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Thursday, May 04 2017

Could AI Actually Create More Jobs?

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AI

 

Whenever a technology begins to get a foothold in an industry, fears generally arise regarding how the innovations will affect the availability of employment. But even if it does impact those working in specific positions, that doesn’t mean the number of jobs available actually decreases. Often, it just indicates a shift within the job market, and can even lead to more work being available than before.

 

AI has the potential to make workers more efficient, eliminating tedious and repetitive tasks and allowing professionals to focus on duties that require human input. So, instead of eliminating positions in IT, it is more likely to change the nature of those working in the field.

 

Here is an overview of AI in the workplace, and how it could create more jobs, not less.

AI Requires Support

While AI may take certain duties out of the hands of workers, the systems that use the technology will continue to need support. AI systems require human input to determine how the solution needs to react to certain variables. Additionally, issues can present within any system, making the need for troubleshooters a critical part of any AI implementation.

 

AI systems are not self-sustaining. Instead, they represent a part of overall IT strategy, and workers are needed to make any associated goals a reality. Skilled tech professionals are responsible for the creation and implementation of AI-oriented solutions, effectively creating new IT positions specifically designed to support these innovations.

AI Doesn’t Stand Alone

An AI system is only as powerful as the data with which it works, and that means people are still highly relevant to its operation. Additionally, employees are needed to oversee outputs and finalize conclusions or courses of action. Further, workers are responsible for taking outputs and turning them into meaningful information that can be used throughout an organization, a task that AI simply isn’t prepared to manage at this time. Experts in data analytics and engineering are needed to manage duties that require additional intelligence beyond what the system can provide.

 

Without the involvement of data professionals, the AI can’t perform its duties any better than a person who doesn’t have sufficient information to draw accurate conclusions or identify relevant patterns.

Pursuit of More Complex Objectives

Since a primary benefit of AI is the ability to remove repetitive administrative tasks from the hands of skilled professionals, companies have the capacity to refocus their goals in pursuit of higher level development objectives. Businesses will have the opportunity to invest more in the hiring of individuals with critical tech skills like coding.

 

While certain entry-level positions may become less available, more advanced positions might be created. This is essentially beneficial to IT workers who traditional pursue higher education to gain entry into the field, as companies can focus on hiring these individuals over those previously required for less technical tasks that support IT objectives.

 

Ultimately, AI isn’t going to eliminate workers across the board. Instead, it will change what kind of tech professionals are needed and how their daily tasks are managed. If you are interested in pursuing a new IT position related to AI or any other specialty, The Armada Group can help you explore your options based on today’s job market. Contact us to discuss your ideal job and experience how our services can benefit you.

 

H 1B

 

Most of Silicon Valley rely on the H-1B program to find skilled foreign workers to fill their vacancies. It has been a great source of quality talent for skills that can be challenging to find, like software developers and engineers. But the current administration, led by President Donald Trump, have begun taking a different stance on the program, looking to make sure that employers aren’t favoring H-1B visa holders over qualified US workers.

 

The H-1B program was designed to help companies grow and succeed when suitable American workers weren’t available. However, not every company has used the program in that matter, leading to concerns that businesses are being discriminatory in their hiring and may be favoring foreign workers who have the necessary skills but are willing to work for lower wages.

 

Part of this shift in policy involves the Department of Homeland Security scrutinizing the program. And the immigration enforcers are poised to increase the use of site visits to evaluate how companies are hiring.

 

But what do these changes truly mean to Silicon Valley employers? Here’s what you need to know.

Defining Required Job Skills

The new policies put in place will require companies to clearly demonstrate a need to look outside of the US for candidates, especially for computer programming positions. This involves showing that specialized skills are needed for the jobs and that they are somewhat unattainable when examining available job seekers from the US.

 

Companies will need to carefully examine how they define must-have skills and whether they are available within the current pool of candidates before looking for H-1B job seekers for potential employment.

H-1B Abuse

Individuals are now being encouraged to file H-1B abuse complaints, with specific information regarding how to use the process being released by both the Department of Justice and the Department of Labor. This step may impact a US workers likelihood of stepping forward if they believe they were inappropriately displaced by an H-1B employee. This could increase the level of scrutiny some companies will experience, especially if a complaint is filed against them.

 

While a complaint isn’t a guarantee anything was done incorrectly according to the law, it does mean a great level of involvement from the government agencies tasked with investigating such complaints.

The Bottom Line

While many companies with H-1B employees have little to fear, as they are using the program in the manner it was intended, any company with foreign workers obtained through the program may be subject to increased scrutiny. It is important to prepare accordingly and to make sure that all hiring through the H-1B program follows the letter of the law.

 

It is also critical to look for local talent when filling technology positions. If you are interested in finding top talent in the Silicon Valley area, The Armada Group has the industry expertise you need to select ideal candidates. Contact us to discuss your hiring needs and see how our services can work for you.

 

Unfilled Jobs

 

As businesses struggle to fill their tech vacancies with skilled employees, the daily pain of low unemployment is widely felt. But there is more at stake than just a company’s ability to meet its goals. The U.S. economy also takes on some of the burdens when these positions remain unfilled, spelling larger trouble for those inside and outside the tech sector.

 

To help understand more about the effect of unfilled tech jobs, here are some of the most notable points to consider.

Money on the Table

Every job in the economy is represented by a paycheck. When a person works in the position, they are rewarded with compensation that is then spent in the local and national economy. These funds are used to buy food, clothing and other household goods, as well as to participate in various investments. In turn, other people receive wages to support the demands of the employee turned consumer, helping to keep the cycle moving.

 

However, when no one is there to take the job, these funds remain stagnant. And that means the local and larger economy suffer. Often, budgets directed towards IT roles can’t simply be transferred to other areas to support growth, so they simply sit unused until the right candidates are found to take the jobs.

Slowed Development

While vacancies hurt a company’s bottom line, they can also slow developments that provide value to the larger population. Instead of creating new software solutions or other product and service innovations, businesses may struggle to maintain their current offerings, causing innovation to be put by the wayside.

 

While there is no guarantee what a company may develop, not being able to concentrate on creation means some potential developments are simply being shelved until the right employees can be secured. And, when you consider that IT plays a role in such diverse sectors as healthcare, manufacturing, and retail, it is important not to underestimate the impact unfilled positions can have on the population as a whole.

Retention Concerns

While hiring new tech professionals is often a top concern, additional efforts have to be directed towards retention as well. Since organizations are competing for the same talent, many companies are at risk of losing their employees to stronger offers from competitors. This means the risk of turnover is high, simply because another business may actively pursue another company’s current employees. Higher turnover can lead to increased costs for businesses that lose employees along the way.

Long-Term Issues

The shortage of strong IT candidates isn’t just a short-term issue. In fact, many have concerns that there simply isn’t enough of a supply coming into the field to support growing demand, especially in key areas like software development and security. If the number of available tech pros remains low, the issues being experienced today may not resolve for some time.

 

If you are a company looking for top IT talent or a tech professional looking for a new position, the experienced team at The Armada Group can help you locate the opportunities you need. Contact us to speak with a member of our professional staff today.

 

Three Skills

 

While most technical professionals are enjoying the benefits of low unemployment and high demand, not every skill set is created equal in today’s job market. In fact, some workers are seeing businesses compete aggressively for their knowledge and capabilities, leading to new opportunities and stronger salaries.

 

So, if you are a tech pro, what skills should be your focus during the year? If you want to make the most of today’s hiring landscape, start with one of these three.

1. Software Development

Tech pros with skills in the areas of software development and programming are leading the pack in 2017. Many companies have shifted budgets that were previously focused on infrastructure to find candidates who can help them create custom solutions or modify off-the-shelf solutions to meet their needs. Additionally, the ability to maintain and update current software solutions keeps those with programming skills busy, even when new developments aren’t in the works.

 

Since demand in these areas is higher than ever, competition for top talent is driving salaries upward. Additionally, the need to support these developments in the future offers a certain level of job security, especially if unemployment and available talent remain low.

2. Help Desk

With the number of technology solutions being made available as a service, many are surprised to find help desk professionals are also in high demand. Even though many solutions aren’t being managed in-house, the number of employees using technology on a daily basis crawls ever higher. Since tech is so well integrated into most business landscapes, having onsite support is critical, especially in fast-paced fields like healthcare.

 

Often, the challenge surrounding these hiring objectives revolve around the diverse knowledge base these tech pros must possess. Add to that the fast-paced nature of the work, and it’s no wonder these skills can lead to favorable gains in areas like salary and benefits.

3. Security

Security threats change on a daily basis, and it requires a strong skill set to flourish in such an ever-evolving field. Add to that the increasing complexity of the technological landscape, and it’s no surprise companies are struggling to find the talent they need.

 

Within business, security goes beyond the basic needs of desktops and traditional networks. Now, mobile devices and cloud solutions add layers of complexity for employees, and IoT brings in an additional aspect that is still relatively new for many organizations. IT professionals with knowledge in these areas are well-positioned for success not just in today’s job market, but into tomorrow’s as well.

 

If you are a tech pro looking to put your skills to work with a new job, the professional recruiters at The Armada Group can help you make the most of your experience. Contact us to discuss your career goals and see everything we have to offer.

 

Silicon Valley

 

When people think of technology jobs, the Silicon Valley area still holds a lot of appeal. The number of tech companies operating in the area is still high, and many find the idea of moving to the region attractive. But, not every area within Silicon Valley is created equal when it comes to finding a hot job today. To help ensure you are targeting the right part of the region, here are some tips to get you started.

Tech Is Strong

Technology positions are well-represented within the top paying category throughout Silicon Valley. Additionally, the region typically pays more for highly skilled IT professionals when compared to the rest of the nation, including areas with high costs of living like New York.

 

Since the demand for a higher level of skill and experience is significant, those possessing the needed expertise are more likely to find an attractive employment opportunity in Silicon Valley than outside it.

Start in San Francisco

The San Francisco metro area is considered one of the hottest job markets in the nation, especially when it comes to top-paying positions in the technology field. Spurred by increased demand across the country, IT professionals with software development and programming skills are especially well-positioned to benefit from higher salaries than some of their hardware-oriented counterparts.

 

Positions may be available in areas like cloud services, mobile communications, software, security, and even social media. This means a variety of skills are represented, making a high-paying position in the areas easier to find for many tech professionals with a range of specialties.

 

Additionally, opportunities may be available in the San Jose area as well, but the city isn’t seeing the demand like San Francisco.

Look to Health Care

The healthcare market is also hot in Silicon Valley, especially in the tech sector. While most people attribute top jobs in the field to physicians and other medical specialists, these organizations rely heavily on technology to make their work possible. Everything from internal software development to the integration of IoT means IT professionals have opportunities within the facilities.

 

Hospitals rely on secure networks to make daily activities possible, but the increase of mobile technology and wearable health devices makes that more challenging than ever. Individuals with the skills needed to make these systems accessible and safe for employees and patients can likely find a high-paying position with one of these institutions.

Consider Management

The higher you move up the ranks, the more pay you can expect. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that employees responsible for managing departments are commanding higher salaries in Silicon Valley and beyond. Whether you are interested in taking ownership of specific systems or leading a skilled team, working towards a management position is often ideal when you are looking to land a hot job.

 

If you are interested in exploring new opportunities in Silicon Valley, The Armada Group understands what it takes to be successful in the area. Contact us to see what job openings are available in your field and land a hot job today.

 

Data Trends

 

Data and analytics have dominated the technology landscape for the past few years, acting as a dominating force for change throughout a range of industries. Within these segments are a series of trends that suggest what the space has in store for business throughout 2017 and possibly beyond. Here are some of the key points that are garnering attention today and deserve your attention through the rest of the year.

Artificial Intelligence is Center Stage

The concept of artificial intelligence has danced its way in and out of our awareness since the founding principles were established in the 1960s. Now, significant developments in the area are seeing what once was considered science fiction to become fact within workplaces across the country. Platforms have been created with processing models that are beginning to bring AI to life.

 

Whether you call it AI, machine learning, cognitive computing, or neural networking, it looks like the technology is finally entering business in a meaningful way. While the beginning applications will involve eliminating repetitive, menial tasks from the hands of employees, where it can go has yet to be determined.

Individualized Applications

Big data stormed in with limited structure or direction. Often, businesses collected massive amounts of data from any source that could be reached. Now, companies are aiming for applications that meet the unique needs or their organization. This not only increases efficiency through targeted data analytics, but it also provides more value than the blanket approach of yesteryear.

 

To meet the need, platforms will become more agile. The ultimate goal is to create singular solutions that cover the data analytics tasks while marrying them to other operations within the company. If the solution doesn’t provide long-term value, then customers will likely look elsewhere.

Preemptive Analytics

Data analytics have typically focused on collecting information and providing either real-time or post-event outputs designed to improve processes through optimization. Preemptive analytics provides the opportunity to drive the transaction, allowing for interventions before an event has even taken place. In the end, these data-driven processes may help create new revenue opportunities, cut costs, and even improve customer interactions through a higher level of personalization.

The Rise of Data Engineers

While data scientists will still have a place in the workplace, data engineers will become the new specialty de jour. Instead of examining data to resolve business issues, data engineers create and manage the larger infrastructure behind big data. Since system operations are a critical part of the data analytics field, those who can design, support and maintain these systems will be more coveted than ever.

 

If your company is looking for the skilled IT professionals, it needs to prepare for the use of data and analytics through 2017, and beyond, the recruitment professionals at The Armada Group can help locate the employees you need. Contact us and see how finding the right employee can position your business for success throughout the year and into the next.