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 ( 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


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  
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 
Mary-Margaret Walker: Career Visionary and CEO, Mary-Margaret Network
Misfits AtticsOpen Feint
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 For email inquiries, try

Wanna Job? Move to Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley

Ah, 2004. U.S. unemployment was a mere 6% and the average home price reached $264,540. 2004 was a time when many people lived well and earned more. Well today, many industries are either down and out, or out altogether, and many cities throughout the U.S. still have high unemployment rates. Silicon Valley is an exception.

Bloomberg reports that Silicon Valley employers rebounded from the recession by adding 12,300 positions in 2010, though the total number of jobs is only back to 2004 levels, according to an annual economic report on the region.

The study, released Februray 14, 2011, by Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, also found per- capita income stabilized last year, at $62,400 — the same level as in 2005. Meanwhile, the region is still reeling from cutbacks in government jobs and programs, according to the report.

“The good news is the private sector is doing its thing — don’t ask me how they’re doing it, they’re defying gravity,” Russell Hancock, chief executive officer of Joint Venture, a nonprofit group in San Jose, California, said in an interview. “The problem is the public sector is slammed.”

Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and a new crop of social- networking startups are stepping up hiring, helping offset government cuts and the shift of computer-hardware jobs to lower-cost regions. Google is adding 6,000 jobs worldwide this year, and Facebook plans to boost its workforce by 50 percent annually. The social-networking giant will move its headquarters to Menlo Park from nearby Palo Alto to accommodate the growth.

One of the companies adding employees was Apple, Inc. The Cupertino, California-based company increased its workforce by 36 percent California-based to 46,600 as of September 2010. Apple also reported having 2,800 full-time temporary workers and contractors around this time, up from 2,500 in 2009.

Taipei Gaming Companies Recruit Cream of the Crop


Although Taiwan’s gaming market is smaller than China’s, the Island’s industry is worth $42.2 billion, which is up 20 percent over 2009. Growth in the industry has been spurred by ways to consume games from PCs, game consoles and online games, to smartphones and games on social networking sites such as Facebook and more, according to PCWorld. Because growth in Taiwan’s gaming industry is so great, 15 of the islands’ top gaming companies are now looking to fill 50 spots for gamers, programmers, graphic artists, and research and development professionals. PCWorld reports that some jobs even offered the chance to play computer games for a living with a salary of around NT$35,000 (US$1,194) a month, which is about average in Taiwan.

Jamesina Lin, a representative at Chinese Gamer International, one of Taiwan’s biggest online gaming companies said “people hired to play games would be heavily involved in game development.”

Chinese Gamer and other companies teamed with Taiwanese employment website, Job Bank, to host the Taiwan Game Job fair at the same time as Taipei’s biggest gaming show. “We had over 2,000 people apply at the job fair on Saturday and over 2,600 applications in all,” said Charlene Chang, spokesperson for Job Bank, which ran the job fair. Taiwanese gaming companies are serious about their work.

A total of 2,600 people applied for the 50 positions. Two thousand applied at the job fair, which took place Saturday, February 19, 2011 at the Taiwan Game Show at Taipei World Trade Center.

Getting a Computer Science Degree

Modern Technology

Two of the fastest growing careers in the world are software engineers and network systems analysts. These and other technology driven careers continue to grow even as other careers dwindle, while even more have all but died. This stable and growing career field also offers some of the highest salaries in the U.S. In fact, the average computer scientist earns a cool $86,000 per year. This is higher than 33% of all careers nationwide. 

The technology industry is always on the lookout for new talent, so if you think you might be interested in a career in this field, you can get started by choosing a focus area, then enroll in a computer science degree program. Major areas of study include software and hardware engineering, computer systems analysis, database administration, computer and information systems, computer science, operations research analysis, mathematics, an atmospheric science, computer science teacher, and video game design. Bachelor’s and master’s degrees are offered in these areas, and some institutions even offer Ph.D. depending on the focus area.

Aspiring technology professionals can also opt for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in any of the areas listed above. The standard curriculum for a B.S. in Computer Science typically requires 360 units or 124 credit hours divided into the following sections:

-Computer Science
-Engineering and Natural Sciences
-Humanities and Arts
-Required Minor
-Free Electives

Major courses may include introduction to data structures, principles of programming, introduction to computer systems, algorithm design and analysis, foundations of software engineering, database applications, computational discrete mathematics, computer networks, and probability and computing.

To find the best schools for computer science majors, visit or U.S. News & World Report college rankings. These popular college directories are a reliable source of information about the nation’s best programs. If you decide to use other sources and you find several schools that sound interesting, make sure you do some research of your own. Make sure the school is accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, as employer’s prefer candidates with a degree from an accredited school. You can check the accreditation status for any school in the U.S. at

Highest Paying Associate Degree Careers

Associate Degree

Employers consider many factors when assessing a candidate for employment, but two of the most important factors are experience and education. These two factors may determine whether or not the company will hire you and how much they will pay. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, bachelor’s degree holders earn nearly twice as much as workers with a high school diploma. Bachelor’s degree holders typically earn 15-30 percent more than associate’s degree holders during their working lifetime.

While associate degree holders may earn less than bachelor degree holders (overall), unemployment rates for all college degree levels are significantly less than rates for individuals with no college experience at all. The unemployment rate for individual’s with less than a high school diploma was 14.5 percent for 2010. For individuals with a high school diploma (but no college), the unemployment rate was 10.8 percent for 2010. For associate degree holders the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent and for bachelors, masters, professional, and doctoral degree holders, the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent.

Fortunately, there are a number of rewarding careers for individuals with an associate degree. An associate degree can also help you get your foot in the door at top companies. Many associate degree holders work in entry-level positions at top companies while gaining valuable experience in their respective fields. Some associate degree holder’s work in these positions while earning a bachelors degree.

Associate degree holders can find careers in all fields, but many of the top careers for these degree holders are in the medical and technical fields. Because the positions listed below are in the medical and technical fields, the average salaries are higher than most other industries. Just a few high-paying associate degree careers include:

1. Computer Specialist-Support Position ($46,370 per year)
2. Dental Hygienist ($66,570 per year)
3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer ($61,980 year)
4. Engineering Technician ($42,960-$56,080 per year)
5. Nuclear Technician ($66,660 per year)
6. Radiation Therapist ($72,910 per year)
7. Immigration and Customs Inspectors ($59,930 per year)
8. Loan Officer ($53,000 per year)
9. Paralegal and Legal Assistant ($46,120 per year)
10. Radiologic Technologist/Technician ($52,261 per year)

If you are interested in earning an associate degree, many programs are available both on-campus and online through colleges and universities, community colleges, technical schools, career schools, and specialty schools. Before enrolling in an online associate degree program, check with the U.S. Department of Education to make sure the school is accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. Just a few of the top accrediting agencies include:

-The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
-The Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
-Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
-Distance Education Training Council (DETC)
-Council on Occupational Education (COE)
-Accrediting Commission for Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT)
-Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
-National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
-Council for Interior Design

Recognized Regional Accrediting Agencies

-Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
-New England Association of Schools and Colleges
-North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
-Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
-Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
-Western Association of Schools and Colleges


Jobs That Pay $80,000?

Dog at Clinic

Yes—they’re out there. You can find a job that pays $80,000 or more if you have the right education and experience. If you are unsure about what you want to do with your life or you are confused about a career switch, money just might motivate you make a decision. So, which careers pay $80K or more? Everything from art directors to veterinarians are on the list, so you just might find something you could be good at or better yet, something you can actually grow to love.

1. Administrative law judges, adjudicators and hearing officers
Do this: Conduct hearings to rule on government-related claims; determine penalties and liability; and help to craft settlements.
Get paid: $80,870

2. Biomedical engineers
Do this: Design and develop devices and procedures to help solve health-related problems. Projects might include information systems, artificial organs or artificial limbs.
Get paid: $81,120

3. Chiropractors
Do this: Diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions of the spinal column to prevent disease and alleviate imbalance, pain and pressure believed to be caused by interference with nervous system.
Get paid: $81,340

4. Atmospheric, earth, marine and space sciences teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics.
Get paid: $81,470

5. Agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes
Do this: Represent and promote their client’s business while handling business matters and contract negotiations.
Get paid: $81,550

6. Materials scientists
Do this: Study the chemical composition of various materials and figure out ways to develop new materials and improve existing ones; also determine ways to use materials in products.
Get paid: $81,600

7. Physician assistants
Do this: Perform health-care services and provide treatment plans under a physician’s supervision.
Get paid: $81,610

8. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Do this: Research and investigate human diseases and how to improve human health.
Get paid: $81,870

9. Physics teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics pertaining to the laws of matter and energy.
Get paid: $81,880

10. Atmospheric and space scientists
Do this: Study the effects the atmosphere has on the environment, most commonly through weather forecasting.
Get paid: $82,080

11. Management analysts
Do this: Figure out best practices of management by conducting studies and procedures to help companies figure out how to operate more effectively.
Get paid: $82,920

12. Producers and directors
Do this: Produce or direct, and make all creative decisions for stage, television, radio, video or motion picture productions.
Get paid: $83,030

13. Biological science teachers, post-secondary
Do this: Teach courses and research topics in biological sciences.
Get paid: $83,270

14. Materials engineers
Do this: Develop new uses for recognized materials, and develop new machinery and processes to make materials for use in specialized products.
Get paid: $84,200

15. Transportation, storage and distribution managers
Do this: Oversee transportation, storage or distribution activities in accordance with governmental policies and regulations.
Get paid: $84,520

Click here to take a look at more $80k  jobs on’s roundup of “30 jobs that pay $80,000.”

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