Category: Technology & Internet Jobs
Families were never as "traditional" as politicians or 20th century stereotypes would have us believe. Throughout human history, primary caregivers have come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and ages. Until recently, however, it was pretty hard for even high-earning executives at elite U.S. companies to get paid time off for a new baby – especially if they weren't female and/or hadn't given birth to the child. But all that is changing. Today, Twitter joins the ranks of tech companies like Facebook, Netflix, and Microsoft, in offering fully paid parental leave for any parent who wants time off to care for a new baby.
It seems that no corner of the galaxy was able to escape the untold power of Disney's marketing team while we prepared for the release of Episode VII — not even the produce aisle. So if Disney can make fruits and veggies work for the film, what's stopping them from getting you working, too? In fact, nothing: Star Wars could be the best thing that's happened to your career in a long, long time.
When was the last time your parents asked you for help with their computer? Maybe your father is struggling to figure out how to FaceTime with the grandkids, or your mom's computer is doing that "thing" again where it "keeps closing out of programs." Whatever the problem, one thing is for sure: your older relatives are sure you can fix it. It seems to be a given that almost any kid — and even your 5-year-old — can help the older generation with any given technology snafu. But it turns out, that doesn't translate into wanting a career in information technology.
Over the years, I've guided many professionals into their dream jobs and helped organizations grow their talent pools. While networking, perfect timing and a bit of luck are all part of the equation, a resume that aligns a candidate's skillset with what an organization needs is often the key that links the two together.
Two months ago, The New York Times ran a piece on working at Amazon that went on to become its most commented-on story so far, with 6,600 comments by the paper's count. The article depicted a workplace in which 80-hour weeks were common, and work-life balance in short supply. Famously, the reporters cited one former Amazonian who said, "Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk." Now, Amazon is responding to that portrait, claiming that the stories included in the article were biased, or presented without context, and that they don't add up to an accurate picture of what it's like to work at Amazon.
When we were kids, teachers told us that the jobs we'd have as adults hadn't even been invented yet. That's not strictly true. Take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook, and you'll see plenty of familiar job titles with projected growth rates of 30 percent or more over the next 10 years, including titles as diverse as brickmason and dental hygienist. But, what is true is that some high-paying job titles that are projected to grow didn't exist when we were in school. In fact, some didn't exist as recently as 10 years ago – or were so rare that you probably hadn't heard of them.
At first glance, the list of top colleges in PayScale's 2016 College Salary Report looks like a love letter to STEM degrees. Not only do science, technology, engineering, and math subjects dominate the list of highest-paid majors by any degree level, there is an undeniable correlation between how high a college or university ranks and the percentage of STEM degrees they grant. But, as anybody who passed a basic statistics class knows, correlation is not causation. A closer examination reveals that what separates the very best STEM-focused colleges from the rest is that they encourage students to branch out beyond a traditional STEM curriculum. By examining what drives the success of the highest-earning college graduates, we can all learn a valuable career lesson and increase our own earning potential.
How does South by Southwest pick its panels? By asking the internet to choose which of its most burning questions deserves an answer first. This year, PayScale has three potential sessions up for your approval: The Rankers on College Rankings: Why We Do It; How To Diversify Tech & Hack Our Unconscious Bias; and How Working in a Social Agency Made Me Hate Social. Use the SXSW PanelPicker, and tell organizers what you need to know.
This weekend, The New York Times published an exposé of working conditions at Amazon corporate. Amazonians, the article claims, are required to work long hours, in a data-driven environment that means constant performance evaluations; are expected to answer emails after midnight, sometimes at the prompting of follow-up texts; and are encouraged to inform on one another to management. Workers who don't come up to snuff allegedly are culled in layoffs that a former employee describes as "purposeful Darwinism" – some former employees claimed to have been pushed out after miscarriages or cancer. In an internal memo shortly after publication, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos responded, saying that the company described doesn't match his view of the organization and urging workers to come forward if they disagree.
With an insanely competitive interview process that can take four to six weeks, include up to eight rounds of interviews, and require responses to seemingly irrelevant questions such as, "How many trees are there in Washington state?," jobs at Amazon and other top tech employers are hard to get. The thought of someone who actually managed to snag a coveted spot with a dream company voluntarily choosing to relinquish said position might sound unfathomable. And yet many people do exactly that.
Women make up only 24 percent of the STEM workforce in the US, according to the Department of Commerce, and some fields are worse than others. Women represent only 14 percent of the country's engineers, but make up 47 percent of mathematicians and statisticians, 47 percent of life scientists, and 63 percent of social scientists. But as these rising stars of the tech industry show, women are making an impact on STEM. Given the impressive laundry list of accomplishments already made by all of the women on our list at such a young age, it's safe to say that both they and their careers are something to watch.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Chances are, it was along the lines of unicorn wrangler or astronaut/basketball player – just the sort of thing that's impossible find a major in, never mind a grownup job. That doesn't mean that all real jobs are boring or unsatisfying; during the compilation of PayScale's latest report, The Most and Least Meaningful Jobs, workers with titles as diverse as English teacher and chiropractor told us that their jobs made the world a better place. And then were the other folks, the ones whose jobs made them long for the days when "vet who specializes only in kittens" seemed like a reasonable career path.