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					IT Careers

Presented By: Mr. Spiros Velianitis
Discussion Topics
   Why Discuss IT Careers?
   What are the NWCET Information Technology Skill Standards?
   Career Clusters
   Possible Factors Restraining IT Hiring
   The Outsourcing Constraint
   The Visa Parameter
   IT Workforce 2004: Overall Trends
   Declining Employment in the IT Industry
   High Demand for Computer Occupations Till 2012
   What is Hot?
   IT Salaries are on the Rise
   How Much Am I Going to Make?
   How About Entry Level?
   Stay Current and Add Value
   Pay Attention to Soft Skills
   Where To Learn About Job Openings
   100 Best Places to Work in IT
 Why Discuss IT Careers?
  “Competitive pressure is an issue for employees and employers alike.
  To be successful IT workers must make themselves as valuable as
  possible to hiring companies. They must also make themselves the
  stewards of their own careers. Understanding the trends and directions
  shaping the IT workforce is one of the best ways to launch or sustain
  an information technology career.”
 If the U.S. is to remain a leader in information technology, IT workers
  must remain at the vanguard of their profession. IT workers must be
  the best to build the best. That means education, training and
  professional development.
 For individual workers, it means developing a career strategy that puts
  one in the best possible position for success.
 Becoming appropriately skilled and maintaining a finely tuned
  competitive edge will be increasingly important for IT workers and IT
  companies alike.
   Source: Information Technology Association of America Annual Workforce Development Survey,
   September 2004
  What are the NWCET Information Technology Skill
 The standards enumerate technical skills, employability skills, and
  foundation knowledge requirements for eight IT career clusters. Career
  clusters are groupings of representative job titles, related by a close
  association with a common set of technical skills, knowledge, and
  abilities. The career cluster approach was used because it more closely
  reflects how work is organized today, especially in illustrating mobility
  and progression among representative job titles.
 National Workforce Center for Emerging Technologies (NWCET) is a
  National Science Foundation funded Advanced Technological
  Education IT Center
 More information on NWCET can be found on the Center's Website at
 Career Clusters
 Database Development and Administration
 Digital Media
 Enterprise Systems Analysis and Integration
 Network Design and Administration
 Programming/Software Engineering
 Technical Support
 Technical Writing
 Web Development and Administration
Database Development and Administration
 Knowledge allows companies to make sound business decisions and
    operate at peak performance. The inability to turn data into meaningful
    information differentiates companies and can allow the potential of
    company investments in IT to go unrealized.
   Database developers and administrators help companies reap
    maximum benefits by mining legacy systems for maximum
    productivity gains, building customer relationship management
    solutions, and turning supply chains into value chains. They do this by
    creating structures, tools, forms, and reports necessary to make data
    from core operations and remote field offices both readable and usable.
   Work here includes needs analysis, database design and modeling, user
    interface development, object creation and related implementation
    activity; monitoring, testing and maintenance. Building, testing and
    maintaining dynamic, compliant databases helps to get the most out of
    companies’ information resources.
   Database developers work on the most mission critical of corporate
    information systems, legacy systems that provide long term continuity
    and seamless customer support, or the next generation of peer-to-peer
    or data mining applications.
   Security knowledge is a critical skill in this job category, where
    volumes of customer, financial or sensitive data must be kept free from
    intrusion, attack or theft.
 Digital Media
 Digital media experts put computers and software through their paces
  to create animations, movies, games and more.
 These professionals convert bits of data into compelling graphics, text,
  sound and animation.
 Digital designers must understand customer requirements and
  expectations, translate these into prototypes and simulations, build
  scripts and content elements, refine outcomes, test results and
  document how it was all done.
 Enterprise Systems Analysis and Integration
 Enterprise Systems Integration professionals put the pieces of a large-
  scale solution together, often from unrelated products, services and
  systems. The result must be a cohesive and productive whole.
 These behind the scenes technical gurus orchestrate the interaction of
  numerous technologies to create comprehensive, secure customer
 Systems integrators must be adept at analyzing what can be enterprise-
  wide requirements and innovative business models, assessing strengths
  and weaknesses of commercial off-the-shelf products, performing cost
  benefit analyses and developing technology modernization plans,
  managing large-scale programs, interacting with customers, and much
 Network Design and Administration
 Network design and administration professionals help companies and
  organizations move different types of communications traffic through
  the Internet, intranets, extranets, local and wide area networks, the
  public switched network and more.
 Integration is becoming increasingly key, because cross-platform
  convergence is becoming increasingly common.
 Network design and administration professional skills include
  requirements analysis; network design; process, protocol and hardware
  planning and integration; performance evaluation and load balancing;
  information security plan development and implementation; system
  monitoring and reporting; and on-going maintenance to keep all of the
  trains running on time.
 In the age of increasing network threats and cyber terrorism, network
  administrators must have unparalleled knowledge of the latest
  information security features, products and services.
 Programming/Software Engineering
 If software is music, computer programmers and software engineers
  are composers.
 Programmers must determine how a given computer system or
  application performs in the overall environment. And they must make
  sure that there are no sour notes.
 Programmers develop information architectures to understand how a
  system should perform; identify customer requirements; translate those
  needs into system capabilities and functionality; write computer code;
  test and re-test for security defects, bugs and vulnerabilities, and
  finally upgrade the products as new needs are determined by
 Technical Support
 Technical support personnel work with customers to diagnose and
    correct system errors or failures and to install and upgrade new
    equipment and software
   Perform at a call center or help desk and answer questions from users
   Work with sales teams to provide technical guidance and consultation
   Perform systems operation and maintenance
   Supporting users is the name of the game. Tech support pros must be
    able to troubleshoot; analyze requirements; facilitate remedial action
    and customer service
   Install and configure new systems; perform systems monitoring;
    optimization and diagnostics; test and retest
 Develop documentation.
 Technical Writing
 From the first word on user requirements to the last word on how the
  system works, technical writers document, explain, translate and
  interpret technical speak into plain language.
 Technical writing output includes user and maintenance manuals,
  training documents and packaging materials for software and other
 Tech writers also produce highly technical documents for
  administrators, designers, developers and programmers.
 Web Development and Administration
 Behind each online sale, catalog web site, electronic procurement or e-
  commerce portal is a web developer or team of developers and
  administrators. These professionals help firms to offer their products
  and services through dynamic, secure and navigable sites that create a
  complete, efficient customer experience. The goal is to deliver
  complex content, safe transactions and back-end supply chain
  management, all combined to sustain a buyer’s confidence.
 Web developers must deliver these elements via a crisp layout and
  attractive design for clients and often constantly re-tool sites to make
  room for new or changed web content. Companies want to access their
  back office applications and data with web capabilities, extend
  customer resource management functionality, achieve better
  operational efficiency through intranet applications, and gain
  competitive advantage through tighter extranet integration with key
  suppliers and subcontractors.
 Web developers can begin their careers by building pages and work to
  deliver the most strategic offerings of the enterprise.
 Possible Factors Restraining IT Hiring
 The intention of larger employers to shift some of their work overseas
 Increases in productivity enabling companies to take a more stringent
    approach to their hiring plans
   The possibility that companies have adequate staff resources for
    current business needs
   The rising cost of health insurance is curtailing the hiring plans of
    companies, particularly small firms that cumulatively hire the most IT
   Companies may be substituting incremental improvements in IT
    capability for the kind of more sweeping strategic approaches taken in
    the 1990s
   A soft economic recovery may be prompting companies to make
    greater use of temporary and part-time workers rather than fill slots
    with permanent hirers.
 The Outsourcing Constraint
 In March 2004, ITAA published a study prepared by econometric
  modeling firm Global Insight. That study found that, since 2000,
  approximately 100,000 computer software and services jobs have moved
 That study found that global sourcing will have an array of positive
  benefits for the U.S. economy, including a net gain in jobs, better average
  real wages for American workers, lower inflation, higher business
  investment, and improved GDP.
 The study also found while the economy will produce over 500,000 new
  IT jobs between 2003 and 2008, approximately one out of every two of
  these jobs will be located offshore.
 Jobs Most Resistant to Outsourcing in 2005
 Architects (network, data, Internet/intranet storage)
 Integrators
 Security (auditing, forensics, management)
 Enterprise data management, data modelers
 Business analysts, business technologists
 Project managers/leaders
 Process modelers
 Network managers
 CRM professionals

   Source: "IT Insider Compensation Benchmarks and Employment
   Trends," third quarter, 2004; Foote Partners LLC, New Canaan, Conn.
 The Visa Parameter
  Responding to pressure from high-tech businesses and industry groups,
  Congress this weekend approved an increase in the number of H-1B
  visas by 20,000 but limited it to specially qualified students. The
  legislation, included in the omnibus budget bill, allows foreign national
  master's and Ph.D. graduates of U.S. universities to apply for an H-1B
  visa, according to people familiar with the bill.
 The H-1B visa, which is heavily used by high-tech employers, allows
  skilled foreign workers to get jobs in the U.S. for up to six years.
 The number of H-1B visas was set at 195,000 for fiscal years 2001,
  2002 and 2003 before dropping to 65,000 in fiscal 2004
 IT Workforce 2004: Overall Trends
 The U.S. IT workforce gained population in the last year, moving up
   two percent from 10,312,650 in 2003 to 10,526,289 in 2004. The
   increase continues the recovery in IT workforce size, a “recovery”
   made necessary only by the 2001 recession and contraction of
   and telecom companies. Figure 1 provides a glimpse at the year-to-
   year variation in workforce size. Table 2 shows the headcount for the
   eight career clusters (category).
 Declining Employment in the IT Industry
 Thought the IT workforce reached an all time high last year, the IT
   industry nationwide saw a declining workforce (Figure below).

     IT Industry Employment Nationwide And in Key Metropolitan Areas
                    NATION                BOSTON        CHICAGO       SAN FRANCISCO
                    2,146,800              71,200         63,400           54,900
                    1,876,700              55,500         54,200           33,100
                    1,763,700              48,700         49,100           29,500
                    1,744,000              46,700         47,300           27,900
                    1,743,500              46,900         47,000           28,000
     Source: “America’s High Tech Bust,” Center for Urban Economic Development,
     University of Illinois at Chicago, September 2004
  High Demand for Computer Occupations Till 2012
Among all occupations in the
economy, computer and healthcare
occupations are expected to grow
the fastest over the projection
period (chart 7). In fact, healthcare
occupations make up 10 of the 20
fastest growing occupations, while
computer occupations account for 5
out of the 20 fastest growing
occupations in the economy.
[Source: Tomorrow’s Jobs: Occupational
Outlook Handbook 2004-05 Edition. US
Department of Labor-Bureau of Labor
What is Hot?

   Source: IT Hiring inches upward. NetwokWorld, 1/24/05
IT Salaries are on the Rise
How Much Am I Going to Make?
How About Entry Level?
   Stay Current and Add Value
 As an IT worker interested in moving your career forward, consider
  gaining both up-to-date technical skills but also learn to step back and see
  the organization’s bigger business picture.
 Hiring managers see a range of activity as helpful background in
  acquiring an IT job. Table 13 shows that while engineering is most highly
  ranked, communications is also considered important, as is education.
 Pay Attention to Soft Skills
 Soft skills round out the technical worker and give the individual a
  sharper competitive advantage. Soft skills could be writing a memo,
  developing a plan, organizing a meeting or managing a project. While
  building a solid technical background, some may overlook the
  importance of soft skills to a well-rounded career.
 “IT employers say it’s the ‘soft skills’ and not the software skills that
  give job seekers the edge” [Sacramento Bee May 23, 2004]
 “We don’t have people who just sit in a corner and code” [Steve Scott,
  Vision Service Plan]
CIO Interview
Where To Learn About Job Openings

                                             Source: Tomorrow’s Jobs:
                                             Occupational Outlook
                                             Handbook 2004-05
                                             Edition. US Department
                                             of Labor-Bureau of Labor

Some Useful Employment Links:
   MISA: [Personal contacts]
   CSUS Career Center: [School career
    planning and placement offices]
   CBA Student Affairs:
    [School career planning and placement offices]
   Sacramento Bee: [Classified ads]
 [Internet networks and resources]
   State Jobs: [State employment service offices]
   Federal Jobs: [Federal Government]
100 Best Places
to Work in IT
Computerworld 6/14/2004

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