Getting Energized About Your Future


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The presentation will answer the following questions:
What is the true state of the ICT industry in Canada? What are some of the specialized skills employers looking for? How do you add these highly specialized tech skills to your knowledgebase? What technologies do I need to look out for and how do you keep pace with the changes?

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  • Great to see everyone here today. This is the student connection portion of our EnergizeIT tour. My name is … With me here today..My presentation today is about you, and getting energized about your future in IT. How many of you here are taking software engineering courses? How many of you are IT focused.
  • As you are thinking about a career in IT, I want to talk about the right package of skills that employers are looking for and how you can prepare for them.
  • If there’s one thing you take away from the presentation, this is it. You need to take the initiative to start preparing yourself, prove your skills, and learn about the upcoming technologies.
  • let’s start with looking at what are you facing today as you are getting ready to enter the work force. No need to say the tough economy is on the news everyday. You probably heard many large IT companies including Microsoft is laying off people. It’s true that it’s a it’s a buyer’s market, meaning, employers have a minimum number of positions to fill, so they’re going to be rather picky about the credentials of the new graduates they hire.However, it even more important to know there’s a serious skill shortage in the Canadian ICT industry [CLICK], new industry trends [CLICK], and the right package of technical and career skills that employers are looking for [CLICK], . We’ll talk more about each of these areas.
  • Let me first clarify the differences between a Labour and Skill shortage. Labour shortagerefers to the absolute difference between demand and supply. Skill Shortage refers to gap between employers’ needs and job seekers skills. A skills shortage can exist independently of a labour shortage. When this happens, there is significant under-employment or unemployment.Skill shortage is major problem in Canada. Let’s look at the forecast data from ICTC (Information Communication Technology Counsil of Canada)[CLICK] In the next 6 years, on an annual basis, employers need to fill about 20K ICT works per year.And [CLICK] this is the layout of skill and labour shortage in different regions of Canada. As you can see, across Canada, we are facing skill shortages. So it’s key to prepare yourself with the right technical skills and experience that employers need. --------------------------------------------------------------------------ICT Labour Market outlook by province.-In the Atlantic region, demographic pressures arealready evident. The Atlantic region also attracts only asmall share of internationally educated ICT professionals.The occupations that will experience the greatestgrowth are those occupations that are tied to serviceoperations that provide ICT support to customers andclients in other regions or in the U.S. Skill requirementswill reflect this distinctive pattern to the structure of ICTemployment in the Atlantic region.— In Quebec, the national story is the regional story.However, there are also specific niche areas in whichskills shortages will be particularly challenging: electronicgaming, animation, Web 2.0, and securityapplications.— In Ontario, as in Quebec, the national picture largelydescribes the regional outlook. Ontario accounts foralmost half (47%) of all ICT employment. The distinctivefeature of the ICT labour market in Ontario is the significantlygreater role played by immigration. In 2006,internationally educated professionals accounted foraround 20% of Ontario workers employed in ICToccupations, compared to 10% in the rest of Canada.— In Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the labour shortagechallenge will include electronics engineers and computerengineers. Labour supply in all ICT occupationsrequiring university training is constrained by both lowenrolment and graduation rates and an exceptionallylow intake of IEPs. Compared to other regions, thechallenge of supporting legacy applications willemerge earlier and more acutely in Manitoba andSaskatchewan.— In Alberta, there will be labour shortages in all, orvirtually all ICT occupations. These labour shortagesexacerbate skills shortages. Alberta’s intake of internationallyeducated professionals has increased, but stillfalls significantly below its requirements. While enrolmentsin ICT fields have declined in Alberta, the declinehas not been as severe as in other regions.— In British Columbia, ICT workers are strongly concentratedin the ICT sector, which accounts for 65% ofall ICT employment, compared to 59% on a nationalbasis. The need for advanced and specialized skills ismore evident in B.C.’s ICT sector than on a nationalbasis because of its focus on R&D and on proprietarytechnologies. The skills shortage (as distinct from labourshortages) will be pervasive in B.C., and may be morechallenging in this region than elsewhere. B.C. is secondonly to Ontario in its intake of immigrant professionals,and integration of these professionals will continue tobe a major challenge.
  • Explain top 2 as examples of new technology trend. Encourage students to find out the rest at are also facing new technology trends. Gaining knowledge in these new industry trend will make you more marketable. According to Gartner research, here are the technology trends for 2009.For example Virtualization, simply put is an abstraction of computer resources. There are different type of virtualization such as server virtualization, desktop virtualization, and application virtualization. Virtualization can help organizations to optimize their assets and centrally manage their physical and virtual assets, which saves over all IT coast.Second trend is Cloud computing. At Microsoft the strategy we use for cloud computing is software plus service. It describes the idea of combining hosted services with capabilities that are best achieved with locally running software. We want to create experiences that combine the magic of software with the power of internet services across an entire world of devices.These are  Top 10 Technology Trends for 2009Virtualization Cloud computing Servers Web-oriented architectures Enterprise mashupsSpecialized systems Social software and social networking Unified communications Business intelligence Green ITFor reference use if students ask any one of these technology trend.Virtualization.  Much of the current buzz is focused on server virtualization, but virtualization in storage and client devices is also moving rapidly. Virtualization to eliminate duplicate copies of data on the real storage devices while maintaining the illusion to the accessing systems that the files are as originally stored (data deduplication) can significantly decrease the cost of storage devices and media to hold information. Hosted virtual images deliver a near-identical result to blade-based PCs. But, instead of the motherboard function being located in the data center as hardware, it is located there as a virtual machine bubble. However, despite ambitious deployment plans from many organizations, deployments of hosted virtual desktop capabilities will be adopted by fewer than 40 percent of target users by 2010.Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is a style of computing that characterizes a model in which providers deliver a variety of IT-enabled capabilities to consumers. They key characteristics of cloud computing are 1) delivery of capabilities “as a service,” 2) delivery of services in a highly scalable and elastic fashion, 3) using Internet technologies and techniques to develop and deliver the services, and 4) designing for delivery to external customers. Although cost is a potential benefit for small companies, the biggest benefits are the built-in elasticity and scalability, which not only reduce barriers to entry, but also enable these companies to grow quickly. As certain IT functions are industrializing and becoming less customized, there are more possibilities for larger organizations to benefit from cloud computing.Servers — Beyond Blades.  Servers are evolving beyond the blade server stage that exists today. This evolution will simplify the provisioning of capacity to meet growing needs. The organization tracks the various resource types, for example, memory, separately and replenishes only the type that is in short supply. This eliminates the need to pay for all three resource types to upgrade capacity. It also simplifies the inventory of systems, eliminating the need to track and purchase various sizes and configurations. The result will be higher utilization because of lessened “waste” of resources that are in the wrong configuration or that come along with the needed processors and memory in a fixed bundle.Web-Oriented Architectures. The Internet is arguably the best example of an agile, interoperable and scalable service-oriented environment in existence. This level of flexibility is achieved because of key design principles inherent in the Internet/Web approach, as well as the emergence of Web-centric technologies and standards that promote these principles. The use of Web-centric models to build global-class solutions cannot address the full breadth of enterprise computing needs. However, Gartner expects that continued evolution of the Web-centric approach will enable its use in an ever-broadening set of enterprise solutions during the next five years.EnterpriseMashups. Enterprises are now investigating taking mashups from cool Web hobby to enterprise-class systems to augment their models for delivering and managing applications. Through 2010, the enterprise mashup product environment will experience significant flux and consolidation, and application architects and IT leaders should investigate this growing space for the significant and transformational potential it may offer their enterprises
  • In addition to new technology trend, employer are looking for candidates that have strong technical and career skills. They are looking for individuals with the right package of skills. On the technical side, they are looking for core technical skills that are relevant to the jobs. For example, they are looking for .NET programming skills. Also, they prefer candidates who already have experience with specific applications or platforms. For example, do you have experience with Silverlight or Windows Presentation foundation.On the career skills side, they are looking for people who are strong communicators and team players. At the same time, they need to have deep insights into drivers of business value. I’ll talk more about career skills in more details later. There’s a webcast series going on now called “Ignite your career” where you can hear from the industry experts on technology trends and career advise. All the webcasts are recorded, so you can watch on-demand. Often times, Career skills are valued more important than technical skills.
  • Now you know what you are facing. How do you prepare yourself? I’ve capture my suggestions into the ICED method. They are … [READ out ICED]Let’s look at each one more closely.
  • First, in-class learning: stay on top of your game at schoolClass projects are important. Because as new grads, you may not have lots of industry experience. Projects are critical to show your relevant experience. Think about what roles do you play in the project? Did you try to take leadership in the project? Although it’s a class project, can you treat it like a real world project where you can find your client and get their feedback? How do you differentiate yourself from rest of your class? E.g. Student Linda Wang organized the CUSEC conference. Andrey from UofT started a C# student club. Jin and Kevin from SFU joined Imagine Cup competitionNeedless to say, your grades are important, especially grades in the technical courses. Again, it’s the buyer’s market. Employers are looking for top of the class. Finally, as you apply for jobs. You need references. A excellent reference can make you standout. Your professors are good sources for references, but so are people you are working with in past projects or clients of your projects. You may also want to join professional networking site like LinkedIn and ask your references to endorse you.
  • The next component in ICED method is Career skills: practice is the key. Many people may realize the three top career skills I’m about to say, but in order to get good at them, practice is a critical. First is Communication skills, which include verbal and written communication, and presentation skills. Take opportunities to practice your communication skills whenever possible. For example, be the one to present your group presentation, or join clubs like Toast Master to practice your public speaking skills.Next is Business Acumen, which refers to a person’s knowledge and ability to convey and make profitable business decisions. Employers is look for people who not only excel in technical domain, but also able to justify the business value of what they do. If you have the opportunity, take a business course or learn the basics through online courses. Then, practice to pitch your ideas like an entrepreneur. probably guessed the third one is Collaboration skills. A lot of employers look for team players, so try your best to have as much team working experience as possible is very important. When working in teams, take the initiative to be group leader is a great way to practice your leadership skills. That’s something you can do to differentiate yourself.
  • In order to stay current with industry trends and expose yourself to specific technology and platform, there are many online courses you can take. I’ll show you couple e-learning resources from Microsoft.
  • First is the Microsoft learning portal. you can find learning courses by date, product, subject, and follow guided learning plans
  • Many software you need to start preparing your skills are already available to you for free. Though DreamSpark program, you can download development tools such as VS2008, Game Studio, Robotics studio on your own computers. You can also get IT Academy Student Pass through DreamSpark. The Microsoft IT Academy Student Pass is a special no-cost online learning opportunity for university or college students in technical studies. IT Academy Student Pass provides free e-learning courses to verified university students who are interested in extending their IT or developer skills with Microsoft technologies. You need to verify yourself as a student through either an international student or your school may already be in the DreamSpark database. In this case, you just need to login with your student ID.
  • So, you’ve prepared yourselves with technical and career skills, it’s the time to demonstrate your skills and show your passion for IT, especially outside of the classroom. There are so many ways you can do that. I’ll provide you a rich list, but it depends on you to take the initiative and start try one or more of these. Blogging (many people who got hired because their blogs. A very good differentiator and really shows your passion for technology). Does anyone blog here. Three of us got hired because of blogging. Mentors are very valuable in your career growth. Find one or more mentors to share what you learnt and hear their feedback. For example, you can have one for career advise and one for technical advise. Find mentors in school alumni, local user group, or online interest groups,…Get involved in the community by learning and sharing knowledge. A great way to network and share to a group is to start a tech club or find out a local user group that aligns with your interests. Joining technical competitionsGet a certification and show your technical credential in a particular area. Check out the Microsoft Certification program. Through DreamSpark, you can get a voucher for a free certification exam till June 30, 2009. This usually costsThere’s no shortage of community projects you can join. For example, CodePlex is our open source projects hosting web site, where you can start a new project, join an existing project, and try out the software created by community. For example there are tons of .NET development projects that you can join to prove your skills as a developer.Probably, one of most direct way to prove your skills and gain real world experience is doing an internship or co-op. Make sure you look out for these opportunities. And here’s some help... [GO TO THE NEXT SLIDE]
  • Take a look at the Canadian Student 2 Business program. We will collaborate with msemploy and will launch the student 2 business program in the coming month. It’s a portal for Microsoft technology professionals where you can find MS technology related internships or full-time jobs. If you take a look at it today, there are already many jobs posted.
  • If you are interested in starting a student club, we also have service called “Student Tech club” that can help you set up your club website. There are out of box features like blog, wiki, calendar, and forum you can use to start up a club in no time.
  • An example of a competition you can join is Imagine Cup. We host this largest student technology competitions every year called. It is a great opportunity to prove your skills and network among your peer in a global scale. Every year, there’s a theme, this year is about using technology to solve the world’s toughest problems, which are UN’s millennium goals such as education, environment. You can choose the category of competition according to your expertise. Last year we had a team from Simon Fraser University won the 2nd place in Design category. They created a facebook app which encourage people to be more environmental aware. They got to go to Paris for finals and met top executives from Microsoft. If you are working on group projects that can fit into the theme, consider Imagine Cup. This year’s deadline is closing, next year’s competition information will be available in summer time.
  • Your Future in ICT is bright and hope you are energized. Here are two quotes from Canadian information communication technology counsil. The first talks about the promising future of ICT as an industry. The second one gives more prediction on the employment opportunities for the next 6 years.
  • OK, I can’t wait to start the conversation with you. Here are the call to actions for you. Start today – don’t wait around, start to take advantages of programs like DreamSpark, start to find out clubs and user groups around you, start to look for community projects you can help with. Create a project “Me” plan – treat yourself as a project. Think about your career aspiration. What’s your end goal, and where you want to be 10 years from now. This keeps you align what you do now to your long term goal. The ICED method that I talked about earlier could be the components of the “Me” project. It’s important to know what are your strength and weaknesses and form a personal development plan. At Microsoft, we just had our Mid Year Career Discussion and each of us has to create a development plan for ourselves. For the programs I talk about today, you can see a comprehensive list of them at, so don’t worry about it if you didn’t write them down.Now you have the information and tools but Remember! you need to take the initiative !
  • Getting Energized About Your Future

    1. 1. Getting Energized About Your Future<br />Qixing Zheng<br />User Experience Advisor<br />Microsoft Canada<br />
    2. 2. I’m here to talk about...<br />The right package of skills to get a great career in IT<br />
    3. 3. Taking the Initiative is the KEY!<br />
    4. 4. What are you facing?<br />Skill Shortage<br />Tough Economy<br />Technical & Career Skills <br />Needed<br />New Industry Trend<br />
    5. 5. What are you facing?<br />Labour and Skill Shortage<br />ICTC Outlook for Human Resource in ICT Labour Market 2008 - 2015<br />
    6. 6. What are you facing?<br />New Industry Trend<br />Top Technology Trends for 2009<br />Virtualization <br />Cloud computing <br />Servers<br /> Web-oriented architectures <br />Enterprise mashups<br />Gartner Research<br />
    7. 7. What are you facing?<br />Technical & Career Skills Needed<br /><ul><li>Core Technical Skills
    8. 8. Experience with specific apps or platforms
    9. 9. Strong non-technical skills, e.g. communications, team-working skills
    10. 10. Deep insight into drivers of business value</li></ul><br />ICTC Outlook for Human Resource in ICT Labour Market 2008 - 2015<br />
    11. 11. How do you prepare yourself?<br />In-class learning: stay on top of your game at school<br />Career skills: practice is the key<br />E-learning:keep up to date with industry trends <br />Demonstration: prove your skills and passion<br />
    12. 12. I n-class learning: <br />stay on top of your game at school<br />Projects<br />Differentiation<br />Grades<br />References<br />
    13. 13. Career skills: practice is the key <br />Top Career Skills: <br />Communication: <br />verbal and written, presentation<br />Business Acumen: <br />Business Insights, ROI, <br />Collaboration: <br />team-work and leadership<br />
    14. 14. E-learning: keep up to date with industry trendsA Microsoft Example<br />
    15. 15. Technology and Career Guidance<br /><br />
    16. 16. Microsoft DreamSpark<br /><br />
    17. 17. Demonstration: prove your skills and passion <br />Blogging<br />Competitions<br />Mentors<br />Certifications<br />Open Source <br />Projects<br />Participating in Clubs, <br />User Group<br />Internship/Co-op<br />
    18. 18. Student 2 Business<br />Find an internship or job on msemploy<br /><ul><li>Free access for student to search and apply jobs in Canada, will launch in April
    19. 19. A job portal for Microsoft technology professionals
    20. 20. There are many jobs in the portal already</li></ul><br />
    21. 21. Student Tech Club<br /><br />
    22. 22. Competitions: Imagine Cup<br />Theme this year: Solve the World&apos;s Toughest Problems<br />Competition Categories: Embedded Development, Game Development, Robotics and Algorithm, IT Challenge, MashUp, Design, Photography, Short Films<br /><br />
    23. 23. Your Future is Bright<br />“ICT in the coming half century will be part of a new and challenging revolution that maintain its importance as a major generator of value and a large employer.” 1<br />“Over the period 2008 to 2015, Canadian employers will need to recruit around 126,400 to 178,800 ICT workers, an average of 15,795 to 22,345 per year.” 2<br />Introduction to Information Communication Technology, 2008<br />2. Outlook for Human Resource in ICT Labour Market 2008 - 2015<br />
    24. 24. Things to do!<br />Start today<br />Create a project “Me” Plan<br />Check out<br />Take the initiative!<br />