ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, April 23, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 15, Issue 8, April 23, 2019
While tech hubs across the nation are trying to lure high-tech jobs away from Silicon Valley, the reality is that tech job listings are growing faster in Silicon Valley than anywhere else. As a result, the single best place to find a new tech job remains California. Despite a high cost of living, Silicon Valley continues to attract the best and brightest looking to start their new tech careers. In short, even though technology changes rapidly, the geography of where tech happens changes more slowly.
Indeed identified eight U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of at least 1 million where technology jobs account for a high share of the total listings on the site: Austin; Baltimore; Boston; Raleigh; San Francisco; San Jose; Seattle; and Washington, DC. The overall share of tech job listings from the San Jose metro area grew the most from 2017 to 2018. Austin and Boston were close behind. Only Washington, DC, and nearby Baltimore saw their share of tech job listings shrink, but with plans by Amazon to create an HQ2 in Northern Virginia, that could soon change. That does not mean you have to live in a big tech hub if you want to work in tech. Big metropolitan areas like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York often have more tech jobs than smaller cities like Austin or Raleigh, due to their size. But tech jobs account for a smaller percentage of the total jobs in those larger cities.
According to new data from job search platform Comparably, as of February 2019, there were half a million tech jobs open in the United States. Interestingly, nearly half (43 percent) of those open positions are for non-tech roles, making them perfect for mid-career job seekers. So whether you are just entering the job market or looking to make a career change, there are plenty of opportunities to put your tech skills to work. Based on the jobs data, the top 10 highest paying entry-level tech jobs include Data Scientist, Product Manager and Mobile Developer.
At the top of the list of high-paying jobs is Data Scientist, with an average salary of $113,254. Given the current importance that organizations are placing on the ability to make sense of Big Data, it is perhaps no surprise that all data-related job openings are seeing a solid boost in demand. Second on the list is Product Manager, with an average salary of $106,127. Product Managers are responsible for helping to bring a new product to market, and must be able to organize and run teams very effectively. Other high-paying entry-level jobs include Developer ($100,610); Mobile Developer ($98,317); sales engineer ($90,575), DevOps Engineer ($89,300); User Interface and User Experience Designer ($84,841); Sales Representative ($70,622); Marketing Manager ($70,392); and QA Analyst ($70,383).
As the workplace changes due to new technological innovation, so does the resume. Traditional one- or two-page resumes actually do a poor job of representing candidates and showcasing how they can meet the needs of employers. And that is especially true in the era of AI and machine learning, in which machines (and not humans) may be the ones reading the resume. As a result, job candidates must be more attuned to the ways that applicant tracking systems can reward or penalize certain types of resume formats, and the way that algorithms will interpret your listings of top skills.
In the future, AI-powered machines will play as much a part in hiring for new jobs as performing them. According to U.S.-based business software marketplace G2, the use of applicant tracking software (the machines used in resume screening) grew by 202% among its users in the year to April 2019. That means that resumes today need to put greater emphasis than before on keywords. Applicant tracking systems will not be dazzled by verbose language or bragging; instead, they are looking for the keywords that communicate that you can do the job. Despite this, human recruiters will still play an important role, particularly in the final stages of an interview, experts agreed. So your resume and accompanying cover letter should give a flavor of you as an individual. Think of your personal statement as your elevator pitch. It is the first thing a hiring manager or recruiter will read, so it has to be good. Use it to really paint a picture of who you are and what your story is.
How To Get Your Data Scientist Career Started
Forbes, April 14
There are several important ways that you can launch a career in data science and find a job as a Data Scientist. Most importantly, you should continuously build your statistical literacy and programming skills that are relevant to a career in data science. To do this, you first need to analyze Data Scientist job postings, so that you know exactly what types of skills employers are looking for today. You should also look for ways to leverage hands-on training, so that you can show potential employers that you have experience working with real-world problems.
Currently, there are nearly 25,000 open Data Scientist positions on LinkedIn in the United States alone. Using data mining techniques to analyze all open positions in the U.S., the top 3 most common skills requested in LinkedIn data scientist job postings are Python, R, and SQL, closely followed by Jupyter Notebooks, Unix Shell/Awk, AWS, and Tensorflow. These most in-demand data science skills mentioned in LinkedIn job postings today should provide a guide to the types of skills you need today. In many cases, there may be free online courses where you can gain a background in these skills.
The Top 3 Ways Employers Are Screening for Soft Skills
Inc.com, April 18
During the recruiting process, hiring managers are constantly looking for new ways to discover and assess the soft skills of candidates. While a resume highlighting all of your technical skills and project experience may land you an initial interview, it is up to you to perform well in person and convince hiring managers that you have the right soft skills to succeed. Rather than focusing on your resume and past experiences, interviewers are more concerned with your ability to interact and communicate with others. Whereas technical abilities are easier to teach, the intangible interpersonal skills like creativity, collaboration, self-awareness, adaptability, and communication are not. As a result, many organizations are going to great lengths to uncover them. By understanding how employers are screening for soft skills, you will be able to make the best possible impression on them.
According to the 2019 Global Talent Trends Report from LinkedIn, one of the most popular methods for assessing soft skills is asking questions about behavior in the workplace. The belief behind asking behavioral based questions is that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. To uncover the habits that employers are looking for, interviewers will ask you questions about the last time you had to work with someone who had a different work style than yours, or ask you to describe a time in which you needed to learn a new skill. These questions seem innocent, but know that employers are analyzing your every word. This is where you should spend the majority of your time preparing for an interview. It offers candidates the opportunity to showcase their soft skills and differentiate themselves through experiences unique to them.
Avoid These Two Cloud Computing Career Pitfalls
InfoWorld, April 16
In order to have a successful IT career in cloud computing, it is important to avoid two common mistakes. One of these mistakes is going too wide: by focusing on becoming a generalist, IT professionals may fail to master certain skills and develop the type of deep industry knowledge that can help them solve workplace problems. Another common mistake is going too narrow, in which IT professionals hyper-specialize around a certain type of cloud service. As a result, their ultimate professional success is tied very closely to the success of that cloud service. According to career experts, it is best to find a happy medium between becoming too much of a generalist and too much of a specialist. Doing so can help you to avoid common career pitfalls.
The primary mistake that many cloud computing professionals make is going too wide. There is certainly value in being a generalist who understands cloud technology and can pick and choose the optimal solutions to create a foundational cloud architecture. The problem comes when you consider that most people can understand a little of everything but might lack the deeper knowledge that could save them from huge blunders. For example, latency issues caused by bad architecture are often traced back to a cloud architect who does not understand networking, or architectures that compromise security due to lack of security knowledge, or poor choices around data integration. Many architects oversell their ability to take all things into consideration at a deep enough level. These are typically skills obtained only over time. Moreover, they fail to understand that cloud architecture means still dealing with legacy systems, data centers, and even hardware.
Why Virtual Career Fairs Are One of the Easiest Ways to Land a Top Tech Job
CNBC, February 9
Virtual career fairs are on the rise, and tech companies are leading the charge. With unemployment at 4 percent and companies struggling to close the skills gap and increase diversity, virtual career fairs are answering the call. Unlike the traditional job fair, going digital provides a way for companies to access a global pool of high-quality applicants. There is no industry more excited about this new trend than technology, where companies are competing against the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple to attract the best and the brightest. Now that hiring remote workers has become the norm, companies are exploring creative alternatives to the finite resource of local talent in a certain geography.
When opening a job search without any regional restrictions, the ability to find top-tier talent increases. Some of the major corporations that have recently participated in virtual career fairs include 3M, Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon and IBM. All have joined virtual group fairs hosted by sponsors. Other organizations host their own, in an attempt to find candidates who would like to work from home, either part- or full-time. In many way, it is a logical step to connect with companies that value work flexibility. Remote workers for computer and IT jobs are in high demand. Of the 100 top companies for remote jobs in 2019, 26 of the companies hire heavily for computer and IT job. The positions are widespread, from web search evaluators, social media evaluators and developer support engineers to brand designers, full-stack developers, senior software engineers and product security engineers.
How To Love Your Job and Avoid Burnout
Quartz @ Work, April 7
The most important factor in staying motivated at work, say researchers, is deriving a deep sense of meaning from your job. This sense of meaning might result from the mission of your company to achieve a certain goal in society, or it might stem from the impact that your day-to-day work has on people around you. Meaning is not something that can be found or uncovered by hard work. Rather, meaning is a perspective, a point of view, or a way of framing the world. Meaning is what enables people to become extremely dedicated, even amidst workplace conditions that might not be optimal. Given the state of overwork in the tech sector, and the increasing risk of burnout, deriving a deep sense of meaning from your job is key to finding both happiness and success at work.
One important reason why finding purpose in your job is the current state of the modern workplace. The 40-hour work week is largely a myth in many fast-paced industries, the line between work life and personal life has blurred, and thanks to downsizing and rightsizing, many employees may be expected to work several jobs at one time. Even during vacation time, employees maintain a link with the office, thanks to digital technology. Due to the way people think about work, it has led to a situation where people are miserable, burned out and overworked. We have been trained to associate our work with our identities, and we seem unable to break free of unhealthy ways of working. This particular state of affairs is relatively new. For most of human history, work was a drudgery to be borne by those people who had to do it, and avoided by those who could afford to. Many tech companies may claim to support a work-life balance, but in reality, the expect employees to aggressively focus on making money. As a result, the model of the permanent, long-hours job needs to be scrutinized.
Immigrants Help Solve the Looming STEM Worker Shortage
Blog @ CACM, April 12
For the tech sector to prosper, it should continue to welcome world-class immigrant talent that is launching new companies, inspiring innovation, and helping tech companies both large and small deal with the STEM worker shortage. Immigrants can help tech companies stay on the cutting edge of a highly competitive field. Their diverse perspectives can help to find out-of the-box solutions faster. Additionally, bilingual employees give companies a competitive advantage in the global economy. The reality is that there are not enough American-born workers to fill all the new jobs in the tech sector, and recent immigrants can play an important role in making sure that those jobs ultimately get filled.
Across the nation, immigrants play a large role in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. In some states, for example, nearly one-quarter of all STEM workers were born in another country, according to a New American Economy (NAE) analysis of 2017 data. It is difficult to overstate this importance because employment in STEM jobs has grown significantly, exceeding overall job growth. From 1990 to 2016, STEM occupations have grown 79%, with computer jobs increasing 338% over that same period, according to the Pew Research Center. These fields are expected to play a critical role in future U.S. economic growth. To address the talent gap, policies are needed that help keep these skilled workers in America, where they can contribute to the workforce and the economy. Nationally, immigrants account for nearly 3.2 million entrepreneurs and create about 8 million jobs.
Changing the Narrative: New Directions in Online Retention
eLearn Magazine, April 2019
The growth of online higher education in recent years means that online courses and online degrees are now an established part of the contemporary higher education landscape. At the same time, retention remains an important area of concern for both online learners and the higher education institutions serving them. They must address the key challenges still facing adult online learners and as a result, there is need for an integrated model for improving the retention of online learners that combines best practices from the traditional model of instruction and course design.
University leaders in online learning have identified retention and graduation rates as the top indicators of quality for online education at their schools. At the same time, recent reports have suggested that retention rates in online higher education might not be as high as those of residential and hybrid settings. The majority of learners in online learning are adults who need to balance multiple responsibilities outside of their education. Most adult learners are working part-time, if not full time, and many are motivated to continue their education by career growth or potential career changes. Difficult choices between coursework and immediate job responsibilities will likely arise. Convenience and ubiquitous digital delivery are often the primary selling points for online higher education among working adults. However, online learners are typically studying in isolation, and, therefore, need to be especially self-directed, self-motivated, and able to regulate their own learning.
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