ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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@hq.acm.org

Volume 15, Issue 1, January 8, 2019


6 Top Emerging Technology Jobs for 2019
Information Week, December 26

For those heading into 2019 with a possible job or career change in mind, the new LinkedIn Emerging Jobs Report provides some insights into the skills employers are seeking today. Many of the fastest-growing jobs on the list are in the tech space, and many of those are related to artificial intelligence and machine learning. For example, in the LinkedIn report this year, 6 out of the 15 top emerging jobs are related in some way to AI. Jobs in this field are growing across all industries. Of those six emerging technology job titles, four of them are experiencing the highest demand in New York City and San Francisco.

Blockchain developer is the top job on the list of emerging jobs. The top skills asked for in candidates for this job are Solidity, blockchain, Ethereum, cryptocurrency, and Node.js. LinkedIn said that the demand is the highest in San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta. The second on the list of top emerging jobs is machine learning engineer. Top skills sought for these jobs included deep learning, machine learning, Tensorflow, Apache Spark, and natural language processing (NLP). Cities where demand is highest are San Francisco, Denver and Austin. The fourth top emerging job is also machine-learning related, machine learning specialist. This job saw 6x growth over last year, and job ads listed the following top skills: machine learning, deep learning, Tensorflow, Python, and artificial intelligence. Demand was highest in San Francisco, New York City and Madison, Wisconsin.

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Five important trends will help to determine the trajectory of the IT jobs market in 2019. One of the most important IT job market trends for CIOs to monitor is the continued gap between technology talent demand and supply. Computer-related jobs are expected to grow at the faster-than-average rate of 12% through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In just two years, BLS predicted, there will be 1.4 million open technology jobs but only 400,000 new computer science graduates nationwide. In the near-term, however, there are other important trends in the IT talent market, including skyrocketing demand for open source talent.

Open source is now adopted widely, even in areas outside of technology, making open source talent particularly important to attract to corporate IT. The vast majority of hiring managers (83%) said that hiring open source professionals is a priority and an even greater percentage (87%) said they were having trouble finding skilled open source developers to fill open jobs, according to a 2018 study by The Linux Foundation and Dice.com. Nearly half of the respondents (48%) said they are increasing their access and attractiveness to candidates by actively supporting open source projects with code or other resources and even more (55%) are paying for employee certifications, up from 47% in 2017 and 34% in 2016, as companies scramble to encourage and hire open source talent.

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Winning and Losing Tech Jobs in 2019
Dice Insights, January 2

With highly skilled candidates in short supply, employers increasingly turned to internal training and development to meet their growing needs for technical staff during 2018. The renewed focus on internal training, rather than external hiring, has actually helped stabilize compensation, with fewer companies offering big signing bonuses or higher base pay to entice candidates with hard-to-find skills. As a result, quarterly volatility in pay for certified and noncertified skills is the lowest it has been since 2007. Importantly, this trend is set to continue into 2019. However, there are several roles and key skills (especially in areas such as AI and Big Data) that will increase in value in the coming year.

Analysts correctly predicted big things for Big Data professionals in 2018, and 2019 promises to be another blockbuster year. Big Data-related skills and certifications have grown in market value every quarter for the past two years, touching almost every tech role. For instance, so-called next-generation DBAs with key certifications saw their value rise, while data analysts also experienced an increase in demand and value. Artificial intelligence is another hot area. Professionals with cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) skills garnered pay premiums of 15%, along with a 7.1% increase in market value over the last six months. The expectation is that AI will go mainstream in 2019 and make big leaps in the next two to three years as companies look to gain real business impact from AI tools. As that occurs, AI could become a foundational skill required of everyone who works in tech in a corporate workforce.

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This Is How You Will Look For a Job in 2019
Fast Company, January 2

Thanks to the increasing use of automation, artificial intelligence, and a growing interest from companies to hire more diverse candidates, the way job seekers will find the best opportunities is shifting. And that means the way we will look for jobs will change in 2019. For example, some employers are now experimenting with conversational recruiting bots to supplement their online job boards. Recruiters suggest that job search candidates will gravitate toward these conversational bots because of their ability to respond knowledgeably and naturally, to anticipate candidate needs, and to learn and adapt to candidate preferences over time.

More freelancers are finding jobs online and working remotely. Sixty-seven percent of freelancers report that the amount of work they have gotten online has increased in the last year, and 64% of freelancers found work online via jobs that range from tech to accounting, HR to administrative work. Both active and passive candidates will see a marked difference in 2019. Passive candidates, those who are not putting themselves out there to look for jobs, can expect to experience personalized outreach, leading to mini-conversations which are empathetic and get to the core of what they might be interested in. Active candidates will see more channels of engagement, including text and web chat. There will be an increasing focus on helping candidates answer any of their questions upfront and help them find jobs based on their likes and dislikes.

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The 10 Best Cities To Find a Job in 2019
Tech Republic, January 3

In an effort to find which cities were the best places to search out new employment, WalletHub recently analyzed the job market and socio-economic factors of 182 cities across the United States. WalletHub took into consideration key factors such as job opportunities, starting salaries, and job security. Based on this analysis, leading tech hubs such as San Francisco, Boston and Washington, DC made the Top 10 list of cities. But overall, IT job demand appears to be fairly well distributed across the nation.

The job opportunities do not appear to be concentrated in one geographic area, indicating that there are good job options nationwide, the report found. WalletHub identified the following 10 cities as the best places to find a job in 2019: Scottsdale, Arizona; Columbia, Maryland; Orlando, Florida; San Francisco, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Portland, Maine; Plano, Texas; Washington, DC; Boston, Massachusetts; and Chandler, Arizona. Of these cities, both Orlando and Portland stood out particularly for the number of job opportunities available.

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The New Job Description for Data Scientists
Information Week, December 12

The rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automated data collection means the nature of work for data scientists is shifting at a rapid pace. Time-intensive tasks, including data collection, are becoming less primary as they become automated, giving way to more strategic tasks. For example, data scientists currently spend up to 80% of their time on data collection. Because data is often incomplete, outdated or stored in the wrong format, teams frequently have to update, clean or reformat data sets before they can be used. Today, tools can automate many of these processes. Gartner estimates that by 2020 more than 40% of tasks performed by data scientists will be automated.

The old job description for data scientists put a heavier emphasis on data collection work, but the new job description emphasizes strategic application of that data via technology, programming, and communication skills. Artificial intelligence and machine learning, in particular, offer data teams new ways to explore information for critical insights. Though only a handful of data scientists are now proficient in machine learning techniques, those that begin to practice and advance these skills can dig deeper into their data for advanced insights. The goal is to uncover results that may not be readily apparent or might go against the grain of accepted wisdom.

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How To Become a Great IT Freelancer
Tech World, December 26

As the gig economy becomes more popular, more IT professionals are deciding to abandon the usual work routine and become full-time freelancers. While being your own boss sounds like fun, there are a lot of pitfalls associated with being self-employed. If you want to be successful you need to be prepared. With that in mind, the article highlights 8 simple tips that every IT freelancer needs to follow.

The first step to becoming a great freelancer is building an impressive portfolio website. Your website is the first impression that a client will have of our work and style. You need to make sure that it shows you in a good light. Clearly outline the services you provide, who your clients are and how people can contact you. Include testimonials and remember to update your site regularly. Get your name out there: To be a successful IT freelancer you need to be able to network. Many of your jobs will come from contacts that you already know but in order to grow your client base, you will need to self promote. Advertise your services online and do not be afraid to pitch to potential companies where you see a gap in their tech team. Startups can be a good avenue to pursue as budgetary constraints can mean they may not be able to afford a full time developer or engineer but will still need getting features pushed live.

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What Everyone Needs to Understand About Millennial Bosses
Inc.com, Winter 2018/2019

The oldest millennials are now well into their 30s, and they are increasingly running companies and leading teams. A new survey of 155 millennial bosses offers insights into how they manage, what they value, and how they plan to shape the future of business. The top priorities cited by millennials in the survey include creating positive work cultures, forging strong relationships, and caring for the whole person, not just the worker. And, unlike some Baby Boomers and members of Gen X, they are optimistic about those who will replace them later.

One thing is certain: young millennial bosses want to change the world. Fifty-three percent of millennial founders said they became entrepreneurs because they believe it is the best way to make a difference. Nearly half (46%) said providing a product or service that improves lives is the best way to execute on a social mission. Approximately one-fifth said they actively support personal and employee volunteering.

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The Rise of a People-Centered Economy
Communications of the ACM, January 2019

Innovation for Jobs recently published a book describing a new, people-centered view of work that could fundamentally change the way we think about the workplace. Rather than organizing work around tasks, the idea is to organize work around people and their skills. One thesis of this book is that organizing work around tasks leads companies to focus on reducing the cost of tasks by increasing productivity, reducing the need for people to do work. Automation and robotics derive their attraction in part from this incentive. An alternative view seeks to increase the value of people by maximizing their utility and shaping jobs around their strengths.

Making people more valuable is tied to the capacity to produce value. Increasing skills and knowledge increases the potential to do valuable work so education is part of the equation. New forms of education are emerging, partly through online access to information and partly as a consequence of longer lives and thus longer careers. No longer does it seem possible to learn for a while, earn for a while, and then retire. Careers may extend over periods of six decades or more during which time technology will have changed society and its needs dramatically. Continued learning will be needed during the course of a working career. Indeed, long-lived people may have multiple careers over time. As we contemplate the future of work, it seems inescapable that technology will play a major role in increasing human ability to do work that is of value to the society. In other words, automation and robotics might actually enhance our ability to do productive work.

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What Do College Faculty and Businesses Think About Online Education?
eLearn Magazine, November 2018

As universities and businesses expand their use of online learning, it becomes more and more important to find cost-effective ways to deliver instruction and training that will meet student and business needs. Some questions, however, have been raised as to the quality of an online education. For example, some businesses and college faculty members have questioned the switch from traditional to online degree programs. And with increased opportunities to obtain online degrees and qualifications, some employers may be hesitant to give the same weight to online programs as traditional educational programs when hiring.

In academic settings, online and distance learning programs generally serve off-campus populations. These courses offer access to students who cannot attend traditional courses due to reasons such as employment, family obligations, distance and expenses. Seventy-three percent of online students say that career and employment goals were a major motivation for taking online classes. Thirty-five percent of students who took courses were changing jobs with 30% of the group signing up for classes to obtain some type of credential in their current field of work. Seventy-six percent of college alumni thought that online education was better than or equal to on-campus education. Seventy-three percent of schools said that they were offering new online education programs as growth opportunities to increase overall student enrollment. Additionally, 99% of online education program administrators confirm that demand has increased or stayed the same over the last few years with 40% of those surveyed saying that they were increasing their online instruction budgets for the next year.

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