Archive for category New Skills

What can we do about the widening technology skills gap?

https://goo.gl/8lFidrA 2013 study funded by Microsoft found that each year, 230,000 new tech jobs are created. The report also showed that each year, only 49,000 students graduate with a computer science-focused degree. That leaves more than 70,000 jobs available – so why are eight million people in the U.S. unemployed, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics?

It’s called a skills gap, and the U.S. job market as a whole is experiencing it. There are Millennials straight out of college applying for jobs that they are under-qualified for – not because they lack field experience, but because they didn’t receive the college education needed to complete the tasks at hand.

Though the entire job market is being affected by the skills gap, the technology market is taking one of the hardest hits. In a recent article about the tech skills gap, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that software development, data science, and systems engineering are among those STEM fields suffering the most from the talent gap.

Another skills gap study, conducted by Microsoft and Washington State, finds that one out of two jobs requires tech skills. Within the next ten years this number is predicted to increase to three out of four jobs. With Millennials unable to land these jobs, and employers unable to hire candidates, the market is not progressing.

This all sounds pretty negative . . . but it’s actually the perfect opportunity for people interested in pursuing a career in technology. Here’s why. By 2020, IT salaries alone are predicted to rise by 5.1% per year. The fewer qualified candidates there are for the technology field, the more invaluable tech gurus will become.

One way the tech industry is tackling the problem head on is through education. Companies are offering mentorships, industry experts are sharing their knowledge for free through blogs and online coding tutorials, and companies are even providing free training. For example, the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy teaches technology courses to active-duty military service members, in an effort to prepare them for the workforce upon completion of their military duties.

As for those who want a great career in technology – the key is to get the education needed to be successful – the education that, for some reason, others are not receiving. Research programs and education tracks before attending any program or school. Ask about success rates and investigate what the tech community has to say about those programs. The opinion of the tech community will tell you a lot about whether or not an education program will lead to a successful career.

Have you already received a great education? Are you ready to dive in to the technology field? Check out the Top Five Stem Cities for Employment on the TRC Professional Solutions blog to find the perfect city for your career.

Advertisements

, ,

Leave a comment

How-to Stay Connected With Your Company and Colleagues in the Technology Age

https://www.google.com/search?safe=active&site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1920&bih=934&q=remoting+in&oq=remoting+in&gs_l=img.3..0i24l10.6165.8394.0.8689.11.11.0.0.0.0.133.1104.8j3.11.0....0...1ac.1.64.img..0.11.1094.0hSqh8-B7XY#safe=active&tbm=isch&q=telecommuting&imgrc=2OqGvEqcdFdhnM%3ASince 2005, the amount of people who now remote in to work has increased by 60%. Over 2 million people are able to work flexible schedules and choose whether or not they want to go into the office five days a week. This increase is due to more companies allowing flexible schedules. How could they not? Employees are 20% more productive when performing creative tasks at home and most of them work more than 40 hours a week. Just because they aren’t physically in the office, doesn’t mean the work isn’t being completed, in fact, it’s the opposite.

There are a few obstacles to overcome if you work from home as it can be easy to forget that there are actually faces behind the computer screen. How can our team members get to know us and create professional relationships – when we don’t actually meet face-to-face? Below are a few suggestions that can help you stay connected with your team in the technology age.

It can be easy to misinterpret emails and Instant Messages. Sometimes, emails can seem a little unclear and may not be detailed. Utilize programs such as Skype for Business to help communicate effectively with group members. Skype offers both verbal and written forms of communication. You can set up conference calls, Instant Message, and update your work status (available or not) all with Skype. Even if you are just changing your availability status, you will be communicating with your team.

Know WHAT you are trying to get accomplished and stay on track. It can be easy to lose track of time when you are devoted to what you are doing and work alone. It helps to set time limits on projects for both yourself (and team members) when working remotely. By track your own productivity, you can ensure you are keeping up with the team and progressing forward on the whole project. Calling in and giving a daily progress report with your boss could also help. It lets them know what you have gotten done and you can communicate any progress or setbacks that you have encountered.

A great visual resource to use when you’re out of the office is Screen Share. It can be difficult describing a problem, situation, wordy paragraph, etc. over the phone. Screen Share can help you communicate with your team visually by giving you the ability to share your screen with others. Sometimes, visual collaboration is the only way to solve a problem and this resource can help you stay connected.

Stay available. Whether you finish your work early for the day or if you worked till 9:00 at night, keep up with your emails and your phone calls. You may have completed your task at hand, but that doesn’t mean the day is done. Checking your email and answering your phone will help you stay connected to not only your team but your company as well.

Lastly, check out your company’s social media. It’s a great way to engage with the brand and learn about what other projects or initiatives are happening within your organization and not just your team. Do you have suggestions on how to stay connected to your colleagues or company when you work remotely?

 

, ,

Leave a comment

The Present & Future of STEM Careers

STEM CareersOver the past few years, one of the largest growth areas of employment has remained in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). While the economy improves, technological advancements continue to create more opportunities in the workforce. There is still an overwhelming amount of opportunities that are in high demand of specialized talent and skill; but the real question is, are there enough candidates to fill these slots?

According to CNN, STEM jobs are growing at 1.7 times the rate of non-STEM related jobs. The reality is, STEM careers are the backbone and future of the U.S. economy, but sadly we do not have enough candidates to fill these open positions in today’s job market. In 2014, the Department of Education revealed that only 16% of high school seniors have an interest in pursuing STEM careers.

To put this in perspective, in 2012, there were more than 7.4 million workers in the fields of science and technology and there will be an estimate of 8.6 million STEM workers by 2018. The Obama administration alone is investing millions of dollars to produce one million STEM undergrads by 2022.

Which segment of STEM careers is the most popular amongst today’s emerging millennials? According to U.S. News, Mechanical Engineering takes the lead and “a little more than 20% of STEM students have an affinity for designing, developing, and testing various tools and devices.”

Zach Sines, Recruiting Team Lead at TRC Professional Solutions, provides his insight on the present and future of STEM careers. He advises, “Students should take a look at STEM-based degrees when choosing a major in college, and even look at getting additional exposure before that in high school. There are degrees that bridge the gap between IT, Engineering and Business, such as an Information Systems degree, which is typically a Bachelor of Business Administration. Additionally, candidates that can show exposure to Information Technology or Engineering related disciplines in business related roles are one step ahead in the hiring process. Recently, we have been seeing various business related positions becoming much more technologically focused.”

In March of 2015, Indeed conducted thorough research in order to determine where the most STEM opportunities are today. Some of the top locations with the largest segment for career growth included Washington D.C., New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Boston. These are also the markets that TRC Professional Solutions is seeing growth in clients hiring needs for STEM related job opportunities.

Are you a candidate looking to pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math? Connect with us on Twitter at @TRC_Professional, we would love to hear how your job search is going!

,

Leave a comment

Secret Tips for Tech Job Seekers- Ones That Can Even Land You an Interview!

images1AKDYK3IIf you are in the job seeking market, then you know that the competition is fierce. Especially if you are pursuing your career in the technology industry. Through various outlets of communication we obtain on a daily basis, it can difficult to decipher which piece of career advice is best suited for you. As you determine how to differentiate between what you should and should not listen to, there are a few staple tips to keep in mind:

Attend an Event Relative to Your Industry: Let’s face it- people in the tech industry know what they’re talking about. Many tech professionals are now choosing to share their knowledge by hosting events or seminars to help people looking to broaden their skill level. Recruiting Team Lead, within the IT division at TRC Professional Solutions, Zach Sines, shares his passion for all things tech related by holding weekly meet up classes for people interested in web development. Whether you are trying to grasp the fundamentals of coding or develop your own website, these classes have a little something for everyone. TRC Professional Meetup Classes offer a range of classes that appeals to beginners, intermediate, and advanced users. And who knows, you might get a job lead out of networking there.

Learn New Skills: Whether you are looking to learn more about HTML, CSS, DIV Layouts, or strengthen your overall knowledge in a new field- there is always something new to learn in technology. Plus, tech skills are the hottest in the job market right now, so anytime you can bring these skills up to a future employer or a recruiter is an added bonus.

Market Yourself: One of the approaches of taking the next step in your career is determining how to best market yourself. Getting in front of key influencers is one of the best ways to achieve this. You can accomplish this by connecting with leaders on LinkedIn, engaging in blog discussions, or tailoring your resume/cover letter specifically to each job to which you are applying for. Pick a company that interests you and follow them on Social Media to learn more. Many tech companies host online career fairs so you won’t even have to leave your desk. Start by attending these events offered in your area and begin cultivating new relationships!

By executing these suggestions, the next step in your career may be closer than you think. We always look forward to hearing from our readers so if you have any other tech tips you may have acquired during your job search, please share!

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Is the “9-5” Work Schedule Staying or Fading?

9-5Times are changing and so is your average work schedule. Did you know that the first five-day workweek began in the United States in 1908? However, now more companies are allowing for their employees to telecommute and create their own schedules. A recent Millennial Report indicates that 45% of Millennials would pick flexibility over compensation. Take a look at the following factors that may cause this shift:

  1. “Hot Jobs” Allow for More Flexibility: Some of the hottest jobs on the market right now are tech related with a key focus in IT, Data, or Engineering. These types of positions are shown to have more leeway to telecommute. Also, with Social Media on the rise, multiple positions are being created to manage an organizations online presence. This also requires employees to manage these technologies beyond “normal” 9-5 working hours as consumers peruse Social Media late into the night.
  2. Advancing Your Education: Many businesses place extra focus into their employee’s career development. In order to achieve this, acquiring new skills and furthering their education is imperative. As a result, Millennials will be spending their time taking additional classes, workshops, seminars, etc. to stay marketable in this changing work environment.
  3. Big Data Dominates Corporate Structure: As we struggle to keep up with the latest and greatest in technology, companies are prepared now more than ever to set up their employees remotely. Meetings can now be done virtually and phone systems can be connected with our personal smartphones. If we have access to be just as productive as we would be in our office, are the set office hours necessary too?

Don’t get your hopes up yet! This will be a gradual process as you might begin to see employees working from home up to twice a week or an occasional switch in your schedule. If you have any feedback of what type of schedule you prefer, we would love to hear from you!

, , , ,

Leave a comment

4 Key Tech Trends to Watch for in 2015

trendsAs the technology industry continues to generate more career opportunities, employers are seeking specific skills to fulfill their open positions.

As job seekers continue to broaden their careers, take a look at the following trends to watch for in 2015:

  1. Shift from Temporary to Full-Time Employment: Business News Daily reveals, “Employers planning to hire temporary or contract workers in 2015, fifty-six percent plan to transition some of those workers into full-time permanent roles.” Studies have also shown organizations are planning on hiring more employees in 2015.
  2. Big Data: If you are in the tech industry, then you have probably heard this term. Big Data is one of the hottest topics within the job market right now. Organizations are determining how to use Big Data to help them operate it effectively and efficiently. The need for candidates who know how to, mine for, manage and use this data for businesses will continue to grow.
  3. Mobile Focus: Did you know that 86% of job seekers who have a smart phone would use it to search for a job, but 50% of career sites aren’t optimized for mobile? Moving forward, more companies are spending additional funds to ensure their technologies are mobile friendly, which will provide more opportunities for candidates with related skill sets who can fulfill these needs.
  4. Help Desk Roles: In 2015, there will be a higher need for staffing agencies to place candidates in positions catering to technical support and help desk associates. As technology continues to change, the number of devices and variety of hardware and software that organizations support will sky rocket. As a result, it becomes more difficult for organizations to support these platforms and hiring needs will increase.

The real question at the end of the day is, how can you, as a job seeker prepare for these trends? Stay on top of the latest updates within your industry, learn new skills to make yourself marketable, and over-prepare for the interview. If you have any other key technology trends to look out for in 2015, we would love to hear from you!

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

5 New Years’ Resolutions That Will Boost Your Career

New Years ResolutionIf you are like the rest of us, then you might’ve let a New Years’ Resolution fall between the cracks a time or two mid-year. But this year, calls for a new you and a change in direction. With that being said, take a look at the following five New Years’ Resolutions that will boost your career in 2015:

  1. Excel in Your Current Role: Learn how to master the skills in your position and you will stand out to your manager and team members. Continue to go above and beyond by helping out your boss with projects and assignments that might not fall into your job description. Go ahead and brainstorm new ideas to improve or expand your responsibilities too.
  2. Develop New Skills: Start off the New Year by refining your writing skills or show off your knowledge with the latest technology updates. Try to pick up new skills such as coding or mobile development- candidates who specialize in these areas stand out to hiring managers. Be more knowledgeable about changes in your industry and share what you learn with others.
  3. Establish Your Career Goals: When you define a New Years’ resolution or goal, it is crucial that you are realistic and set definable objectives. Brainstorm what you want to accomplish in 2015 and then write down how you are going to achieve these things.
  4. Keep Up with Your Accomplishments: Track multiple achievements that you have accomplished throughout the year. Doing this can be very beneficial- it can be a vital resource during your performance review or it could also serve as a tool to help you update your resume, cover letter, and Social Media accounts like LinkedIn.
  5. Make More Connections: In your current role, develop new connections along the way. Take the time to get to know your coworkers, clients or former alumni on a personal level. Engage in group discussions on Social Media or meet for a coffee break and wish them a Happy New Year!

Most importantly, as you narrow down your options for choosing a New Years’ Resolution, define your goals in a clear and specific way in order set yourself up for a success. Once you treat your goals as a routine, it will increase your chances of maintaining your New Years’ Resolution. What are some of your resolutions in 2015? We would love to hear from you!

, ,

Leave a comment