Computer Science Students in High Demand

Dawn Papandrea | November 5, 2013

We often hear a lot of talk about the need for more students to pursue STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math), but one institution of higher learning is making the case for including computer science in the high needs category.

Just like its STEM counterparts, the demand for computer science jobs will outpace the number of students in the coming years. That’s good news for you if you’re an aspiring computer science major or enrolling in a technical education program.

For more eye opening facts and stats about the need for more computer science education, we’ll let the infographic from NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) speak for itself… [Read More]

computer degrees

You may have heard the term “skills shortage” when it comes to employment trends. That refers to the idea that job openings are out there, but employers are having a tough time finding candidates who actually have the skills and know-how to do the job.

Sure, degrees can open up a lot of doors, but in technical, hands-on fields like IT, employers are showing a preference for career training credentials, as this infographic from Computer Systems Institute illustrates…



[Read More]

Technical Education Aided New IBM CEO

Lori Johnston | November 3, 2011

Take a look at the college degree held by Ginni Rometty, who will take over as IBM’s first-ever female CEO and president on Jan. 2, 2012, and you’ll see someone who committed in college to a career in technology. She earned her bachelor’s of science degree with high honors in computer science and electrical engineering from Northwestern University.

Technology is a job sector where more women are needed, and Rometty’s promotion reflects that companies are seeking female leaders with technical experience.

If you’re interested in working in the technology industry, don’t be intimidated by pursuing fields such as computer science while browsing college websites and course catalogs. While the technology field needs people in all types of roles, from human resources to public relations, leaders like Rometty reveal that focusing on science and technology from the onset can be rewarding.

But females are discouraged from technical education pursuits, Caroline Simard, vice president of research at the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, recently told the New York Times. She said:

“Research shows that the majority of people have an implicit bias that associates science and technology with gender, so from a very young age, girls are not encouraged to pursue these careers. Women like Ginni Rometty are a powerful antidote against the stereotype.”

While IBM is a top global company, there are small- and mid-sized technology firms in your own town that need leaders, and by focusing on a technical education in computer science, software engineering, or other tech fields, you could position yourself to take on a leadership role and further help break the glass ceiling.

-Lori Johnston

The Importance of IT Certification

Robyn Tellefsen | February 22, 2011

It’s not easy to get a job these days, even when there are jobs to be had. Case in point: A friend of mine is a nurse manager in the psych ward of a major hospital, and she hasn’t been able to find anyone who’s qualified to be her assistant nurse manager. But that’s another story.

So what does it take to become a viable candidate for a solid, well-paying job? In the IT industry, the answer is clear: certification.

That’s the word from the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and its recent “Employer Perception of IT Training and Certification” report, which is based on an online survey of business and IT executives who have made a recent IT hiring decision, and an online survey of HR professionals.

Get Certified, Get Hired
According to CompTIA’s research, 86 percent of hiring managers indicate IT certifications are a high or medium priority during the candidate evaluation process. The jobs are out there, but roughly eight in ten HR executives say it’s challenging to find candidates with the right IT skill set. As companies struggle to fill positions, they’re looking for validated skills. Just like my nurse friend, IT managers can’t afford to hire an employee who can’t contribute right away.

That’s where certification comes in. Nearly two-thirds of IT managers (64 percent) indicate that IT certifications have extremely high or high value in validating skills and expertise. Employers regard certified professionals as possessing a proven ability to understand new or complex technologies and engage in more insightful problem solving, both of which lead to higher productivity. And we all know that productivity is the name of the game no matter where you work.

Certification will be sought beyond 2011, of course. Eight in 10 HR professionals (80 percent) believe IT certifications will grow in usefulness and importance over the next two years, reports CompTIA.

Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money
Not only can IT certification give you a leg up in the job hunt, it can also translate to a higher salary. According to the 2010 IT Skills and Salary Report from Global Knowledge and TechRepublic, professionals who had earned an IT certification during the last five years earned an average of $5,242 more than their counterparts ($85,628 vs. $80,386).

But not all IT certifications are created equal. According to the report, the top five technical certifications by average salary are:

  1. Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) – $99,928
  2. Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA) – $93,953
  3. VMware Certified Professional (VCP) – $91,271
  4. Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) – $89,864
  5. Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) – $86,454

Don’t underestimate the role of IT certification in the hiring process. If employers are relying on professional certifications to aid them in their hiring decisions, give ‘em what they want (and score a sweet salary in the process!).

–Robyn Tellefsen