The H-1B visa program was designed to help companies find skilled workers in instances where there wasn’t a sufficient supply in their local, American workforce. However, abuses of the system have led to a series of changes, and one of the most recent ones takes aim at the outsourcing industry.
Form ETA-9035 & 9035E from the US Department of Labor (DOL) now have questions that could force employers to state whether the H-1B visa holder will be assigned to a “secondary entity” as part of their employment. Additionally, it requires employers to identify who those companies are, effectively forcing them to reveal their clients.
The Updates to Form ETA-9035 & 9035E
On the new version of the form, employers applying for H-1B visas first have to answer whether the workers “will be placed with a secondary entity at this place of employment.” Essentially, the DOL is determining whether the visa holder will actually perform duties for a third-party, acting as a contractor.
If the answer to the question is “yes,” the employer applying for the H-1B visas then has to identify the “entities,” providing a legal business name, pay rates and prevailing wage rates for the work for every third-party worksite.
H-1B applicants aren’t the only ones who have to address these questions. The new form also applies to H-1B1 and E-3 petitions.
Who is Impacted by the H-1B Change
While the most obvious group impacted by the change to the H-1B process is companies that contract out their employees to other business, the impact will actually extend beyond those businesses. Anyone who uses firms that rely on H-1B visa holders to function as contractors for the firm may also feel the sting.
Exactly what impact the changes will have, aside from requiring employers to reveal information about clients they provide contractors to, isn’t entirely clear. However, the US government hopes it will help them combat H-1B visa fraud, which is actually beneficial to companies who use the program properly.
Some organizations that need H-1B visa holders to maintain operations have previously had difficulty securing enough visas, and some suspect that large contracting firms played a significant role in those challenges landing the majority of the visas. If those activities are even somewhat curtailed, the impact may be positive for companies that previously struggle.
Additionally, businesses that rely on reputable staffing firms for contract or contingent workers likely won’t see any difference. Many recruitment agencies don’t rely on (or even use) the H-1B visa program to secure enough workers to handle their client’s needs. Instead, they focus on the existing US workforce, using their recruitment and hiring skills to obtain top talent.
Contact The Armada Group for Questions About H-1B Hiring
If you would like to learn more about how the H-1B visa change may impact you, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us with your questions or concerns today and see how our services and H-1B visa program expertise can benefit you.
With the implementation of GDPR in May and information about leaks and breaches continuing to make headlines on a regular basis, cybersecurity is increasingly at the forefront of every company’s mind. This has created substantial opportunities for professionals working in the field, but some are more lucrative than others.
While your skill set and level of experience play a substantial role in determining your current or future salary, one seemingly innocuous factor also has an impact: your job title.
Even when the core competencies and experience level are predominately the same, the title associated with your current or next position can either help or hurt you when it comes to pay. If you are wondering why your title affects your cybersecurity salary, here’s what you need to know.
Job Title Nuances
Certain words within a job title can alert how you are perceived. This can lead to salary variances, impacting the amount you earn today and your worth in the eyes of a potential employer.
At times, these differences reflect differences in the nature of the duties. For example, an analyst role may spend more time monitoring and examining systems, identifying potential vulnerabilities, and creating plans to overcome weaknesses in the system. Testing may also be more prominent in an analyst position than some others, though this isn’t always the case.
Cybersecurity engineer jobs may focus more on actual system changes and physical or technical interventions. Design activities may also be more common.
However, in some cases, two roles with differing titles may be incredibly similar. Companies are free to label a position how they see fit, so there isn’t an inherent standard that all businesses must adhere to when deciding which title to use.
While each organization controls the salary range it offers for a particular job, one survey showed that certain job titles tend to come with higher levels of compensation.
When the survey examined “Cybersecurity,” “Cybersecurity Analyst,” and “Cybersecurity Engineer,” as job titles, they found that the analyst positions tend to come with lower salaries than the other two in every major city they included in the analysis. Additionally, the generic “Cybersecurity” also tended to trend higher than the analyst roles.
However, it is possible to boost your value in the cybersecurity analyst field if you possess the CISSP certification. It can also have a positive impact on cybersecurity engineers, so don’t forgo the credential simply because you focus on the engineering aspects.
How to Make the Most of Your Cybersecurity Career
If you want to increase your earnings potential as a cybersecurity potential, it pays to seek out engineering roles over analyst positions. This small change can significantly improve your salary when you land a new job and throughout your career.
Should the option be available, consider listing your current cybersecurity position as an engineering role on your resume as well. This may make you appear more valuable in the eyes of potential employers, potentially leading to a higher salary offer. However, only do so if your employer supports that title as being appropriate to your position. Otherwise, a reference check may lead the hiring manager to see your resume as inaccurate or inflated, which could harm your chances of landing the job.
If you are interested in learning more or are looking to make the most of your cybersecurity career, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to discuss your professional goals today and see how our services can make finding your ideal job easier than ever before.
Most tech employers are at least familiar with the basics of the H-1B visa program. However, not as many companies are fully aware of where these visa holders are actually working. And some may be surprised to discover that the number one spot doesn’t go to a city traditionally associated with tech.
If you are wondering where H-1B visa holders are actually working, here’s an overview.
The Number One Spot
Based on a Pew Research Center study that analyzed data associated with H-1B visa approvals between 2010 and 2016, the city with the highest number of approved workers was College Station, Texas. In total, approximately 32 of every 100 H-1B visa applications made it through, reflecting a much higher rate than anywhere else in the nation.
Out of the approved visas, 99 percent of those workers went to Cognizant’s headquarters, which is located in College Station.
Other Major Cities
Overall, the east coast of the US has more H-1B visa holders approved than the west coast. For example, Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, had around 4 for every 100 applications approved, and New York-Newark-New Jersey City’s rate was 2.5 per 100. The Trenton area had just shy of 5 approvals per 100 applications while the Washington DC metro area saw 2 approvals for every 100 applications.
In contrast, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area had just over 2 H-1B visa approvals per 100. Other west coast cities, like Seattle, had less than 1 approval per 100.
Ultimately, this shows that, while H-1B visa holders are certainly present, they may not be as common as some people would think. The numbers represent only a tiny fraction of the total number of employees in the workforce, even in areas like College Station.
Even though College Station has the most H-1B visa holders working in the area, it doesn’t take the top spot when it comes to salaries. That honor goes to Bridgeport, Connecticut, with an average salary of $100,200.
Seattle came in second with $98,100, and Phoenix was third with $97,100.
In comparison, College Station had an average salary of $82,600.
H-1B Program Changes
President Donald Trump has expressed an interest in overhauling the H-1B visa program, though sweeping changes have yet to occur. Various federal agencies have been tasked with reviewing H-1B policies with the goal of revamping the system, though measures in Congress that would alter the program have mainly stalled.
Some smaller actions have impacted the H-1B visa program, including a measure that prevents H-1B visa holders’ spouses from gaining access to H-4 visas. However, even though a larger action hasn’t gone forward, that doesn’t guarantee that they won’t come along in the near future.
If you are interested in learning more or are seeking tech talent to fill your vacant positions, the skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members and see how our expertise can benefit your company today.
It’s no surprise that a significant percentage of professionals wouldn’t consider reporting to the office their favorite part of the day. In fact, many would relish the ability to work from home, for a variety of reasons.
Did you know that tech professionals who work from home often save a significant amount of time and money? According to a recent report, it’s true. And those points alone can make it worth exploring remote work opportunities.
How Working from Home Saves Time
One of the most obvious ways working remotely can save time is by eliminating an employee’s need to commute. Depending on where they live, they may save a few hundred hours a year by forgoing the daily trip to the office.
Remote workers also avoid many office trappings that can waste time. For example, they won’t be interrupted by a chatty coworker who wants to discuss something non-work related or distracted by the phone call taking place one desk over. Ultimately, this allows someone who is working from home to be more productive, which is a form of time-savings in and of itself.
How Working from Home Save Money
Since remote workers aren’t required to commute, they can save a significant amount in gas alone. While the precise amount depends on a number of factors, including their gas mileage and driving distance, employees can save upwards of $500 a year in some cases, and nearly everyone can keep at least a couple hundred bucks annually by making the transition.
Additionally, not commuting reduces wear and tear on their vehicles, reducing the frequency of oil changes, new tires, and many other automobile maintenance activities. Insurance rates may also decrease, as the number of miles put on a vehicle in a year plays a role in determining the cost of the premiums. In some cases, families may even be able to reduce the total number of vehicles owned by the household, making the savings more substantial.
Even those who take public transportation can experience the money saving benefits. Typically, bus and subway passes come at a cost, but they might not have to be purchased if the worker isn’t commuting.
But the savings go beyond commutes. If a worker typically has to grab lunch from a restaurant or a cup of coffee from a café on the way in, that expense is also eliminated. For professionals who were required to wear business attire in the office, their clothing costs and dry cleaning bills may decrease as well.
Even Occasional Telecommuting Helps
Employees can experience time and money saving benefits even if they don’t work from home every day. Just one or two days a week can create a noticeable difference in both areas, so companies that offer flexible work arrangements can tout the potential gains to employees.
If you are interested in learning more about the time and money saving benefits of working from home, the knowledgeable staff at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our team members today.
In today’s digital age, it’s easy to assume that technology is designed to make our lives easier. It provides us with access to a substantial amount of information, regardless of where we go, and often helps us stay connected to both our familial and professional networks, making the devices feel invaluable.
But, depending on how you use it throughout the day, your favorite device may actually be harming your productivity more than it is helping. Since most professionals are diligently striving to balance complex work and home obligations, it’s crucial that your technology work for you instead of against you. Here’s what you need to know.
Notifications are Distracting You
Be it on a smartphone or computer, when a notification pops up, most people take a moment to see what it’s all about. This can pull us away from the tasks or activities we are participating in, regardless of whether they are professional or personal.
Instead of letting your notifications distract you, turn them off when you need to focus. This can include eliminating those associated with an incoming email, social media post, news alerts, or text message as well as apps that aren’t related to your current activities, like restaurant deals or coupon sites.
In most cases, it isn’t an emergency, and the message behind the notification can easily wait for an hour or two. If you're concerned about missing something critical, inform coworkers, managers, and family members about your intention to be less distracted by notifications, and request they contact you via other means, such as a phone call, if your immediate attention is actually required.
Be Free from Newsletters
A lot of professionals struggle to keep control of the email inbox, especially since every time you sign up for a website or app your usually automatically enrolled in a variety of newsletters. To help you save time, consider unsubscribing from every newsletter that doesn’t provide you with value, including sales flyers from retailers and restaurants.
Generally, the information is also accessible through the website, so you can always look it up when you need it. And freeing yourself from the daily email onslaught can be liberating, so it’s worth the effort.
Up Your Communication Skills
Text messaging and social media often promote the use of shorthand and quick statements to get your point across. But, at work, you may need to work harder to communicate effectively in writing.
Some of the quick responses we’ve grown accustomed to in text messages aren’t sufficient enough for workplace problems, often coming off as ambiguous or even dismissive. Instead of relying on these short messages, take the time to be thorough, yet concise. This eliminates an unnecessary back and forth triggered when the recipient of your message needs additional clarification while also ensuring you aren’t crafting a message that is longer than required.
Ultimately, the approach will save both you and them a substantial amount of time and the additional effort will be appreciated.
If you would like to learn more or are working to hire a new employee, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our flexible approach can work for you.
If you ask a handful of coders to name their favorite programming language, you’ll likely get a variety of answers. And the same goes for those they prefer not to use. However, there is a short list of languages that many wish would simply disappear off the face of the planet.
These programming languages have fallen out of favor for numerous reasons, though the most common one is that more efficient options became available. With that in mind, here are five programming languages that are primed to disappear.
The only reason Objective-C is still on anyone’s radar is Swift’s sub-par ABI stability, which is an issue for iOS developers, though it is expected to be remedied with the release of Swift 5. Once the new and improved Swift becomes available, expect Objective-C to fall into obscurity.
While technically considered a technology, Visual Basic is a programming language most coders simply dread. Visual Basic was originally created to provide an alternative to BASIC, which gives an indication of the technology’s age. However, Microsoft is still holding firm on this language, so it may not disappear as fast as some people would like.
Many people are likely startled to see SQL on a list like this. Since data has become a staple in more businesses than ever, SQL certainly has a foothold in almost every industry. However, there are strong alternatives to SQL that may replace this common programming language. Pair that with its general undesirability in the minds of many coders, and it may suffer a swift demise once a reliable replacement gains ground.
If you’ve never heard of Assembly, you’re not alone. It’s a programming language that is known to be slow and tedious to use, and not nearly as capable as options like Python or C#. In most cases, programmers that encounter Assembly are likely dealing with legacy code, as very few new projects would ever consider it an ideal option.
All of the above-mentioned languages are poised to disappear one day, though it likely won’t be too soon. Dealing with legacy code often leaves two options: keep using what’s there or completely rewrite the program in something else. Since recreating a large-scale project in another language is a serious undertaking, especially when you consider the size of some SQL databases, many of these programming languages will likely suffer a slow death. However, it’s smart to keep your eyes open to these points, as dedicating too much time or energy on a less-desirable language isn’t smart for business or a person’s career.
If you’re looking for a person to join your programming team or are interested in a new coding position, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today and see how our services can get you ahead of the competition.
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.
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.
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.
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.