ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, January 23, 2024

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 20, Issue 2, January 23, 2024

The 15 Most In-Demand Tech Jobs For 2024, January 5

In 2024, organizations will be focused on hiring talent for roles related to the cloud, DevOps, digital transformation, security and privacy, AI, automation, and data analytics. Overall, recruiting in the tech industry remains strong, with job gains outpacing losses in the tech sector. Based on a recent survey, 61% of managers said they plan to hire for new roles in the coming year and 34% said they planned to hire for vacated roles. There will also be an increased focus on retention in the new year, with nearly 64% of tech workers saying that they are planning to look for a new job in the coming year.

According to recruiters, one of the most in-demand tech jobs for 2024 is systems security manager. The pay range for this role typically varies from $137,250 to $198,500. Another popular role is network/cloud architect, with a salary typically ranging from $133,000 to $196,750. Systems security managers are tasked with ensuring that the networks, data, and systems of a company are safe from cybersecurity threats. They ensure that there is a security strategy in place and keep up to date on compliance and policies. Network/cloud architects oversee the design, implementation, and maintenance of network and cloud infrastructure in an enterprise, with a focus on developing secure and scalable solutions to suit business needs.

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From AI to Green Computing: Here Is What Tech Hiring Managers Are Looking For, January 4

One of the biggest trends in tech hiring over the last few years has been remote and hybrid work. Last year, approximately 40 percent of all employees worked remotely at least part of the time, with tech and IT workers the most likely to work from home. So it is perhaps no surprise that tech hiring managers are now taking into account the ability of potential hires to work in a remote environment. In addition, they are searching out IT skills related to generative AI, cloud computing, and green computing.

There were more listings for cloud computing jobs than any other type of job in 2023. As a result, cloud computing jobs continue to be plentiful on tech job boards. These high-paying positions often start at over $100,000 and include positions like cloud engineer, cloud application architect and cloud computing specialist. Non-tech industry tech jobs are also becoming increasingly popular, especially in the context of tech layoffs in Silicon Valley last year. In many cases, these laid off workers were hired as technologists at companies that are considered to be outside of the tech industry. Industries like finance, healthcare and hospitality need software developers and other tech workers. The best tech jobs are no longer concentrated in California as tech becomes core to nearly all industries.

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Demand For Software Developers to Persist Despite 2023 Woes
CIO Dive, January 11

Signs continue to point to a recovering market for software developers after broad-based layoffs in 2023. For example, nearly 60 percent of software developers were hired for a job recently or plan to be in the coming 12 months. In addition, more than two-thirds of developers say they feel more security in their roles compared to 2023. Just 1 in 5 are concerned about stability compared to last year. Interest in job mobility among software developers will likely increase throughout the year if current trends persist.

Tech employees considering a move this year say they are mostly drawn by better advancement opportunities, higher pay or new work challenges. Despite an uptick in December, IT unemployment remained below national averages all year in 2023, signaling a small pool of available workers in technology in relation to the amount of open jobs across industries. Analysts expect that deficit to persist in 2024, though the broad-based adoption of generative AI could help lower the barrier of entry to technology roles, effectively increasing the number of potential new hires.

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Using the Right Mix of Job-Hunting Tactics
Dice Insights, January 12

The key to a successful job search is using the right mix of job-hunting tactics that can help you stand out in a crowded field of applicants. A job-search strategy that employs multiple tactics can benefit you primarily in terms of increased reach and enhanced visibility. You will be able to cast a wider net, ensuring your skills and experience reach a broader pool of potential employers. At the same time, employing various channels increases your presence and makes you memorable to recruiters and hiring managers.

Any tactic for finding a new tech job has its potential benefits, so you should be open to a variety of different approaches. For example, job boards can be great when you would like to leverage established platforms to target specific roles and companies. You can then tailor your profile and actively apply to relevant openings. Social media is great if you already have an online presence on platforms like LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter). You will be able to engage with industry influencers, share insights, and participate in relevant online communities to attract recruiters and demonstrate your expertise.

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IMF Warns Massive AI Growth Will Hit Jobs, January 16

According to the International Monetary Fund, around half of all jobs could be disrupted by AI in the coming years. The IMF has been analyzing how AI may replace some jobs and complement workers in their roles, with a particular focus on how it will impact highly-skilled work. This means advanced economies are exposed to greater risks and benefits of AI, and about 60 percent of roles will be impacted by AI, with about half of those workers able to deliver enhanced productivity from AI integration. But the other half will see key tasks currently performed by humans taken over by AI. This could lower labor demand and drive wages down.

While large businesses will likely ride out the changes the AI revolution brings in the same way they have weathered other tech advances, smaller firms may feel its impact more deeply. If your small company is running a five-person team, and suddenly AI lets you boost output by 20 percent, then that will directly affect your profitability. This is especially the case if you are operating in a niche market and your rivals are not embracing the potential of AI. According to a new survey that was released to coincide with the start of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, nearly half of respondents said they thought their businesses would not be viable in 10 years without reinvention. Over half said they thought AI would make their products or services better. At the same time, 69 percent of respondents said their workers need training to benefit from AI technology.

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6 Hot Networking and Data Center Skills For 2024
Network World, January 16

Many enterprise IT executives plan to enhance their network and data center infrastructures, particularly in areas of sustainability, energy efficiency, hybrid cloud, and cybersecurity in 2024. This will lead to increased demand in areas such as AI, automation, infrastructure management, and network security. The IT talent gap, though, remains an issue, with top executives pointing out that a lack of skills remains the biggest barrier to infrastructure modernization initiatives. As a result, organizations struggling to hire outside talent to fill skills gaps will likely prioritize efforts to train internal staffers to take on these roles.

For network and data center professionals, this is a time of opportunity. There are six network and data center skills expected to be in high demand in the coming year. At the top of the list is artificial intelligence (AI). Use cases for AI, and generative AI in particular, are growing at a rapid rate, and there is clearly a place for these technologies in networks and data centers. For instance, predictive analytics powered by AI can be used to automate operations and improve resource management within data centers. And AI can help improve data center security via real-time anomaly detection, data protection, and proactive threat identification. AI technology is delivering real measurable benefits to IT organizations and the businesses they serve. And there is no sign of slowdown on the horizon.

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Is TikTok the New LinkedIn?
Silicon Republic, January 17

Increasingly, TikTok is becoming the social media platform of choice for employers looking to reach Gen Z talent. While TikTok will not replace traditional hiring platforms, companies are exploring new ways to use the video sharing platform to recruit young workers. As a result, companies could be missing out on talent if they do not at least have a presence on TikTok.

Companies are now using their own TikTok profiles to promote open roles and attract candidates. Some have even hired TikTok influencers to post about open roles and give people insights on what working at a certain company is really like. For example, Google has a handful of TikTok influencers creating content about life at Google. They show what it is like to work at Google by posting behind-the-scenes videos. Other companies are using popular hashtags to post content about what it is like to work for them. This is helping to make recruitment a two-way conversation. And some are even integrating the viral element of TikTok videos to encourage jobseekers to contact them about specific job opportunities.

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How to Future-Proof Your Career Against AI With 8 Simple Skills, January 16

AI-powered tools such as ChatGPT have made it easier for businesses to automate processes, ushering in a new era of workplace productivity. However, it is also leaving many workers anxious about their future employment as a result. As AI models become even more adept at human-like reasoning, even previously safe jobs are at risk of becoming augmented or replaced altogether. With that in mind, there are a number of practical measures you can take to navigate the uncertainty and use AI to your advantage.

As a first step, jobseekers should become proficient with ChatGPT prompts. After all, a chatbot response is only as good as its input. So, another way to make the most of tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard is by learning to master the art of the prompt. Generally speaking, there are a number of key factors to bear in mind when crafting a prompt. You should use neutral, objective language to avoid influencing the response with subjective framing. You should also be as specific as possible, add lots of context and examples for the chatbot to replicate, and specify what you are not looking for in an answer. Whether you are using ChatGPT for SEO research or content production, it is also worth looking up tried-and-tested ChatGPT prompt examples so you can best utilize it for your specific industry.

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Nine Tips for Humanizing Online Learning
eLearn Magazine, December 2023

Those teaching in an online environment must take deliberate, intentional steps to foster social relationships in the virtual classroom. While establishing social connections occurs more naturally in face-to-face classrooms due to shared physical proximity of learners, with dedicated attention, online faculty can build equally powerful personalized connections in the virtual classroom. The article provides nine effective, practical approaches to humanize the online learning experience in order to enhance overall engagement.

Online instructors should look for unique ways to share their professional background, experience and expertise with online learners. This does not imply that you need to spend inordinate amounts of time revealing everything about your professional history, but rather that you should integrate stories, examples, and challenges that you have faced in your professional role. It is important to make the learning real, relevant, and authentic through self-disclosure of your own experiences in the profession. Also, keep in mind that videos can be used for much more than just introductions. Assignment and rubric walkthroughs can help learners gain a better understanding of expectations for that assessment. In addition, videos can be used for community building, social presence, and content support. Many learners enjoy having videos to support their learning experience, and when they are personalized, the videos can help to strengthen the learner-instructor connection.

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Programmer Job Interviews: The Hidden Agenda
ACM Queue, January 15

Coding interviews test programming, problem-solving, and computer science fundamentals. They also probe soft skills, including those related to communication and workplace flexibility. However, employers also stratify candidates using another kind of evaluation that is, by design, not obvious to job seekers. The goal of these interview questions is to winnow through an applicant pool of talented coders, with a focus on finding candidates who can readily connect dots, and who display a penchant for elegance in design and implementation.

The best coders, the thinking goes, are able to abstract away irrelevant superficial peculiarities, transforming messy practical problems into tidy formal ones, and solving them with the most basic and most general prior knowledge. It is the knack for perceiving familiar principles and math at work where neither is apparent, which in turn unifies the solutions of seemingly unrelated problems. Engineers with this skill are the sort of people who strive to describe lunar orbits and falling apples with the same simple equations. Top tech employers want this keen eye for deep unity, this instinct for versatility. It can be measured and it can be learned. It does not require extraordinary knowledge of any kind. Instead, it is about taking full advantage of knowledge that every programmer already has.

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