Young technologists have a variety of undergraduate degrees that they can pursue at the collegiate level. But which degree is going to produce the most job offers and the highest starting salaries? Should college students major in computer science, software engineering, IT, or some other niche in order to snare the top prize four years from now: a six-figure starting salary, perhaps with stock options?
We talked to colleges and professors across various tech disciplines about industry demand for their graduates. We pored over starting salary data from the PayScale College Salary Report 2012-13. We also looked at unemployment rates by college major compiled by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce.
One trend is clear: The more challenging the tech-oriented major, the more job opportunities available to newly minted graduates ... as well as higher starting salaries. Students who take more math, science and engineering courses in college, tend to earn higher salaries upon graduation. Of course, whether a senior in college has multiple job offers with signing bonuses and other perks depends on their grades and internships. Also, graduating from a highly selective technical college helps tremendously with on-campus recruitment. Read more...
Cloud computing presents opportunities for governments to modernize and improve cost efficiency, public officials stressed Thursday at the introduction of a report advising state and local governments on cloud adoption. But one California official cited government tendencies making the modernization process a slow one.
The TechAmerica Foundation's State and Local Government Cloud Commission released its report entitled "The Cloud Imperative," offering best practices for cloud computing for state and local governments. In an introduction of the report at Microsoft's Silicon Valley offices in Mountain View, Calif., government officials including California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom and San Jose mayor Chuck Reed emphasized potential benefits of cloud computing.
"San Jose's approach is very simple. We're trying to do more with less," Reed said in explaining San Jose's perspective on the cloud. Newsom, however, stressed how governments need to wake up to technological change. "You're seeing with this rapid and extraordinary change with the cloud in the private sector how it is dramatically changing the way people are doing business," bringing down costs and boosting collaboration, he said. "But government has been slow to pick up on this." Read more...
IT staff retention is shaping up to be one of the biggest challenges facing CIOs in 2012.
Three trends are bringing this issue to the forefront:
- Corporate IT hiring is on the rise, tempting IT professionals with higher pay and opportunities for advancement if they switch companies.
- Younger techies change jobs frequently, averaging only a year or two in a position before switching
- Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age, with an average of 10,000 U.S. citizens turning 65 on a daily basis for the next 18 years.
IT staff turnover is "probably my most significant issue right now and has been for the past 12 to 15 months," says Louis Trebino, CIO and senior vice president at the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), a New York City-based provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry. Read more...
Most high-tech employers would likely deny that age discrimination is an issue at their company. But many IT workers over 50 beg to differ, saying they have experienced age bias or know someone who has.
The bias can take several forms, they say. Their salaries might stagnate. They might have few or no opportunities for advancement. They might not be included in training and professional development programs. And they could be the first to be laid off and the last to be hired.
As a result, they may be hit harder by the recession. According to recent U.S. government data, unemployment rates for older IT professionals increased faster than they did for younger tech workers since the recession began some three years ago.
All of that can add up to a tough road for older people in high tech. Read more...
Advanced Micro Devices is not immediately chasing the market for smartphones as it does not align with the company's strength in technologies like graphics, an executive said on Monday.
Smartphones are constrained on battery, pixels, and screen space, and AMD has other areas it can focus on in order to grow, said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager for AMD's product group during the Pacific Crest Securities Technology Leadership Forum in Vail, Colorado. The company sees an opportunity to apply its graphics and chip technologies to tablets, where customers are demanding better video and battery life. Read more...
The federal government is "bullish" on prospects for using cloud and mobile technologies, although perhaps not at the expense of existing legacy infrastructure, federal CTO Aneesh Chopra said in an interview with InfoWorld last week.
During an appearance in Silicon Valley, Chopra, the nation's first-ever CTO, acknowledged the inevitable emergence of cloud and mobile as solutions for the federal government, but he sees them as supplementing rather than replacing legacy systems. He said, "I'm not so sure it's an either/or. I absolutely see the trend toward the combination of cloud and mobile as a very, very powerful asset to be mined for new capabilities that aren't yet online. It might very well be that legacy infrastructure will stay on its course, but new capabilities are introduced in a manner that takes advantage of cloud and mobile -- and we're very bullish on those prospects." Read more...