STEM skills essential to driving innovation

An analysis of each state was recently conducted by Bloomberg Rankings on the focus of several innovation factors, including: the number of STEM workers, research-and-development spending, the percentage of public tech companies, and patent approvals. Based on those and other factors, Washington was named the most innovative state in America.

Check out this infographic and learn why Washington is currently ranked as the most innovative state in America!
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Top Reasons IT Projects Fail

STEM skills worker in the fieldManaging an IT project and seeing it through to completion usually requires more than simply monitoring a team and motivating employees. After all, Project Manager is a very broad job title. Even though the shortage of resources is one of the many reasons IT projects fail, it goes deeper than that.

According to Virginia Tech, most IT projects will go through five stages:

  1. initiation
  2. planning
  3. executing
  4. monitoring
  5. closing

This is often referred to as the project’s life cycle. But why exactly do IT projects fail? And what can project managers do to reduce the failure rate?
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IT skills training: Tips and tricks

Mortgage and banking jobsWith technology changing at an unprecedented pace, IT jobs are hot these days.

Yet for job seekers pursuing in-demand roles such as those highlighted in this infographic from K Alliance, the challenge is often acquiring the skills necessary to do the job, as well as keeping those skills up-to-date.

There’s been considerable focus on the IT skills gap in recent weeks, particularly in the wake of President Obama’s State of the Union speech during which he called for an across-the-board review of federal employment and training programs to help ensure people ready to work have the skills for high-demand jobs.

While the President laid out an ambitious agenda, the reality is that those seeking to develop and enhance marketable IT skills need to devise and execute their own training program. Here are three ways to make it happen:
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Design hiring trends and salary demands

Choose the best staffing solution for your businessDesign careers are becoming more specialized, and those with deep experience in the digital world are currently highly sought after by employers and command high salaries. Here’s are the design hiring trends and salary demands you need to know when recruiting professionals in 2014.

Graphic Design

Salary and hiring for graphic designers varies significantly based on industry and skill set. And because demand varies equally, graphic designers have a wide salary range.

Salary: A 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports $48,730 as the median annual salary for graphic designers, although actual salaries differ by region, skills, and experience. Salaries range from $30,000 to $77,000. And even though that data is two years old, the salaries are still accurate. According to Salary.com, the current median annual salary is $49,377, relatively unchanged from 2012.

Where the jobs are: The highest concentration of graphic design jobs can be found in California, New York, Florida, Texas, and Illinois, driven primarily by digital jobs in Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, and growing tech scenes in cities like Houston and Chicago. Washington, D.C. also has the highest median salary, where graphic designers earn an average of $69,700.
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IT jobs and skills in demand

Laptop with WebcamThe IT job market has been on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. Various industries are looking for skilled workers to fill a myriad of positions. From mobile developers to business analysts and database engineers, the opportunities are endless for job seekers with the right set of skills.

Here are some of the IT skills and jobs that are in high demand in the industry today.

User Experience Designers

According the Nielsen Norman Group, User Experience encompasses every aspects of the end-user’s interaction with a company, its services, and products.

User Experience Designer may be a broad job title, but more and more companies are realizing the importance of user-centered design and meeting the needs and requirements of their users.

Skills in high demand range from information architecture, visual design, content strategy, interaction design, user interface design, and usability as well as marketing and quality assurance.
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Highlighting three influential graphic designers

A list of 9 conferences for .Net Developers to attend.Many graphic designers focus on learning the newest techniques and technologies to advance their career. However, in many ways, it is equally as important to have a solid understanding of where the roots of graphic design began and a familiarity with the designers who have forever changed the industry. By having a solid understanding of the evolution of design principles and trends, you will be better equipped to use current styles and techniques to produce effective designs.

Take some time to review the work of three influential graphic designers and learn about their impact on the industry as we know it today. Here are three designers that you should know about:
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