ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, May 4, 2021

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 17, Issue 9, May 4, 2021

The Most In-Demand Cloud Computing Jobs For 2021, April 27

With the need for cloud computing on the rise, organizations across the country are seeking to hire cloud experts at an unprecedented rate, according to new 2021 job data from Indeed. From March 2018 to March 2021, the share of cloud computing jobs per million increased by 42 percent, according to data from Indeed. During the same time period, searches per million for cloud computing jobs grew by nearly 50 percent. The list of the Top 10 most in-demand cloud computing jobs for 2021 includes cloud engineer, software architect and cloud consultant.

The most in-demand cloud computing job in the U.S. is cloud engineer. A cloud engineer makes approximately $118,000 per year, according to Indeed. Cloud engineers are responsible for managing the cloud-based systems and processes of an organization. Another top role is software architect. The average salary of a software architect in the U.S. this year is approximately $135,000, according to Indeed. A cloud software architect develops the computing strategy of an organization. That work includes cloud adoption plans, cloud application design as well as cloud management and monitoring. Other responsibilities include support for application architecture and deployment in cloud environments.

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Systems Engineer, Web App Developer: Best Entry-Level Jobs in Tech?
Dice Insights, April 27

For recent graduates looking to land their first job in the IT job market, it is important to understand which entry-level roles are enjoying the most growth, as well as which positions have the most immediate opportunities. With that in mind, WalletHub has released a new report that breaks down the best entry-level occupations for recent graduates based on these criteria. The top technology jobs on that list include systems engineer, engineer, web applications developer, hardware engineer and electronics engineer.

Technology jobs offer quite a bit of opportunity and growth, especially as companies everywhere pour more resources into their long-term product roadmaps. One variable, known as Immediate Opportunity, is based on average starting salary, number of job openings, and the unemployment rate for that position. Growth Potential, meanwhile, is based on projected job growth by 2029, occupation viability (i.e. chances of a job being automated out of existence), income growth potential, and median tenure with employer, among other factors. Landing a new position is a time-consuming process, so it is important to find jobs that not only interest you, but also align with your skills and background. Try to target jobs that offer both opportunity and growth, within the context of your own unique skills and background.

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The Skills Gap Is Shifting: Prepare to Upskill
CIO Dive, April 23

Four in 10 companies hired IT or other technical staff during the pandemic last year, and two-thirds expect to hire more IT or tech roles in 2021, according to the new CompTIA Workforce and Learning Trends 2021 report. Forty-one percent of organizations will have a new emphasis on communication and emerging technology skills for remote work and 42% expect new efforts to upskill and re-skill current employees. Moreover, CompTIA predicts a wave of widening skills gaps in the coming years. Emerging infrastructure and hardware, advances in AI and data, digital transformation, the need for people skills for an internet context and prioritization of employee well-being will drive these new skills gaps.

Over three quarters (79%) of organizations are pursuing initiatives to address technical skills gaps amid a tightening market for IT labor. Through 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects demand for IT and computer-related occupations to keep going up. In the cloud market alone, Indeed reported job postings per million rose 42% since March 2018. The global pandemic accelerated efforts to rethink approaches to developing and supporting workforces. The dual need to create more resiliency and future-proofing of skills, with the critical need to expand and diversify the pipeline of digital-ready workers, is a resounding mandate for change. Flexibility and adaptability are the top soft skills business and tech executives look for in new hires, and hiring candidates from non-traditional backgrounds is one way CIOs and IT managers can find these skills.

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4 Hiring Mistakes To Beware
The Enterprisers Project, April 26

As digital transformation accelerates and more organizations take their processes online, the impact of the IT skills shortage is becoming more and more evident. With businesses keen to migrate to the cloud and put new digital foundations in place, demand for tech talent is higher than ever, and businesses that miss out could see their transformation plans grinding to a halt. That is why it is more important than ever to avoid some of the most common mistakes when it comes to hiring the right tech professionals.

Perhaps the most common hiring mistake is assuming that you are going to find a so-called unicorn: the applicant with the perfect skills set for your company or organization. Given the sharp competition for talent, you will never find the right candidate if your list of essential skills and certifications is too long. If you are looking to hire someone to help you achieve your long-term digital ambitions, keep flexibility in mind. After all, the products you use today will evolve and so will the skill sets needed to work with them. If you hire for potential, adaptability, and enthusiasm, your new hire can grow with you and develop to the changing needs of your business. Your organization also needs to sell itself to job seekers. What can your company offer? Great talent wants to do work that makes a difference, for a company with a purpose. Professional development is crucial too. Great professionals are always thinking about improving and building on their skills, so implementing a proper career pathway and showcasing your investment in training can attract top candidates.

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Top Career Fields With a Future
Tech Republic, April 12

Flexible job postings have picked up in a variety of careers, signaling that recovery is strengthening for knowledge workers across the board. In fact, FlexJobs has announced 13 flexible career categories that have grown more than 10% since 2021 began, making all of them true growth industries worthy of further consideration for those looking to get hired quickly this year. Based on data from January to March 2021, the following flex jobs showed some of the greatest promise for tech and knowledge workers: Project Management, Social Media, Marketing, SEO/SEM and HR & Recruiting.

FlexJobs also offered a detailed list to help with the job search process, with a focus on how potential candidates can get noticed. First and most importantly, target your job search to the position you are most interested in, as well as the companies you would like to work for. With each query or application, customize your cover letter and tailor your resume. This does not mean an entire overhaul, just be sure you explain why you are the right person for this job and include examples to increase the likelihood you hear back from interested employers.

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6 Non-Coding Tech Jobs to Consider
ITPro Today, April 2

Whether you want to work in development, software testing, system administration or even help desk support, the ability to read and write code at least occasionally is usually part of the job description. But this does not mean you need to learn how to code to work at a tech company. Depending on which other skills you bring to the table such as writing, managing other people or aligning product features with business needs, there are a variety of roles that will allow you to work in tech while writing little or no code. You may work very close to code, and you may sometimes be asked to produce a bit of code yourself, but no one will expect you to code like a developer or IT engineer in these roles.

Project manager is a popular non-coding tech job, even if it does require technical skills related to a specific product or service. Developers write the code, and project managers help ensure that the developers stay focused, coordinated and on schedule. The role could be for you if you are organized and like managing people. Product manager is another popular role. If you have ever found yourself puzzling over features that a technical product lacks, or scratching your head about why a company decided to evolve a product in a certain way, product manager could be a role for you. Product managers help companies define market needs for products and align product development with them. Product manager is usually a non-coding role, but it does require technical expertise in how products work.

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Strategies For Managing Your Job Search Anxiety
Fast Company, April 23

If you were furloughed or let go within the past year as a result of the global pandemic, you may feel extra pressure to land a new IT position quickly. In order to reduce your job search anxiety, create and then stick to a regular schedule. Consider a job search to be a full-time job and create a routine around tasks that you carry out five days a week. Apply for five to 15 roles a day, depending on your function, and set a goal of getting your resume seen by one to three recruiters. Knowing you are making progress with regimented daily progress can help to manage your job search anxiety.

Throughout the job search process, take time to remind yourself of your worth. Some experts recommend writing sticky notes to remind yourself of your worth, including former accomplishments and accolades. During a video interview, put the notes where you can see them. Every new video interview that you land should give you more confidence, since recruiters do not schedule interviews with candidates they do not think they will hire. Job seekers may think they have something to prove, but recruiters already know they are qualified. Knowing this can help calm your nerves. And, speaking of nerves, it is natural to be nervous. Instead of fighting it, take it as a sign that you care and give yourself some grace. Progressive companies are leaning into more conversational-style interviews, and part of the job of recruiters is to calm down candidates. When you can calm down the job seeker, you get authentic true answers versus fight-or-flight responses.

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Recruiters Can Not Afford to Hold Out For Cyber Unicorns, April 28

Recruiters looking to fill vacant cybersecurity roles cannot afford to wait around for the perfect unicorn candidate, and need to adopt a more pragmatic approach to hiring policy. According to a new cybersecurity careers study, which was compiled from data from interviews with security pros and jobseekers, recruiters and hiring managers need to adjust the tactics they use to identify external and internal candidates for cyber roles. Many organizations still default to job descriptions that rely on cybersecurity all-stars who can do it all. The reality is that there are not enough of those individuals to go around, and the best option is to hire and invest in people with an ability to learn and who fit your culture.

One of the biggest challenges organizations face in cybersecurity is an acute lack of market awareness about what cybersecurity jobs entail. There are wide variations in the kinds of tasks entry-level and junior staff can expect. Hiring organizations and their cybersecurity leadership need to adopt new strategies for building teams. Based on the near-universal lack of skilled cybersecurity pros, more pragmatic approaches to building security teams might now be more appropriate, relying less on the recruitment of all-star talent with years of IT experience, cyber certifications and deep technical acumen. Instead, it is better to look more towards curating role-specific requirements, investing in training and professional development, and upskilling and re-skilling internal talent to translate more generalized, tangential skills into risk management and security know-how.

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Computing Education Is Not the Same as Engineering Education
Blog@CACM, April 22

Engineering education and computing education, while similar in nature, have some very important differences. A College of Engineering produces engineers, and for many engineering educators, an Engineering school is a professional school, similar to a Medical school or a Law school. That is why there are relatively few minors in Engineering, and why Engineering schools tend not to offer courses for non-Engineering students. In contrast, a Computing school does more than just produce software engineers. Computing education aims to provide students with the computing that they need in their profession. Every undergraduate at a university, for example, can take a course in programming specifically designed to serve the needs of their major. Moreover, there are computing degrees that are not about software engineering.

Computing education intersects engineering education, but it is not the same as engineering education. In fact, there are several ways in which computing education is different from engineering education. For example, the organizations that lead computing and engineering education each have mission statements, which reflect the values of the leadership of those organizations. Consider the mission of the ACM SIG for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), the largest organization of CS post-secondary educators. The mission of SIGCSE is to provide a global forum for educators to discuss research and practice related to the learning, and teaching of computing, the development, implementation, and evaluation of computing programs, curricula, and courses at all education levels, as well as broad participation, educational technology, instructional spaces, and other elements of teaching and pedagogy related to computing. Rather than focusing single-mindedly on the computer profession, SIGCSE is about the learning and teaching of computing.

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Examining Ways to Increase Remote Teaching Support
eLearn Magazine, February 2021

Educators engaged in the work of adult learning, faculty development, and online education reflect on factors that might have contributed to a lack of instructor engagement with remote teaching support systems during the early stages of the pandemic. Based on these observations, it might be possible in the future to increase the viability of remote teaching support. After all, based on anecdotal evidence from universities across the nation, there was greater than anticipated faculty non-participation in professional learning experiences in support of transitioning courses online. Resources specifically put into place to help faculty navigate significant changes to their teaching and learning contexts simply were not utilized as expected during a pandemic-influenced remote transition.

Perhaps the most obvious factor in faculty non-participation was a broad-based resistance to change. When our normal is disrupted, our natural instincts to question and resist kick in. In a COVID-19 climate, this is more than understandable, given multiple emotional, economic, and psychosocial burdens associated with it, personally and professionally. Since remote learning became mandatory, some resistance to that change is to be expected. Many scholars have outlined diverse factors influencing resistance to online teaching and its related initiatives over time. Beyond faculty perception that teaching online is more difficult and labor-intensive than teaching traditional courses, researchers have commonly noted the following challenges: lack of institutional and instructional support through training; the time required to learn about the platform, develop the courses, or to facilitate students thoroughly and effectively in an online environment; as well as cost issues.

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