Weekly Word on the Street: Computer-Related Employment to Rise 22%

by Jim Staats | Apr 06, 2012

Takeaway of the week is computer-related occupations are projected to have a 22-percent increase in employment according to the U.S. government. However at least one government official is already pointing the finger at the dearth of IT pros for U.S. cybersecurity challenges. 

U.S. Report: Healthcare and Mobile Technology to Boost IT Jobs 

Employment in all computer-related occupations is expected to grow by 22 percent by the year 2020, U.S. officials said. 

According to the biennial update of employment projections released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare IT and mobile networking growth will be big boons to this workforce increase that will help some IT sectors more than others. Software developers will be the focus of the greatest demand during this period of time forecast - growing in numbers by some 28 to 32 percent - a Computerworld report on the findings states. 

The report noted that U.S. programming roles in the coming decade will be hit hard by offshoring, likely putting in peril the U.S. stature as the worldwide leader in IT, insiders noted. 

“The BLS projections are a bad sign for the U.S. IT graduates from universities,” said Victor Janulaitis, CEO of research firm, Janco Associates. “Those numbers do not cover the net growth necessary to give all of the graduates jobs.” 

Other tidbits from the report findings: 

  • Demand for database administrators will rise along with the ever-growing pile of big data that today’s technology can pull. 
  • Both healthcare and security needs will help boost demand for IT managers, but cloud computing system designs could render that increase somewhat temporary. 
  • Computer programming, most susceptible to offshoring, is estimated to show the weakest amount of growth.
  • Mobile networks and healthcare will also be responsible for beefing up the ranks of systems analysts. 

Generation Gap Blamed for Cybersecurity Slips 

A senior U.S. official suggested the growing threat of cyber-attacks across the globe stems from technology-deficient policymakers in various countries with a sea change coming. 

Rose Gottemoeller, acting under-secretary for arms control and international security, told an audience this week at Estonian IT College that higher-ups in many countries “barely even know how to use an email,” an IndustryWeek article reports

“The change will come with the new generation,” she said in her address at the Baltic nation considered to be very technically-savvy. 

The nation, home to NATO’s cyber-defense center, has, however, also seen first-hand the damage that can be done in a cyber-attack. Russian hackers were likely to blame for a nasty bit of damage inflicted during a 20078 dispute with the region’s Soviet-era masters in Moscow. 

Gottemoeller said governments across the world should incorporate open-source IT and social networking into arms control verification and monitoring. 

“New concepts are not invented overnight, and we don’t understand the full range of possibilities inherent in the information age,” she said. 

Considering a career in IT security? Learn about CompTIA Security+ certification

Where Silicon Valley Startups Go, Investors Follow 

Just the latest in a long line of sure signs that Silicon Valley once again is seen as the goose that lays the golden eggs: a recent event showing off dozens of startups drew a record number of investors and other interested individuals. 

The well-known Y Combinator incubator program for the first time was shifted from the company’s Mountain View office to the nearby Computer History Museum where an estimated audience of more than 450 clogged the space to hear pitches from 66 teams, a Reuters report noted

Turnout for the event, known in some circles as the geeks version of the Kentucky Derby in which the burgeoning businesses are the gazed-upon show horses, is the latest signal that the region is deep in the midst of an investment craze. 

Though what may have helped bump up numbers for the startup program was that founder Paul Graham squeezed the program into a one-day event, another first. Investors at the event were able to log into a software program to schedule separate meetings with startups, outside of the main stage presentations that drew loud applause in many cases, according to attendees. 

How CIOs See Things 

New technology, security issues and better business focus are some of the key issues facing today’s chief information officers. 

That’s some of the more pertinent news to come out of a moderated discussion among three individuals holding this position for some of the country’s biggest firms published in the Wall Street Journal

Those involved in the discussion included D. Michael Bennett, of security giant BAE Systems Inc., Steve Randich, of Citigroup, and Wayne Shurts, of food retailer Supervalue. 

Asked to share what they see as some of the more important technologies to emerge in the past year, answers included mobile computing, an increased business focus and more sophisticated cyber-attacks. 

The leaders all agreed that addressing security threats remains paramount, but varied in their route to accomplish this. Responses included monthly awareness training via short email cartoons, integration of all security tools and controls and a deeper focus on workplace demands caused by mobile devices.

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