ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, August 22, 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 16, August 22, 2023

Tech Jobs Market Normalizing as July Unemployment Dips
CIO Dive, August 4

Employers across all industries added 65,000 technology positions in July as demand for IT talent continues to grow, according to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Tech sector companies added more than 5,000 employees last month, marking a second month of increases after cutting more than 4,000 roles in May. In another positive sign for IT hiring, tech unemployment rates contracted month over month, declining to 1.8% in July from 2.3% in June. The rate remained far below the national unemployment average of 3.5%.

Finding the IT workers they need to meet hiring goals or complete projects is a struggle for more than two-thirds of executives. Roiled by the lack of available talent, most employers have turned to upskilling to meet their needs. However, not all signs in the July report signal a bustling job market, as postings for new positions once again contracted. Employers added 204,000 job postings in July, down from 236,000 in June.

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Gamers: Corporate America Wants You
Computerworld, August 7

More than half of employers globally say they would consider gaming skills during the hiring process and 65% say they plan to consider them in the future, according to a study by global staffing firm ManpowerGroup. The soft skills developed playing popular video games are now making experienced players desirable to headhunters and job recruiters. With employers struggling to fill tech jobs, they have begun looking outside traditional venues for talent, and gamers are a now a hot talent pool. Skills developed through gaming include creativity, critical thinking, reasoning, problem solving, leadership, collaboration, and resilience.

Soft skills from gaming are hard to find and even harder to train. Forty-three percent of employers say it is more difficult to teach the soft skills they are looking for. The pandemic crisis has accelerated demand for soft skills like collaboration, communication and the ability to learn, and gaming can help fill these skills gaps.Gaming builds a lot of skills, but it also depends on the game. In particular, the ManpowerGroup report highlighted multiplayer games that develop creative thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills. Gaming fosters the skill of continuous learning, and this ability to adapt your skill set is increasingly critical as people adjust to the ever-changing landscape of work.

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The Robots Are Coming and the Companies Building Them Are Looking for Workers
CNBC, August 6

Automation will eliminate certain jobs in the coming years, but as companies adopt robots on manufacturing floors, workers have a growing opportunity to join the ranks in helping to build and implement the technology. Both humanoid and non-humanoid robots are set to reduce employment in the years to come, as nearly equal amounts of companies say they are expecting growth, worker displacement or a neutral effect due to the technology, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum. The sectors most likely to adopt robotics are electronics, energy tech and utilities and consumer goods, according to the study.

The effects may differ depending on the industry. For example, the World Economic Forum study found 60% of companies operating in the production of consumer goods and the oil and gas industry expect jobs will be lost due to automation. On the other hand, 60% of companies operating in information and technology services expect jobs to be created due to robots in the next five years. The use of automation at companies large and small has two advantages. It reduces challenges for workers in taking away monotonous or dangerous tasks in their day-to-day roles and it keeps companies competitive and speedy in the production process. It can also help to solve an ongoing labor shortage. From a worker standpoint, it is another tool to help them become more effective in the job they are currently doing, to make them better eligible to get the job for the future, which are often better, safer and higher-paying jobs.

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The 9 Best Tech Jobs for the Future
Make Use Of, August 11

With the emergence of new cutting-edge technologies such as self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, some entirely new types of jobs may become highly sought after in the future. These jobs for the future cut across multiple industries and will allow tech professionals to become more versatile than ever. Some of these jobs are fusions of different roles and require candidates to procure additional skills or knowledge to fulfill their requirements.

Artificial intelligence has already made huge inroads, and is destined to grow into an even bigger factor in years to come. At the heart of the trend lies AI research, a discipline that gathers data to craft functional AI algorithms and models. These models are vital in building functional AI tools like ChatGPT and even more creative tools like AI art generators, among others. For aspiring AI researchers, the journey involves cultivating a robust programming and analytical skills arsenal. You will also need to harness your innate curiosity for artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics, as these are the pillars that underpin this realm of innovation.

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Major US Cities Dominate AI Job Market Leaving Others Behind
Decrypt, August 9

Nearly half of all AI development jobs are centered in just six U.S. cities, according to a report by the Brookings Institution. The report claims that 47% of artificial intelligence-related jobs, especially those tied to generative AI, are primarily found in San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Seattle. Although the July 2023 report did not give an exact number, Brookings reported that the Bay Area (particularly San Francisco and San Jose) led the pack, hosting nearly 60% of new generative AI jobs as of May 2023.

In terms of AI hiring, the Bay Area in California benefits from its proximity to top universities that conduct AI research such as Stanford, as well as companies investing in and developing artificial intelligence. A report by the Brookings Institution recently warned of AI being concentrated in superstar cities, and a winner-take-most dynamic in six digital service industries that provide online services to their clients. The increasing geographic concentration of AI raises the question of whether policy can or should be marshaled to counter it and promote more broadly shared benefits.

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How to Write the Bullet Points on Your Resume in Order to Stand Out
Fast Company, August 10

A strong resume is a key tool for any IT job seeker, and no part of your resume is as important as your bullet points. That is because the bullet points show your actual accomplishments. If you are able to structure these bullet points chronologically and support them with powerful evidence, they will open doors for you. Just keep in mind that hiring companies care far more about what you have accomplished than they do about your job titles. So document your successes clearly and forcefully in the bullet points you provide.

It is important to provide bullet points for each job on your resume. Create a single sentence for each job you have held and add bullet points that highlight your achievements in that role. For example, you could discuss how you successfully managed HR programs as the company grew from 10,000 to 30,000 employees worldwide. Then, you need to create bullets to illustrate that statement. You might show that you created new programs as the company expanded; attracted more and more employees to those programs; or improved employee retention through these programs. In short, for each job on your resume, give a main statement, and under it add a set of bullet points that show your achievements. Never simply list areas of responsibility. Nobody cares what job you were given. They care what you did with that role.

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Is Imposter Syndrome Worse For Tech Workers?
Silicon Republic, August 14

Imposter syndrome can affect us all at any point in our careers, no matter what industry we are in. It generally describes the psychological feeling of self-doubt, even for those who have the abilities and skills they need to succeed. There are several different types of imposter syndrome, from the perfectionist to the individualist and it can often be worse for people the higher up the ladder they go or for those from underrepresented backgrounds. But it can also have a significant impact on tech workers specifically. In fact, one recent survey found that almost 58 percent of tech workers were experiencing imposter syndrome at the time.

There are several factors that could be leading to imposter syndrome in the tech industry. One of these is the changing landscape. The fast-paced environment of technology can often result in moving goal posts within your role, or it can mean what was the focus one day may not be the focus another day. Additionally, one of the key pieces of advice leaders give those starting out on their tech career is to stay up to date with the latest industry trends. This means you are constantly learning new things, which can make you feel like a novice no matter how far along you are in your career.

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8 Things You Should Never Say When Interviewing With HR
Dice Insights, August 16

Whether it is the first step in the hiring process or the last, there is a good chance that you will be required to interview with someone from HR before an offer is made. There is often a misconception that the HR round is only a formality, but HR holds more sway over hiring decisions than you might think. HR is looking for red flags and green flags. They assess the level of fit for the role and level of engagement before moving an application forward. Interviewing with an HR professional may feel a bit awkward, but the last thing you want to do is hurt your chances by saying the wrong thing.

To help you get the green flag at your next interview, you should be aware of some phrases, terms or behaviors that could potentially be interpreted as red flags by HR professionals. One red flag, for example, is if you immediately come out and state that you will not accept anything less than a certain salary. First and foremost, HR wants to see if your expected salary falls within the range for positions with similar responsibilities, skills and titles. However, they are also looking for agreeableness and honest humility, because people with those personality traits tend to get along well with others. Tone is the issue. Taking a hard stand on salary can signal negative personality traits like rigidity, an unpleasant attitude or arrogance. Plus, you may be forced to backtrack if you quote a salary requirement that ends up being too low., A better tactic is to state a generally acceptable salary range and that you are open to discussing specific numbers once you learn more about the role and responsibilities.

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Four Strategies to Foster Effective Online Teaching Within a Standardized Curriculum
eLearn Magazine, August 2023

To maintain curricular consistency and streamline online course development, many large online programs utilize a standardized curriculum. Within this context, a single, centralized master course is developed, typically including all instructional content, activities, and assessments. Instructors for that course then teach from duplicates of the master course shell. Recognizing that individual instructors each have unique backgrounds, expertise, and style, it is important to design standardized courses in a manner that maximizes the benefits of these individual instructor differences while simultaneously maintaining curricular consistency.

There are four strategies that can ensure standardized online courses are designed to balance the various competing needs. One strategy is to embrace a collaborative approach. Faculty members are constantly exploring new ways in meeting the demand of innovation, while promoting a functional and flourishing learning experience. While full-time faculty are often more aligned with broader program needs, adjunct instructors offer a unique asset in their perspective and applied expertise, which can bring a different lens to course and program design. Recognizing that adjunct faculty are often underutilized in departmental initiatives or curriculum decisions, it is important to intentionally include them in the processes of course design and sharing of resources or materials. Institutions should provide platforms where faculty (full time and adjunct), course designers, curriculum developers, and technology specialists can collaborate on online course development. Collaborative approaches involve collective proficiency and ideas on organization of the course shell by faculty, designers, and even students.

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ChatGPT in Computer Science Education
Blog@CACM, August 7

Computer science teachers tend to emphasize the benefits of ChatGPT for computer science education. As a result, they highlight the opportunities it presents for computer science education over the potential threats it poses. And this is showing up in the way students from computer science, electrical engineering, and data science view ChatGPT and other generative AI technologies. They mainly see the positive impact of ChatGPT, and are eager to offer advice on how to improve the learning process. For now, it appears that generative AI has the potential to be a disruptive technology for computer science education.

To help determine the future role of ChatGPT in computer science education, students were asked to express their perspectives on the impact of ChatGPT on learning in their current coursework. At this time, ChatGPT was essentially the only famous large language model (LLM) conversational agent available for wide usage. However, the perspectives of the students as well as those of the teachers can be applied to other LLM-based tools as well. Right now, the primary impact has been on basic computer science courses and, specifically, on programming-oriented courses. In advanced computer science courses, the impact of ChatGPT and other similar LLM-based tools may be expressed differently. The perspectives of the students in this study can be generalized easily to apply to learning processes in other programming-oriented courses and maybe even to more advanced courses, especially project courses in which, in addition to programming, students must occasionally learn new application domains.

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