Archive for April, 2013

Software engineer jobs in Jacksonville are looking up

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Software engineer jobs in Jacksonville are considered highly coveted jobs.

Nationwide, they are all considered wonderful jobs to have.

CareerCast’s latest survey of best jobs of 2013 revealed that an software engineer is considered one of the top ten best jobs to have.

High pay, low stress, a robust hiring outlook, a healthy work environment and minimal physical exertion combine to define what makes a great job for most people. Professions including actuary, biomedical engineer, software engineer, audiologist and financial planner all fit the bill and help the professionals who hold those jobs attain the ultimate career goal: personal fulfillment.

An actuary assesses risk probabilities, often for insurance purposes, using statistical data, environmental impacts and situational trends.

“I tell people that I can count on one hand the number of days I’ve said, ‘I don’t want to go to work today,’” says Cecil Bykerk, an actuary with nearly four decades of experience and president of the American Academy of Actuaries.

“That’s just the kind of career it is.” Bykerk currently works in the healthcare sector, and he says one of the rewards his career as an actuary has offered him is an opportunity to make a direct impact on his clients’ ability to get coverage for important medical procedures.

Another industry with a bright future is biomedical engineering. In fact, biomedical engineer ranks as the second best job of 2013, its first year in the Jobs Rated report.

The burgeoning profession is a true 21st century career path, its growth coinciding with major leaps in scientific research. The Labor Department estimates that there will be 62% more biomedical engineers in the field by 2020 than the 16,000 who are working today, which creates a huge opportunity for aspiring professionals.

And there are plenty studying for entry into the field, as University of Delaware biomedical engineering professor Dr. Dawn Elliott details. “We’re at maximum cap for student enrollment. The demand is incredible,” she says. “It’s exciting to be a part of it.”

Checking in at #3 on the Best Jobs list is software engineer, which ranked first last year. Because computing at all stages continues to grow in importance throughout all labor sectors, software engineers will have abundant job opportunities for many years to come. The BLS projects the field to grow by 30% over the next few years, with hiring activity spread evenly across the nation. Software engineers also tend to be handsomely compensated, earning an annual median salary of more than $90,000.

IT jobs in Jacksonville hard to fill

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Healthcare workers are finding it difficult to fill critical IT jobs in Jacksonville.

According to new research by global professional services company Towers Watson, two-thirds (67%) of healthcare organizations are having problems attracting experienced IT employees, and 38% reporting retention issues.

At a time when many are already struggling to compete with IT consultancies that can afford to pay top dollar for experienced IT professionals, providers are further disadvantaged by their own misconceptions about what IT workers actually want from an employer.

The attraction problem is even greater for Epic-certified professionals, with nearly three-quarters (73%) of the respondents reporting difficulty hiring these individuals, whose specialized skills are essential to meet new electronic medical record requirements under health care reform.

“Hospitals have an urgent need for experienced, highly skilled IT professionals to ensure they can meet new government requirements and qualify for financial incentives,” said Heidi Toppel, a senior rewards consultant in Towers Watson’s hospital industry group. “In addition, the ability to share patient care information and records accurately and seamlessly with a range of other providers will be essential to achieving patient satisfaction and quality-of-care outcomes in a more integrated approach to health care delivery.”

Health care workers ranked job security, competitive base pay, health care benefits, convenient work location and career advancement opportunities as the primary reasons for accepting an offer of employment with a health care provider.

“The stark differences between the factors that employers believe attract IT employees and those that employees themselves say attract them are quite surprising. What’s clear is that employees are focused on the practical, while employers are focused on the developmental. The good news is that the vast majority of employers are taking steps to close the talent gap, and seek more balance in their employee value proposition and rewards program,” said Laurie Bienstock, North American rewards leader at Towers Watson.

“Given the importance of a competitive salary in attracting IT and Epic professionals, health care providers should take whatever steps they can to meet this need. But focusing on money is only part of the solution. Presenting career and growth opportunities remains important as well, and savvy employers will create as comprehensive a program as possible. Our data confirm that IT recruiting in the health care industry is a matter of striking the right balance between the practical needs of workers today and the longer-term goal of helping an industry transform itself for a different future,” said Toppel.

Salaries grow for Jacksonville jobs

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Those holding Jacksonville jobs might get a boost in their wallet, as starting salaries have reportedly climbed 3.4% for new grads.

The average starting salary for new college graduates earning bachelor’s degrees has risen 3.4 percent over last year, according to a new report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Engineering and health sciences majors—both of which received starting salaries that are, respectively, 3.8 and 3.9 percent more than last year—also saw sizable gains. The average starting salary for engineering graduates was $62,655 this year, while their classmates in health sciences earned $49,196.

Similarly, graduates with computer sciences degrees saw a substantial increase to their average starting salary—a jump of 3.8 percent to $59,221.

Meanwhile, graduates with degrees in math and sciences (2.7 percent, to $42,471) and humanities and social sciences (2 percent, to $36,988) saw smaller increases.

“We’ve seen a steady increase in the average starting salary for bachelor’s degree graduates over the past two years, indicating improvement in the job market for college graduates,” says Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director.

The highest increases came in education (5.4 percent, to $40,668), business (4.2 percent, to $53,900), and communications (4.1 percent, to $43,717).