #2, entry-level engineer ranked first in clicks to impressions for job postings in the tech and engineering sector on Indeed, indicating that it was the most sought-after position in various fields. UX designer ranked #18 on Glassdoor's Best Jobs in America list, with 863 open positions and a median base salary of $91,800. In CompTIA's research, enterprises reported an increased focus on using innovation to improve the customer experience. This will likely lead to the emergence of UX and UI developers with more specialized skills in this area, including mobility skills.

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7 IT Recruiting Predictions for 2017
IT News, December 28

In 2016, recruiters grappled with an evolving job market, an incredibly competitive hiring landscape, a shortage of IT talent and sky-high salaries for in-demand roles. Those trends are likely to continue into 2017 as recruiters continue to adapt to the this high-demand, low-supply hiring landscape. The three hottest areas of demand are security, Big Data and cloud technologies. Moreover, IT hiring will continue to focus on candidates with specialized experience, rather than generalists who can wear multiple hats across an organization.

In terms of skills in demand, user interface and user experience skills are still highly requested by employers. Companies need to make sure they can communicate with their customers and users anytime, anywhere, and that they are delivering an incredible experience when they do. Millennials won't accept anything less than seamless, intuitive and easy-to-use technology tools, and they're bringing those demands to the workplace. Also, video will go mainstream in 2018. Recruiting, screening and hiring are more interactive through the use of video, live chat and interactive whiteboard technologies. Younger workers, again, will drive further adoption of these trends, as will the necessity to source candidates from far-flung geographies and to enable a greater remote workforce.

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High-Demand Cybersecurity Skills in 2017
Network World, December 20

Many organizations have an acute shortage of key cybersecurity skills, as reflected in the imbalance between the demand and supply of cybersecurity professionals. Not only are there too few candidates to fill the nation’s cybersecurity jobs, but also a recent series of research reports from ESG and the Information System Security Association (ISSA) indicates that many currently employed cybersecurity professionals are overworked, not managing their careers proactively, and not receiving the proper amount of training to stay ahead of increasingly dangerous threats. So, the skills deficit is clear, but which types of cybersecurity skills are in the highest demand? According to a new ESG/ISSA research report, the biggest skills gaps include security analysis skills, application security skills and cloud security skills.

Nearly one-third of respondents say their organization has an acute shortage of security analysis and investigation skills. This is a real problem because this skill set takes years to develop. Therefore, organizations will only find skills in this area by luring someone away from their existing job. It's little wonder, then, why the ESG/ISSA research also indicates that 46% of cybersecurity professionals are solicited to consider a new job at least once per week. Another one-third of respondents say their organization has an acute shortage of application security skills. That isn't a surprise because application security is one of the most important areas of information security that is too often overlooked. CISOs faced with a skills shortage here will look toward service providers and automated tools.

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Salary Report: Mobile and Big Data Developers Lead Pack
ADT Magazine, December 6

According to a new report from Robert Half Technology, mobile coders and Big Data specialists are set to command the highest developer-related salaries next year. Mobile developers will see 2017 salaries ranging up to $182,250, while Big Data engineers will go even higher, up to $196,000 per year, according to the new 2017 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals. Those two positions featured the highest predicted salary ranges for the "applications development" and "data/database administration" categories of the report.

While featuring the highest salary ranges (as high as $182,250 for mobile and $196,000 for Big Data engineers) of the dev positions, those two job titles aren't the ones seeing the most year-over-year growth from 2016. That honor goes to "developer/programmer analysts" in the dev category, who will see an increase of 4.3%. In the data category, the hard-to-find data scientist will see a whopping 6.4% increase, which is the largest reported for all tech positions. Skills such as Java and SharePoint expertise can provide up to 8% increases to the reported average mobile development salaries, while Microsoft SQL Server database and Hadoop skills can tack on nearly equivalent bonuses for data pros.

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With unemployment in the IT industry hovering near historic lows, combined with an increased focus on passive recruiting and on finding and retaining diverse talent, recruiters had to stretch the limits of their ingenuity in 2016 to find the elite talent their clients needed. Last year, IT recruiters had to stay attuned to the latest-and-greatest technology, skills and experience and follow workplace management trends and issues to keep up with an ever-changing digital world. With that as background, the article provides an overview of the 10 most popular hiring and recruiting trends in 2016.

With approximately 90% of businesses using the cloud, recruiters and hiring managers scrambled throughout the year to find talent with cloud-related skills. But challenges remain around integrating cloud technology with legacy and on-premise systems. 2016 was also the year that the Internet of Things changed the job market. The Internet of Things is poised to revolutionize almost every aspect of society; as a result, recruiters and hiring managers should understand just how it’ll impact the job market and the skills and experience clients need. Recruiting open-source talent was a huge priority for recruiters and hiring managers in 2016. The trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down, driven by the proliferation of the Internet of Things and the need for greater security.

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4 Reasons to Make a Career Pivot to Tech in 2017
Forbes, December 20

The number of millennials making the leap from their current field into a technology job is on the rise and for good reason. Job opportunity has and will be exceptional for tech job seekers, along with the ability to expand skills, be challenged, and earn a higher income. It’s important to note that many people who are making a successful pivot into tech are already employed elsewhere and have a college degree in a non-related field. Tech isn’t for everyone, but tech is probably the single greatest opportunity that exists for millennials today. There’s still a large shortage of technical expertise across most industry verticals and a career in tech can be one of the most rewarding jobs in many ways.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12% from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunity has historically stayed very favorable and is expected to continue to remain favorable. Further, even industries that have traditionally not been related to tech employ technical staff, as most companies do not thrive without cutting-edge tech tools. The world of work will continue to evolve, and those who can demonstrate their ability to learn new skill sets with agility will be able to change with it and seize future opportunities.

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Coding Boot Camp Grads Write Better Code
InfoWorld, December 22

Growing evidence suggests that boot camp grads, as a group, can perform better than college grads at web programming and writing clean, modular code. However, there are some trade-offs: boot camp grads are often worse at algorithms and understanding how computers work. In essence, boot camp grads are junior programmers. They have a lot to learn and represent an investment on the part of a company that hires them. That said, this is also true of recent college graduates. All in all, employers can have roughly equivalent success working with these two groups of programmers, as long as they understand their respective strengths and weaknesses.

According to recruiters, programming skills can be thought of as belonging to four major areas: practical programming, web architecture, low-level system understanding, and algorithmic understanding. Different programmers will have different relative strengths in each of these areas. Based on empirical evidence, boot camp grads do as well as or better than college grads on practical programming and web system design, but do worse on algorithms and low-level systems. Boot camp grads match or beat college grads on practical skills, but lose on deep knowledge. A similar pattern holds on the design questions. Boot camp grads do better on web questions involving web servers, databases, and load balancers. College grads do better on low-level design questions involving bits/bytes, threading, memory allocation, and understanding how a computer actually works.

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Five Overrated Office Perks Companies Should Kill in 2017, January 2

Heading into 2017, employers are recognizing that not all policies and perks are created equal. Some are genuinely loved by employees, leading to a happier workplace environment. Others, not so much. Although many popular office perks are meant to boost productivity and morale, they often do the opposite. In short, prime office perks, such as open office design and remote work, may actually have significant negative effects that are just now being recognized.

The trend towards minimalistic open spaces has led to a surge in bare bones workspaces. The fewer walls and sleek design of your office certainly looks great in photos, but it's not great for the people who need to work there. Open offices are rife with noise and distraction, preventing your employees from getting work done. For deep thinking activities, our brains work best in silence. That's virtually impossible in an open office. There's also evidence that open offices lead to more sick workers. Remote work was the "it" perk of 2016. The option to work from home or even just one day a week makes your company seem like the good guy. With the massive adoption of chat platforms like Slack, it's now easier than ever for employees to be connected 24/7. And that's a serious problem. For many companies, working remotely really means being on-call anywhere, anytime -- even after hours or when employees are on vacation. If you've been so kind as to grant work-from-home privileges, there's often an expectation that your employees must prove they really deserve it. They end up worker harder and working longer than those in the office.

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White House Report on AI, Automation, and the Economy
The Computing Consortium Community Blog, December 21

There has been increasing debate about what the future of AI means for both society and the workforce. Will AI technologies enhance productivity and quality of life, or will it disrupt labor markets and accelerate growth in income disparity and wealth concentration? Will AI research be used for the common good, or will it be exploited for commercial gain? As a result, the research and science policy community has attempted to predict and shape the future of the AI research community through new reports on the future of AI. The latest report is from the White House: “Artificial Intelligence, Automation and the Economy.“ It looks at how actions by the government could help to shape the future of the economy and the workforce to maximize the benefits of AI for all.

According to this new White House report, accelerating artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities will enable automation of some tasks that have long required human labor. These transformations will open up new opportunities for individuals, the economy, and society, but they have the potential to disrupt the current livelihoods of millions of Americans. Whether AI leads to unemployment and increases in inequality over the long-run depends not only on the technology itself but also on the institutions and policies that are in place. The report examines the expected impact of AI-driven automation on the economy, and describes broad strategies that could increase the benefits of AI.

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The ACM Future of Computing Academy
Communications of the ACM, January 2017

As part of its broader mission of engaging with the next generation of young computer science professionals, ACM recently established the ACM Future of Computing Academy (ACM-FCA). This new initiative will bring together talented young professionals from various computing disciplines to address the most pressing challenges facing the computer science field and society at large. As such, the ACM-FCA will help to grow the field and contribute to the enormous impact computing has made on our lives.

ACM-FCA members will lead the way in showing the field how to develop new models for participation, collaboration and career support. In short, members of the Academy will engage in activity for the benefit of their own and future generations. The FCA will seek to harness collective action to define and launch new ACM initiatives that will carry us into the future. Academy members will have the satisfaction of contributing to the field while enjoying the opportunity to grow their personal networks across all regions, computing disciplines, and computing professions. Academy members will be supported by an extended network of more senior mentors, ACM leadership, and recognized thought leaders in computing.

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