ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, December 7, 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 23, December 7, 2021
As the pandemic continues, so do job postings for remote work opportunities, especially in IT. In fact, tech jobs are among the most likely to be remote. Tech companies are not only ramping up their tech infrastructure to support remote IT jobs, they are also paying top dollar for some of these roles. Though many job ads will list an undergraduate computer science degree in their requirements, the job market these days is becoming increasingly open to self-taught programmers and IT experts who acquired their skills through bootcamps and certification programs. If you can demonstrate the desired skills, many of the top remote IT jobs now command six-figure salaries as well as plenty of opportunity for future growth.
One of the highest-paying remote IT jobs is mobile app developer. The average salary for this position in the U.S. is now $89,000, according to Glassdoor. Mobile app developers create apps and fix bugs within apps on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. A mobile app developer should be well-versed in languages that support both iOS and Android operating systems, such as Java. An undergraduate degree in engineering, IT, or computer science will set you up well for this job. An added bonus is any experience that you have creating and releasing your own mobile apps. Front-end developer is another high-paying remote IT job. Front-end developers are responsible for creating what end users interact and engage with on websites and mobile apps. In that sense, this position requires you to think creatively in order to make the user experience intuitive and visually appealing. A front-end developer earns on average $101,000 annually in the U.S., according to Indeed.
Given the importance of data science in the world of business and commerce, it is perhaps no surprise that data science jobs are now capturing the attention of highly-skilled IT workers. Companies are hiring these IT professionals to leverage the benefits of data science to their advantage and that, in turn, is creating even more new job opportunities. Pursuing a career in data science is a smart move, and there are 10 data science jobs that will likely gain more popularity in 2022. At the top of the list is data scientist, which is someone who manages highly complex and voluminous datasets by leveraging machine learning and predictive analytics.
Machine learning scientist is one of the new types of data science roles made possible by continued innovations in artificial intelligence and machine learning. A machine learning scientist will research new data approaches and algorithms to be used in adaptive systems, including supervised, unsupervised, and deep learning techniques. They generally have titles like research scientist or research engineer. The major roles of a machine learning scientist are defining, designing, and experimenting using ML, NLP, and computer vision to solve complex problems. Business intelligence developer is another top data science job. These professionals are required to analyze complex databases to find out the latest market trends that can impact business decisions. BI developers have to design, prototype, and manage complex data by using cloud-based platforms. To pursue a career as a BI developer, candidates need to have a good understanding of data mining, data warehouse design, SQL, and other domains.
Over the past 12 months, there has been much discussion about the cybersecurity talent gap. As a result, companies, organizations and federal agencies are now taking concrete steps to narrow that gap. For example, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has just announced a new system that will help it recruit, develop and retrain cybersecurity professionals in the federal government. The new DHS recruitment system, known as the Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS), launches amid a tight labor market for cybersecurity professionals who are in extremely high demand and can therefore command big salaries. DHS hopes the new system will help it hunt for and retain talent for mission critical-critical roles.
The new CTMS will enable the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to fill mission-critical cybersecurity positions. Some of the first roles to be filled using CTMS will be high-priority jobs at CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency). Then in 2022, cybersecurity jobs will be available across several DHS agencies with a cybersecurity mission. DHS is currently recruiting for a variety of cybersecurity roles, including incident response, risk analysis, vulnerability detection and assessment, intelligence and investigation, networks and systems engineer, forensics, and software assurance. According to government officials, the CTMS fundamentally re-imagines how DHS hires, develops, and retains top-tier and diverse cybersecurity talent.
How to Reach Out to a Recruiter
Harvard Business Review, December 3
When it comes to landing your dream job, being proactive with recruiters can be a very powerful strategy. Recruiters can be very useful when they see you as a potential fit for a job, primarily because they have the connections to make introductions and the influence with hiring managers to push you along the hiring process. However, it is important to understand how recruiters think and then determine what could make you a good fit for a new opportunity. Just because you think you would be a good fit for a job does not necessarily mean that a recruiter will as well. With that in mind, there are three steps to approaching a recruiter in a way that is mutually beneficial.
The first step in reaching out to recruiters is simply knowing how they work. The job of a recruiter is to understand each role deeply enough to find the right skills and capabilities for a job they have likely never done themselves. Then, they must sell you on the position so you will accept an offer if you are the best final candidate. Recruiters are part salesperson, part cheerleader, part coach, part therapist, and part strategist to both candidates and hiring managers. At any time, they might have five viable candidates per job opening and ten or more openings to fill. Most recruiters are managing more than 50 candidates at a time, some of whom may be passive candidates who need convincing to consider new opportunities. That is why it is so critical to reach out to them with a targeted approach.
IT Hiring: 5 Ways to Attract Talent Amidst the Great Resignation
Enterprisers Project, November 24
With IT job opportunities so competitive right now, professionals are leaving their roles more quickly than recent grads are able to fill them. But even on small teams, it is possible to compete with big players and attract and hire top talent. These days, employees are prioritizing flexibility. Having proven that they are just as productive working from home, many professionals are unwilling to go back to in-person full-time. Building out flexible work policies, focusing on upskilling, and offering competitive benefits should be a part of your plan to create a work environment tailored to the realities of the current pandemic.
Just 18 months ago, few business leaders could have predicted how long remote work would last. IT leaders quickly discovered which combination of virtual technology tools worked for them, and these lessons can now be learned to attract and retain new hires. With that in mind, organizations should consider what resources they can promote to potential new hires that will instill confidence in their decision to work for them. Especially for recent graduates just entering the workforce, a commitment to help them transition and build success from the start can make a huge difference. Steps like offering employees co-working space stipends and home office reimbursements can go a long way. To increase engagement and productivity, consider what portion of your resources you can allocate to designing a premium onboarding experience for new hires.
The Most In-Demand Remote Technology Jobs of 2021
Dice Insights, December 2
Although some companies are still requiring their employee to work at least a few days each week in the office, a significant percentage of technologists will continue to work remotely full-time. To determine which remote jobs were most in-demand in 2021, Emsi Burning Glass collected and analyzed millions of job postings from across the across the U.S. Based on that dataset, the top remote tech jobs for the past 11 months included software developer, software engineer, network engineer, network architect, business analyst, software engineer and project manager.
For those interested in becoming software developers or engineers, and who want to do their jobs full-time from home, the good news is that remote tech jobs are still very much in demand as we head into 2022. However, keep in mind that employers are mainly interested in the types of remote developers and engineers who not only have the technical skills and experience to get things done, but who also have the soft skills necessary to effectively communicate and collaborate without meeting in-person. Any developer or engineer knows that the path to technical proficiency includes reading and writing lots of code, getting better at problem-solving, and continually learning new technologies and stacks. For remote workers, though, it is also important to boost how you interact with people.
How to Gracefully Return to That Job You Quit During the Pandemic
Fast Company, December 5
A record breaking number of people have already quit their jobs in 2021, but many may soon find themselves trying to get their old job back in 2022. According to a study conducted by the Workplace Institute, 15% of employees have already returned back to a former employer, and 40% would consider applying for a position at a company they had worked for previously. In addition, 76% of human resources professionals say they are more accepting of hiring boomerang employees than they were in the past, and 40% say they have rehired about half of those who reapplied with the company after leaving.
Quitting a job is not a decision most take likely, and choosing to reverse that decision can come with a lot of psychological barriers. Overcoming those barriers, however, is key to returning with confidence, and setting more favorable terms for your return. Pride can sometimes get in the way of us going back on a previous decision we made. It is important to remind yourself that you made the best decision you could with the information you had at the time. But circumstances change, so it is important to be patient with yourself. One good idea is to try reframing the situation as a win-win opportunity for both parties. In fact, research suggests that employers save between one-third and two-thirds on recruiting costs when hiring a former employee. Companies tend to be risk averse, turnover is very costly, so if you view things from this perspective, it should give you the confidence to come back.
Upskilling is the Perfect Antidote to the Great Resignation
Inc.com, December 3
One of the best ways for organizations to retain their current employees is to give them the skills they need to succeed elsewhere. Amidst the so-called Great Resignation, more and more companies are investing in upskilling as a tool for keeping their workforce engaged. According to a recent survey, 90 percent of respondents consider strong training and upskilling programs an important feature of prospective employers. By investing in worker training, companies can help employees progress in their careers or even make lateral moves, without necessarily losing those workers to the competition.
If organizations cannot find workers who have the skills they are looking for, it might be time to commit to on-the-job training. One way to do so is by establishing apprenticeships. These are paid, entry-level opportunities that have learning built in. While apprenticeships (like internships) have historically been used to recruit new talent to companies, over the past six to eight months, the number of companies using apprenticeships to re-skill existing employees has increased dramatically. Once fully trained, those employees may eventually leave the company for software developer roles elsewhere, but that risk is one that all companies face when they invest in training for their employees. The good news is that apprentices tend to stay at companies longer than direct hires.
What Every Engineer and Computer Scientist Should Know
Communications of the ACM, December 2021
If you are thinking about embarking on a new job search, keep one thing in mind: being able to create meaningful, authentic relationships at your new workplace will be the major determinant in your future success. If you are spending time building those relationships, then everything else will follow. Employees who are fully engaged with their co-workers live happier lives, and happier IT workers are better at solving creative problems and dealing with the uncertainty and complexity of the modern business world. So stop focusing solely on making more money or advancing higher on the career ladder. Instead, focus on the elements of your career that will make you happier and enrich your overall life.
Almost always, when reflecting back on their careers, people wish that they had done a better job at building meaningful authentic human relationships, and spending time in those relationships. This finding especially applies to hard-working, well-educated computer scientists or engineers. All of the patents, publications, presentations, and personal technical achievements can be amazing. They can literally save lives and bring immense delight, win us world acclaim, fill our shelves with awards, tally up clicks online, and even make our resumes impressively long. However, they all pale in comparison to something that is even more joy-giving: achieving deeply satisfying, personally-significant human relationships.
It Takes a Community: The Open-Source Challenge
ACM Queue, November 17
Building a successful open-source community depends on many different elements, some of which are familiar to any developer. These include a clear and present market opportunity, an intelligent approach and efficient coding. Just as important are the skills to recruit, to inspire, to mentor, to manage, and to mediate disputes, and all without the use of various forms of compensation to reward and provide incentives to contributors. In a wide-ranging discussion, several notable individuals with track records as leaders of some of the most successful open-source projects share their own experiences and insights.
Linux was released as open source in 1992. Then came a second wave of open-source offerings that emerged throughout the dot-com era. Nearly two decades later, a lot has changed in how to launch and then manage an open-source project. For example, one big difference is that the whole foundation concept took hold. Linux was basically just a hobby project early on, and, in that respect, it was similar to a lot of the other open-source projects started back in the 1990s. Now you have the Linux Foundation, which has a multimillion-dollar annual operating budget. And while the Apache Software Foundation, which is run by volunteers, does not have an operating budget anything like that, it has managed to create a significant brand for itself. One of the reasons a lot of open-source projects, from the late 1990s through 2010 in particular, started out as foundations was so they would have a better way to deal with the communities that grew up around those projects.
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