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It’s that time again, blog readers. The National Convergence Technology Center (CTC) always keeps a list of interesting articles related to the ongoing evolution of both the IT workplace and the IT classroom. Below is a sampling of some of the things we’ve been reading these last few months. What articles have you read recently that might be useful in making sure students are ready to enter the IT workforce?

Thinking of a Cybersecurity Career? Read This from KrebsonSecurity.com discusses a recent survey identifying some of the bigger skills gaps in cybersecurity graduates, starting with 66% of job applicants being unable to perform basic tasks in “common exploitation techniques.” The article strongly recommends students interested in cybersecurity do whatever they can to practice hands-on work and “get their hands dirty.”

New NCWIT Study Outlines Roadmap for Bringing More Girls into Tech from Forbes discusses an extensive, six-year longitudinal study released by NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology). The study identified contributing factors and practices that will ensure women persist in computer science through college and into the workforce, starting with “more programming classes at the high school level that actively recruits girls and provide an on-ramp to instruction.”

Linked to this is a free NCWIT worksheet entitled 13 Tips for Creating and Sustaining a Women in Computing Group on Your Campus. If you’re not a member of NCWIT, your college should consider joining – it’s free to join the Academic Alliance.

How ‘Sustainable’ Web Design Can Help Fight Climate Change from Wired.com looks at how more and more programmers are creating simpler, leaner code to reduce computer energy consumption. One programmer’s decision to reduce his plug-in’s data output by 20KB, factored by the 2 million websites that use the plug-in, will create a reduction in CO2 output by 59,000 kg.

The podcast Man, Meet Machine from GovExec.com insists that even as AI evolves and performs more workforce tasks, it will still need human interaction to be successful. The norm will soon become people working together with AI.

The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2020 is a LinkedIn blog post that summarizes the most in-demand soft skills (number one is creativity) and hard skills (number one is blockchain) as determined by using LinkedIn postings, “looking at skills that are in high demand relative to their supply.”

The number one Predictions 2020 from eWeek asks leading IT thought leaders for predictions of industry trends in artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics-based automation. One interesting observation is that RPA will be more widely implemented than AI because “when needing to analyze large volumes of data for Fortune 500 companies, the volume of data just isn’t there to make the predictions of AI relevant.”

Employers Move to Attract Tech Talent Before Graduation from the Wall Street Journal looks at how the demand for IT workers has led companies to recruit students before they graduate – by using boot camps and internships, among other strategies – and spend more time and money upskilling existing employees.

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