Microsoft Identifies the Top Tech Specialties

Who does Microsoft want to hire? To get some clues, it’s
worth looking at its careers blog, where a recent post
outlines what the company believe to be the hottest fields of study for computer
science students and, by extrapolation, the hottest trends for
the rest of us.

It is worth thinking beyond a traditional Computer Science
degree or even an Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (EECS) program.
Microsoft is hiring people with unique backgrounds, some newer with the
inception of the Cloud, Web services and the amazing scale at which the
industry is operating (Exabyte
anyone?).

Having said that, Microsoft picks three areas to focus on:

Data Mining/Machine Learning/AI/Natural Language Processing

All of these fields help us sift through and organize huge amounts of information or data. When you apply your knowledge in these areas to a challenging problem in the online space, you know that you are working at a scale that is just immense. With the move to the cloud and the sheer amount of information on the web, this area of expertise will continue to be in great demand. Microsoft has a great need for both people interested in the research space and the applied space, which is very refreshing.

Business Intelligence/Competitive Intelligence

The ability to see trends, make sense of data to a business audience and help to understand your customers requires a special person. Someone with a mix of engineering, BI/CI experience and a business mindset can take this field to the next level. You will help increase any employer’s bottom line and be able to provide organized data that is extremely valuable to any business.

Analytics/Statistics-Specifically Web Analytics, A/B Testing and Statistical Analysis

All of these subjects are offshoots of traditional degrees in CS and mathematics. They all apply to the online world we live in and will also be in great demand as we continue to monetize the web. Retailers, web services, and advertisers will need people in these fields as they try to get the most for their advertising money.

– Don Willmott

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