Weekly Word on the Street: Mobile Movin' On Up

by John Holst | Sep 07, 2012

Takeaway of the week is a nice and tidy summation of the key ingredients to a good IT job search: Know the value of the industry you're in and how many others hold it in high regard; learn some tips on how to remain relevant whether as a candidate on the outside looking in or working your way up from within; and, of course, the monetary value others place on your work, which in the IT world these days is not too shabby.

Study: IT a Hot Do-Over Thought

Given the need to alter directions on that career path, the most popular detour U.S. workers would select is the IT field, a new study indicates.

In addition, computer and technical skills are considered the most crucial career building blocks by a third of the respondents to the study by the staffing firm Randstad.

However, a recent post in TechRepublic discussing these findings did note that those already employed in the IT industry didn't necessarily remain with the profession. The IT industry recorded one of the lowest retention index scores among various industries (the only profession with lower scores being human resources/recruiting).

It could be a sign of the increasingly competitive and teeming job market for IT engineers that half of the study respondents who are in the IT industry expected to be either considering a job offer or accepting a new job within the coming six months.

Or is that some of the shakeout from all those who entered the IT industry high on the concept of working with the latest technical gadgets, but unprepared for the amount of work involved?

Career Relevancy on All Eight Cylinders

Read up on the industry. Be "social" at all times. And, yes, certify.

These are just a few of the seemingly-obvious-on-the-surface suggestions for IT professionals looking to keep current in their career and become potent candidates for recruiters.

As noted in the recent article on CIO.com, the world of IT is one that is constantly changing and those who make a career within it are faced with the challenge of keeping pace on a daily basis.

Here are a few of the suggestions detailed in the article to get started:

  • Conferences, boot camps and classes - as opposed to reading up and building a skillset via book: these resources will be more well-rounded and relatable within a resume.
  • Online user communities: find peers to garner advice and utilize discussion forums, FAQs and resume posting services on focused topics including Oracle Technology Network Community, Java, Ruby, Reddit and DZone.
  • Google Alerts
  • Industry certifications: as another CIO.com article stated, "Certifications indicate to employers you take your job seriously and that you are knowledgeable on the respective technology."
  • Mobile Movin' On Up

    Engineers involved in mobile technology are the earning some of the highest salaries in the tech industry, a new survey finds.

    While workers in the communications technology sector earned a median salary of $135,087 last year to top the IT profession, the new IEEE-USA survey revealed that those working in energy and power engineering were considered the lowest paid engineers with a median salary of $107,820, according to a new Computerworld piece on the findings.

    Engineers within the IT industry as a whole, were found to earn a median income of $120,000 last year, per the survey of more than 10,200 IEEE-USA members.

    IEEE-USA executive Ed Kirschner said the mobile technology category is a broad one that includes circuit designers, software engineers, computer engineers and network engineers.

    "It is literally everybody who would fall under the umbrella of electrical or computer engineering," Kirschner said.

    He also noted, with the explosion of the smartphone industry as well, the type of engineer who can work in mobile today "has really spread out."

    On the whole, engineering and IT salaries increased by just under 2 percent last year, an increase that is less than half of the bump of the previous year, findings show.

    Some other compensation figures for various engineering sectors, all at median levels, include: $129,000 for circuits and devices; $127,000 for signals and applications; $110,000 for industrial applications; and $112,000 for systems and control.

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