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 Data Scientist

 

Companies all over the country are looking for skilled data scientists, making it one of the hottest careers today. And, as more businesses look for ways to leverage their data, data science has the capacity to remain an in-demand specialty for quite some time.

 

Professionals in these roles often command high salaries, especially if their skill set is strong. However, even those who have worked as a data scientist can always elevate their careers by making smart decisions. If you are looking to get your data scientist career off the ground or take it to the next level, here’s how to get started.

 

Learn the Right Programming Languages

While there is a range of programming languages in use in the data science field, some of them are more in-demand than others. Ultimately, Python, R, and SQL are the most common ones requested by companies in their job postings, so having at least one of those at your disposal is a must.

 

If you aren’t familiar with those programming languages, you do have options for acquiring the skills. First, you can always take a course at a local college or university, even if you already have a degree, as this will allow you to improve your knowledge in a formal, and widely accepted setting.

 

Boot camps are also becoming a popular method for learning coding languages. Some of these courses focus on a specific language while others cover several that are relevant to a particular profession.

 

Finally, if you are already a skilled coder, you may be able to learn Python, R or SQL on your own. There are a lot of free online resources that can provide you with guidance, so don’t be afraid to conduct a search and see what is available.

 

 

Focus on Accessibility

Right now, competition for top jobs can be fierce. There are a lot of tech pros who decided to focus on data science, so there may be multiple qualified candidates that apply to every opening.

 

While having the right technical skills is important, you also want to demonstrate that you can make the information accessible to others. Not everyone who uses the results of your work will be tech-savvy, so being able to discuss the data in a way that is easy for others to understand can separate you from the pack.

 

Examine Multiple Industries

Since data science can benefit nearly any business, there are opportunities available in practically any industry. This means you may want to explore options outside of your current industry, particularly if you are looking to make a step up quickly.

 

While IT companies are an obvious target, data science is also hot in the finance, insurance, and professional services industries. Healthcare, manufacturing and even retailers (at the corporate level) may also be looking to add data scientists to their teams.

 

If you are interested in finding a new data scientist position, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with leading employers throughout the area. Contact us today to see how our services can help you succeed.

 

 

 Former Employers

 

Job seekers are often anxious when it comes to having their references checked, with many wondering exactly what a former employer can say about their performance. For example, can a previous employer tell a hiring manager that you were fired? Can them tell them why that decision was made? Are they allowed to discuss the amount of notice you provided when you quit or how many times you were absent?

 

Questions such as those can leave a lot of job seekers worried, even if their overall work history is fairly standard for their field. If you have been wondering what a previous employer can or cannot say about you legally, here’s what you need to know.

 

Federal and State Laws

When it comes to federal regulations, there simply aren’t any. Employers, from a national perspective, have the ability to say whatever they want when they are contacted for a reference.

 

However, many states do have laws that dictate what can or cannot be discussed, though they can vary dramatically from one state to the next. This means you need to review the regulations that pertain to you, and not just based on where you live now, but where your previous employers were located too. If you are planning to relocate for a job, then review the laws in each of the states you are considering as well.

 

 

What Employers are Usually Allowed to Say

As mentioned above, what your former employers can say about you varies from one state to the next. However, there are certain things that are commonly considered legal.

 

Most previous employers can typically disclose if you were terminated from your position, as well as the reason behind that decision. Some states also allow them to talk about your performance, though the feedback may be limited to generalizations.

 

However, even if an employer can discuss specific details about their experience with you, the majority are very cautious when it comes to disclosing various kinds of information. Predominately, their goal is to avoid lawsuits that fall into the defamation category, which includes slander and libel. This means that, unless they are entirely certain that what they are about to say is accurate, they won’t provide the information.

 

Can You Ask Them What Will be Discussed?

Sometimes, the easiest way to find out what might be disclosed is to contact your previous employer’s HR department or a suitable representative and just ask them. In most cases, they will be upfront with you about their policies, so you can determine what they are likely to say during a reference check.

 

Ultimately, if you aren’t sure what they will cover, it is best to assume that they will provide a large amount of detail. This is one of the reasons why you need to always be honest on your application, as failing to be truthful can come back to bite you.

 

If you are looking for a new position, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with exciting opportunities throughout the area. Contact us today to learn more about our services, including how they can benefit your career.

 

 

Infrastructure Support Engineer

 

Infrastructure support engineers are a vital part of any business that has its own IT infrastructure. These professionals help ensure that the environment is robust, scalable, and capable of delivering essential services that are required for a variety of tasks.

 

Typically, professionals working in this field are largely focused on physical resources, including a wide range of hardware, software, and tools, ensuring that they are fully operational whenever they are needed. They may be tasked with building new solutions, maintaining current systems, or integrating new technologies into existing infrastructure designs.

 

How much you can earn as an infrastructure support engineer in San Jose depends on a few factors, such as your level of experience and your personal skill set. However, here is an overview of what is potentially available, depending on where you are in your career.

 

Salary Averages

In the San Jose area, the average base pay for an infrastructure support engineer is just over $81,000, which is considered well above the national average. Typically, it takes a minimum of seven years of experience in the profession or a highly coveted skill set to reach salaries above that point, though many professionals who dedicate themselves to the field will see this as perfectly reasonable.

 

The full range of potential pay rates can fall anywhere between $65,000 on the low end, typically reflecting entry-level positions, to $123,000 on the high end, indicative of professionals with a substantial amount of experience.

 

In some cases, senior level professionals can even obtain higher salaries, particularly if they are tasked with overseeing a team of other professionals.

 

 

Factors that Determine Salary

While experience often plays the largest role when it comes to a professional’s pay rate, other factors can also impact salary offerings. For example, most infrastructure support engineers have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and those who obtain graduate degrees may be better equipped to reach a higher level of compensation more quickly than those who don’t.

 

Your skill set is another point that can impact your salary, especially if you are highly competent in a niche area that many other professionals don’t encounter and a company is seeking out a professional who specifically has expertise in that area.

 

Ultimately, pursuing a career as an infrastructure support engineer can be incredibly lucrative, especially if you obtain the necessary level of education and are willing to put in the time to build your skills and level of experience.

 

If you are interested in securing a job as an infrastructure support engineer at one of the area’s leading companies, the knowledgeable professionals at The Armada Group can assist you in reaching your goals. Contact us to speak with one of our skilled staff members today and see how our services can help you take the next step forward in your career.

 

 

Reference

 

Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who to list as a reference. Ultimately, you need to select people who can speak to your professional abilities in a positive manner, as the information they provide the hiring manager is a crucial part of their decision-making process.

 

That means, there are certain people you should never include on that list. With that in mind, here are six people you should forgo listing as a reference.

 

  1. Anyone Who Fired You

While it seems obvious, it’s still worth saying: anyone who fired you should never be used as a reference.

 

Generally, a manager who terminated your employment won’t have positive things to say about you in the workplace and may be inclined to be honest with the prospective employer about their experience. Even if the reason you were fired wasn’t related to an infraction or issue, such as when it just isn’t a great fit, it is best to avoid using them as a reference at all costs.

 

  1. Someone with a Bad Reputation

Whether their reputation focuses on their performance or their attitude, such anyone who tends to bad mouth their coworkers or company, having such a person speak on your behalf may backfire. Essentially, there is an inherent risk that you will be considered guilty by association or, at a minimum, anything positive they have to say about you won’t carry much weight.

 

  1. Anyone You’ve Never Worked With

Unless a purely personal reference is requested, you should only list professionals with whom you’ve worked. This ensures they can speak to your skills and performance accurately and based on firsthand knowledge.

 

Now, it is okay to list people who worked with you as a volunteer or even classmates that you completed projects with if you are a recent graduate. Otherwise, stick to current or former managers and coworkers whenever possible.

 

 

  1. Someone You Don’t Know

If you have a particular company in mind, and you know someone who knows someone who works there, it may be tempting to ask the inside contact for a reference. But, since they don’t know anything about you, they aren’t going to have much to say. Plus, asking them to put themselves out there for a stranger may not turn out well, doing more harm than good.

 

  1. Anyone You’ve Lost Contact With

Similarly, if you haven’t been in contact with someone for a few years, then they aren’t the best choice for a reference. First, the can’t speak to your recent experience, and that may not reflect well on the hiring manager. Second, you have no way of knowing what is currently happening in their professional lives, and there may be some factors that are relevant.

 

However, you can work to reconnect with the person first and then decide whether they make a suitable reference, particularly if the information they can provide is important.

 

  1. Someone You Don’t Know Well

While an acquaintance may seem like a viable option, they may struggle if any of the hiring manager’s questions require in-depth knowledge about your experience or personality. Vague answers may give the hiring manager pause, leading them to assume that the reference is intentionally hiding something.

 

Ideally, your references need to be able to speak about your experience in a thorough, informed and positive manner, so you need to select people who can do so well. This ensures the hiring manager gets the information they need without having doubts about the quality of your references.

 

If you are seeking out a new opportunity, the professionals at The Armada Group can connect you with top employers throughout the area. Contact us today to see how we can help you take the next step in your career.

 

 

Cybersecurity

 

As the number of cyberattacks seems only to keep growing, and the results of the intrusions get more severe, more and more companies have prioritized their cybersecurity operations, and that often means securing and retaining top talent in the field. Protecting sensitive data and systems is a must-do, so any trouble in the hiring arena can have a significant negative impact on operations.

 

If you are ready to find the next great crop of cybersecurity talent, here’s what you need to do.

 

Invest in the Right Tools

While having up to date cybersecurity tools doesn’t necessarily seem like a key to securing the best and brightest professionals available, it actually is. Having antiquated systems and approaches won’t make you an attractive employer to highly skilled workers, especially if they are already well-versed in the latest offerings.

 

Similarly, you need to make sure that every available tool and technology is designed to help your team be more efficient and effective. This limits the amount of frustration associated with the work, creating a more pleasant work environment and, subsequently, improving morale as well as productivity.

 

If your tools aren’t current, then its time to examine upgrades and implementations that can help your company meet the expectations of today’s workers, particularly those who aren’t interested in taking a step back in the technology arena. Otherwise, you may miss out on great workers simply because you are behind the times.

 

 

Offer Strong Salaries

If you aren’t prepared to offer a reasonable salary for the position, you’re almost guaranteed to have trouble hiring experienced cybersecurity professionals. Demand for their skill set is high, so it’s imperative that your offer be competitive.

 

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to outdo every competitor in your area, just that your salaries need to be in line with the standard. To help you accomplish this, do some research into what certain skill sets and experience levels are worth in your city or metro area, and use that to guide your actions.

 

The same is true for benefits packages and perks, especially if there is a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in your region. Often, it’s helpful to review a variety of online resources as well as vacancy announcements from other businesses, giving you an understanding of what is available today and increasing the odds that your offer will be seen as competitive.

 

Diversify Your Recruiting Efforts

While sticking to tried and true recruitment resources may have been sufficient before, if you are struggling to find the skilled workers you need, it’s time to consider new approaches. This can include listing vacancies on niche job boards, partnering with local colleges and universities, or working with a reputable staffing firm that focuses on IT professionals. By expanding your search, you increase your odds of finding the top talent you need to succeed.

 

If you are looking for a cybersecurity professional to join your staff, the team at The Armada Group can connect you with some of today’s top talent. Contact us to learn more about our services and how they can help you find the right new employee quickly.

 

 

Tech Contractor

 

Technology has changed the workplace in notable ways, particularly when it comes to working remotely. This allows companies to explore opportunities to outsource certain tasks that don’t require a physical presence in the office, and this has given rise to contract work, especially in the tech space.

 

A significant amount of potential exists in this arena, including the ability to piece out larger projects and secure top talent in specific niches, something that would have been incredibly difficult to accomplish only a few years ago. Additionally, the approach allows professionals to focus on particular areas of interest, giving them more control over their careers and the tasks they choose to take on.

 

If you haven’t delved into these arrangements, here’s what you need to know.

 

Not Traditional Outsourcing

Many businesses and professionals maintain an antiquated view on outsourcing, assuming that entire projects or functions need to be offloaded for the arrangement to be effective.

 

However, opportunities exist that allow companies to break larger projects into smaller components, giving them a chance to secure highly specialized skills for a short period. It also allows multiple pieces to be in progress simultaneously as long as each part isn’t reliant on another. This can shorten development times significantly, letting projects reach completion faster than ever before.

 

Further, workers can concentrate on specific skill areas, performing tasks that only relate to their preferred field. For professionals who have a passion for a particular niche, this can be an invigorating way to structure their career, allowing them to get more value from their work.

 

 

Increased Access

When it comes to highly specialized skills, companies may struggle to find suitable workers depending on the availability of talent in their area. Similarly, a professional with a particular focus may not always locate positions in their immediate vicinity.

 

Contract arrangements, supported by remote work technologies, allow businesses and workers to connect even if they aren’t in the same city or even state. This gives both sides more access to what they are looking for, giving companies a method for overcoming skill gaps and professionals a chance to find the kind of work they want to do.

 

Classifying Tasks

In general, most work can be divided into two categories: core and non-core. While core tasks are usually assigned to full-time employees, non-core activities may be ideal for contractors, especially if the arrangement isn’t necessarily going to be long-term. This allows for more effective workflow designs and increased overall efficiency, especially when it comes to completing projects that require a highly defined skill set.

 

Ultimately, the benefits of contractor roles in IT means that they are likely to remain a viable option for companies and professionals for the long-term, particularly as the technologies that support these opportunities only continue to improve.

 

If you are interested in learning more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our expertise can help you navigate the world of contract work with greater ease and confidence.