ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, July 6, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Volume 17, Issue 13, July 6, 2021
Tech unemployment is notably low right now. For example, the CompTIA monthly Tech Jobs Report estimated the tech unemployment rate at just 2.4 percent in May 2021, roughly half the national average. But not all tech jobs are created equal, and some are more in demand than others. The big question is, which ones? Based on analysis of job postings nationwide, software developers and engineers top the list, followed by product managers and network engineers and architects.
Software developer, with an average annual salary of $107,689, is the hardest position to fill, according to recruiters. On average, it takes 44 days to fill the position. The next hardest positions to fill are product manager (43 days) and program manager (39 days). The average salaries for tech roles in the biggest hubs are quite high, which is a natural side effect of intense demand. While many organizations are investing considerable resources in hiring highly specialized experts in cutting-edge areas such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, hiring managers and recruiters are also clearly on the hunt for thousands of technologists who can build apps and networks, manage projects, and keep the tech stack safe from outside intrusion.
After a notable decline in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tech industry has experienced continued rapid job growth for more than 12 months. Adapting to the new normal, enterprises have demonstrated they have put new and intelligent processes in place, from contact-tracing apps to 3D-printed swabs designed with AI, digital passports, and more. Furthermore, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projections indicate tech occupations will grow 11 percent through 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
On top of great growth potential, a career in technology can also be very lucrative. However, keep in mind that most of these careers require extensive training and work experience. IoT solutions architect ranks at the top of the list with an average salary of $133,000 per year. The Internet of Things (IoT) is no longer in its infancy. Worldwide, 41 billion IoT devices will be installed by 2027, up from 17.1 billion in 2016. An IoT architect primarily oversees the development and deployment of IoT-based solutions involving a network of internet-connected objects exchanging data using embedded sensors. IoT developers are also well-versed in systems engineering and hardware device programming. Big data engineer comes in at second on the list, with an average salary of $130,000 per year. The most common titles for big data engineers include business intelligence developer, data analyst, and research scientist.
Demand for developers is skyrocketing, creating a skills gap and opening up many more opportunities for developers looking to transition to new career paths. It is time for organizations to do more in attracting and then retaining these developers. The pandemic impacted businesses of all sizes, and being digitally adept is now a truly all-encompassing trait. Naturally, this insight has led to increased demand for software engineers and developers to manage new innovations, and to help organizations navigate this rapid transition. In fact, a recent survey suggested that 64 percent of companies were looking to hire up to 50 developers this year.
As the availability of jobs for developers continues to rise, it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is a growing talent shortage in this area. According to an earlier Gartner report, talent shortage was among the top five emerging risks for organizations. In reaction to the 2018 report, 63 percent of senior executives admitted the shortage of developers was an area of concern. When the competition for such expertise is so fierce, finding this balance is now just as important as the tech investments themselves. These developers need a sign that you are doing what you can to make their roles more efficient and achievable. Low-code, for example, enables organizations to automate processes quickly and easily, through new applications and process flows.
4 Novel Ways to Build AI Talent In-House
The Enterprisers Project, June 30
Recruiting data science talent is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today. For example, according to the O’Reilly 2021 survey on Artificial Intelligence (AI) Adoption in the Enterprise, the lack of skilled people and the difficulty hiring required roles was the topmost challenge reported. With increasing investments in AI across organizations, the war for AI talent has heated up. The good news is that there are four not-so-common ways to build these multi-functional skills in-house when external talent is scarce or comes at a heavy premium.
It is important for organizations to be able to look for AI talent beyond their immediate IT team. In most cases, organizations are underutilizing their current staff due to a lack of awareness. Teams often restrict their internal search to technology teams. Yet, there is versatility and depth of talent available outside IT in each line of business. To discover the gems hidden across your organization, you must start maintaining a self-identified list of skills for every employee. The list must be updated every six months and be openly searchable by associates to make it useful and usable. Experts recommend self-classifying individual skills into four categories: expert, functioning, novice, and desired stretch assignment. This allows teams with hiring needs to scout for individuals with ready skills and those with growth aspirations in the five competencies needed for AI.
Why You Are Not Getting Interviews (Even If You Are Qualified)
Forbes, June 4
For any jobseeker, it can be confusing if you feel like you are doing everything right, but still getting nowhere with your job search. You read the job descriptions and feel good about the roles. You spend hours tweaking your resume and brainstorming what to include in your cover letter. You submit your application knowing you would be a great candidate for the position. And yet, your inbox is still full of generic emails letting you know that another company decided to go with someone else. Maybe if you were at least getting interviews, you could understand. Before you assume that you are out of options, however, try to understand some of the common reasons why companies might be passing on your resume.
One reason why you are not getting interviews might be because you are underselling yourself. If you constantly worry that you might come across as though you are bragging or full of yourself, you might be underselling yourself in your resume. Even though you mean well, underselling yourself makes it easy for recruiters and hiring managers to assume you do not have enough experience even though you do. The key is to switch your perspective and realize that the more you share your accomplishments, the more you help others see why they should interview you and ultimately hire you for the roles you want. Confidently talking about yourself in your resume is not bragging, it is actually helpful.
Hybrid Working: How to Navigate the Challenges and Reap the Rewards
Silicon Republic, July 1
As more companies commit to remote and hybrid working, organizations are embracing new ways to implement this workplace revolution. In short, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a positive impact on the introduction of new hybrid working schemes. Now, over a year into the pandemic, organizations are trying to deal with the fallout, and employers are coming to terms with the likelihood that a high percentage of their workforces are not willing to return to the office full time. The pandemic has changed the way people work, perhaps forever. Thanks to technological advances, it is now entirely possible for most employees to be just as productive at home as they would have been in the office pre-pandemic.
A 2020 survey found that 76 percent of tech workers believed greater flexibility about working from home would be key for the future of work, while 10 percent said they were not sure and just 9 percent disagreed. Whether employers like it or not, they will have to face facts and implement more permanent hybrid working models for those employees who wish to take availability of the opportunity to work from home some or all of the time. As we move into the post-lockdown world, employers are now in the process of figuring out what their post-COVID workplaces will look like. They know that the majority of their employees want to keep working remotely and they know that they run the risk of losing their best talent if they force everyone back to the office. For many organizations, a go-slow approach is best when introducing any changes to the workplace. After all, we do not know what a broad adoption of hybrid working will bring, as this is still a new model for most employers.
Want To Become a Robotics Programmer? Here Is All You Need to Know
Analytics Insight, June 4
In filling robot programmer jobs, most businesses prefer to hire people who have a degree in computer science, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field. Service quality and training, robotic programming, and working on robotic welding equipment are also common aspects of the job, and so they are all items that can be emphasized or highlighted on a resume. Recruiting experts point out that understanding the typical roles and responsibilities of a robotics programmer is a good way to understand how to position your candidacy for a potential robotics programming job.
In terms of roles and responsibilities, robotics programmers help engineers in the design and setup of robotics. They also assemble or construct robotic devices or systems and complete maintenance, whether corrective or preventive. Often, robots or components must be disassembled, repaired, and reassembled. In order to become a robotics programmer, a two-year program to obtain a degree in electrical engineering technology or mechanical engineering technology is required as a minimum. Computer programming and integration, motion programming, and conveyor systems should all be covered in-depth in studies.
IT Jobs With the Highest Employee Satisfaction Ratings
Human Resources Director, June 9
Jobseekers have shifted their perspective on what the ideal job looks like after the COVID-19 pandemic forced workplaces to go virtual almost overnight. Now, the new normal has led jobseekers to value flexibility and a healthy work environment over high salaries and other financial perks. As a result, jobs that offer the highest levels of employee satisfaction and quality of life are in greatest demand. Job satisfaction broadly refers to employee perceptions of the quality of their work environment, and includes factors like company values, the strength of the senior leadership team, and the range of internal career opportunities. Many of the most popular roles in information technology are now those that can be performed remotely or that come with flexible working options.
Companies that deal with big data, statistics, finance, and operational research need data scientists now more than ever. This profession may cover a wide range of roles such as database creation, research, management, extraction, and presentation. Data scientists have a wide range of options in terms of specialization and industry. After all, big data management is now an indispensable aspect of marketing, sales, transportation, finance, education, and many other fields. You are not required to have a degree in computer science to get the job, but it is a plus if you have extensive experience in using data analysis tools in your prospective industry. States with the highest demand include Washington and Delaware, while top companies hiring include Amazon, Google, Apple and IBM.
Obtain a Ph.D. and a Career in Data
Communications of the ACM, July 2021
Innovative new approaches to learning are enabling people to gain data science skills that are vital in the modern workplace. Without much of a background in computing, individuals from other academic disciplines can catch up via distance learning and remote learning. Via online courses, for example, those looking for a career transition can work with data and information that can later be used for real-world data science projects. Gaining practical experience at work while continuing with part-time study to complete a degree in data science can be hugely beneficial to your understanding of how best to put your newfound skills to use.
Data is transformative and required for businesses to grow and innovate. Organizations must continually invest and work to upgrade and manage all their data assets. As a result, young specialists should investigate different options available for learning. Believe in yourself, your ambition, and try not to be discouraged. It is never too late to study in a way that suits you. Due to mandatory training courses requiring regulatory compliance knowledge, e-learning and distance learning are rising in prominence. More companies are encouraging employees to upgrade their skills through courses provided by Coursera, Udemy, edX, Google Cloud, IBM Online Academy, or Microsoft Azure. Due to COVID-19 and the need to stay at home, many people have become more receptive to the importance and ease of upgrading skills to stay relevant during this fast-paced digital revolution.
Is Computing a Team Sport?
Blog @ CACM, June 23
Many professionals in the field of computing like to believe they are good team players. However, there is still some debate about whether computing is actually a team sport. In other words, does teamwork in the computing realm lead to the most productive outcomes? Does this lead to algorithms that have the greatest impact? Does this lead to computing systems that have the greatest uptake? One way to answer these questions is by examining the history of computing to see if the pioneering early developments were the results of team effort.
The conventional wisdom is that there is no teamwork in computing. There is a romantic picture of a scientific genius who toils by himself or herself and comes up with an age-defining invention. That romantic picture has been built up through many centuries of history, but things began to change in the mid-twentieth century, with the invention of the first fully electronic computing machine. In the 1930s and 1940s, there was a race to create a truly programmable computing device breaking free from the tyranny of mechanical gears and pulleys. The ones who made the first electronic computer happen got a team working on their brilliant creation. They soaked in ideas from everywhere and got a team to work together to get a functional, fully electronic computer. Across the ocean, in Bletchley Park too, it was a closely knit team that put together the working Colossus computer to break German codes, though it was shrouded in secrecy and therefore possibly its impact was less powerful, at least in the near term. It was a team effort that delivered the Colossus, and by a stretch, victory in WWII, though Alan Turing is its highly visible embodiment today.
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