ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, August 20, 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 [email protected]
Volume 15, Issue 16, August 20, 2019
According to a new Glassdoor report, jobs such as data scientist and product designer rank at the top of the list of jobs with the best career opportunities. The report analyzed millions of employee reviews on Glassdoor to identify the jobs with the best career opportunities across the U.S., all of which pay are in high demand and pay well above the U.S. median base salary. These roles also offer plenty of career momentum, with opportunities to advance a career quickly. The Glassdoor report ranks U.S.-based jobs, weighing those with the highest career opportunity ratings from employees over the past year on a scale of 1 to 5, those that have at least 2,000 open positions, and those with a median base salary of $80,000.
Given the current IT hiring market, recruiting tech talent is highly competitive. As a result, employers are paying top dollar for many tech jobs. These in-demand tech jobs with strong earning potential drive higher career opportunity scores. The higher the career opportunity score, the more positive is the outlook for the future of work within that area of expertise. The tech jobs with the greatest opportunities for career growth, according to Glassdoor, include Salesforce Developer (median base salary of $81,721), Product Designer (median base salary of $102,054) and Data Scientist (median base salary of $110,160). There are currently 6,789 Data Scientist job openings on Glassdoor.
If you already have a job in IT but have not yet worked in a DevOps-related position, the transition to a DevOps job should not be difficult. In fact, if you are already a developer or already work in IT operations, working in DevOps might simply mean doing the job you have already been doing but at a company that has embraced DevOps principles and practices. However, this change will often require you to rethink the way you have always done things and adopt a new mindset. Overall, there are seven basic steps you can take to prepare for a career in DevOps.
DevOps is all about applying the principles of agile development to IT operations. It requires developers and operations teams to work together closely, and it usually involves continuous delivery, cloud-based infrastructure and heavy reliance on automation. It is hard to work in DevOps without some baseline technical knowledge. First, you absolutely need some experience with Linux. Most DevOps organizations are running Linux servers, so you must understand the open source operating system and be comfortable working from the command line. Second, you need to have a solid grasp on the basics of cloud computing. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud all have excellent tutorials that can help you get up to speed if this is a new area for you. Third, you need some experience with writing code, more specifically with a scripting language. If you do not already know a scripting language, most experts recommend learning Python.
Hiring for in-demand tech roles is harder than ever, and that is leading hiring organizations to emphasize new benefits when attempting to attract talent in the current candidate-driven market. While offering a competitive salary and health insurance package is no longer optional in the hiring process, especially for those hiring for high-end IT or tech roles, it is still not enough to attract and retain experts who are receiving identical offers from competitors. Standing out all comes down to knowing what the talent you need values most after money and health benefits. Round out your benefits package to include intangible benefits such as a clear career growth trajectory, and you will be surprised to see the impact it has on acceptance rates to your job offers.
As the U.S. continues to face tech talent shortages, employers are beginning to incentivize upskilling their workers to solve future talent gaps. The goal is to train workers for more technical, in-demand skills like machine learning, data science, and software engineering. While upskilling the workforce will help solve future talent gaps, the more valuable takeaway is that talented tech employees will seek out hiring organizations that value their current skills and will invest in furthering those skills. To do this, establish a set budget for teams to spend exclusively on certification courses, continued education opportunities, and additional training. Help develop a culture of learning at your company by encouraging employees to take advantage of these resources, hosting hackathons, and allocating time during the workday for skills development each quarter. Be transparent about these investments and opportunities in the hiring process, so talent knows you are providing them with more than just a job but the ability to achieve their dreams and further refine their valuable skills.
Tech Jobs Of the Future That Will Be in Most Demand
TechWorld.com, August 6
The rapid rate of innovation means the IT roles and skills that companies require can quickly change. Tech professionals of today and tomorrow can ensure they are in the best position to take advantage of future developments by understanding current workplace trends. With the fourth industrial revolution approaching, the modern workplace is in a state of flux and is responding to new challenges and priorities. New job types are in high demand, with more employers hiring for specialist roles such as DevOps, data visualization, data management and analytics. Meanwhile, traditional roles are evolving in response to the technology that is revolutionizing the modern workplace.
Data scientist is already one of the best-paid professions for graduates in the UK, and the salaries are expected to climb far further as the quantity of digital data is growing at an exponential rate. Organizations looking to extract the maximum value from that enormous trove will have to compete for the shallow pool of talented data scientists. Ten years ago, it would have been difficult to find data scientists outside of universities, government or big tech companies. Nowadays, the majority of corporations are starting to map multiple data sources to inform their product or service offering and enhance personalization for customers, leading to a growing demand for data scientists.
5 IT Hiring Mistakes Leaders Are in Denial About
The Enterprisers Project, August 9
When it comes to filling open IT positions, CIOs and other IT leaders need to understand the most common hiring mistakes. Some common hiring blind spots may be exacerbating the problem of finding top talent, like thinking one perfect candidate is going to fill out a role completely, that someone better may be out there, or that is more important for the interviewee to be organized than the team doing the hiring. In short, IT leaders need to be aware of their hiring blind spots if they want to hire better.
Trying to find the perfect candidate is a persistent problem for IT hiring managers. When you believe the right hire needs to fit a long list of skills, experiences, and certifications as job qualifications, you are likely looking for the wrong candidate. IT leaders may be trying to cover all their bases, but these kinds of detailed job descriptions do not work. Recruiters advise IT leaders to take a step back from the job description and consider what four to five things are the best fit for what their team needs, such as a certain skill set or experience with a specific software. Make those your priority when hiring and list them as required in the job description. If a candidate appears with additional skills, consider it a bonus.
How to Start a Career In Artificial Intelligence
Robots.net, August 9
With AI and machine learning advancing very rapidly, startups and huge tech companies alike are recruiting at a faster rate than ever before. Moreover, they are ready to pay big money for top talent. That being said, getting into artificial intelligence can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you do no come from a strong computer science background. An advanced degree in engineering, mathematics, computer science or a similar subject will give you a head start. However, it is possible to break into the field without a specific AI degree, as long as you are willing to take courses in order to understand AI fundamentals.
The good news for anyone looking to start a career in AI is that there are several courses readily available on platforms such as Coursera or edX. Once you have the fundamentals in place, you can move on to courses that specifically deal with AI and its applications. These involve neural networks, deep learning, and other areas of artificial intelligence. If you are more interested in getting into applied AI, it is essential to develop your programming skills via high-quality AI tutorials. Python will serve you well here. If you are a beginner, check out the basic courses on Python available on Coursera. In addition to this, Harvard offers a Data Science certificate that gives a good overview of working with data.
How to Train Your Chatbot to Be a Recruiting Machine
eWeek, August 7
Recruiters have started embracing chatbots during the hiring process, and they are already seeing the results in terms of attracting the best available talent. Organizations that have implemented a chatbot powered by artificial intelligence reported 40 percent of job seekers who interact with it become leads. However, most recruiters assume that once they add a chatbot to your career site, it is smart enough to work independently with little or no input from humans. While a recruiting chatbot can do a lot once launched, hiring managers also have to train it if they want it to appropriately interact with candidates and deliver even greater results over an extended period of time.
Chatbots that are powered by AI learn over time and require two types of human interaction: conversations with candidates on a regular basis and recruiters who continually take the time to teach it what to say. Before a chatbot is ready to engage with a candidate on a career site, deliver personalized job recommendations and answer questions, recruiters have to provide it with information. A basic set of frequently asked questions from candidates and corresponding answers gives the chatbot the content it needs to communicate with job seekers. However, it is impossible to anticipate what all these questions will be at first. Although you will try to account for as many questions as possible upon launch, it will need to interact with users to really begin learning and providing relevant information to job seekers.
The Most Important Hires You Will Make Are Your First Employees
Inc.com, August 1
Hiring great talent is absolutely critical to get right, especially for new startups. As a result, before hiring their first employees, startups need to come up with a series of criteria that help to define what makes a great employee. For all organizations, there are specific qualities that make up a phenomenal early-stage employee, including the ability to play a variety of roles as a company gains traction in the marketplace.
In an early-stage company, you need well-rounded players who are willing to roll up their sleeves and figure out how to do anything and everything. They are title agnostic and open to pitching in wherever they were most needed. While it might seem counterintuitive, deep expertise in a niche area is less important at this stage than finding an employee who can do anything and everything. Often, people who fit this description are inbound candidates. They have identified your company as an exciting opportunity. They want to be at a startup because they want to have a voice in shaping the future of a company. Ask to verify that their motivation is intrinsic and driven by a need to contribute in any and all ways. Building a company is hard. That is why there is no room for egos. Everyone needs to check office politics at the door and bring a team-first mindset. In the interview process, dig into how a candidate worked with others.
What Is the Role of the Chief Security Officer?
ACM Queue, August 13
Organizations of all sizes are now hiring for the role of chief security officer, but even within the tech industry, there is not always agreement on what the responsibilities of this CSO role include. Like any top executive, a CSO is supposed to be someone who can survey and understand the threats against the company on many levels; describe those threats to various groups within the organization; and then develop plans to protect the company, its people, and its assets against those threats.
The CSO is not a security engineer, so it is important to contrast the two jobs to create a picture of what we should and should not see. The CSO thinks about various security threats and then ranks them in various orders. One possible ordering is based on the likelihood of the threat being realistically carried out. Another ordering is based on the downside risk of the threat actually coming to fruition. A good example is an attack on a single system versus one that takes out a whole set of systems. These mental calculations are what a CSO spends time thinking about. A security engineer, on the other hand, builds systems such as software, network architectures, or other artifacts that implement a particular security feature against an identified threat. Using the same threat-model map, a security engineer works to prevent a successful attack on the system.
Makerspaces in Higher Education
eLearn Magazine, May 2019
Within institutions of higher education, the creation of designated makerspaces aims to facilitate a more integrative method of learning that favors active student discovery, rather than a didactic, teacher-led approach. A makerspace is a collaborative work space inside a school, library or other facility for making, learning, exploring and sharing. Unlike a traditional classroom environment, where the educator leads through formal instruction, makerspaces lend themselves to experiential modes of learning, with the teacher assuming a far less dominant role. The aim of the makerspace is to naturally encourage critical, lateral thinking from learners by affording them an environment in which they can design, assess and evaluate projects, and refine their techniques accordingly.
To accommodate the needs of students, designers of the makerspace must possess the forethought to consider the multiple uses of the area, and how they can be easily adapted to accommodate a diverse array of activities with minimal upheaval. While a traditional classroom provides a perfectly viable means of theoretical instruction, the simulated technologies integrated into a makerspace ensure that the educational experience accommodates the need for practical experimentation as well. In this regard, augmented technologies can be utilized for practical instruction, with relatively minimal effort. In contrast to virtual reality, augmented reality serves as an extension of the real world environment, and provides the heightened sensory experience that immerses the student in real world scenarios, through student led classroom design.
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