ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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 19, Issue 5, March 7, 2023

10 Hardest IT Jobs to Fill
Information Week, March 1

Not all IT roles have been affected equally by recent layoffs in the tech sector. Some of the very same tech companies that laid off large groups of workers are still hiring, but only for certain roles. Some of the largest tech companies in the United States, based in places like Seattle and Silicon Valley, still have hundreds of jobs posted on their website. In short, if you have the right skills and experience, it is still a very good time to be looking for work in IT. Roles related to cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning are at the top of the list of in-demand jobs.

Top on the list of hardest IT jobs to fill is cybersecurity analyst. As cloud computing and the general interconnectedness of digital technology grow more prevalent, security threats also grow more prevalent. Governments have now passed many regulations requiring companies to meet certain security standards when it comes to protecting customer data. This has led to an explosion in the demand for cybersecurity professionals who can help prevent data breaches and adapt to increasingly advanced security threats. Several surveys have found that employers place cybersecurity at the top of their list when asked about the hardest roles to fill, and this trend seems likely to continue.

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IT Jobs in 2023: Look Before You Leap
InfoWorld, February 21

According to career experts, hiring for software developers remains steady in the transportation, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors. All are looking for developers with the skills to create innovative products and services. For most companies, the ongoing need for developers has continued even through hiring freezes or layoffs. As a result, many experts expect to see continuing high demand for developers throughout the year. The economy might be slower but the need to maintain or further develop organizational technology is not going anywhere.

Software has become integral to most mainstream business operations due to the demand for effective e-commerce, cloud-based data solutions, and the focus on better customer experience. As a result, organizations in many sectors are on the lookout for good developers. Outside of tech, nearly every industry vertical has a need for software developers, from finance and insurance to manufacturing and healthcare. In manufacturing, for example, customized software is used to make manufacturing processes more efficient, and developers are needed for everything from customized production scheduling to product life cycle management.

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Why Web3 Skills Will Be Vital For the Future of Work
World Economic Forum, February 24

The current Web2 version of the internet has completely disrupted how we communicate, collaborate and conduct business, connecting people and organizations around the globe in ways that were once impossible. Its decentralized successor, Web3, could lead us to a more inclusive future where digital citizens of the world can have true participation in the form of ownership. As a result, it is important for IT workers today to begin mastering some of the technologies, such as blockchain, that are helping to make Web3 a reality, as well as to recognize some of the ways that Web3 will change the modern workplace.

Web3 skills are typically learned through experience. The problem now is that the most in-demand Web3 roles did not exist a few years ago, and due to the pace at which this space evolves, the skills needed are not being taught in schools or universities. Instead, they are learned through active involvement in the space, such as by onboarding to blockchain games and contributing to decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). This is also leading to a change in how people record their skills and achievements for potential employers to see. Unlike traditional CVs or on LinkedIn, where people can choose what to list about their achievements and experiences, new qualifications are often recorded on a blockchain for transparency and provenance.

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4 Tips to Freshen Up Your IT Resume in 2023
The Enterprisers Project, March 3

Whether you are looking to change jobs, or just want to be prepared for future opportunities, updating your resume is crucial in securing your place in the ever-changing IT industry. While there are many ways to approach the resume, most hiring experts advise on a brief, concise format (no more than one page) that makes it easy for hiring managers to determine a potential fit with the company. Moreover, you should always attempt to tailor your resume to specific requirements of the job you are applying to.

Many IT specialists go overboard with their resume length, making it two or three pages or even longer. In the IT industry, this is not always a deal-breaker. Since IT professionals are so in-demand and under-supplied, some hiring managers might spend extra time reading a resume, even if it is too long and packed with unnecessary information. But to maximize your chances of landing your dream job, your best bet is to keep your resume as concise as possible. While an overly long resume might slide in a small company with fewer job applicants, it will not at a more competitive organization. To make your resume more concise and to the point, leave out any jobs or experiences unrelated to your field and do not mention skills unrelated to the job you are applying for or skills you have little experience with.

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5 Tech Roles That Pay More Annually to Work Remotely
Spiceworks, February 23

There are a growing number of tech jobs that are likely to pay highly for remote work in 2023. In fact, jobs such as web developer, software engineer, data scientist, and cybersecurity analyst are actually likely to pay more annually to work remotely rather than in a more traditional workplace environment. The good news is that the number of these high-paying remote jobs should increase over time, simply due to the expanded number of workplaces that are making remote work and hybrid work a priority.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers are among the most in-demand careers in 2023. With a growth outlook of 23% in this decade and a median annual salary of $78,300, employers are willing to look further afield for appropriate developers for front and back-end website operations. In a remote role, web developers can earn nearly 30% more than the average, which makes it a great opportunity for job-seekers with a couple of years of experience. Software engineers, now very much in demand, have long been the backbone of the IT industry. These professionals receive a lot of flexibility in terms of work conditions, owing to the criticality of their roles. Most software engineers can easily earn more than $100,000 annually. The number of software engineer jobs is expected to grow by approximately 25% in the coming decade. These professionals can quickly advance from individual roles to leadership jobs while continuing to work remotely. Software engineers can also opt for project management roles with numerous organizations.

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HR Leaders Struggle With Tech Hiring Goals
CIO Dive, March 1

According to a report by IT training company General Assembly, nearly 4 in 5 hiring managers said they do not think they will meet tech hiring goals for the year. Despite prioritizing IT hiring, HR departments still take an average of seven weeks to hire technologists, according to the report, which surveyed 1,000 HR professionals. More than one-quarter of companies spend nine or more weeks filling in-demand software engineering, data analytics, data science, and UX design positions, respondents said.

For many IT hiring managers, the available talent pool is still too small to meet demand, even in the wake of tens of thousands of tech sector layoffs. Most companies are not reaching applicants from diverse backgrounds, despite pledged efforts to do so. Only a little over one-quarter of candidates for tech roles came from underrepresented groups, and only one-third of tech hires in the last two years have nontraditional backgrounds, the report found. Due to difficulties sourcing talent, companies are spending an average of $30,000 to fill in-demand tech positions, the report found. To overcome recruitment challenges, the report recommends adjusting educational requirements for certain positions and overhauling hiring strategies.

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Key Questions To Ask Yourself When You Are in a Mid-Career Slump
Fast Company, March 3

If you are no longer energized by your IT job, and those feelings persist for more than a week or two, you could be at the beginning of a mid-career slump. The sooner you recognize this, the better. One way to avert a mid-career slump is by asking yourself basic questions about your values and your expected career path. These questions can help you to get at what will bring you most satisfaction in the long run and what will get you to where you want to go.

One major cause of mid-career slumps is the sense that you are in a job that is unlikely to change significantly. This can happen in lots of ways. For example, if you move into middle management in a big organization, there may be few opportunities to advance beyond your current position. When that happens, you start to get visions of continuing to do the same tasks for the same company for the entire second half of your career. When this happens, it is important to sit down with your supervisor to talk about avenues for growth. Even if you do not change job titles, you may still have lots of opportunities to build new skills, develop new workplace relationships, and broaden your influence. Your supervisor can often suggest ways to enhance your work within your role and let you know about learning and development programs that you might attend. If you can not find a path within your organization, it might be a great time to work with a career coach to chart a trajectory that may take you to a different position in the near future.

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Is Now the Time to Think About Changing Jobs?
Silicon Republic, March 1

Employers across the majority of industries including tech, construction, finance, HR and marketing are struggling with skills shortages and can not attract the amount of people they need to grow. As a result, it could still be a good time to change jobs, despite concerns about a weakening economy. According to a recent LinkedIn poll, 61 percent of people said they believe now is a good time to switch jobs. There are lots of options in terms of open positions, but not enough competition to fill those positions, giving jobseekers the upper hand.

There are nearly half a million more jobs available in the market than there were pre-COVID, meaning you can be selective with who you want to work for. On top of this, there is much more choice in how you might work in those jobs with lots of employers offering hybrid working, flexible hours and even fully remote roles. You are also going to face much less competition for jobs. That is not saying you will breeze through an interview, but the fact that there is currently high employment, a growing number of people choosing not to work and low unemployment means employers have a smaller pool of applicants to pick from.

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Navigating a Career in Artificial Intelligence
Communications of the ACM, March 2023

Getting started in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) typically starts with a strong background in computer science. Right now, a career in AI might include designing smart rooms, clothes, cars, and phones, or it might mean inventing systems capable of recognizing human behaviors or characteristics, such as facial expressions, activities, interactions, driving maneuvers, and even boredom. As well, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the value of data and AI to drive positive societal impact.

By working in AI, you can help to invent the future. This might include augmented reality, smart clothes and cars, affective computing, electronic ink, and other innovations not yet dreamed of today. Many of these applications have already become a reality, or are about to become so. Throughout your career, you will also have the opportunity to answer questions with a clear social application. If you are concerned about the impact of AI technology on society, you will also have options to work with emerging new non-profit foundations devoted to AI for social good.

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Teaching Data Science Research Methods to Human Resources Practitioners
Blog@CACM, February 22

Due to the increasing importance of data science in human resources management, some universities are now opting to integrate the topic of data science research methods into graduate-level courses related to human resources. Typically, these courses, designed for HR practitioners, focused mainly on survey design, statistical investigations and qualitative research methods. The field of data science, however, has opened the opportunity to revisit course structure and content, and to add new content related to data science research methods. The article provides a deep-dive into the recent experience at Tel Aviv University, which is now teaching data science research methods to HR practitioners.

The challenge is to teach data science concepts to students who might have gaps in their computer science background. At Tel Aviv University, the data science course aimed to expose human resources practitioners to a variety of research methods as well as to their possible applications in their professional life. The goal was to teach the human resources practitioners a language that would help them communicate with their scientist and engineer peers and enable them to take an active role in conversations on the design of human resources tools that are based on data science. Such a discourse can improve both organizational performance as well as the position of human resources practitioners in the organization. Often, these advanced courses are divided Into distinct parts, such as statistical research methods, qualitative research methods, and data science research methods.

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