ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, May 22, 2018
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 14, Issue 10, May 22, 2018
With blockchain emerging as an important new technology in 2018, industries including finance, manufacturing, and healthcare are exploring its potential to create business advantages like reduced operational costs, faster transaction speeds, and more secure records. More than 1,500 blockchain startup companies are now looking for workers, along with a number of corporations like IBM and Microsoft. As the market continues to grow, lucrative career options, such as new blockchain developer jobs, will open up for those skilled with blockchain.
Companies are more interested than ever in developing blockchain solutions, and as a result, will need to communicate their needs to a blockchain development firm. Project managers will be required to manage and facilitate these projects, especially as companies take on more clients. The project manager will be responsible for translating specific needs into technical language, and vice versa. They are also tasked with planning and supervising the execution of each stage of the blockchain project. Blockchain developers may have the strongest career opportunities in the industry right now, the report stated. Before companies can use blockchain to improve efficiency and speed, developers will need to create the necessary platforms and programs.
LinkedIn analyzed its job postings and found that 10 cities stood out for recruiting and hiring the most entry-level professionals. New York City came in first as the city with the most entry-level jobs, followed by San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. LinkedIn further assessed their data to determine the companies in those cities that hired the most recent graduates in 2017 as well as the industries leading this demand. For example, while New York City led in terms of overall entry-level jobs, many of these are in the financial services industry.
According to LinkedIn, San Francisco has the second most jobs for entry-level workers, thanks to companies like Google, Salesforce and Apple. The information technology and services industry is driving significant demand for recent grads in cities across the country. Seven of the 10 cities with the most entry-level jobs had major IT sectors. Given trends like these, it is no wonder that students are beginning to gravitate towards business and tech-centered areas of study. Across the country, the most popular major is business, with over 364,000 business majors graduating in 2015. Colleges are also currently witnessing a boom in the number of computer science majors.
Given that the unemployment rate in the tech industry is far lower than the national average in the United States, it is perhaps not surprising that a number of sectors, including blockchain, mobile, the cloud, AI and cybersecurity, are experiencing record-high demand for new IT employees. According to Cyberstates 2017, an annual analysis of the U.S. tech industry by technology association CompTIA, more than 7.3 million workers formed the national tech industry workforce as of 2017. Overall, there is a positive trend in the tech industry, which means that if you are looking for a well-paying job in a growing industry, a tech job offers enormous opportunity. The article provides an overview of the top 5 most in-demand tech jobs in 2018.
Blockchain was one of the hot tech buzzwords of 2017, and it is perhaps no surprise that companies are now actively exploring new blockchain projects in 2018 that will improve the performance of the enterprise. As a result, blockchain experts and analysts will be in huge demand across the world. Apart from being aware of the inner workings of how blockchain can be incorporated in different scenarios, a blockchain expert is expected to have a background in Computer Science coupled with good analytical and logical skills. Average base salary based on recent trends can be anywhere around $100,000.
Traditional Sectors Hiring Tech Talent to Stay in Game
The Economic Times, May 15
Indian companies in traditional sectors like agriculture, petroleum, pharmaceuticals, transportation and legal are aggressively hiring technology talent to stay ahead of the curve in the face of digital disruption. With artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and robotics rapidly changing how society can access services, companies have stepped up hiring of people trained in such cutting-edge technology to ensure they are ready when rivals use new technologies to raise the competitive stakes. Thus, the big picture view of tech employment needs to take into account this new stream of IT hiring.
According to LinkedIn research, the pace of hiring digital talent in traditional sectors like agriculture and pharmaceuticals is five times higher than that of overall hiring. As the technology keeps changing at a very fast pace and with new innovations coming up in this arena, it is important for companies to be ahead of the curve. Thus, the pace of hiring of digital talent is greater than that of overall hiring. For example, the Indian automobile sector is going through rapid transformation with the advent of new technologies in areas such as electric and driverless vehicles. As a result, several automobile manufacturers are actively looking at hiring talent with technology expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence and robotics.
Millennials Play a Key Role in Solving the Cybersecurity Skills Shortage
SecurityIntelligence.com, May 10
Millennials and post-millennials will play a key role in solving the cybersecurity skills shortage now and in the future, according to a recent survey. While the survey participants revealed a deep understanding of technology and computing, they also showed a lack of awareness around key cybersecurity issues, primarily the result of a lack of exposure to cyber-related career paths. The good news, however, is that those knowledge gaps can serve as opportunities for the security industry to recruit members of this tech-savvy generation for cybersecurity careers. Once young millennials are made aware of the opportunities available, it will be possible to narrow the talent gap.
The survey found that millennials and post-millennials could thrive in cybersecurity because they grew up with smartphones, digital tablets and other modern technologies. In fact, 27% percent of respondents classified themselves as technology innovators while 41% identified as early adopters of technology. These viewpoints shaped many of the future plans of survey participants. For example, 23% of high school-age individuals said they were interested in pursuing computer science and technology in college, while 18% plan to study science and math and 15% aspire to major in engineering. Many respondents also expressed an interest in pursuing technology-related careers. One-third reported intentions to go into video game development, 21% said they are interested in software development and 15% would like to enter the engineering field.
Meet the Chief Talent Officer
Information Week, May 10
Technology plays a major role in the battle for IT talent, and that has raised the profile of the Chief Talent Officer (CTO). Millennial employees in the workplace expect to have the latest digital tools and services at their fingertips at all times, and many may be more loyal to the technology they need to do their jobs than to the job itself. If employees do not have access to the right tools, they are likely to seek opportunities elsewhere. To manage this, companies must closely align efforts at the highest levels. The CIO and the CTO will need to partner to ensure they can provide the proper technology to the workforce, while also securing key assets and keeping costs low.
When IT can successfully partner with HR, companies ultimately will be better prepared to navigate the modern workforce dynamic. Technology is no longer just a concern of the IT department. It touches all aspects of every modern business, every day. Enterprise businesses must shift the dynamic in the C-Suite, in order to ensure technology is being used in a way that most benefits the company. The CIO should be at the center of decisions about the overall strategy of an organization, given the impact of technology on all elements of business. CIOs must also be cognizant of how their technology platform affects employees. They should consider how to offer the latest tools at low cost, while also making sure the available technology is user-friendly and efficient.
10 Signs It Might Be Time To Jump Ship To a New Job
CIO.com, May 15
Every IT career will hit a wall at some point, and, fortunately, there are some obvious signs that things are not going to get better and it is time to move on. According to executives, recruiters and career coaches, one classic signal that it might be the right time to call it quits and look for new opportunities is when a company is having financial difficulties. After all, your career should be aligned with the trajectory of the company. Thus, check to see if your organization is growing in terms of size, impact or other key metrics. Also, make sure that your role offers challenges that inspire new ideas and personal growth. This will ensure that you are constantly pushing your career forward and embracing new opportunities.
The good news about switching jobs on a regular basis is that, as long as recruiters see a linear path in your resume, jumping ship will not cause alarm. And even short stints can be explained in your interview. In short, switching jobs frequently is not considered as negative as it used to be. The current pace of change in IT, in fact, makes some moves necessary. Businesses need IT professionals who have the latest skills and experience, whether it is a background in artificial intelligence, security, data science, SaaS applications, IoT or application development. Thus, recruiters may actually view candidates who are making career moves in order to acquire these skills favorably.
Robots, AI and Jobs
The Globe and Mail, May 13
According to Joe Atikian, author of "Industrial Shift: The Structure of the New World Economy," people may be overestimating the impact of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence on the IT workplace. In short, the robots are not coming for our jobs. For more than 100 years, experts have warned about the role of technology in taking away jobs from workers, but those fears have never fully materialized. For example, computer technology intensified automation, but it also spawned a whole new industry that almost nobody saw coming. It enabled much of the automation that finally started reducing U.S. factory employment in 1980, but even so, it is not as one-sided as you might think. Since computers became a mainstream business tool, a million more IT-related jobs were created than jobs lost in manufacturing.
AI is clearly the next phase of computerized automation, and deserves attention. How can we estimate the future employment impact of robots combined with AI? One way is look back at recent impacts from related technology. For example, grocers have been adding self-checkout machines since the 1980s, and their numbers will soon rival bank machines. Yet cashiers remain one of the three largest stable occupations. We now have millions of ATMs, yet we still have nearly as many bank tellers as ever. The net employment result of computerized automation has often been near zero. In a related shift, computers brought the proliferation of do-it-yourself tasks such as banking, travel bookings, classified ads, license applications and tax preparation. We face a huge new burden online and in stores, yet traditional retail and service jobs persist. The artificially intelligent robots have already begun their impact and yet the human jobs are still there. So, the recent past shows us how computerized robot technology shifts tasks around without massively destroying jobs.
How We Lost the Women In Computing
Communications of the ACM, May 2018
Issues of gender diversity within the technology sector are more relevant than ever, with major tech companies brought under the spotlight for their failure to hire more women. With that in mind, it is important to understand the factors accounting for the relatively low levels of female representation within the computer field, especially at some of the most famous companies in Silicon Valley. In order to do this, it is important to review the historical role of women in computing. In short, we cannot understand the current gender disparity in computing without understanding the history of women in computing.
The important legacy of Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper, two female legends of computer science, is widely known. Lovelace worked closely with Charles Babbage, the British mathematician who was the first to conceive of general-purpose computers, and was first to realize that computers will have applications beyond pure calculation. Hopper was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer and played a key role in the development of COBOL. But quite often Lovelace and Hopper are the only women to receive recognition for their significant role in computing history. For example, it is less well known that seven women were the world's first programmers, having programmed the ENIAC, the first general-purpose, electronic, programmable computer.
Need a Thought Leader?
eLearn Magazine, May 2018
The current state of quality assurance in higher education is a major topic not only in the U.S., but also around the world. The ever-changing global landscape of higher education is disrupting and further tangling traditional practices of academic quality assurance. Quality assurance and accreditation professionals are having to adapt to a new world with all kinds of disruptions, including those related to technological advances. As a result, higher education leaders need to be thought leaders in the discipline of quality assurance. This means they must be skilled situational leaders who know how and when to be transformative in the area of quality assurance. They can optimize risk to take advantage of new and evolving opportunities by thinking outside of the box. Quality assurance thought leaders have a clear vision, set high standards, reach attainable results, and evaluate to improve.
There are many definitions of the term thought leader, ranging from an expansive interpretation encompassing strategic implementation and sculpting corporate culture to the streamlined definition of a forward thinker in a specific field. A thought leader in the field of education must have strong practical experience to build an informed foundation. A dedicated problem solver is the ideal thought leader in the field of education. That is because a significant aspect of an educational thought leader is to envision and problem solve into the future. They must be able to scan and interpret the external environment from both a higher education vantage point and also a broader general perspective.
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