3 Reasons Chicago Is Becoming America’s Newest Tech Hub

Ian Clark, Head of Americas at cloud staffing firm Frank Recruitment Group, breaks down the key reasons IT professionals are moving to The Windy City.

tech jobs chicago

When you think of the world’s great tech cities, Chicago may not always be top of your mind, but its transformation over the last decade makes it impossible to omit from any discussion about the best American cities for IT professionals.

The global skills gap in technology means that professionals hold most of the cards when it comes to choosing how and where their career pans out, but Chicago has a lot to offer to make sure people want to be there.

Of course, there must be opportunity, and there’s plenty of that. Tech giants such as Google, LinkedIn and Salesforce all have offices in the city, which is partly why CompTIA named Chicago as one of the largest tech employers in the US last year.

Here are the top three reasons tech professionals are packing an extra layer and heading to the Jewel of the Midwest:

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DevOps: Hot Skills, Tools, & Certifications

A breakdown of the myriad skills, platforms, and credentials that will help you succeed in the red-hot field of DevOps engineering.

DevOps Skills and Tools

What is DevOps, and why is it smoking hot right now?

DevOps is a combination of the words Development and Operations. An approach to software development with roots in Agile, DevOps breaks down the walls that separate the software development side of IT from the operations side. DevOps has many goals including improved communications between software development and IT operations staff, and the better, faster creation of applications that are immediately fit for production use.

DevOps is hot due to its proven competitive business advantages. “High-performing organizations [in this context, organizations that use DevOps] decisively outperform their lower-performing peers. They deploy [software] 200 times more frequently, with 2,555 times faster lead times, recover 24 times faster, and have three times lower change failure rates.” – The Puppet 2016 State of DevOps Report.

To prepare for a career in DevOps, learn what skills are in greatest demand, the tools and technologies you should master, and the certifications that can show employers you measure up.

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Hot IT Skills in the Internet of Things

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The Internet of Things is one of the most revolutionary technology trends of our lifetime -- and it’s poised to explode. These skill sets will maximize your salary and marketability in the proliferati...
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Best Computer Jobs for the Future

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Trying to determine your ideal IT career path? Want to know which computer jobs will be in the greatest demand, offer the highest salaries and best opportunities for advancement once you finish traini...
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Jobs You Can Get with a Computer Science Degree

ITCareerFinder breaks down the most sought-after information technology jobs you can get with a degree in computer science. Delve into each role for marketable courses and electives, salaries, recommended degree programs and insider tips.

computer science degree jobs

There’s never been a better time than now to pursue a career in IT. The proliferation of emerging technologies in mobile and cloud computing, soaring demand for data science, programming and cyber security skills, and the increased automation (for better or worse) of legacy roles in retail and manufacturing, are just some of the factors driving a golden age for tech employment. There are infinite paths to the IT job of your dreams, but whichever road you choose there’s a good chance that earning a degree in computer science (CS) will be your first step.

CS curricula and the jobs you can land with a computer science degree vary widely, but there are some core subjects shared by most undergraduate computer science programs. The core curriculum in a CS associate or bachelor’s degree typically includes programming and software development, data structures and algorithms, operating systems, and applied mathematics. There are many CS specializations that dive deeper into one or more of these core areas, and plenty of computer science majors designed to prepare you for a specific IT career path. Your personal passions, resources like time and money, and the job you’re shooting for will dictate the computer science program that’s right for you.

The curriculum in a graduate computer science program builds on the undergrad coursework above. Generally, a computer science master’s degree dives deeper into the technical skills you learned as an undergrad, with a greater focus on a specific career track and potential management roles. MBAs in computer science concentrate on the business side of things; here you will learn to use computing skills to set and achieve organizational goals. Doctoral and PhD degrees in computer science tend to focus on research and scientific advancement; these programs are geared toward jobs like computer research scientist and CS professor.

This article will lay out some of the best jobs you can achieve with a computer science diploma (“best” in this case means top-tier salaries, an aggressive hiring forecast, and a high rate of upward mobility). We'll also highlight the courses and electives you should pursue to maximize your job prospects in each role, recommended degree levels, and earnings.

Here are the best jobs you can get with computer science degree:

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Top 10 IT Skills in Demand for 2017

IT Skills In Demand 2017

The jobs you want; the skills you need.

“CompTIA projects global IT industry growth of 4.1 percent in 2017. If this growth materializes, it will push the $3.4 trillion global IT industry past the $3.5 trillion mark by year’s end,” according to the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2017. A one-hundred-billion-dollar increase in one year in an already massive market, where sufficient candidates are already lacking, has to spell job openings, and it does.

ITCareerFinder targets the ten hottest IT jobs this year, based on market data, outlining the skills you need to step into these positions. (The Computerworld Forecast 2017 is the source for job demand statistics where not otherwise stated.)

Here are the top 10 IT skills and job roles that hiring managers need in 2017:

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10 Ways to Keep Your IT Help Desk Relevant

Help desks are changing as technology evolves and users grow more familiar with choosing and supporting their own systems. Use these insider tips to maximize your help desk's productivity and make sure it remains an essential part of your business.

relevant IT help desk

As technology and business continue to evolve, the IT landscape looks far different than it did 10 or even 5 years ago. The traditional on-site help desk – which handled all device rollouts, support questions, break-fix emergencies and other urgent needs – is changing too. Many organizations cut costs to preserve or promote revenue-generating personnel, and the growing trend to outsource what are deemed low-level processes can hand many a help desk over to an external provider.

Furthermore, new trends and challenges such as remote access, cloud services, mobility and global interconnection can produce additional pressures on the in-house help desk. This is exacerbated by today’s instant gratification society, as well as the mindset by some in the business world that the help desk is an impediment to their productivity – something they need to make an end run around rather than working with to achieve their goals (a mindset quite likely produced by help desks that don’t keep up with the changes or which are hamstrung by inefficient operations).

A relevant help desk capable of meeting the current challenges of technology can more than earn its keep by helping employees to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. There is a misconception that help desks don’t generate revenue (the best case scenario is that they are viewed as a negative revenue preventer – in other words, helping to combat lost productivity and wages by keeping systems running), but that’s not necessarily the case. A successful help desk ensures that staff can work as effectively as possible by keeping them informed of new developments, helping them find shortcuts to work efficiently and formulating best practices for the organization to standardize – for instance, developing a PowerPoint template for employees to use in creating presentations which comes with logos and links to reference sites or file shares. These tactics will in turn help build out the careers & capabilities of help desk technicians.

Outsourced help desk services will be quick to tell you they can cut costs and improve service by offering a 24x7x365 infrastructure that will be more efficient and responsive. This may be quite true, and many issues can be resolved remotely through externally managed systems. However, nothing beats hands-on technicians who can respond to situations face-to-face. A dead laptop, for instance, is a lot easier for a technician to support if they can troubleshoot, diagnose and/or replace it immediately, rather than subjecting employees to phone calls, wait times and shipped systems. With this in mind, perhaps the ideal help desk going forward will be a hybrid of on-site and off-site personnel.

Whether on premises, outsourced or hybrid, these 10 operational methods can help keep your help desk relevant and aligned with business priorities:

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IT Positions Getting the Biggest Raises in 2014

These IT careers will score the biggest year-over-year pay bump from 2013 to 2014.

IT Pay Raises 2014

Technical staffing firm, Robert Half Technology, just released its 2014 Salary Guide, featuring historical and projected earnings for this year’s hottest IT job roles. The average raise for all IT professionals in 2014 is 5.6%, up slightly from 5.3% last year. Information technology wage hikes will once again trump all other employment sectors, which clock in at a 3.7% average raise.

Here are the IT jobs that will get the biggest raises in 2014:

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