Continuing Education for IT Analysts

by Modis on June 23, 2014

Continuing Education for ITWith technology and the times changing faster than we can keep up, staying ahead of the learning curve can be tricky business in the fast-paced IT world. If you want to stay current in your career field of choice, it’s important to brush up on important skills related to your discipline. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to continue learning beyond a core formal education.

In this second installment in our ongoing series exploring helpful continuing education opportunities for careers in the IT realm, we offer-up a selection of resources aimed at analysts. Whether you’re a database analyst, quality control analyst, or data analyst looking to expand your skills to stay up-to-date, check out these options for boosting your knowledge base.

Big Data TechCon

Sponsored BZ Media, this info-packed San Diego conference is a melting pot and excellent learning opportunity for data enthusiasts of all stripes. With a slew of classes, tutorials, trainings, and networking opportunities, Big Data TechCon is a can’t miss event that covers the whole spectrum of data analysis, so there’s lots of personal skill growth potential to be found here regardless of your specific focus.

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May Regional and State Jobs Report

by Devon Stiles on June 20, 2014

March 2014 National Jobs Report ModisWhile there were no major changes in May, a positive steadiness was displayed in the Regional and State Employment summary released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning. In this installment of the jobs report, twenty states showed an employment rate decrease, sixteen had increases and 14 and the District of Columbia had no change from April. Additionally, over the past year forty-nine states and the District of Columbia had employment rate decreases. The current jobless rate of 6.3% is 1.2 percentage points lower than May 2013′s.

May’s Regional and State Stats

Taking a closer look at the states, 36 and DC had increases in employment while 14 states had decreases. Texas added 56,400 new jobs followed by Pennsylvania with 24,700 and New York with 23,400. North Dakota’s 2.6% jobless rate was the lowest while Rhode Island’s 8.2% was the highest. Five states had statistically significant unemployment rate declines in May

  • Illinois -0.4%
  • Massachusetts -0.4%
  • California -0.2%
  • Montana -0.2%
  • Utah -0.2%

Regionally, the Midwest and the South had the lowest unemployment rates at 6.0%. Even though it continued to have the highest unemployment rate, the West was the only region to have a statistically significant unemployment rate change from April by going down 0.1 percentage point. For the year, all four regions have had significant decreases:

  • Northeast -1.4%
  • Midwest -1.2%
  • South -1.2%
  • West -1.2%

IT Specific Trends

It’s important to remember that the IT sector consistently has a substantially lower unemployment rate than National, Regional, and State rates. Modis Vice President Chad Moyer explains the emerging trends in the IT job marketplace in our latest whiteboard video. Watch it here.

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Continuing Education for ITWith the rapid growth of tech jobs in the information age, it’s important to stay up-to-date on current systems and on top of the latest trends in your field, regardless of what slice of the IT career world you hail from. Everyone needs to establish that critical skill baseline to get started in their field of choice, but what about finding ways to continue growing your knowledge base beyond a formal education?

The good news is there are lots of resources out there to help you brush up your skills and stay relevant in this ever-changing career landscape. Welcome to our ongoing series looking at continuing education opportunities for key careers in the IT sector. In this debut installment, we dish out a hand-picked selection of helpful learning resource for Network Telecom Administrators and Engineers as well as Systems Administrators and Engineers. Buckle up, and get ready to expand your mind!

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There’s some great news floating around our offices today: We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Modis Belgium to our more than 70 global offices! At Modis, we believe our foundation is our colleagues, and we are excited to welcome many new colleagues to our family. Modis President Jack Cullen has a few warm words for our new Belgian friends:

Not only are we looking forward to bringing our brand to Belgium, we’ve also got 10 more reasons we’re excited to be in Belgium:

1) The Brussels ICT sector numbers nearly 2,000 companies, employs 30,000 people and generates annual revenue totalling €4.5 billion!

2) The world’s biggest chocolate selling point is Brussels National Airport.

3) Belgium performs well in many measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top ten countries in several topics in the Better Life Index.

4) 80% of billiard players use Belgian-made balls.

5) Belgium’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector is flourishing. It currently contributes over 4% of Belgium’s gross domestic product.

6) Brussels has 138 restaurants per square mile.

7) With 77.72% of Belgium using the internet, Belgium is 50.31% ahead of the global average. This means that there are approximately 8,113,000 Belgian internet users.

8) There are more castles per square kilometre in Belgium than in any other country.

9) The Belgian motorway system is the only man-made structure visible from the moon (at night, due to the lights all along the motorway network).

10) The Belgian population is known for its productivity, loyalty, openness and language skills, and the quality of the Belgian workforce enjoys worldwide renown.

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The Risks of Outsourcing

by Modis on June 17, 2014

The once popular trend of outsourcing appears to be coming to an end. Demand for IT outsourcing in India has already leveled off because most of what can be moved offshore already has according to The Economist. More and more businesses are beginning to look inward for their IT needs, and as a result, IT department expansion continues to be a growing trend worldwide. There are numerous potential disadvantages that businesses are beginning to consider as risks of outsourcing.

Risks of OutsourcingRisk of Outsourcing

Outsourcing IT functions, especially when the work is sent offshore, may carry business risk.

The risks include:
• Projects take too long
• Rising or hidden costs
• Loss of control of data security and disaster recovery
• No control over how services are delivered
• Lack of service quality or expertise
• Some IT functions not easily outsourced
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5 Ways to Improve Your IT Soft Skills

by Dave Nixon on June 11, 2014

Today, we’re joined again by guest blogger Dave Nixon for part two of his series on the importance of IT soft skills for consultants. As the Managing Director of our Cincinnati branch, he works with his team to help both clients and candidates make exceptional connections. His years of experience in recruiting and sales allows him to provide invaluable for job seekers and employees at all stages of their careers. 

Improving IT Soft SkillsLast week, we discussed what soft skills are and the benefits to having strong soft skills even in the IT sector. In our highly technical world, soft skills are often neglected and much less nurtured as part of a professional development.

Stop and think for a minute: do you know someone who you consider to be great at their job? Chances are, that person has been successful at their jobs from the very beginning of their careers – and not because they knew everything “technically.” Very few, if any, were simply successful because they were great at only the technical aspects…they had the right personality and attitude to achieve something more. They got things done. They attracted people. They got people on their side.

In many aspects, it is actually harder to train attitude and aptitude and is easier to train the technical aspects to our roles. Many soft skills and the comfort we have with them are instilled in us from a very early age, so changing those core characteristics can be difficult…but it can be done!

5 Ways to Improve Your Soft Skills

  • Fit In – learn some things to connect with about someone else’s life/role/hobbies/dreams and join in; you may find a new hobby or a new interest…and a new friend.
  • Be Fluid – Weave yourself into conversations as your comfort level increases; develop some insights and opinion, and then relate to stories, be empathetic, and genuinely care about others. But empathy must be SHOWN. Not felt.
  • Practice – A mirror will show you how you are perceived by others; consider taking a class on public speaking or join a club like Toastmasters, or get involved in Networking Groups (go alone), etc.
  • Be Positive – Stay out of negative or drama or “political” situations around the office.
  • Push Your Own Boundaries – Put yourself into situations of “uncomfortable tension”; offer yourself up for new opportunities, i.e. do a presentation, chair a committee, get on a panel, etc.

It Starts with You

With some time and energy, you too can improve your soft skills, and yield the benefits that come along with being a “well-rounded” consultant. If you’re looking for the opportunity to show off your skills, both technical and soft, your next opportunity might be waiting in one of our many open positions. Search today.

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