Wednesday, March 09, 2011

15 career issues you should know about

Having a career year? 15 career issues you should know about

IPv6, cloud computing and security changing the IT career landscape

By Michael Cooney

What are the key challenges for your career? As we look across the IT career landscape there are a number of new challenges. The whole IPv6 migration issue has changed some job opportunities for example. Cloud computing offers to bring more IT jobs and security issues could change everyone’s job at some point. Here we take a look at some of the hot topics trending in the career world.

Want a new IT job? Now's your chance
Across the board, the IT job market is showing promising signs of life, and IT pros that stayed in less-than-ideal jobs during the recession are jumping at a chance to move their careers forward. "The IT employment market has definitely improved and is continuing to improve every month and every quarter," says John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology. Of CIOs surveyed by the staffing firm, 11% said they plan to add IT staff in the current quarter, up from 9% in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Is your company at risk of an IPv6 brain drain?
Timothy Winters, senior manager at the University of New Hampshire's Interoperability Laboratory, gets calls every week from headhunters looking to hire network engineers, network architects and software developers with experience in IPv6, the looming upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol.
Recruiters: IT job prospects are better than you think
Will there be a jobless recovery for IT in 2011? That's the most important career-related issue facing IT executives today, as they make staffing decisions for next year while also worrying about their own job prospects amid a steady stream of corporate downsizing and off shoring announcements.  Ask any IT pro who is out of work right now, and the answer to this question is a resounding yes. They'll point out that more IT infrastructure and support jobs are being outsourced, and that it's harder than ever to find full-time employment.
10 cloud career skills
Cloud computing demands a mix of technology skills, negotiating skills, business acumen and people skills. Here are 10 key skills that can help boost your career into the clouds.  
Steer your career to the cloud
Dave Dime, service delivery network operations manager at Ford Motor has a mouthful of a title. And while the word "cloud" isn't part of it, it might as well be.  The service delivery network, what Dime calls a cloud, provides a way for Ford to mesh data from external vendors and information stored within the enterprise for delivery in real time to users of Sync, an in-vehicle communications and entertainment system. For Dime, the cloud model has opened new career opportunities.
Prepare for talent wars, IT poaching, warns
IT hiring managers and recruiters are bracing for a fight over the most skilled tech pros – and they're watching carefully to make sure their own most valued employees aren't about to flee for greener tech pastures. "The hiring game wasn't supposed to be this heated," writes Alice Hill, managing director at, in an web post. "Sub-par job growth, modest economic expansion and wavering confidence should have given companies time to find talent."
How IT pros cheat on certification exams
Incidents of cheating on IT certifications are on the rise, a trend that experts say is an outward sign of the desperation felt by out-of-work and under-employed IT professionals.  Training organizations are responding by intensifying their efforts to catch cheaters through cutting-edge defenses, such as biometric identification of test-takers and custom, computer-generated exams.
Google wants to hire more than 6,000 workers in 2011
Google seems poised to hire more than 6,000 people this year if all goes according to plan. That amazing fact was posted on the company's Web site by Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president of engineering and research. "In 2010 we added more than 4,500 Googles, primarily in engineering and sales: second only to 2007 when we added over 6,000 people to Google. I love Google because of our people. It's inspiring to be part of the team. And that's why I am excited about 2011, because it will be our biggest hiring year in company history," Eustace wrote.

U.S. Secret Service taps video game, 3D technology for advanced security training
When it comes to preparing for all manner of security threats, the more realistic the training can be the better. That's why the U.S. Secret Service said it has developed a software system that uses gaming technology and 3D modeling to offer high-tech training for its personnel.
U.S. Supreme Court says NASA background security checks don’t go too far
In a long-running dispute about privacy and security, the U.S. Supreme Court today sided with NASA saying its background checks were not invasive and that the information required for not only NASA but most government positions was a reasonable security precaution and that sufficient privacy safeguards existed to prevent any improper disclosures.
Cisco announces three new security certifications
Cisco appears convinced that the demand for security workers will exceed the supply, both now and in the coming years. Today I'll take you through some of the facts of Cisco's announcement, and then develop some of the reasons why Cisco believes security is a hot career area.
IT security pros mentoring each other for career growth
Information security is a tough field to break into and a growing group of information security professionals are finding that it's a whole lot easier if someone has their backs. A program started in March called Infuse Mentors has already paired more than 100 mentors and mentees who share their expertise on technology as well as broader issues such as how to define and achieve career goals, spread their ideas about the industry and overhaul their resumes.
For-profit tech colleges: Can employers trust them?
When Steven Peabody chose the University of Phoenix for his bachelor's in business and information systems management in 2001 and his MBA in technology management in 2008, he knew he was paying a lot extra to take classes on his own schedule and finish his degrees as quickly as possible. Some $54,000 in debt later, he's pleased with the education but not so much with the loans, especially since losing his job as a project manager in December 2008. He now runs a small IT services company and teaching at a private college. "If I could go back in time," he might have decided to "sacrifice my time over my wallet" by attending a less expensive, but less convenient not-for-profit school.
Oracle making Java, Solaris certifications pricier
Later this year, Oracle will begin requiring people interested in gaining Java and Solaris certifications to attend "hands-on" training courses, at an additional cost of thousands of dollars. The new rule goes into effect Aug. 1 and regards Java Architect, Java Developer, Solaris System Administrator and Solaris Security Administrator certification paths, according to a notice on Oracle's Web site.
Are you dressing the part for the security career you want?
Do the clothes we wear set the stage for success or being stuck in our security careers? Shortly after graduating college, I went for a job interview with a small, eight-person company outside of Boston. Conditioned that job interviews required a suit, tie and freshly polished shoes, I arrived dressed to impress.

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