When it comes to overall job prospects for IT professionals, 2014 will look a lot like this year, with 32% of companies expecting to increase head count in their IT shops, compared with 33% in 2013, according to Computerworld's annual Forecast survey.
Stories by Mary Brandel
Most of us have apparently decided we can't live without our favorite mobile device. Whether on public transportation, shopping or just walking down the street, you're more likely than not to be surrounded by people swiping screens, adjusting their earbuds or typing on a virtual screen.
After months of high unemployment and a still-wobbly economy, any good news from the jobs market is going to get some traction. But even that doesn't seem to fully explain the attention surrounding a suddenly very "in" job title: data scientist.
With companies running lean and mean, professional development has increasingly become an individual sport. IT workers have learned to fend for themselves to develop needed skills and gain new mindsets for managing more effectively and adding more value to the workplace.
These days, free advice can be found everywhere, from your various social networks to your favorite advice column. But truly valuable advice typically comes from your peers or people who've made it to a career or life position that you'd like to get to someday.
In today's culture, advice on nearly any topic - relationships, health, career - is just a mouse click, touchscreen tap or Siri query away. There's even a Web site called shouldidoit.com that promises to help you make decisions in your daily life. But while you can get some good insights on the many expert and general discussion forums that pop up on the Web, there's often a sense that something is missing from that experience. Call it the human touch.
Let's face it -- when it comes to IT professional development, books might be the last place people turn. With webinars, online forums, blogs, Web sites, bootcamps and social media, books would seem like a last resort.
Few technology trends have inspired as many misgivings -- and as much misinformation - as BYOD, or "bring your own device." Is the idea of allowing employees to purchase and use their own laptops and mobile devices a security nightmare? A productivity boon? A drain on the service desk? And perhaps the biggest question of all, a cost-savings nirvana?
Soft skills are not a new concept for IT. But time has run out for IT professionals who have been avoiding developing them. Now that technology is an integral part of business strategy, very few employers would settle for a candidate who could not function beyond the computer screen. And with teamwork and collaboration a mainstay of many work environments, personal interactions count, even within IT itself.
Guesswork no longer cuts it for companies trying to secure customer loyalty. Read how three businesses use analytics software to understand, respond to and even predict buyer behavior.
IT professionals have always sought out certifications to give them a leg up in their career advancement efforts. But anecdotal evidence suggests that in today's job market, having a broad array of certifications is even more important for giving job-seekers a needed edge.
Cloud computing and virtualization are redefining the role of the systems administrator. Here's how smart sysadmins are staying ahead out of the wave.
It wasn't long ago that BYO was something you'd find on a party invitation. But with the wave of employees bringing their own smartphones and tablets into the workplace and expecting to use them for email, network access and mobile apps, BYOD -- or "bring your own device" -- now represents a promising but formidable business trend that doesn't leave IT in the mood for celebration.
There's good news and bad news on the salary front for IT professionals this year. With many businesses enjoying renewed growth following an extended period of economic gloom, IT workers saw another year of modest salary increases, and they reported significantly fewer pay cuts, hiring freezes and layoffs.
Earlier this fall, Google made an announcement that in many ways foretells the future of <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/s/topic/154/Data+Center">data center</a> efficiency metrics. The search giant not only disclosed its total power consumption and carbon emissions (mostly attributable to its data centers), but also released estimates of its per-user and per-search energy consumption. With this information -- and given that a billion Google searches occur per day -- it was possible to calculate that searches account for 12.5 million watts of the company's 260 million watt total.
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