Tag Archives: education

  • Is Cybersecurity Education Failing?

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    There’s no doubt that tech pros with security expertise are highly sought after. Yet in the face of that demand, it seems that schools are having a hard time producing enough graduates to fill open security jobs.

    A new study of 121 university programs, conducted by an independent consultant contracted by cloud-based security provider CloudPassage, found that not one of the top ten U.S. computer-science programs (as ranked by U.S. News & World Report in 2015) requires a single cybersecurity course for graduation. In fact, only one of the top 36 U.S. computer-science programs demands such a course (for those keeping score at home, that’s the computer-science program at the University of Michigan).

    CloudPassage CEO Robert Thomas suggested that, when you consider how cyber-attacks are driven more by organized crime and hostile governments armed with sophisticated tools and lots of funding, the average IT organization is operating at a distinct disadvantage. “All you hear over and over again is how many open security position there are… Frankly, it’s only going to get worse.”

    The U.S government alone is looking to hire 1,000 IT security workers by the end of June. Not only are such professionals hard to find—the government isn’t generally competitive when it comes to salaries. As a result, some pundits doubt that federal agencies will achieve that hiring goal.

    Christopher Key, CEO of Verodin, a security start-up focused on automating the testing of security defenses, thinks it’s hard for IT security professionals to keep up with the latest trends, never mind universities and IT generalists. “We think organizations need to first think more about the effectiveness of the money they already spend on security,” he said. “They need to measure if they are actually getting better at providing IT security.”

    The bigger issue is to what degree IT security issues have dampened the willingness of organizations to launch new digital initiatives. While becoming a “digital business” is clearly all the rage these days, there’s a lot security risk associated with such projects.

    Greg Richey, director of professional services for Ingram Micro, an IT distributor that provides support for thousands of small to midsize IT services providers, hasn’t seen a slowdown in the number of projects launched to deal with potential vulnerabilities. The issue isn’t the number of security professionals, he thinks; it’s the quality.

    “I can find plenty of IT security people,” he added. “Finding good IT security people is another matter.”

    In the absence of well-qualified IT security professionals, there’s a lot of interest in IT security automation. That means the use of machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence; PatternX, for example, uses A.I. to provide “virtual security analysts” that eliminate many of the lower-level tasks that human security analysts perform manually. But someone still needs to make sense of all those security reports to determine the true nature of a particular threat.

    In the meantime, any tech professional who wants to expand the scope of their IT security skillset must commit to continuous education. The threats that need to be addressed evolve on a weekly basis, both in sophistication and lethality. It’s not a job segment for the faint of heart.

    The post Is Cybersecurity Education Failing? appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • 5 Online Resources for Developer Woes

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    Programming something entirely new can be a fun and challenging experience. For many, it’s a career that both pays well and gives the individual the opportunity to do something meaningful for others.

    At other times, trying to get the job done isn’t a smooth process. While there’s a sense that developers will always know how to fix issues or address certain problems, there are times when they’re stumped and need help.

    “The biggest woe developers face: not knowing what we’re doing,” Art Gillespie, director of engineering at Udacity, which offers online programming classes, said in an interview. “The funny thing about being a software engineer is the unavoidable fact that, most of the time, your expertise and experience is irrelevant to what you’re working on. That thing you have to accomplish today requires some library or algorithm or language or technique that you just don’t know. Yet. ‘Woe’ doesn’t do it justice.”

    Considering all that, it’s perhaps no surprise that a slew of resources have cropped up on the Web to offer developers help in their times of need. Whether it’s a simple question or a detailed one, the following resources have helped Gillespie and others quickly get answers and solutions to some of the most vexing programming woes:

    Code Academy

    As Gillespie noted, it’s not always easy for software engineers to admit that they don’t necessarily know what they’re doing in every case. That’s where Code Academy comes in.

    Code Academy is a service for budding developers (or those who already know what they’re doing and want to beef up their skills) to learn coding basics across a range of languages. While Code Academy likely won’t help the seasoned expert who is intimately familiar with Rails, SQL, and other languages, it could assist those who need to improve to their basic skills or want to learn a new language they haven’t yet tried out. In any case, it’s worth having a Code Academy account and calling on it whenever it comes time to learn something new.

    Stack Overflow

    Stack Overflow has proven a savior for countless developers over the years. Structured as a community that allows developers and others to share what they’ve learned, Stack Overflow is a go-to resource for thousands of tech pros.

    Stack Overflow also allows developers to post their own code, ask questions, help resolve other developers’ issues, and more.

    Dash

    Dash is an option for any developer who would like to learn more about building websites. Built by General Assembly, the platform teaches HTML, CSS, and JavaScript through a series of interactive projects. In addition, it’s a nice repository for documentation.

    GitHub

    GitHub is a repository for programming projects, as well as a wide range of information on software development. Many developers find GitHub a good place for getting solid tips on building and maintaining their projects.

    As Gillespie pointed out, GitHub can save developers time, since its users regularly post solutions to what seems like millions of problems. Also, the thought of thousands of people struggling with the same issues will “make you feel better about your struggles,” he added.

    Code.org

    Code.org pitches its service toward kids and wet-behind-the-ears beginners, but it’s also useful for more experienced developers who want to quickly pick up on the basics of a new language. From there, those developers can head over to GitHub and other sites for more advanced advice and resources.

    For beginners just learning the very basics of programming, Code.org allows them to go through lessons at their own pace, which is a definite plus.

    The post 5 Online Resources for Developer Woes appeared first on Dice Insights.

  • Top Tech Degrees for 2015 (and Beyond)

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    Technology degree programs of all types may enjoy booming enrollments these days, but which diplomas are the most useful for next year’s grads? While computer science is a perennial favorite (and always a good choice for students), other paths of inquiry are rapidly gaining in popularity among those who want lucrative and fulfilling careers once they graduate school.

    These five top tech degrees for 2015 (and beyond) are shaped by changes in the global economy, industry and technology. They may also contain a couple of surprises.

    Electrical Engineering

    “There’s been an American Renaissance in hardware and hardware design; you only need to take a look at Kickstarter or the popularity of Tesla to see it happening,” David Yang, placement coordinator and lead instructor at the Fullstack Academy of Code in New York said in an interview.

    Yang’s assessment is borne out by enrollment statistics at universities across the U.S., most notably MIT, which saw more degrees awarded in their Electrical Engineering-Computer Science program than in any other division. It’s easy to see why: U.S. startups are experiencing a period of intense growth and need people capable of rapidly prototyping hardware designs, taking them into manufacturing, and scaling up production.

    Click here to find electrical engineering jobs.

    Biomedical Engineering

    “In demand” would be an understatement for this degree, a relatively new offering that bridges the gap between engineering and medicine. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment projections for the field are up 27 percent through 2022, reflecting the massive, rapid changes in the healthcare technology industry.

    Here’s an example of biomedical engineering’s popularity: at Arizona State University’s undergraduate School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, enrollment for the biomedical engineering program is superseded only by that of the most popular computer science and mechanical engineering degrees. The rapidly expanding field encompasses several disciplines, including Big Data, biology and the research and development of diagnostic and therapeutic medical devices.

    Click here to find biomedical engineering jobs.

    Information Technology

    Ann McKenna, professor and director of The Polytechnic School at Arizona State University said the school’s information technology program is experiencing explosive growth: “We’re only in our second year of offering it… but we went from having no program to having hundreds of students enrolled this year.” IT degrees at ASU can be completed both online and in the classroom, with McKenna noting that their online enrollment is currently higher.

    “This is a degree program that can satisfy a greater demographic,” she added. “The program fulfills a workforce need and there’s a lot of excitement from industry in regard to wanting to hire our graduates.”

    Click here to find information technology jobs.

    Data Science

    The buzz around Big Data persists and remains steady. Fullstack Academy of Code’s David Yang has noticed that “Data Science is becoming a very in-demand career, companies are looking for people who can manipulate and understand the ever larger data sets that they’re handling.”

    Not many schools are offering the degree yet, but Yang suggested that a combination of computer science, statistics and information systems is an excellent equivalent that “will put you on the right track.”

    Click here to find data science jobs.

    Graphic Information Technology

    3D modeling, animation and multimedia are used with increasing frequency in industry, and employers not only need team members who can handle the technology of the creative elements, they also need those who can manage its use and distribution. Mckenna said her school’s GIT program, which has been around for several years, has been ramping up in enrollment.

    “Both our online and face to face programs have been very successful,” she said, “and it’s becoming more and more recognized. We can place students in positions with any companies that need to develop collateral materials.”

    Click here to find graphic-information technology jobs.

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    The post Top Tech Degrees for 2015 (and Beyond) appeared first on Dice News.

  • A Tech Career May Not Require a Four-Year Degree

    Do you need a bachelor’s degree to have a successful career in IT? Not necessarily. In some occupations, professionals with less-costly two-year degrees may actually out-earn people with more education, according to research from Georgetown University . In fact, Georgetown says that 28 percent of people with an associate’s degree make more than the median of workers with a bachelor’s degree. For instance, you can make a nice living as a Web developer , application developer , computer programmer , computer support specialist , game designer , systems analyst or network administrator if you have an associate’s degree or relevant college coursework and certifications. The Brookings Institution says half of all STEM jobs are available to workers without a four-year degree. That doesn’t mean you should ignore what a bachelor’s degree can bring you. By 2018, 65 percent of all job openings will require workers to have at least some college experience. Plus, like it or not, some employers won’t even consider candidates who don’t have a four-year degree. What should you do? It’s not a simple decision. You have to consider the cost, quality, and shelf life and relevance of the curriculum, plus your near-term career goals, marketability and potential earnings. Your Path and Earnings Potential While it may be difficult to predict what you’d like to be doing in five years, you need to at least know where you’re headed to determine what kind of higher education you should pursue. Do you want to work for a prestigious company or government agency? Do you want to move into software engineering or IT management or make more than $125,000 per year? If so, odds are you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. Although the starting salaries for professionals with two-year degrees are often higher than those of recent four-year graduates, the bachelor’s degree almost always results in higher earnings over a lifetime, Georgetown says. In fact, computer and engineering managers and software engineers are among the top five earning occupations for those with a bachelor’s degree. Also, consider your marketability. Brookings says employers in certain metro areas tend to require a bachelor’s degree. And when tech hits a down cycle, employers can hold out for candidates with more education. On the other hand, if you’re unsure about your future plans, a community college might be the way to go. If you take the right core classes, you can always complete your bachelor’s degree later on. Calculate the ROI Money is also a factor to consider. Obviously, a scholarship could make your decisions easy, but if you have to pay your own way, calculate the return on your investment by comparing the cost, quality and shelf life of the curriculum to the earnings of recent graduates. For example, it may be difficult to cover the $200,000 a private four-year education could cost you, but relatively easy to pay $64,000 for a similar degree at a state school. When it comes to community colleges, tuition runs an average of $3,200 a year, according to the College Board . If you need room and board, add another $7,500. That would bring the total cost to about $10,700 per year, or $21,400 for your associate’s degree. Once you’ve calculated your costs, think about the amortization. How long will the skills you learn last you? For instance, math proficiency will stay with you forever, but expertise in a specific technology will last only as long as that technology remains in vogue. Most schools will furnish you with the data you need to calculate these things, or you can check the outcomes from different schools at CollegeMeasures.org or Collegerealitycheck.com. The Bottom Line Some employers may be willing to substitute experience for a higher degree, but it’s hard to get your foot in the door with a high school diploma alone. And with the emergence of hybrid jobs and the growing need for communication and other soft skills , a degree is sure to shift the odds in your favor. Bottom line: Some kind of college education is sure to pay off. What you have to decide is which kind of education will get you where you want to go.  Related Stories Can Hacker Schools Provide the Training You Need? Coding Challenges Can Get You a Job Four Strategies for Overcoming Degree Requirements Image: Tungsten/Wikimedia Commons The post A Tech Career May Not Require a Four-Year Degree appeared first on Dice News .

  • Demand for IT Engineers Shows in Salaries

    IT engineers continue to be in demand, and the proof is in their salaries, according to the 2013–2014 PayScale College Salary report . Their roles accounted for a sizable chunk of the top 10 salaries across all industries when measured by median pay for graduates with at least 10 years of experience. Computer engineering majors, sharing sixth place with electrical engineering majors, had an annual median salary of $106,000 for those at the mid-career level. When starting out – with five years’ experience or less– they earned $65,300 a year, compared to the slightly lower $64,300 for electrical engineers. Meanwhile, mid-career computer science graduates also earned six figures. Their median salaries stood at $102,000. Within computer science degrees, the five top jobs in terms of demand are software architecture and development , mobile app development , Big Data analytics , healthcare IT and video game design . Skills that are particularly in demand include . NET development , Java , JavaScript , C# , C++ , HTML5 and ASP.NET . Mechanical engineering majors round out the top 10 list, with mid-career professionals earning a median salary of $99,700. Demand for these jobs should continue strong, as well. According to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in its 2013 salary report , “As the world’s population increases, so will the demands on the next generation of engineers to provide solutions for global challenges. Mechanical engineers will be at the forefront of solving these problems.” Over the past 10 years, there seems to have been a renewal of interest in mechanical engineering degrees, says Tom Perry, ASME’s director of engineering education. The number of students seeking bachelor’s degrees in the subject or related fields increased by 43 percent — to 130,000 — in 2012, he notes. He attributes this interest to the wide range of applications for mechanical engineering, from the long-held traditional use of control systems found in robotics to embedded systems used in sustainable energy smart systems. “It’s not just about mechanical engineering anymore,” Perry says. “This is not your grandfather’s mechanical engineering.” The post Demand for IT Engineers Shows in Salaries appeared first on Dice News .