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News in March was focused on change and career development. Competition for tech talent continues to intensify, and companies are doing a lot to stay ahead of the curve. This is especially apparent in multiple outlets reporting on a desire for atypical skills that can bring new perspective and value to companies.

March Industry News

Billionaire Has a New Goal for His 17,000 Workers: Learn to Code  (Bloomberg)

Rakuten Inc. first had all its employees learn English. Now, Japanese billionaire, Hiroshi Mikitani, wants those same employees to learn to code. This is becoming a mandatory skill for entry-level workers. Mikitani is determined to keep employees’ skills current and advanced given Rakuten Inc. is now competing with companies like Amazon.

Tech Hiring a Bright Spot Amid Weaker Job Growth (The Wall Street Journal)

While overall job growth has been declining, tech hiring is on the rise.  In February, according to CompTIA, IT job openings increased by approximately 253,000 roles across all industries. Jobs such as software developers, computer user support specialists and computer systems engineers prove to be the most in-demand skills. Other skills are also starting to make an impact such as blockchain, AI and machine-learning.

How Standard Brands Can Compete For Top Developer Talent (Forbes)

With competition for tech talent remaining high, apprenticeship programs and partnerships with engineering schools are becoming more common. Candidates with the desired skills are gravitating towards the typical job hubs of San Francisco, New York and Austin. So, what does that mean for smaller companies in less popular areas and industries? Trent Miskin, CGO and Co-Founder of Lendio, believes companies need differentiation and personalization to compete.

Training unlikely techies (Axios)

The tech industry is continuing to attract unique and unlikely workers whose past jobs may not have the typical transferable and applicable skills normally required. Past school teachers and Uber drivers are among the many types of people that now build software or apps. Fostering this change are company-sponsored programs like apprenticeships. Companies provide free, intensive training that can lead to a potential job within the company. With this hiring model, organizations are focusing more on character traits than programming skills or resumes.

When a Passion for Videogames Helps Land That Job (The Wall Street Journal)

Playing video games could be a resume builder. With the rise of technologies like VR, a background in creating or playing video games can add value to companies such as better online collaboration, problem solving and other applicable work-related skills. Recruiters and employers are saying those who describe themselves as “avid gamers” are more likely to be easily trained and are easily able to navigate a set of instructions. A 2017 survey by Robert Half Technology stated, that 24% of more than 2,500 CIOs were attracted to entry-level candidates who cited playing or developing video games as a hobby.

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