ACM CareerNews for Tuesday, May 21, 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 10, May 21, 2024

Most Generation Z Tech Workers Say They Would Consider New Career Opportunities
CIO Dive, May 15

Approximately 90% of Generation Z tech workers under age 25 would consider new career opportunities in 2024. Young Generation Z workers appear to be unsatisfied with their jobs, with only 13% saying they are happy in their current role. The survey should be a wake-up call for tech employers because it shows a concerning level of dissatisfaction among permanent and contractor talent. To create a successful workforce strategy, leaders should listen to and understand what in-demand workers in AI, cloud and cybersecurity fields desire and expect in their jobs.

When asked about their motivations for a job change, 24% of North American tech workers said they wanted to learn new technologies, followed by 17% seeking career progression and 12% aiming to escape a negative company culture. When considering priorities in a new job, 21% of North American tech workers said they were looking for a job that offers career growth, followed by 18% looking for a flexible schedule and 16% searching for a better salary. In a 2022 survey, 80% or more of tech workers said they thought about leaving, reaching as high as 95% at certain companies. While the market has changed since then for tech jobs, 95% of tech leaders surveyed recently said they are facing challenges with hiring top talent.

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How To Use AI When Applying For Jobs
Silicon Republic, May 15

Tech workers are now incorporating AI into the job application process in a number of different ways. The goal, of course, is to leverage this new technology in order to boost their chances of success. In some cases, too, AI can unlock new career opportunities that might not be immediately evident to job seekers. In addition to helping with resumes and cover letters, AI can be used to tailor social media profiles, apply to new jobs, and prepare for interviews.

AI can play a role in LinkedIn optimization. This is important, given how important a role LinkedIn can play during the job search. If your profile or page is underdeveloped, it is unlikely that your application will succeed beyond the early phase. ChatGPT can be an excellent resource, when used responsibly and sparingly. If you are having issues presenting yourself in a more polished manner, or you simply have too much information to work with, tailored prompts can help you construct and condense the heading and bio. Applicants should also ensure that the image they select for their LinkedIn page portrays them in a professional light. If you do not have any images of yourself that meet this criteria, you can use a website that will generate a headshot of you using the contextual images you share.

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The Best and Worst States for Remote Work in the United States
Hackernoon, May 9

When it comes to remote work locations for tech workers, not all locations within the United States are created equal. While many tech jobs are remote, some of them can only be found in specific states. So despite being able to complete your work anywhere in the world with an internet connection, the state you primarily reside in plays a role in the application process. There are several reasons for this, including employment laws and regulations that can differ from state to state. With that in mind, the article takes a closer look at the most popular destinations for remote work in the United States.

The top work from home state in the U.S. was Maryland, with 44.2% of the working population in the state working from home. This was followed by Colorado (38.6%), Vermont (38.2%), Utah (37.2%), and Massachusetts (36.6%). Rounding out the top ten are New Hampshire (35.8%), Virginia (34.9%), New Jersey (33.8%), Minnesota (33.4%), and Washington (32.7%). For many, the idea of remote work began during the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced workers to stay at home. Since then, more and more companies have started to embrace it permanently. The shift towards remote work has spotlighted its many benefits, particularly the increase in work-life balance. It eliminates daily commutes, allowing workers to reclaim valuable time. Additionally, working remotely offers the flexibility for individuals to design their own workspace, which fosters a more personalized and comfortable work environment.

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Always Be Closing: How to Be the Candidate That Gets Hired
Dice Insights, May 15

In the current job market, simply performing well during an interview may not be enough to get you hired. If you want to convert a high percentage of your hard-won job interviews into job offers, you need to be able to close the deal. The process involves a series of simple steps and techniques that help you position your candidacy so that you can score the job offer you want. After all, you can not rely on a hiring manager alone to recognize your talents. You also need to position yourself to be competitive and selected.

Working toward a job offer throughout the hiring process requires acting like a consultant, not a high-pressure salesperson. In fact, highly effective closers are authentic and true. A job interview should be viewed as a two-way discussion between you and the hiring manager. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to gain a clear vision of the issues and problems of the hiring manager so that you can effectively present yourself as a solution to the challenges they are facing. Your goal is to steer the hiring manager toward the inevitable conclusion that you are the right person for the position. The key is to prepare as much as possible, primarily by researching the company and the hiring manager before an interview. When you ask the right questions during the hiring process, you have a chance to learn why the position is open and the nature of the problems that need solving.

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Strict Return-to-Work Policies May Be Driving Tech Workers Away
Computerworld, May 9

Mandatory return-to-office policies appear to be pushing workers at major tech companies away from their employers, with measurable effects on how willing people are to stay at companies that require in-person attendance. A recent study from researchers at the University of Michigan and University of Chicago found that three high-profile U.S. tech companies saw substantially increased attrition, particularly of their more senior personnel, when they implemented strict return-to-work policies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three companies (Microsoft, Apple, SpaceX) included in the study were chosen, according to the researchers, because they were among the first to implement return-to-office mandates as the pandemic eased in 2022, and because of their critical importance to the technology sector. The researchers estimate nearly identical effects for all three companies despite their markedly different corporate cultures and product ranges, suggesting the effects are driven by common underlying dynamics. One of the most striking findings was that workers in more senior positions were more likely than junior employees to leave a job rather than go back to the office.

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What Is a Dry Promotion? And Should You Accept One?, May 15

As organizations attempt to adapt to the new economic reality, one new trend in IT hiring is known as the dry promotion. This includes a new job description and new job responsibilities, but no change in salary or overall compensation. This type of promotion is great news for a company, since it means they will be extracting even greater value from their workers, with little or no increase in cost. For IT workers, however, the dry promotion is a trade-off that sacrifices a potential raise for nebulous payoffs that may never arrive. In short, there is a lot to question about a dry promotion, and not as much to gain.

The term dry promotion is a recent invention, designed to refer to a job promotion that does not come with a raise in pay. This promotion will likely come with a new job title, adding a bit of prestige that is not without value, since it looks good on future resumes. However, since it will definitely come with more difficult responsibilities or a larger amount of responsibilities for the same pay, it is in effect a pay decrease. You will work more hours for the same pay. After a dry promotion, you will be receiving less value from a company in relation to the value you put in.

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Here Is Why Generation Z Is Opting Out of the 9-to-5 Grind, May 15

Young Generation Z workers may have very different views about the IT workplace than their older peers. In fact, a recent survey shows many Generation Z workers are basically ignoring traditional office work norms altogether. These young workers may be the most entrepreneurial generation ever, and as such, are more willing to think outside the box when it comes to workplace arrangements. They are are also much more accepting of possible changes brought out by artificial intelligence. Overall, this outlook could impact how organizations hire in the future, as well as the types of tasks they assign to younger workers.

Generation Z appears to be moving away from traditional career-based roles, with particular emphasis on creating a portfolio of different types of jobs. In fact, according to a new survey, a majority (53%) of Generation Z workers across the U.S. are performing freelance work for at least 40 hours per week across a portfolio of different types of work. The data also shows that Generation Z is keen on freelance work by choice, not out of necessity. Although Generation Z professionals across all modes of freelancing are motivated by financial stability, fully 70% say that they chose freelance work specifically because of the flexibility of schedules. Moreover, 64% said that freelancing freed them from an environment where age, race, and gender could limit them, and 62% because it let them pursue work they were passionate about or find meaningful.

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8 in 10 Hiring Managers Say They Have Ghosted Job Candidates
HR Dive, May 15

About 80% of hiring managers say that, at one time or another, they have stopped communicating with candidates during the hiring process without providing a reason. According to a recent survey, the most common reason given was uncertainty, with 81% of hiring managers saying they most often ghosted someone because they were not sure if the candidate was their best option. Budget constraints and uncertainty caused by recent layoffs can play a role here. In addition, hiring managers say that they can feel overwhelmed by a flood of AI-generated resumes, which makes it very difficult to respond to everyone personally.

In a survey of 625 hiring managers, only 20% said they never ghost candidates. On the other hand, 11% said they always ghost candidates, while 22% said they frequently ghost candidates and 47% said they occasionally ghost candidates. Among those who ghost candidates, the top reasons include concern around the fit of the candidate for the role or company culture, concern around salary expectations, and the general feeling of being overwhelmed by job applications. Ghosting behavior also varies based on company size, according to the report. Of particular concern is that employer ghosting has more than doubled since 2020, according to Glassdoor data.

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Community Is Critical Too
Communications of the ACM, April 2

Many tech workers from underrepresented backgrounds still face significant challenges and barriers when navigating a career in the computer science industry. In order to overcome these challenges, community can play an important role. This community can support computer science students and professionals in critical ways when they need mentorship and career support. With that in mind, the article looks at the various ways that this community can be both broadened and strengthened.

It is important to broaden the types of individuals who participate in computing, in order to help people in the process of starting a career find and create their own images of computing. For some people, the broadening of this computer science experience might come as early as middle school, when computing is first taught in classes or as part of summer enrichment programs. Community experiences that facilitate novel faces of computing are imperative for enabling learners to bring in their own forms and contexts for computing. The engagement of these learners may not look like traditional computing experiences, but teachers and industry advocates must identify, support, and build on these new faces of computing.

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Pioneering Sustainable IT with Green Computing
Blog@CACM, May 3

Green computing, sometimes known as sustainable computing, is an IT strategy that reduces the environmental impact of IT infrastructure and maximizes energy efficiency. Overall, the combination of energy-efficient software, server virtualization, and cloud computing can help to create a more sustainable future for the IT sector. The article focuses on how green computing and eco-friendly computing practices can help to reduce power consumption and meet environmental goals.

New career opportunities are opening up in green computing, which is a general term for boosting energy efficiency in the IT sector and minimizing any environmental impact by optimizing computer systems and software. This concept has led to changes in the way IT infrastructure and software are designed, as well as addressing the supply chain in the manufacture of computer systems. It considers the sourcing of the original raw materials, all the way through to how old computers are recycled. In essence, the goal of green computing is to deliver the greatest performance for the least amount of energy.

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