Build Your Career: Career News   

Midsized US Cities are Fastest-Growing for Tech Jobs

New York/New Jersey, the Washington DC area, and the Silicon Valley continue to be the top US metro areas for tech jobs, although smaller cities are beginning to catch up.

According to Dice's March survey, Raleigh, NC is the fastest-growing area for tech jobs, with 50 percent growth andmore than 1,100 opportunities on any given day. Other cities where technology jobs are increasing include Richmond, Va., which experienced a 40 percent increase; Houston and Sacramento, California, 37 percent; and Kansas City, Missouri, 34 percent.

More than 9,000 technology job openings have been recorded for New York/New Jersey so far this year, up 6 percent from last year. Openings in Washington, DC exceeded 8,000, up 2 percent from the first three months of 2011. And in the Silicon Valley, nearly 6,000 new tech positions were posted, up 13 percent from the same period last year.

Which Global Cities are Most Competitive?

New York and London are the world's most competitive cities in terms of their ability to attract
capital, businesses, talent, and visitors, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by Citigroup.

The EIU found that US and European cities are the world’s most competitive today, despite concerns over aging infrastructure and large budget deficits. Cities from the United States and Western Europe account for 24 of the top 30 cities. While there is much concern in the West about the impact of the financial crisis, which has slowed plans for urban renewal, this has not reduced the ability of US and European cities to attract capital, businesses, talent, and tourists.

Asia’s economic rise is reflected in the economic competitiveness of its cities. Asian cities dominate the “economic strength” category of the competitiveness index—the most highly weighted category. All but five of the top 20 cities are Asian. Tianjin, Shenzhen, and Dalian top the list, while nine other Chinese cities rank in the top 20. Singapore (15th), Bangalore (16th), Ahmedabad (19th), and Hanoi (joint 20th) round off the list.

The top 32 Asian cities are all forecast to grow by at least 5 percent annually between now and 2016. Twelve of them will grow by at least 10 percent. This is in stark contrast to the low-single-digit growth of most developed market cities in Europe and the United States.

Midsized cities—ranging from Hanoi to Houston—dominate the growth rankings. They are collectively forecast to grow by 8.7 percent annually over the next five years, ahead of the
megacities on which many firms focus.

The most significant advantage that developed country cities hold is their ability to develop and
attract the world’s top talent. European and American cities dominate the human capital category of the index. This stems primarily from the quality of their educational systems and the entrepreneurial mindset of citizens. But other factors bolster their performance too, such as cultural activities and a generally good quality of life.

Small Salary Increase for Faculty Members

The median salary of full-time faculty members in 2011-12 is 1.9 percent higher than it was a year ago, according to Inside Higher Ed, reporting on a study by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. The median increase was greater at private institutions (2.3 percent) than at public institutions (1.1 percent).

In Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services, professors earned an average of $103,536, associate professors $85,280, assistant professors $72,381, and instructors $54,237.

Engineering professors earned an average of $117,911, associate professors $89,754, assistant professors $76,938, and instructors $60,950. In engineering technologies and engineering related fields, professors earned $89,214, associate professors $73,507, assistant professors $62,922, and instructors $52,183.

IT Skills Gap Impacts Business Operations

Eight in 10 organizations say their business operations are impacted by gaps in the skill sets of their information technology staffs, according to new research published by CompTIA.

The fast-changing nature of technology and a lack of training resources are the biggest factors contributing to the skills gap, with a majority of companies surveyed intending to devote more resources to training to close the gap.

"Even as the importance of technology to business success grows exponentially, few organizations are exactly or even very close to where they want to be with technology utilization and staff skill levels," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. "These gaps are hampering business success."

The study shows that IT skills shortcomings impact staff productivity (41 percent), customer service and engagement (32 percent) and security (31 percent). It also impacts speed to market for IT businesses at a higher rate (34 percent) than other industries (20 percent). Profitability is also affected, with 23 percent of small companies feeling the pinch on the bottom line, compared to 15 percent of large and medium firms.

Companies say their IT workers come up short in skills in both existing core areas such as security, data storage, refreshing aging equipment, improving network infrastructure and disaster recovery, and business continuity; and emerging areas such as business process automation, mobility, collaboration, and virtualization.

Nearly six in 10organizations (57 percent) intend to address their IT skills gap challenges by training or retraining existing staff in areas where skills are lacking.

"The expected commitment to more education is an encouraging sign," Erdle said. "IT professionals have a strong propensity for lifelong learning and skills enhancement, so the large majority will welcome the opportunity to broaden their knowledge. An investment in new IT education and training will deliver strong return on investment to the business's bottom line."

Cloud Computing to Generate 14 Million Jobs

Spending on public and private IT cloud services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide from 2011 to 2015, according to a new study by the analyst firm IDC. The research, commissioned by Microsoft, also found that IT innovation created by cloud computing could produce $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.

“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” says Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”

One way in which the cloud is helping companies to be more innovative is by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects. In addition, many businesses are using the cloud to improve how they work with customers and partners.

Cloud-related jobs will accrue evenly to businesses with 500 or fewer employees and those with more than 500 employees. More than one-third of cloud-enabled jobs will occur in the communications and media, banking, and discrete manufacturing industries. And China and India will account for about half of all new cloud-related jobs.

Cloud Computing to Generate 14 Million Jobs

Spending on public and private IT cloud services will generate nearly 14 million jobs worldwide from 2011 to 2015, according to a new study by the analyst firm IDC. The research, commissioned by Microsoft, also found that IT innovation created by cloud computing could produce $1.1 trillion a year in new business revenues.

“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” says Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”

One way in which the cloud is helping companies to be more innovative is by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects. In addition, many businesses are using the cloud to improve how they work with customers and partners.

Cloud-related jobs will accrue evenly to businesses with 500 or fewer employees and those with more than 500 employees. More than one-third of cloud-enabled jobs will occur in the communications and media, banking, and discrete manufacturing industries. And China and India will account for about half of all new cloud-related jobs.

Developers Seek Social Networking in Developer Sites

Two-thirds of developers now want and expect social networking features to be included in developer relations websites, according to Evans Data’s new Developer Relations Survey. The survey of over 400 software developers also found that developer activity in social networks has increased by over 60 percent in the last two years, and that 74 percent visit social networks at least several times a week.

"Social networking transformed the landscape of the web and developers have embraced the paradigms that define a social network." said Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data. "We’ve seen the interest level in social features rise dramatically among software developers in the last two years, until now any vendor with a developer program had better be providing features to stimulate an active social community."

The survey also showed that the most important features that developers look for in social networks are related to active communication with peers such as blogs, chat, and an active community, while tagging, dashboards, and bookmarks are less important.

The Evans Data Developer Relations survey is conducted annually and covers a diverse set of subjects related to developer relations programs, including membership and pricing, tools and SDKs, distribution channels and stores, training and certification. Evans Data will be hosting the 8th annual Developer Relations Conference in Redwood City on 12-13 March.

ABI Announces This Year's Women of Vision

Jennifer Chayes, distinguished scientist and managing director of Microsoft Research New England; S. Revi Sterling, director of ICTD Graduate Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder; and Sarita V. Adve, computer science professor at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; are this year's Anita Borg Institute Women of Vision winners.

Chaves, Sterling, and Adve will be honored at ABI's seventh annual Women of Vision Awards Banquet at the Mission City Ballroom, Santa Clara, California, on May 10. The event will feature keynote speaker Kara Swisher, editor of the tech news site

The Women of Vision Awards honor women making significant contributions to technology in three categories: Innovation, Leadership, and Social Impact. The three winners were selected from a field of highly qualified women, all of whom are engaged in technology professions in industry, academia, nonprofits, or government.

The Women of Vision Awards Dinner will also feature the 2012 Anita Borg Top Company for Technical Women Award winner, American Express.

Chayes is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Leadership category. She is recognized for her work based on the impact she has had on computer science through her leadership in building research communities that bridge theoretical computer science, mathematics, physics, statistics, economics and computational biology. Through her founding and leadership of the theory group at Microsoft Research, and more recently the Microsoft New England Research Lab, she has influenced and mentored hundreds of researchers.

Adve is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Innovation category. She is honored for her immense contributions to hardware and software memory models. These models define the meaning of shared variables in parallel hardware and software and form the foundation for reasoning about parallel programs and optimizing them for performance. She co-developed the memory models for the Java language and for the new C++ standard, based on her early work on data-race-free models for hardware.

Sterling is the Women of Vision Award winner in the Social Impact category. She is recognized for conceiving, implementing, and leading programs that have had a direct, positive and lasting impact on the lives of women. She pioneered the development of a new participatory community radio technology that enables women to create content for broadcasting, even if they are far from the station.

Survey: Executives Should Pay More Heed to Cyber Risks

Cyber risks are still not getting adequate attention at the top, according to findings from the 2012 Carnegie Mellon CyLab Governance survey of how corporate boards and executives are managing risks.

Boards and senior management still are not engaging in key oversight activities, such as setting top-level policies and reviews of privacy and security budgets to help protect against breaches and mitigate financial losses, the survey found. Even though there are some improvements in key "regular" board governance practices, less than one-third of the respondents indicate their boards and senior executives are undertaking basic responsibilities for cyber governance.

Although improvements are shown in the formation of board Risk Committees and cross-organizational teams within their organizations, nearly half of the respondents indicated that their companies do not have full-time personnel in key privacy and security roles, and 58 percent of the respondents said their boards are not reviewing their companies' insurance coverage for cyber-related risks.

The survey recommends that executives establish the "tone from the top" for privacy and security. They should also review roles and responsibilities for privacy and security and ensure they are assigned to qualified full-time senior level professionals, and that risk and accountability are shared throughout the organization.

In addition, annual IT budgets for privacy and security should be kept separate from the CIO's budget and annual reviews of the enterprise security program should be conducted.

The survey, sponsored by RSA, The Security Division of EMC, was the third conducted by CyLab Adjunct Distinguished Fellow Jody Westby. Using the Forbes Global 2000 list, the 2012 survey represents the first analysis of cyber governance postures of major corporations around the world.

Apple Pulls Wraps Off OS X Mountain Lion

Apple released a developer preview of OS X Mountain Lion, the ninth major release of the operating system, which brings popular apps and features from iPad to the Mac.

Mountain Lion introduces Messages, Notes, Reminders and Game Center to the Mac, as well as Notification Center, Share Sheets, Twitter integration and AirPlay Mirroring. Mountain Lion is the first OS X release built with iCloud in mind for easy setup and integration with apps. The developer preview of Mountain Lion also introduces Gatekeeper, a revolutionary security feature that helps keep you safe from malicious software by giving you complete control over what apps are installed on your Mac. The preview release of Mountain Lion is available to Mac Developer Program members. Mac users will be able to upgrade to Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store™ in late summer 2012.

NASSCOM Names Innovation Winners

In an effort to drive the innovation landscape in India, NASSCOM announced the winners of the Innovation Awards 2012.

"The awards recognize companies that have made innovation a part of their organizational DNA, and used the innovation engine to reinvent their processes, marketing and product development strategies. I would like to congratulate the winners and encourage every organization to follow them and go the 'innovation' way," said Som Mittal, president of NASSCOM.

In the Product Category, the New Technology Advancement Winner was Cisco Systems India Pvt Ltd and the runner-up the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC). In the Process Category, the Market Facing Innovation Winner was HCL Technologies Ltd. and the Business Services runner-up was Logica India Pvt Ltd. SCOPE International Private Ltd. won in the social innovation category.

The Internal Process Innovation Winner in the Process Category was Ericsson India Global Services Pvt Ltd and thre runner-up was Global Business Services, HP.

The winners were selected after a rigorous process by an esteemed panel of judges comprising of industry luminaries, academicians, and analysts and were chosen across the telecom, manufacturing, BSFI, healthcare, utilities, and other verticals. The entries were shortlisted on the basis of the innovation of technology, scalability of the model and number of patents filed by the applicant company.

NASSCOM is India's National Association of Software and Service Companies, the premier trade body and the chamber of commerce of the IT software and services industry in India. NASSCOM is a global trade body with over 1,300 members, of which over 250 are global companies from the US, UK, EU, Japan and China. 

Applications Spur Creation of Nearly 500,000 Jobs

The explosive popularity of applications has spurred a US jobs boom that, according to TechNet, has produced 466,000 new jobs since 2007. The jobs are for programmers, user interface designers, marketers, managers, and support staff.

The bipartisan policy and political network of technology CEOs found that "App Economy" jobs are spread throughout the nation. The top metro area for App Economy jobs is New York City and its surrounding suburban counties, although together San Francisco and San Jose together substantially exceed New York.

While California tops the list of App Economy states with nearly one in four jobs, states such as Georgia, Florida, and Illinois get their share as well. In fact, more than two-thirds of App Economy employment is outside of California and New York. The results also suggest that the App Economy is growing quickly and that the location and number of app-related jobs are likely to shift greatly in the years ahead.

“America’s App Economy – which had zero jobs just 5 years ago before the iPhone was introduced – demonstrates that we can quickly create economic value and jobs through cutting-edge innovation,” said Rey Ramsey, president and CEO of TechNet.

Conventional employment numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics are not able to track such a new phenomenon because this economic ecosystem is so new, according to TechNet. The research analyzed detailed information from The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine (HWOL) database, a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute compilation of want ads, to estimate the number of jobs in the App Economy.

The total number of Apps Economy jobs includes jobs at ‘pure’ app firms such as Zynga as well as app-related jobs at large companies such as Electronic Arts, Amazon, and AT&T, as well as app ‘infrastructure’ jobs at core firms such as Google, Apple, and Facebook. In addition, the App Economy total includes employment spillovers to the rest of the economy.


The survey was conducted by Michael Mandel, president of South Mountain Economics.

IT Employment Reaches All-Time High

IT employment reached an all-time high with an increase of 13,300 jobs in January, according to TechServe Alliance. January’s record surpasses the previous all-time high set in September 2008 when IT employment reached 4,088,600.

The number of IT jobs grew 0.3 percent sequentially last month to 4,107,700, according to TechServe Alliance, a collaboration of IT services firms, clients, consultants and suppliers. On an annual basis, IT employment grew by 3.4 percent in 2011 and 1.5 percent in 2010. These latest numbers are based on the rebenchmarked data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this month.

"I am thrilled that IT employment has surpassed its previous all-time high---an encouraging sign not only for the IT services industry, but the economy at-large,” stated Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance. "Given strong demand for IT talent, high wages these professionals command and the benefits of IT to the broader economy, policymakers should do all they can to create an environment which encourages such work to be performed in the United States,” added Roberts.

Computer system and design services jobs increased by 4.4 percent year-over year, while employment in management and technical consulting was up by more than 6 percent, the alliance said.

New Locales Emerging as Venture Hotspots

The Silicon Valley, New England, and the New York metro area aren't the only US hotspots of venture-capital fund-raising. According to research by OpenView Venture Partners, there's also a flurry of VC activity in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Austin.

Los Angeles is one of the most active of the second tier regions, with 31 deals in Q2 2011 for an aggregate value of $174 million, and vibrant e-commerce and media sectors.

“The confluence of the entertainment, gaming, and aerospace industries has created a big talent pool,” said First Round Managing Partner Howard L. Morgan, noting that IdeaLab and other incubators did their part to create plenty of Internet-savvy companies in the first bubble.

With a reported $181 million in expansion stage deals alone through the first two quarters of 2011, the Midwest is another hot spot for growth capital funding. Leading the way is Chicago,
which saw $92 million in Q2 investments over 14 deals. With companies like Groupon and GrubHub paving the way, child care service provider Sittercity continued the Windy City's
dominance of the local space with $23 million in funding during the quarter.

New World Managing Partner Chris Girgenti said the e-commerce, retail, healthcare, and clean tech sectors are all trending well. He cited organizations like the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center (CEC), which works to mentor and support innovative young startups throughout their
early stages of development.

With giants like Amazon and Microsoft, the state of Washington has all the makings of a technology superpower, especially for e-commerce. Local firm Madrona Venture Partners participated in six out of 16 second-quarter deals, adding companies like ExtraHop Networks ($14 million) and ($6 million) to a portfolio that also includes a co-investment with OpenView in SkyTap, a Seattle-based cloud automation solutions provider.

Madrona Managing Director Greg Gottesman said that the presence of Amazon in particular has helped inspire young companies in the e-commerce space. “I think a lot of times, the VC business is mostly about people investing in truly great entrepreneurs and great
teams,” he said. “Naturally, when you have the world’s greatest e-commerce company right in your backyard, you’re going to have a lot of companies like that coming from this region.”

With high-profile services like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure setting the tone, cloud computing has also proved to be a viable target for venture funding.Gottesman cited Madrona investments in Tier 3, Portland’s AppFog, and SkyTap as examples of some of the promising young cloud-based companies in the area.

What Skills are Hot for 2012?

Android, iPad/iPhone, and HTML 5 developers will continue to be in demand this year, according to Bluewolf's IT Salary Guide for 2012, which predicts salary increases for software developers, information security analysts, CIOs, and many other types of technology professionals amid increasing demand for top talent.

While the report shows the biggest increases in demand for mobile, data, cloud, and user engagement technologists, it also reveals a decline in job candidates with the skill-sets required to meet those needs.

"Organizations aren't just competing against each other for qualified tech professionals—they're contending with an ever widening talent gap and the mass exodus of baby boomer retirees," warns Bluewolf co-founder and principal Michael Kirven.

The report, which covers major industries including media, telecom, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, and financial services, predicts that:

  • Senior software developer salaries will rise 6 percent or more, with an average high of $99,000 per year;
  • Starting salary ranges are predicted to jump to $98,000 per year for Android, iPhone, and iPad developers;
  • Top-tier ERP, BI, and CRM developer salaries will rise from $84,000-$105,000 to $88,000-$110,000;
  • Front-end and user experience technologists are seeing spikes in demand with predicted salary ranges for HTML5 at $89,000-$127,000;
  • Security analysts will experience a significant increase in salaries ranging from $94,000-$125,000 per year;
  • Data analysts and BI professional salaries will creep past pre-recession levels, rising between 5-6 percent annually;

On the executive level, CIOs and CSOs are seeing the most gains. In database administration, business intelligence analysts and data architects are enjoying the largest salary hikes while software and Web development salaries are experiencing jumps all across the board. In information security, analysts are seeing the highest demand.

In mobile, Bluewolf estiamtes that demand for HTML5, iPhone/iPad, and Android is up 200 percent and demand for BlackBerry and Windows Mobile experts is down 50 percent. In the area of big data, demand for those with MySQL, HBase, Cognos, and Informatica experience is up 100 percent, and DB2 expertise is down 50 percent. In the area of cloud computing, Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce, and Google Apps are hot, and in the user engagement realm, UI Design experts are in higher demand than those with expertise in Flash, Flex, and ActionScript.

New Tips for Resume Writing

In an era where many employers use automated systems, it's important to make sure your resume contains the correct keywords. And a simple objective or profile is no longer enough. Instead, jobhunters should incorporate at least one measurable success or achievement into their introduction--preferably in the form of a metric or award.

According to Jobfox, numbers and honors naturally single you out from other candidates because they are unique. Including measurable and tangible accomplishments in resumes demonstrates that you're a proven performer. Recruiters and hiring managers will also recognize that previous employers and others in your field acknowledged your achievements, which sets you apart as an outstanding candidate and gets you the attention you deserve.

Jobfox advises jobhunters to resist the temptation to launch into a description of your career and experience. Though you should still include an introduction statement, professional resume writer and career consultant Chris Bilotta suggests that you begin by giving yourself a title that presents you as a brand and image befitting the position you desire.

"Establish a descriptive job title that instantly distinguishes you from others and gives the reader specific information about who you are and what you do," Bilotta explains, "The language used at the top of your resume sets the tone for the rest of the document and previews what will follow. So, make it count."

Carefully select watchwords particular to your industry, and try to embody who you are within your field. The result should be a finely tailored, job-specific personal label that communicates your professional identity, Jobfox advises.

Automated electronic systems can either help your resume get discovered or filter it out. Resumes must contain the right keywords in order for it to be read. Incorporate keywords from the job description into your personal job title, introduction statement, and the body and content of your resume.

Higher Salaries and Bonuses for US Tech Pros

Technology professionals enjoyed their largest annual salary growth since 2008, according to the 2012-2011 Salary Survey from Dice. After two straight years of wages remaining nearly flat, tech professionals on average garnered salary increases of more than 2 percent, boosting their average annual wage to $81,327 from $79,384 in 2010.

A more considerable jump was noted in both size of average bonuses, up 8 percent to $8,769, and the number of technology professionals receiving bonuses: 32 percent in 2011, compared with 29 percent in 2010, and 24 percent in 2009. The industries most likely to pay out bonuses: Telecom, Hardware, Banking, Utilities/Energy and Software.

“Finally! Compensation has mustered some momentum, as more and more top tech markets are notching increases in pay. Silicon Valley’s compensation moved first and wrote the playbook for highly qualified tech professionals to ask for more – whether that be in Seattle, Houston or Raleigh,” said Tom Silver, SVP, North America at Dice. “The increasing popularity of bonuses shows companies are rewarding their top performers. While everyone loves a bonus, anyone who has been through a cycle knows that bonuses both reward and punish. In fast-changing markets, it’s imperative for highly skilled tech professionals to capitalize on their career and compensation options.”

In Silicon Valley, annual tech salaries topped six figures for the first time since the survey began about a decade ago. The highest in the nation, Silicon Valley’s annual salary of $104,195, increased 5 percent year/year. In addition, bonuses are both fatter and more frequent in Silicon Valley – with 38 percent of tech professionals receiving bonuses at an average of $12,450.

While the Valley’s resurgence is well documented, other tech markets did exceptionally well too. In fact, 12 of the top 20 cities for tech jobs had above average wage growth. The largest: Austin, Texas with a 13 percent jump in pay to average $89,419. Portland, Oregon showed an annual wage increase of 12 percent to $82,055; Houston saw 7 percent growth ($89,307); and Washington DC experienced nearly 6 percent growth ($94,317).

Chicago and Seattle each garnered 5 percent increases in average tech salaries, Denver and Dallas/Ft. Worth managed 4 percent growth, while New York, Los Angeles, and Raleigh, North Carolina each increased 3 percent.

While salaries are on the rise among technology professionals, entry-level salaries continue to be pushed downward, according to the survey. The professionals who generally saw their wages increase were those with 11 or more years of experience in their field.

The skills that commanded six-figure salaries and had above average year/year growth are:

ABAP – Advanced Business Application Programming $109,157 (3%)
SOA -Service-Oriented Architecture $108,210 (6%)
ETL – Extract Transform and Load $106,521 (6%)
Weblogic $103,702 (5%)
JDBC-Java Database Connectivity $102,630 (5%)
UML-Unified Modeling Language $102,579 (6%)
JBoss $102,184 (5%)
WebSphere $100,348 (7%)

TopCoder Helps MBA Students Build Online Communities

TopCoder is working with faculty members at Harvard Business School to provide an environment where MBA students can build new online businesses, from idea generation through product development and final rollout.

In support of the School's new Field Immersion Experiences for Leadership Development (FIELD) course, part of the required first-year MBA Program curriculum, TopCoder has created a virtual "factory" environment, in which student entrepreneurs will explore how to use professional communities and digital creatives to conceptualize, build, manage, and grow real digital products and businesses.

"We want our students – tomorrow's business leaders – to become comfortable managing and building products in a rapidly evolving world," noted Alan D. MacCormack, one of 10 faculty members at HBS responsible for the launch and design of FIELD. "The resources, immediacy, cost savings, and overall improvements in quality and process provided by the Internet are dramatically changing how organizations work at the most fundamental level.

The TopCoder Community was challenged to create a dedicated HBS portal within which student projects will run starting as early as this month. The platforms created by the TopCoder Community will be an integral part of the third module of HBS's FIELD course, which challenges more than 900 students - working in teams of six – to develop and launch a microbusiness in an accelerated time frame.

IT Workers To Get 2.8 Percent Average Pay Bump in 2012

IT workers hoping to improve their standard of living in 2012 will not likely find relief through annual salary raises.

The Computer Economics 2012 IT Salary Report finds that IT organizations are planning to hand out average raises of 2.8 percent this year. Even organizations at the 75th percentile are budgeting for only a 3 percent wage increase for employees. That lags well behind the 3.4 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period through November 2011.

On a positive note, most IT workers will get some measure of increase: even organizations at the 25th percentile are increasing salaries for existing employees by 1.8 percent, which is an improvement over the no-raise policy that prevailed last year in the bottom quartile. Still, typical raises planned for 2012 are somewhat compressed across all quartiles and show little variation by job function or level.

The findings are based on a fourth-quarter survey of more than 130 US-based IT organizations. Although there are modest improvements in the general employment picture, our research indicates hiring by IT organizations across all sectors will remain weak in 2012, especially among large organizations.

If the domestic economy continues to improve, there could be  some upward pressure on wages, however. IT organizations will need to take steps to retain key workers due to the rise in voluntary turnover rates. Voluntary turnover rate for IT organizations, after dropping to nearly 2 percent in 2010, is on track to return to normal levels in 2012. Turnover rose to 4 percent to 2011, and we anticipate it returning to the 5 percent level, which was typical during the period prior to the 2008 recession. As such, IT organizations will face demands for higher pay from some workers.

IEEE Experts to Discuss Trends at CES

IEEE and its experts will be discussing the 12 top consumer electronics trends in 2012 at next week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The discussion will take place at Booth #35883 and on IEEE's Facebook page at, which will also feature video discussions from the show floor.

The top trends are:

1. Powering Connections – The concept of a fully connected society will shift the way people work, think and live. If the technology can be connected, it will be. Ubiquitous, nonstop connectivity is what is next, predicts Dr. Henry Samueli, IEEE Fellow, chief technology officer at Broadcom Corp., and a keynote speaker at the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), co-located with CES. According to Dr. Samueli, that means improving global business operations with real time cloud-based data sharing, and seamlessly accessing information and entertainment in our homes and cars. Advances in miniaturized sensors will further enhance this connected world as we are able to monitor our health and our environment in real time, opening up endless new opportunities for innovative new healthcare models.

2. A Tipping Point for Video Entertainment on the Web – Streaming web-based video on televisions has steadily gained popularity with consumers, but in 2012, the U.S. will reach a tipping point when users will extend beyond the tech-savvy and early adopters of Wi-Fi enabled TVs, says Richard Doherty, IEEE Senior Member. The upswing can be credited to widespread availability of video capable devices. Doherty predicts that by the end of 2012, nearly 50 percent of U.S. households and 35 percent of Canadian households will watch Internet video on full-sized TV screens (24-inch TVs or larger) from embedded IP video capable devices or add-ons such as videogame consoles, Blu-ray players or net media players.

3. Patient Monitoring Technology Moves Into the Home – Advanced health monitoring technology will finally be available for use in homes and not just clinics and hospitals, says IEEE Fellow Stuart Lipoff. These new devices will allow consumers to take charge of their health care, finding ways to streamline their care to reduce costs. New patient monitoring systems, now only in hospitals, will be battery-powered and portable enough to be carried like a cellphone. These devices will monitor and communicate vital signs to a patient's doctor, saving patients from making time-consuming and costly trips to the hospital.

4. Convergence of Home Networking Technologies – The number of networked devices consumers own is growing exponentially, including mobile phones and tablets. At the same time, says IEEE Associate Member Oleg Logvinov, consumers expect their content to be easily accessible – and secure – across all those devices. As a result, we will begin to see a new breed of simple, plug-and-play devices capable of finding all available network connections as soon as they are turned on, and the networks themselves will become smarter so that the right quality of service is delivered on every connection for the least amount of energy. According to Logvinov, these innovations are possible because we are seeing new technologies in the semiconductor industry that integrate many different networking technologies into a single chip in a cost-effective way.

5. Advancing Long Term Storage with Ceramic – Digital files can't last forever. Family photos, music and other archived information have a limited lifespan on today's storage devices. However, IEEE Senior Member Tom Coughlin says we will see new advancements in hard drive technologies in 2012. Storage devices that etch data in ceramic will make it possible for stored information to last up to 1,000 years.

6. Consumerization of IT Continues Relentlessly – Dr. Nahum Gershon, IEEE Senior Member, says in-home technology's influence on business technology decisions will continue to build in 2012. According to Dr. Gershon, who will be presenting at the 2012 International Conference on Consumer Electronics (ICCE), the consumerization of IT will drive companies to provide more access to social media networks and applications, as well as issue more mobile devices like tablet computers to their increasingly tech-savvy employees. A recent example is the increasing use of video chat applications such as Skype to connect business professionals working in different regions, says Gershon. In 2012, he predicts that people will begin using tablets and smartphones with geo-location applications to inform colleagues where they are working (e.g. in the office or off-site).

7. Consumer Electronics as a Service – In 2012, electronics manufacturers will more widely pair their devices with services, applications and content provided to consumers via a remote server online (i.e. the Cloud). Apps for the Apple iPhone and Android phones are well-known current examples, but IEEE Fellow Stuart Lipoff predicts there will be more devices such as Apple TV and Internet-connected TVs drawing on content and services like email, calendars or address books that are maintained on remote servers. According to Lipoff, consumers will see more inexpensive devices with longer battery life because taxing hardware functions such as storage and computing power will be leveraged in the cloud rather than in the device.

8. Smartphone Hacking to Increase in 2012 – John McCanny, IEEE Fellow, predicts that mobile security will be a rapidly increasing issue, due to convergence in mobile architectures, mobile phones becoming the dominant web platform and the expanding number of mobile users. In fact, 2012 will see a rapid growth in mobile malware given consumers' increasing preference for accessing the Internet from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Businesses will also be vulnerable as more professionals demand access to corporate networks from personal devices, increasing the risks of cyber attacks and cyber espionage.

9. Natural Disasters Raise Global Consumer Electronics Prices – The electronic industry is feeling the impact of natural disasters, as major flooding in Thailand has disrupted manufacturing facilities, leading to a short supply of hard disk drives (HDDs) – a key component for everything from DVRs to videogame consoles to laptops. According to Tom Coughlin, IEEE Senior Member, the ramifications of that shortage will more clearly surface in 2012 and production costs will surge in the short term. In the fourth quarter of 2011 alone, there was a shortfall of 60-70 million drives vs. anticipated demand. In 2012, there will be a total shortfall of 120-150 million units vs. demand according to a study conducted by data storage consulting firm Coughlin Associates.

10. Private Companies, Not the Military, Will Drive Major Technology Innovations – Radar, satellites, GPS, the Internet – military research has been the driving force behind some of the most important technology innovations in history. That will be much less the case going forward, predicts IEEE Senior Member Nahum Gershon. Private companies will start to play an even larger role in developing cutting-edge technology and products that will change the way individuals and business think and operate.

11. Vehicles That Aid Drivers' Awareness of Surroundings – Consumers will begin to see more vehicles that can monitor their surroundings and warn drivers of traffic signs, pedestrians, other vehicles and lane departures, says IEEE Senior Member Alberto Broggi, who rode in a driverless car from Italy to China in 2010. More cars will apply advanced sensors to enable vehicles to detect and warn drivers of any immediate stops or dangers in the way of the vehicle, which can significantly decrease the likelihood of vehicle accidents.

12. Automated Metadata Generation Makes Personal Content More Useful and Available – Information about information may sound redundant, but enabling devices to automatically aggregate and generate data such as location and timestamp can significantly improve how consumers manage and protect their personal photos, videos and music. In 2012, IEEE Senior Member Tom Coughlin says we will see new devices such as cameras that will automatically generate metadata information for all photos and videos from the device.

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