Big data jobs

As we’ve reported many times, tech and IT jobs are booming, and it’s not just in Silicon Valley. There’s a real need for more workers who have engineering, math and science degrees, and that’s driving our immigration debate as well.

Here’s an article about booming “Big Data” jobs in Cleveland.

With innovative hospitals and strong universities, Cleveland had been seen as a likely player in the quest to make sense of the sea of data, much of it health care-related, generated by digital technology. But local entrepreneurs from different industries are showcasing the potential sooner than expected.

Spun out of the Cleveland Clinic three years ago, Explorys already employs 85 people searching and organizing health care data and the prospects are as bright as its hip new offices in University Circle. Suddenly, economic development specialists are eyeing Big Data, and its potential for Cleveland, with new intensity.

The articles gives plenty of details on this trend and how the new health care policy to push to digitize health records will drive this trend even more. Think about how this will affect how doctors might diagnose and treat diseases as we learn more through data mining. This could also be a great career for doctors and nurses who love analyzing data and statistics.

CIOs plan on increasing IT hiring

Here’s some more good news on the technology jobs front:

Technology executives expect information technology (IT) hiring to continue in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report (http://rht.mediaroom.com/ITHiringIndex). In the latest quarterly survey, 12 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said they plan to expand their IT departments, and 6 percent expect cutbacks, for a net 6 percent projected increase in hiring activity. This is up two points from the previous quarter’s projections.

The economy goes up and down, but if you have a degree in the technology area you have a good shot at being in demand throughout your career.

New jobs: Data Scientists

With the mountains of data being generated every day, companies are trying to mine it and make sense of it. The result is a booming job market in this area and a new career track for “data scientists.”

As part of a relatively new field, data scientists may come from many different backgrounds. Garrison says that employers are often looking for two things when considering a job applicant. “The first part is the technical background,” he says. Companies may want professionals with an industry background who are familiar with its specific jargon and trends. “If you want to work for a pharmaceutical company, you might need a degree in biochemistry,” he explains. Other jobs may require only a general degree in business.

In addition to the technical expertise, data scientists and competitive intelligence professionals also need to know where to find data and how to analyze it. Some colleges and universities offer graduate degrees or certificate programs in specialties such as data mining and data analysis. Professional groups such as SCIP also provide training opportunities for members.

Since data scientists spend a significant amount of time using computer programs and algorithms, it may seem logical that a computer science degree would be preferable for these professionals. However, many argue that a degree in physics makes more sense. Loukides writes that physicists not only have mathematical and computing skills but also an ability to see the “big picture.”

Daniel I. Shostak, President of Strategic Affairs Forecasting, has been tracking changes in the field of analytics for several years and says that those interested in working as a data scientist need more than just computer skills. “[They] need to demonstrate very good communication skills because many folks are very skeptical about the value of data driven analysis,” he said. In addition, Shostak suggests that potential job candidates become proficient in the statistical language R and have experience working with computer networks since they are often an integral part of working with large data sets.

As a hot new career, the government has yet to begin tracking data scientist occupational information. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that demand for operations research analysts, who provide some similar services, is expected to jump 22 percent from 2008-2018.

Most Executives Entertaining Multiple Job Offers

HAPPY EXECUTIVE

Most high-level candidates receive more than one job offer, according to online networking and job site ExecuNet Inc. The company surveyed 380 recruiters and about 51% reported that the executives they work with receive multiple job offers. In 2010, only 35% of search firms worked with executives that received multiple job offers. Although this is good news for executives, overall, the figures still haven’t made their way back to 2007 levels when 80% of search firms reported that the candidates they worked with received multiple job offers.

The jump is still a positive one, and some industries seem to be enjoying it more than others.

“Competition [for candidates] is heating up in some industries,” said ExecuNet president Mark Anderson. Mr. Anderson said that executives in the health-care and technology industries seem to be in high demand, while defense and nonprofit companies are growing the slowest. Among functions, sales and business-development experience are most sought after, although marketing and engineering experience have also seen an increase in demand.

Companies are doing more than just making offers to executives with technology and scientific skill sets. Nearly 60% of recruiters report that companies sweeten the deal by offering perks and increasing compensation, while more than 40% made their offers more attractive by adding signing bonuses. Just last year, less than 30% of companies added incentives such as signing bonuses.

Where you look for a job has a lot to do with how many offers you might receive as well. For example, if you’re an executive with a technology background, you can expect to receive more offers in say DC or New York than Chicago. If you’re an executive in the healthcare field, forget Fresno and head to Florida.

Game Technology and Career Night at Google

Computer Gaming

The Silicon Valley Chapter of the International Game Developers Association (SV IGDA) will host a night of career talks, new technology demonstrations, and match-ups with potential employers at Google. According to Mercury News, the event is for game industry professionals and technology professionals (web clients/server and mobile and console developers). So,

If you are interested in looking at new technologies, platforms and talking directly to companies developing and in some cases looking for new team members, then this event is crafted for you.

Speakers, presenters, and sponsors include:

A Bit Lucky
Arrival Games 
Be-Rad Entertainment
Bioroid Studios  
D2SGames
Dragon Age Legends 
Electronic Arts will be presenting
Fancy Pants Adventures
Gamebuilder Studio 
Google Game Developer Liason Ian Ni-Lewis
Great Big Enterprise
Huggy Hearts
Idle Games 
Jump Core Productions 
Kabam
Lolapps
Mary-Margaret Walker: Career Visionary and CEO, Mary-Margaret Network
Misfits AtticsOpen Feint
Paypal
Radium One
YoXi123 founder Shirly Lin

The event is free and will take place on Wednesday March 16, 2011 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. PST at Google, 1400 Crittenden Lane, Mountain View, CA, 94043. You have to register online in order to attend. The fastest way to register is through Eventbrite.com. For email inquiries, try caughtthinking@gmail.com.

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