Chinese and Russian Universities Claim Nine of Top Ten Spots in ACM International Programming Competition for Top Tech
Ascribe Newswire (02/05/10)
The top 10 rankings of the 2010 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ACM ICPC) were dominated by five Russian teams and four Chinese teams. In first, second, third, and fourth place were Shanghai Jiaotong University, Moscow State University, National Taiwan University, and Taras Shevchenko Kiev National University, respectively. The University of Warsaw claimed eighth place, making it the only non-Russian or non-Chinese team to make the top 10. ACM President Dame Wendy Hall described the ICPC's global nature as an exceptional instance of the association's recent efforts to extend its technical activities, conferences, and services for the computing profession, and to acknowledge computing achievement in international areas. "By strengthening ACM's ties in multiple regions throughout the world and raising awareness of its many benefits and resources with the public and in-country decision-makers, we can play an active role in the critical technical, educational, and social issues that surround the computing community," she said. Hall also stressed the importance of computer science education in the international economy, citing ACM's initiatives to help high school students, teachers, and parents better comprehend the kinds of careers that studying computer science facilitates.
Brewing Up Java Skills for the Knowledge Economy
Silicon Republic (02/04/10) Boran, Marie
University College Dublin's (UCD's) School of Computer Science and Informatics will offer a second round of Java courses to companies that do not have the time and money to train their own employees. A year ago, UCD drew approximately 500 people for its Java training program. This year, UCD will offer a week of classes in foundation and advanced Java. UCD professor John Murphy says that more than 10 participants from last year are now pursuing a master's degree in Computer Science by Negotiated Learning, which is a pioneering concept in Ireland and allows students to choose a module from wide range of subjects, such as courses in the School of Business, for developing entrepreneurial skills. "It has brought people back into the academic fold," Murphy says. "UCD is looking to make a contribution to the economy and this is a good way of building relationships with both individuals and organizations in the technology sector." UCD also is considering offering training in other key technology skills.
Wall Street Journal, December 28
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' outlook for job growth between 2008 and 2018, there are several bright spots where new jobs and promising career paths are expected to emerge over the next few years. Technology, health care and education will continue to be hot job sectors, leading to new opportunities and new ways to leverage existing skill sets. While computer science and engineering are two degrees that will be in highest demand, job seekers will need to branch out and pick up secondary skills and keep up-to-date with emerging new trends. For example, career experts suggest combining computer science technical knowledge with secondary skills in Web marketing, user experience design, green technology or healthcare informatics.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than two million new technology-related jobs will be created by 2018. The jobs that are expected to grow fastest include computer-network administrators, data-communications analysts and Web developers. In addition, data loss prevention, information technology, online security and risk management will also show strong growth. A computer-science degree and a working knowledge of data security are critical to landing these jobs. Common areas of undergraduate study for these fields include computer science, information science and management-information systems. Since these jobs will not be purely technical in nature, recruiters advise current computer-science students to combine their degrees with studies in marketing, accounting or finance.
Computer science proficiency has the greatest value when combined with knowledge of marketing or operations. For example, given the popularity of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, consumer-facing companies will need to hire people skilled in harnessing these tools for marketing purposes. Other key skills include search-engine optimization to maximize Web traffic and marketing analytics to decipher the company's target demographic. With that in mind, many universities and community colleges are offering certification programs focused on areas such as information design, search optimization, user experience design, green technology and sustainable design. Despite the reduction of positions seen in the financial sector during the economic crisis, recruiters also expect thousands of new jobs to be created in the compliance field. Health care is expected to continue to see a surge in hiring, with more than four million new openings estimated by 2018.
Network World (via Computerworld), December 29
Even with signs pointing to economic recovery and job growth in 2010, many companies are planning to hire selectively only in key areas. According to Computerworld's 2010 Forecast survey, less than 20% of the IT executives polled said they plan to increase IT head count in the next 12 months, compared with 26% in the previous year. With that in mind, IT professionals who are looking to get back into the workforce should focus on the six types of skills most in demand among companies that expect to hire IT workers in 2010. At the top of this list is programming/application development, followed by skills related to cyber-security and business intelligence.
As new IT projects receive the green light in 2010, programming/application development is the skill set that's most in demand. The wave of new projects is leading to demand for application developers who can double as business analysts and project managers. There will also be strong demand for help desk and technical support positions in 2010. The need for support technicians tends to reflect general business conditions. Increased demand for networking professionals is the result of the growing complexity of networks and the stresses placed on them by virtualization and newly popular approaches to application delivery, such as cloud computing and software as a service. As a result, the network will be a big area of focus in the coming year.
When it comes to project management, IT professionals who understand technology and how it fits in the overall business strategy are the ones who add the most value, get paid more and have the most fulfilling careers. Another growing area of focus is cyber-security. Job seekers need to understand how IT systems should be protected, given the new federal regulations and threat warnings emanating from the Department of Homeland Security. The trend toward including security features in network and storage devices will also affect the skills professionals need in this area. Finally, another important IT skill area is business intelligence, which includes making data more relevant to business requirements. Whereas BI has traditionally been understood as a system that collects historical data and provides tools to analyze it, companies are now more interested in real-time BI.