ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, December 5, 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 23, December 5, 2023

Staying ahead of the latest trends in the tech jobs market could provide a decisive advantage for job seekers, given that competition for tech jobs is heating up heading into 2024. Hiring rates have plunged, and on top of that, many of the top companies in Silicon Valley are actually looking to reduce, not boost, headcount. There are several developments that will define the tech landscape in the coming year, including the rise of AI in the workplace.

Because technology is ever-evolving, short-term certifications can lose their value or become outdated quickly, so it is important to engage in continuous learning and development. This can take place via practical, hands-on experiences like internships and apprenticeships. One of the best areas to embrace this learning and development is data science. Next year, clients will prioritize data projects, emphasizing data-related infrastructures and analytics, with rising demand for AI-driven and cost-effective DevOps and infrastructure capabilities.

Click Here to View Full Article

How to Optimize Your End-of-Year Job Hunting Strategy
Dice Insights, November 10

Approximately one-third of tech professionals are searching for a new job, and 60 percent plan to switch roles within the next year. Thus, if you wait until January to start looking, you could encounter even greater competition and be weeks, if not months, behind where you need to be. While the market is starting to regain momentum after two years of layoffs, there have been significant changes that will continue to impact the demand for technical talent, salaries and time-to-hire through the end of the year and into 2024. As a result, it is important to adapt your job search strategy to take advantage of the changing market conditions.

As you conduct your job search, do not overlook the option of contract work. After slashing full-time payrolls to correct a pandemic-induced hiring frenzy, many companies are now turning to contractors to handle mission-critical projects. Unlike employees, contract labor is not a fixed payroll cost, which helps managers deal with budget restrictions and hiring freezes. The movement toward contract hiring applies to many tech jobs. Instead of trying to compete for fewer full-time positions, contracting can be a smart way to make more money or plan your next career move, especially if you are unemployed.

Click Here to View Full Article

The Most In-Demand AI Job of 2023 Can Pay over $200,000 and Offers Remote Opportunities
CNBC, November 2

For just about any job title, the sheer volume of available AI-related jobs is much greater now than it was before the pandemic. Searches for generative AI jobs on Indeed have increased almost 4,000% in the last year, and openings for generative AI jobs are up 306% over the same period. Data scientist is the hottest AI job on the market right now. In the last six months, it was the most-advertised AI job on Indeed and the second most-posted on ZipRecruiter.

While data scientists have been working with AI for years, demand for these professionals has surged in recent months as more companies roll out AI-related products to make their workplace more efficient or improve the overall customer experience. Data scientists play a critical role in achieving this business goal by collecting, analyzing and interpreting the huge quantities of data from newer AI models to help companies make smart business decisions. The hiring landscape for data scientists specializing in AI has shifted beyond tech to include financial services, aerospace, media and other industries, all of which are stretching their hiring budgets to get these professionals on staff or creating new roles for them.

Click Here to View Full Article

How to Begin a Career as a Cybersecurity Consultant
Information Week, November 29

The demand for cybersecurity consultants remains strong due to the evolving threat landscape, regulatory requirements, technology advancements, and the shortage of skilled professionals. This trend is expected to continue, making cybersecurity consulting a promising career path for those with the necessary expertise. According to a recent National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) study, the global talent shortage is now 3.4 million cybersecurity professionals.

To be a successful cybersecurity consultant, one should have a strong educational background, relevant experience, and specific skills. At a minimum, recruiters recommend an undergraduate degree in a related field. Common degree areas include computer science, information technology, and cybersecurity. To obtain a competitive edge, some experienced consultants pursue advanced degrees. In cybersecurity, the landscape is always shifting, which demands consultants to stay on top of both new advancements and threats.

Click Here to View Full Article

Consulting Roles Likely to Face Talent Retention Challenges in 2024
HR Dive, November 29

More than one-third of consulting and industry professionals plan to look for a new role in the upcoming year. Consultants are looking for higher salaries, new challenges and better company cultures in their next roles. In addition, remote work, company mission and health and well-being provisions are important factors when considering a new job. In this current environment, job retention presents challenges for both consulting and industry, with 36% of respondents in consulting expecting to change companies within the next 12 months. This is despite strong salary growth and high satisfaction levels in relation to pay, bonus and benefits.

In a survey of more than 1,500 senior-level consultants and industry professionals worldwide, 78% ranked remote work as an important or very important factor when looking for a new role. After that, 63% said health and well-being provisions were important or very important, and 53% said a mission or purpose was a major factor. Workers at all levels prioritized higher salaries and bonuses, despite recent positive trends in compensation, such as an average 9% increase in consulting salaries in the past 12 months. About 71% of those in consulting and 74% of those in industry said they considered their compensation to be at or above market average, according to the report.

Click Here to View Full Article

The Best Tech Careers if You Want to Remote Work
Techopedia, November 20

Remote work has become an established part of company hiring strategies. Demand and supply of remote jobs worldwide have increased sharply. In the U.S., for example, employer demand for remote employees has increased by almost 400% since 2016, with more than 3.5 million remote job postings in 2022. Between January 2020 and January 2023, the number of workers living in the U.S. and working for firms based elsewhere climbed 36%. Right now, the top remote tech job listings in the U.S. include software developer, data scientist, and systems analyst.

Software developer remains a highly-sought position for those looking for remote work. Software development is a broad field that allows professionals to create software programs, applications, and websites. With the right skills, developers can work with teams worldwide using video conferencing and other collaborative tools without needing a physical office presence. Successful software developers can write, modify, and debug software for customers; develop specific applications for computers or devices; and develop the underlying systems that run devices or control networks. As businesses and individuals adopt more sophisticated technology stacks, demand for skilled developers remains high.

Click Here to View Full Article

How to Write a Winning Resume for Blockchain Developer Jobs
Analytics Insight, November 23

For blockchain developers, a well-crafted resume is often the key to unlocking a rewarding new career change. This is especially true now, since the demand for skilled professionals in this field is on a rapid ascent. Your resume is not merely a document. It is a way of introducing yourself to potential employers and shaping their initial perceptions of your capabilities. Several key steps are involved in building a standout blockchain developer resume that captures attention and swings open doors to exciting career opportunities.

Your blockchain developer resume should strike a delicate balance, ideally spanning one to two pages. While the temptation to include an exhaustive list of skills may be strong, it is crucial to keep it concise and relevant. Recruiters appreciate brevity, allowing them to swiftly grasp your key qualifications. In the realm of technical resumes, simplicity and directness take precedence. This principle applies equally to blockchain developers. Avoid overly elaborate designs, because recruiters are seeking competence and talent, not graphic design flair. A clean and straightforward layout is more likely to make a lasting impression.

Click Here to View Full Article

How Every Company Can Win With Early-Career Tech Talent
Fast Company, November 30

Competition for young IT professionals is stiff, and every company needs a strategic playbook to win. Industries like manufacturing, energy, financial services, and even the U.S. government need tech talent more than ever. The good news is that many tech majors are open to working in an industry outside tech and an estimated 70% of tech workers are open to considering new positions. However, hiring organizations need to have a plan in place for getting early-career tech talent in the door. Many of the most effective tactics were first pioneered by the big tech companies, but they can give any company an advantage today.

It is important to get students in the pipeline early, before they even graduate. In short, the companies that are winning tech talent are not waiting until a student is close to graduation to reach out. Students want to work for a company they trust to invest in their future. Building that trust takes time. By starting early, companies can develop pipelines of tech-savvy students who are not only known to be qualified, but who are also confident in the company and eager to commit to a full-time role. Many companies engage underclassmen through soft recruiting tactics. Google, for example, runs a virtual semester-long academic program for sophomores, while Microsoft invites students to preview and test its new features. Opportunities like these give students a taste of the product and culture, while providing companies with a strong pipeline of engaged early-career candidates.

Click Here to View Full Article

The Engineer and the Computer Scientist
Computational Complexity (via ACM Blogroll), November 29

Engineers and computer scientists may be similar, but they are not the same. To understand the difference between the two, all you have to do is compare two tech CEOs dominating the news recently: Elon Musk and Sam Altman. Engineers like Elon Musk are problem solvers creating or improving technologies to reach a goal. In contrast, computer scientists like Sam Altman make platforms for computing and do not focus on solving individual problems.

This is not a perfect comparison, since many engineers create platforms and many computer scientists tackle specific problems. Nevertheless it is a good way to see the distinction between the fields. In such a way, it is easy to see that Tesla and SpaceX are companies for engineers, while companies like OpenAI are for computer scientists. Just keep in mind that, when you take a computer science approach, you have less control of what happens next with any technology. Platforms can act in unexpected ways and people can use them unintentionally or intentionally to cause harm. Mitigating those harms is a challenge computer scientists must continuously address.

Click Here to View Full Article

Fostering Human-AI Complementarity
Ubiquity, November 2023

Amidst the current hype around AI, it is easy to underestimate the importance of human ability and expertise. But not all is lost. There are some academics and industry leaders preparing for a future in which AI systems are designed to bring out the best of human ability, rather than simply attempting to automate them away. This approach is known as human-AI complementarity. In this interview for Ubiquity, Ken Holstein, an assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, discusses key issues and concepts related to human-AI complementarity.

AI systems are increasingly used to augment human work in complex social and creative contexts, such as social work, education, design, and healthcare. Often, these technologies are introduced with the promise of overcoming human limitations and biases. But AI judgments in such settings are themselves likely to be imperfect and biased. Thus, it is important to consider designing for complementarity in AI-augmented work. This means ensuring that worker-facing AI systems are designed to bring out the best of human ability, rather than simply automating activities that humans do best, and that they enjoy or find personally meaningful.

Click Here to View Full Article

Copyright 2023, ACM, Inc.