ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, December 5, 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 13, Issue 23, December 5, 2017
As more companies undergo the process of digital transformation, in-demand IT roles will shift by 2020 to include positions focused on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), and the Internet of Things (IoT). Several in-demand roles right now, such as full-stack developer, will continue to attract heavy growth in the coming few years, while some newer positions gain prominence as well. A mix of tech and business skills will be required for nearly every position, as companies look to digitally transform themselves.
At the top of the list of IT jobs is computer vision engineer. Demand for computer vision engineers has grown steadily since 2013, and will continue to grow into 2020. These professionals build and improve computer vision and machine learning algorithms and analytics to detect, classify, and track objects. Second on the IT jobs list is machine learning engineer. These are advanced programmers who develop AI machines and systems that can learn and apply knowledge. They perform sophisticated programming, working with complex datasets and algorithms to train these systems. Coming in at No. 3 was network analyst. The role of the network analyst is becoming more high-profile because businesses are investing more heavily in their networks as IoT enters the workplace.
A new survey from CompTIA finds that a majority of IT professionals are satisfied with their jobs. IT job satisfaction is now at 79%, up from 73% in 2015. In addition, another recent survey of IT professionals found that 95% of respondents would recommend IT as a career to young people, with 65% saying that it's a great career option. The takeaway is clear: IT job satisfaction is on the rise and many IT pros are saying for the first time they're getting recognized for the work they're doing.
Increased job satisfaction is due, in part, to the fact that cutting-edge issues such as cybersecurity are giving IT professionals greater exposure to the business units of their organizations. When it comes to cybersecurity projects, they are actually contributing to the business. Working on cybersecurity projects is elevating their status and making them feel appreciated and needed. When asked about projects they're interested in, half of the 820 IT pros surveyed by CompTIA (51%) expressed an interest in cybersecurity, ranking it ahead of the Internet of Things (30%) and artificial intelligence and machine learning (20%).
Artificial intelligence will eliminate some jobs, but perhaps create just as many new jobs. According to research by Gartner, some 1.8 million jobs will be wiped out by 2020, but 2.3 million new ones will be created. Additionally, most professional landscapes are and will continue to evolve based on these new technologies. While changes will certainly be specific to their own industries, there are some common themes, like the fact that repetitive or redundant jobs will become extinct, while creative and emotionally intelligent jobs will transform in new ways with the help of AI-powered assistants.
The good news about AI is that jobs that rely on unique thinking, creativity and non-repetitive tasks will not run the risk of being eliminated. This includes positions like marketing managers, graphic designers and human resource professionals, all of which certainly have to use data, but apply it creatively with a strong human element. That's not to say that these jobs won't change as they work alongside artificial intelligence. In fact, new technologies are being developed and tested to assist the creative process, using algorithms to track what makes the most successful piece of content. Graphic designers, for example, can learn what types of images are performing best, based on current trends and use that information to create the most compelling piece of art. In some cases, the technology will take and arrange the images based on data and it is then up to the artist to refine and humanize the work.
The Government's Struggle to Hire Young Tech Talent is Worse Than You Thought
NextGov.com, December 1
In the federal IT workforce, the number of employees age 60 or older is more than quadruple the number of specialists under the age of 30. The government employed roughly 1.8 IT workers age 60 or older for every IT employee under 30 years old in 2007, but that ratio more than doubled over the next 10 years, widening to 4.5 IT specialists age 60-plus per employee under 30 by 2017. That widening age gap is a clear signal that the federal government must ramp up its efforts to attract younger workers under age 30.
The IT workforce grew significantly over the past decade, expanding from about 65,200 employees in 2007 to more than 84,400 by 2017. As many specialists approach retirement, most agencies are struggling to find fresh faces to take their place. In recent years, the ratio of federal government workers ages 60 and older to those under 30 showed annual growth of about 0.39, beginning at 1.92-to-1 in 2010 and eventually reaching 4.53-to-1 in September 2017. That trend has been driven almost exclusively by an increase in older employees rather than a decrease in younger workers. The government has employed between 2,500 and 4,000 IT specialists under 30 every year for the last decade, but since 2007, the number of retirement-age federal tech workers more than doubled from about 5,300 to more than 11,500 in 2017.
How Today's Analytics Change Recruiting
Information Week, November 26
From recruiting to employee performance and overall HR operations, analytics will have an increasing impact on companies and individuals. HR is late to the analytics game, and yet, HR metrics is not a new concept. For example, time to hire and cost per hire have always been key metrics. The difference is that modern analytics enable HR professionals and recruiters to measure more things in less time and derive more insight than ever before about the talent acquisition process.
The trend toward data analytics started when talent marketplaces and talent acquisition software made it easier to navigate a sea of resumes using keywords and filters. In response, some candidates stuffed their resumes full of keywords so their resumes would rank higher in searches. If one's resume ranked higher in searches, then more people would see it, potentially increasing the candidate's chance of getting interviews and landing a job. Keyword use demonstrated an awareness that the recruiting process was changing from a paper-based process to a computer or web-based process. However, other candidates who might have been better fits for positions risked getting lost in the noise. The whole keyword trend was one effort to find the best candidates, but keywords, like anything else, are not a silver bullet. With today's analytics tools, HR departments and search firms can understand much more about candidates and the effectiveness of their operations.
5 Resume Tips for Aspiring Executives
CIO.com, November 27
Writing a resume at the executive level requires a different approach than writing a resume while you're still in an entry-level or lower-management position. With an executive resume, the focus is less on your hard skills and more about creating a career story that will demonstrate how your experience has made you successful. Creating a cohesive career story on your resume should be your first priority, and that starts by clearly distinguishing between your responsibilities and your accomplishments.
On your resume, the executive summary is the perfect place to showcase what makes you the perfect candidate. When you started your career, there wasn't a need for this type of summary at the top of your resume. But after years in the industry, your executive summary should clearly explain who you are as a candidate and what you bring to the table. Everything that follows on your resume should reinforce the image you present in your summary. Your executive summary is typically located right at the top of your resume and it's where you will establish your executive image and brand. This summary gives you a chance to highlight your most impressive accomplishments and it should draw recruiters in to the rest of your resume.
5 Things You Need To Know About a Career in Data Analytics
SiliconRepublic.com, November 30
Within any IT career function, being able to properly analyze data is an incredibly strong skill, and it's becoming extremely important as the future of work and technology progresses. But there's more to data analytics than just the data itself and the science behind that data. If you want to work in data analytics, you need to think of it from a forward-thinking perspective. In the past, data was something businesses looked at retrospectively. However, data is now more about informing and predicting the decisions of the future.
Most people know that when it comes to data analytics and the skills you will need, technical competence is important. In particular, analysts starting out will need to be very technically proficient. However, those interested in a career in data and analytics should learn the business side of things, too. Learn your tools, learn your trade, but learn how to speak business. Also, budding data analysts should find the meaning behind the work that they do and not focus too much on the technical science behind the analytics.
3 Crucial Career Questions To Answer Now If You Want to Succeed in 2018
CNBC, November 30
With 2018 just a few weeks away, now's the time to reflect on your goals to ensure you're on track. The best way to do so is to determine if you have a truly fulfilling career. What makes a career fulfilling is unique to each person, so you have to look at yourself first. After all, the reason people most often end up in career counseling is because they pursue careers that are perfect on paper but don't really match their personalities. You can ask yourself three key questions to determine if your career is on the right track: Who am I now? How do I process things? Am I limiting myself?
The first question you should take stock of is, "Who am I now?" To answer this question, you must examine your values and your particular skills for this point in your life. As we review our career goals or determine next steps, we often do so based on a previous version of ourselves. However, it's important to look through the lens that you have now and take in the experiences that you have acquired to determine if your career is still meaningful. You should also be aware of how you process the world, because it affects what type of job will truly feel fulfilling to you. People most often process things in two ways: through feeling or through thinking. If you're someone who processes the world though thinking, you must determine whether your job is intellectually stimulating you. Also figure out if your career allows you to innovate and create in a way that allows you to feel like you are contributing to the greater good of the company or society as a whole.
The Real Costs of a Computer Science Teacher are Opportunity Costs, and Those Are Enormous
Blog @ CACM, December 1
The real problem of getting enough computer science teachers is the perceived opportunity cost between academic and non-academic career paths. For example, in the United States, a computer science teacher might make only one-third as much in salary and overall compensation as other professions. That creates a strong incentive to choose the more lucrative career path. The reality today is that many talented STEM field graduates don't even think about becoming CS teachers, and so something needs to be done now to make this career path more enticing, both at the K-12 level and the university level.
CS is among the majors that provide the smallest number of future teachers. A 2011 report in the UK found that CS graduates are less likely to become teachers than other STEM graduates. CS majors may be just as interested in becoming teachers; however, there is a perceived opportunity cost. For example, the average starting salary for a certified teacher in Georgia is $38,925, and the average starting salary for a new software developer in the U.S. is $55,000. There is a similar problem at the higher education level, with rising CS enrollments further highlighting the extent of the problem. In short, there are too many students for too few teachers, and one reason for too few teachers is that computing PhD's are going into industry instead of academia.
A Review of the Distance Teaching and Learning Conference 2017
eLearn Magazine, October 2017
The annual Distance Teaching and Learning Conference in Madison, Wisconsin provides an opportunity for e-learning professionals to network, identify trends, and experience new educational technologies. The most recent Distance Teaching and Learning Conference, held in July 2017, brought together e-learning instructors, instructional designers, and educational technologists from various fields including higher education, K-12 education, the corporate sector, the military, and healthcare. While there were many different sessions and tracks, there were three identifiable trends: competency based education (CBE), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and accessibility.
The Distance Teaching and Learning Conference kicked off with a keynote from Southern New Hampshire University's Michelle Weise, who spoke about disruptive design. She proposed the true disruption for online learning is competency based education (CBE), which is forcing a re-envisioning of traditional educational structures. Throughout the event, a number of issues related to CBE were raised, such as how existing educational structures can accommodate competency-based models of education. Moreover, participants discussed whether the competency-based model can embrace social learning. Digital credentialing and badging were explored, in tandem with CBE, as valid indicators of learner skills.
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