Career Paths

Forging a Career Path When the Route Is Unclear

Posted In Working in Tech
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Up-and-coming companies seldom offer well-defined career paths that guide IT professionals from one position to the next. Enterprising employees are instead expected to identify an emerging role or need and pilot themselves to the next career opportunity. “You have to know where the company and your particular niche is headed to steer your own IT career,” said Katy Piotrowski, CEO of Career Solutions Group, a career planning firm based in Fort Collins, Colo. “The key is finding an opportunity that… continue…

How I Made the Leap to IT Security

Posted In Data
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Fifteen years ago, the landscape of IT was so fluid you could almost pick your specialty and start working. The need for computer engineers was so great, that anyone with some ambition could go far reasonably fast. Document services specialists—who type for a living—were moving into application deployment. A night security guard who spent his time studying Novell became a certified Novell administrator. I worked in a copy center in a small law firm and became their network administrator literally… continue…

Daily Tip: The Upside of the ‘Hybrid’ Job

Posted In Working in Tech
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While most of us would be perfectly fine with sticking to one job, many folks find themselves taking on more of a “hybridized” role at work, often juggling responsibilities that, once upon a time, might have been handled by two (or more) people. We all know the programmer who’s also a manager, or the app developer who doubles as a social-media maven. In startups, this hybridization is particularly acute, with people taking on multiple roles in order to keep the… continue…

Finding Your Way as an Enterprise Architect

Posted In Job Hunting
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Aspiring enterprise architects (EAs) have to navigate a winding, unmarked career path littered with inconsistent job titles, diverse duties and a plethora of frameworks in order to stake their claim in this emerging but confusing field. Brian Cameron, founder of the Federation of Enterprise Architecture Professional Organizations (FEAPO) and executive director of the Center for Enterprise Architecture at Penn State University, thinks enterprise architecture is a hodgepodge of fiefdoms that desperately needs consistency: “The architectural frameworks and skill requirements vary… continue…

A Chief Analytics Officer This Way Comes (Maybe)

Posted In Looking in Tech
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With more organizations investing in analytics, it was only a matter of time before the industry started talking about the rise of a chief analytics officer. A survey of 317 business and IT executives from the International Institute of Analytics, created at the behest of Dell, found that organizations with a high degree of analytical maturity are more likely to have a chief analytics officer, or someone with a similar title charged with collecting and managing an organization’s analytics efforts.… continue…

Lack of Mentorship Hobbles Women in Tech

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New research from nonprofit firm Catalyst suggests that women who earn their MBA are far less likely than men to use that degree within a “tech intensive” industry. According to the firm’s latest survey, any blame for a lack of women in tech-intensive industries shouldn’t rest with the education system, which is the frequent target of executives who complain about gender discrepancy in tech; instead, women decline to participate in those industries due to a lack of role models, concerns… continue…

Are Database Administrators Doomed?

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Just about everyone agrees these days that there is more data to manage than ever. The topic on which nobody seems to agree is who needs to manage it, or to what degree it might actually need to be managed. Traditionally, database administrators (also known as DBAs) have been at the center of the data-management universe: There was always a need to have someone optimize the performance of applications by making sure data was well structured. But with the rise… continue…

The Key Traits of Small-Business Tech Specialists

Posted In Looking in Tech
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If you like the idea of being the technology leader at a small business, be warned: Finding that job will be tough. Research conducted by Dell and Intel last year discovered that just 15 percent of small businesses have dedicated IT resources on their payroll; the rest either rely on shared resources—someone who divides their time between IT and another job—or outside vendors known as managed service providers (MSPs). That means the more realistic path to a job in the… continue…

CIOs Need to Make Room for Chief Data Officers

Posted In Looking in Tech
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The building of a digital business that leverages IT to make processes more efficient is all the rage these days. That construction, however, requires organizations to actually manage data as an asset, rather than a burden. At least on paper, the chief information officer (CIO) is responsible for all things within the organization that relate to information. In practice, however, many CIOs tend to focus on infrastructure rather than information, and often choose to treat all data more or less… continue…

Green Energy Grows Tech Jobs

Posted In Looking in Tech
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The renewable energy industry has grown at a rapid and steady pace over the past decade, and will probably continue on that course in coming years. This is good news for any engineers, computer scientists, data analysts, programmers, and software developers who want to find employment in the field. Green energy has proven it has legs: a recent Energy Infrastructure Update report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects showed wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower providing… continue…