For current M.B.A. student Alex Coisman, the best evidence that the Silicon Valley tech economy is still in the dumps is that recent graduates have been asking him to help them find jobs. Coisman, one of 82 students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management touring the valley this week, said some of the alumni he's run into on the trip have been seeking assistance from him, when it should be the other way around. "It's really quite shocking," said Coisman, who's also taken aback by the spate of empty office space he's seen while on the trip. At a brief stopover on their trip, students sporting starched shirts, crisp suits, and name tags milled around with Sloane graduates from all over the valley during an evening reception at the highfalutin Menlo Circus Club, a country club in Menlo Park that offers members polo instead of golf. During the day, the students have been touring and meeting with executives from more than 30 companies, ranging … [Read more...] about M.B.A.s battle for scarce tech jobs
M i s degree
As I wander around the Worcester Polytech campus between classes (even sub-zero wind chills can't keep me inside after 90 minutes of stats lectures), I've noticed an interesting shift since I started my master's degree about a year and a half ago. I'm actually seeing Macs. WPI is a geek school. It's run by geeks, for geeks. The least geeky departments consist of business geeks looking for new ways to apply math and technology to economics and high-tech industries. Clove-smoking, coffeehouse-sitting liberal arts majors who might like a Mac for writing haiku are not to be found. So why, when for so long Apple has been about content creation and creativity, am I seeing little white Macbooks and metallic Macbook Pros in numbers that are beginning to rival at least Lenovos (with whom the school has a student pricing agreement), if not Dells (with whom the school also has an agreement)? What's driving this shift? Is it simply Boot Camp and Parallels that allow users to choose a … [Read more...] about Are those Macs I see?
This post is coming in a bit late today since I was without Internet access for the entire weekend! I'm between ISPs right now and, although I timed the cutoff of my first to dovetail with the installation of the second, delays in turning on my DSL service meant that I was Net-less for 3 days. It was horrible. I'm not an Internet junkie by any means, but so often I rely on the Web to do my job, help my kids with assignments, get information, write, brainstorm, research, work on my master's degree, etc. The Web, as it has for many of us, has replaced so many other sources of information and entertainment, that the idea of actually using a phonebook is fairly painful. I'm not just whining here. Obviously, I can get done what I need to (except post these blogs) without the Web. However, this certainly points to the way in which the Internet has become an integral part of our lives and the day-to-day utility of computers. This leads to a couple of conclusions for educational … [Read more...] about I didn’t have Internet access all weekend!
Full disclosure. I have nothing more than a B.A. degree to my name, and 20 years of working with journalists, which in itself is a whole other realm when it comes to human resource management. But I am intrigued by a new degree program that is being offered by the University of Texas-El Paso along with Rare, a non-profit conservation organization based in Arlington, Va. The degree in question is actually a Master's Degree in Communication, with a conservation twist. As part of the two-year program, students must plan and mobilize social marketing campaigns in their local communities that have a specific conversation mission. The degree is run in conjunction with regional universities in Mexico, China, Indonesia and (most recently) Georgetown University in the United States. It is administered by the University of Texas-El Paso's Department of Communication. This article from the Rare Web site goes into a whole lot more detail about the impact of the program. Whether or not you are a … [Read more...] about An MBA is so passé. Why not a master’s degree in conservation?
There are few Americans who don't like the idea of an all-American iPhone, iPad or Macbook. "Designed in California," sure -- but why not made there, too? During the D: All Things Digital conference this week, Apple chief executive Tim Cook suggested that he wanted his celebrated tech company to make more components, and perhaps assemble them, here in the U.S. But it's not that easy. Cook knows it. As a longtime operations guy, there are probably few things the man knows better than a supply chain. When he says the semiconductor industry is good in the U.S., it's good. When he says there aren't high-tech manufacturing skills in the U.S., he's probably right. But actions speak louder than words, and there are good reasons why Apple no longer makes its millions upon millions of products Stateside -- because it just doesn't make good business sense otherwise. We've seen this film before. Before founder Steve Jobs died, he made headlines for the same reason, as the national economy … [Read more...] about Apple wants U.S. manufacturing, but it ain’t that easy
The number of college students pursuing computer science degrees at U.S. universities rose in 2008 for the first time in six years, according to a just released study. Academia and policymakers are hailing the news, but the question facing CIOs and others in charge of IT hiring is: How much do computer science degrees matter? Read what are the 10 top tech skills Computer science grads still in demand IT job search: An expert guide Do companies need employees with the deep technical skills developed through computer science and software engineering degrees, or are they better off hiring tech-smart business majors.2012'S NUMBERS: Largest IT employment gains in 4 years reportedUPDATE: The 5 hottest IT jobs for summer 2012Not surprisingly, computer science educators, software companies and hardware manufacturers are adamant about the need for computer science majors to drive innovation at U.S. tech companies. The dearth of U.S. computer science graduates is forcing companies … [Read more...] about Does a computer science degree matter anymore?
Frankly, it would be easier to solve the age-old question "Which came first the chicken or the egg?" than to ever reach a consensus on the question of whether it's better for an IT pro to have a technical degree or certifications.It may be one of the oldest, yet most hotly debated, issues ever to post on TechRepublic.It's constantly debated because there are no clear-cut answers. So I'm not going to throw out any concrete facts and I can't hope to change anyone's mind on the matter, but here are a few things to consider when weighing the benefits of a degree vs. a cert.First of all, keep in mind that the degree/certification matter is only a part of what you should concern yourself with when you're marketing yourself for a new job or a better position. Degrees and certifications may comprise the bulk of your "calling card," but you should not depend on either to be the overall marketing strategy for what you're selling to potential employers — yourself.Once you get into a job, … [Read more...] about What’s better—An IT degree or tech certifications?
Think you don’t have the right background to change careers or start a new business? Think again. Lots of successful business owners took a circuitous route to down the path of entrepreneurship.BusinessNewsDaily asked a few small business owners to tell us the most unusual job they had before starting their own businesses.I was an ice cream mover. It required me to move ice cream from the twenty below freezer to a huge ice creamer freezer which was twenty [degrees] above freezing. I might have been the only seventeen year old kid that ever got frostbite in July. I now own Bella Business Solutions. --Wayne Weiner, Bella Business SolutionsI worked in a small manufacturing shop in Springfield, Mo. We made metal pipe turkey hangers for caterers. The other exciting thing we did was punch holes in the bottom of pizza pans for faster cooking. I now own Homiedre Corp. -- James B. Huston, homiedre.comBack when I was in high school, I held an after-school job working as an office assistant … [Read more...] about Before I was an Entrepreneur…My Most Unusual Job…
Planes drop out of the sky. It happens.When you work in the business of developing and delivering the 24-hour news cycle, everything happens all of the time. Santa water skis on lakes across the country each July and cameras are there to cover it. Carnival rides collapse, politicians give pressers, babies die and are revived by paramedics, human remains are found, and populations of people gather in protest or solidarity. All the while, someone like me, a former CNN producer, is taking notes from a wire service, organizing footage in servers, lining it up in a show's rundown, preparing scripts for anchors and pre-interviewing guests to understand how they might answer the questions when on air.I was a minor player at a major network where I started climbing the ranks in my role as a video-journalist. Four years later, I was writing, producing and interacting with cable network stars like Connie Chung, Anderson Cooper and Paula Zahn. The climb was precipitous for me. My first … [Read more...] about From CNN to CEO: How I Built a Career by Helping Others Build Theirs
The education sector has gone through many structural changes in the past few years. One of the most fascinating changes has undoubtedly been the digital disruption that we've began observing, especially with the rise of education technologies and online learning platforms.More than 18 years ago, when my interest in the sector began to peak, edtech was barely a trend. At the time, I remember thinking to myself that this was going to be the future of education, and I'm more and more convinced every day that I was right. With the internet becoming almost a necessity in every home, and career prospects tightening for young professionals, investing in a new revolutionary form of learning and teaching appeared to me as a no-brainer.I was no stranger to entrepreneurship back then, and the idea of helping people learn at their own pace in the comfort of their homes was very appealing to me. One of the most challenging aspects of teaching is getting close to the students to ensure you can … [Read more...] about I Started My EdTech Company to Get in on the Future of Education