ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, March 19, 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 6, March 19, 2024

Generation Z Thinks AI Skills Will Give Them a Career Edge
Axios, February 12

When it comes to generative AI in the workplace, members of Generation Z are less fearful than their older colleagues. In fact, many college students and newly minted grads think it can give them a career edge. Not surprisingly, college students are piling into generative AI courses in order to give them an advantage in the growing number of jobs requiring such skills. Currently, more than one-half of tech majors say they plan to use generative AI in their careers, and they are more likely to want to learn AI skills than older workers.

Members of Generation Z increasingly view AI as an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of a transformational technology. They are hyper-aware that it is mission-critical for them, in order to be able to have the best opportunities in the employment space. Indeed, Generation Z is already very familiar with generative AI. They are using it already in terms of helping with their applications and helping with their resumes. If generative AI is going to cause major job disruptions, they want to be prepared. As a result, they are already thinking about extending AI to an entirely new set of occupations.

Click Here to View Full Article

Should I Start Looking For a Job Now?
Hackernoon, March 15

Even if you are satisfied with your current tech role now, it is never too early to start looking for a new job. This applies both to people fresh out of school or bootcamp and tech professionals who have been working at the same place for several years. It is only natural to wonder about the color of the grass beyond the fence of your organizational borders. Thus, making it a point to apply for a new job on a regular basis is one way to familiarize yourself with what is available. There is nothing to lose by applying for jobs that look interesting and seeing where things lead.

In a worst-case scenario, you will find out about a job you are not a good fit for or a company where you would not want to work. At best, you will know your value in the market and have a flattering offer in hand. The secondary benefit of applying often (at least once every quarter) is that you keep your interviewing skills sharp in a low-stakes situation. If you bomb the interview, you still have your current job and nothing is lost. But even if you bomb, what you have gained is valuable insight into what happened, and why, and how you might approach that situation different. It is hard to understate the value this mental preparedness has when you are in a high-stake situation where you need or really want the job you are interviewing for. If you are interviewing every quarter, you enter each conversation with a set of stock answers to common questions. Every question from every interviewer feels less like a surprise quiz, and more like a conversation.

Click Here to View Full Article

Top Ways to Boost Your Salary as a Software Developer in 2024
The Next Web, March 12

A In response to rapid technological change, there are several important steps that you can take to boost your salary as a software developer. First and most importantly, you need to make yourself relevant in an era of generative AI and low-code or no-code technologies. Software developers may be expected to do more with less, and early-stage workers may be seen as less valuable and replaceable by anyone with basic skills who can leverage these new automations. In order to be seen as worthy of a potential salary increase, you will need to show an ability to work alongside AI.

Not all programming languages are created equal, so it pays to focus on high-paying languages that have the attention of hiring managers. Some are more commonly used, and some are in higher demand on the job circuit. According to Indeed, some of the highest-paid programming languages are Java, C#, JavaScript, Python, C++, SQL, and Rust. Each of these will have different applications and use cases, so developers can select the language best suited to the industry they are interested in. It is also important to be familiar with a range of supporting frameworks.

Click Here to View Full Article

Are Remote Jobs Going Away in 2024?
Newsweek, February 14

The age of remote work might be coming to an end, experts say, and this could have a significant impact on both how American workers approach their careers and how companies look to hire. A new report found 45 percent of workers predicted the number of remote job openings will drop in 2024. Already, some major tech companies have issued partial if not full return to office policies, and many workers nationwide are bracing for major updates to their work-from-home lives. In a 2023 survey of 1,000 company leaders, 90 percent indicated they planned to return workers to the office by the end of this year.

In 2024, employees may not be willing to take as many risks as companies re-think their remote work policies and rightsize their workforces. IT workers are expecting a more hybrid approach rather than a complete reversal to pre-pandemic norms, and the number of remote jobs will significantly vary by industry. While tech, marketing and digital content jobs will likely still offer plenty of work from home opportunities, healthcare, retail and manufacturing largely will not. This does not necessarily mean a return to the old ways, but rather an integration of remote work with traditional office setups to create a more adaptive and resilient work environment.

Click Here to View Full Article

5 Transferable Skills Tech Hiring Managers Are Looking For in 2024
Dice Insights, March 4

With more employers selecting candidates for tech positions based on their skills and growth potential rather than degrees, transferrable skills are rising in importance. In addition to technical skills, transferable skills include portable knowledge, experiences and abilities that can be applied to any role or industry, making them invaluable for career changers. By understanding which transferable skills are more important than others, you can boost your appeal to employers in almost every single industry.

Communication skills continue to take the top spot among the most in-demand skills. However, simply highlighting communication as a skill on your resume will not set you apart. You need to demonstrate proficiency with the secondary skills that dictate success in any position or work environment. For example, given the proliferation of remote and hybrid teams, organizations are looking for professionals who have the ability to share ideas and collaborate effectively with team members across different locations and time zones. And because visibility impacts collaboration and teamwork, demonstrating the ability and willingness to maintain visibility while working remotely is vital. During interviews, tech managers will be listening closely to determine whether you seek out your colleagues or prefer to work on your own.

Click Here to View Full Article

LinkedIn: Skill Building Is a Top Organizational Priority in AI Era
CIO Dive, March 13

As companies adjust to the new realities of AI in the workplace, they are increasingly making career development a high priority. Based on LinkedIn data, 90% of organizations are concerned about employee retention, and providing new learning opportunities is the top retention strategy right now. Given concerns workers might have about the rise of AI, organizations have a new mandate to help people rise to their full potential by helping them learn new skills, creating a culture of learning, and helping employees develop their careers.

While many organizations acknowledge the importance of continual skill building for their employees, several barriers remain. For example, the number of learning and development professionals who expect to have more resources available to them is down 10 points from 2022, with 38% saying they expect a larger budget in 2024, as compared to 48% two years ago. Even still, the C-suite appears to be listening, with more opportunities for conversations about learning and development amid skill gaps around AI and other tools. The percentage of professionals who say learning and development has a seat at the executive table has grown 5 percentage points during the past two years, climbing from just under 55% in 2022 to nearly 60% in 2024.

Click Here to View Full Article

7 Entry-Level AI Jobs That Do Not Need Any Qualifications, February 8

Artificial intelligence has entered the mainstream business world over the last year, which means that career boards across the world are filled with AI jobs ripe for the taking. However, these AI roles might seem a bit daunting to those without a computer science degree because of the technical nature of the technology. Fortunately, there are AI roles out there that require no qualifications, so you can start your job search today. The article outlines some of the best AI jobs that do not need qualifications, as well as what types of skills are ideal for the role and the expected salary range for applicants.

Prompt engineer is one of the top entry-level AI jobs if you do not have any specific AI-related qualifications. When using AI tools like ChatGPT, the use of prompts is arguably the most important factor to get right. After all, an effective prompt can be the difference between a well-written, on-brand piece of content and a poorly worded, misinformation-laden paragraph. As a prompt engineer, you will be sure that the former is prioritized over the latter. You will work across the departments of your business to create, develop, and manage a selection of prompts and follow-ups that can help you get the most out of AI tools for your team.

Click Here to View Full Article

Modernizing Your Resume For Executive IT Leadership, March 14

For IT leaders seeking a new position, condensing an extensive employment history into a short, readable resume can sometimes be a difficult task. But by embracing modernized approaches to resume presentation, and eliminating outdated and redundant content from your CV, a streamlined resume that stands out can be readily achieved. Familiarizing yourself with current resume style and format trends is crucial for a career move at the leadership level. If it has been a few years since you have updated your resume, it is likely those standards have changed.

When updating your resume, content should not be your only focus. In the past decade, it has become easier than ever to create aesthetically pleasing documents without having a graphic design degree, and it is important to use these accessible design tools to your advantage. In fact, your resume might come across as antiquated if it uses a very old format. If you are only using black text on a white background, with bulleted lists and no visual elements to draw the eye across the page, your resume might fall into this category. This outdated style creates a dense document that is hard to read, making it more difficult for recruiters to quickly scan for relevant skills. The good news is that formatting your resume does not have to be intimidating. Simply using a mix of color and fonts, for example, can help break up the document, making it easier for the reader to take in each section and better focus on the information presented.

Click Here to View Full Article

Give Your Software Project a Name
ACM Queue, March 7

Adding names to projects is one of the most powerful tools an IT leader can use to improve the effectiveness of a team. The exact name does not really matter, as long as it is memorable. Giving your project a name can go a long way toward creating a cohesive team with strong morale, especially if there are no major launches or milestones along the way. When people have to work together to get through a challenging task, reaching those milestones bring them together. Naming a project gives the team something concrete to rally behind. A name also has the power to take a laundry list of items and turn them into something that you can communicate about with team members.

The obvious benefit of launches is the sense of accomplishment that comes to the team. Meeting a deadline or successfully launching a product provides a tangible sense of achievement for individuals and the team as a whole. Accomplishing a goal creates a positive and rewarding experience, boosting morale. It also gives leaders an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge a job well done. Launches create a shared purpose, and team members are more likely to collaborate and support each other when they have a collective goal. Facing and navigating difficulties together creates a shared experience and builds a common narrative that strengthens the bonds among people. Deadlines serve as motivators by creating a sense of accountability. Team members are more likely to stay focused and committed when they have a clear endpoint.

Click Here to View Full Article

Thoughts on AI Interoperability
Communications of the ACM, March 7

As artificial intelligence continues to grow in popularity, it is time for computer science practitioners to consider the potential interoperability of machine learning (ML) and large language model (LLM) systems. Given that these powerful technologies will be widely used in the future, tech workers will likely want or even need for them to work together. As their interoperability improves over time, these systems will be able respond to certain types of requests more effectively and avoid some of the ambiguities of natural language.

There are other kinds of AI interoperability worth thinking about. For example, there is the concept of federated learning, in which multiple ML systems independently ingest training content, resulting in a multi-layer neural network in which the neurons take on weights. When these ML systems are essentially identical in structure, one can imagine collecting the state information of each replica and then forming a system that is a computed combination of the weight values of each separate system. A success with this method might allow learning to take place in a distributed fashion and a combined system formed without having to move all the training data to a single location. Since training data can be voluminous, the tactic, if it works, might avoid costly or even impossible transfer of all training data to a single location.

Click Here to View Full Article

Copyright 2024, ACM, Inc.