close this bookVolume 2: No. 06
View the documentNews -- computer industry
View the documentNews -- funded research
View the documentDiscussion -- career news
View the documentNews -- job opportunities
View the documentNews -- new journals
View the documentNews -- AAAI and journals calls
View the documentComputists -- David Lewis, Larry Bookman
View the documentI'd like to welcome two new members
View the documentDiscussion -- taxes
View the documentResource -- home business computers
View the documentResource -- legal software

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job growth in the next decade will be fastest in small companies and in computers, legal work, and careers for the well educated and trained. Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, and Colorado are picking up quite a few California companies; both costs and wages there are below the national average. Growth has slowed in Oregon and Washington, but Texas is beginning to recover. The Northeast is a disaster. [Larry Reibstein, Newsweek, 1/20.]

Yale recently considered closing its engineering department, and many other schools are likewise cutting back. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) says that the EE department costs 1.6 times as much as the math department but brings in only .8 times the revenue. [George F. Watson, The Institute, 1/92.]

Recent Bay Area layoffs include 300 at Varian Associates Inc. (Palo Alto, CA), 700 at Tandem Computers Inc. (Cupertino, CA), 130 at Chips & Technologies Inc. (San Jose, CA), and 170 at Pyramid Technology (Mountain View, CA). [Ken Siegmann, SF Chronicle, 2/4.]

A recent survey of 311 small high-tech companies (under 1K employees) showed 27% expanding by an average 39%, for 2,554 new jobs. Only 13% were shrinking or had failed. [CorpTech, High Technology Careers, 2/92.]

Software appears to be the healthiest EE/high-tech industry. Corptech's survey shows industry employment up 6% in November, 6% in December, and almost 8% in January. Next-best industries were telecommunications and then computer hardware.

The Washington, DC, area has fared rather well due to the abundance of professional-services and systems integration companies. It's a particularly good area for Ada programmers and communication system developers. Local start-up incubators include the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology (Chantilly, VA); the Center for Innovative Technology (Herndon, VA), (703) 478-7254; and the Technolgy Advancement Program (College Park, MD), (301) 314-7803). Booz Allen & Hamilton Technology Center (Bethesda, MD), (301) 951-2200 is looking for AI/NN developers and other EE/CS personnel; other companies that are actively hiring include Arinc (Annapolis, MD), (301) 266-4600; CIA (Washington, DC), (703) 482-7754; Fairchild Space and Defense (Germantown, MD) (301) 428-6000); PRC Inc. (VA), (703) 556-1000; TV Answer (Reston, VA), (703) 715-8600; and Veda Inc. (Alexandria, VA), (703) 684-8005. [Kate Colborn, EDN News, 12/12.]

Digital signal processing (DSP) is an area where EE and software skills come together. There is a need for better interfaces to DSP tools as the technology (speed, memory, etc.) grows at two orders of magnitude per decade. C code is standard, although parallel and object-oriented programming (in C++) are likely trends. Among the companies actively hiring are Comdisco Systems Inc. (Foster City, CA), (415) 574-5800, and Motorola Semiconductor Products SE, DSP Op. (Austin, TX), (512) 891-2000; [Marjorie Stenzler-Centonze, EDN News, 12/12.]

Tactical defense electronics looks to be stable or increasing. Hot areas are information and communications systems, integration, electronic combat systems, C^3I, and intelligence. Conventional cost-plus R&D contracts will be the norm. Basic research may suffer, as there is no longer a need for "leapfrog" technology. [Thomas L. Fagan Jr., Spectrum, 1/92.]

The more specialized your field, the more likely it is that you will have to move to get a job. Send 300 letters in your local area, then start working newspapers, trade associations, and Chambers of commerce in distant cities. The National Ad Search, a weekly classifieds compilation, may also help you locate booming industry centers. Stay with a friend or at a hotel while interviewing so your address doesn't foreshadow relocation costs -- but don't move until you actually have a job. [Dody Tsiantar, Newsweek, 1/20.]

Software developers often embed their names somewhere within their applications. That's true with Microsoft's new Windows applications, but the company refuses to reveal the hidden invocations. It seems that companies have been using the signatures to hire away Microsoft's best programmers. [Charles Bermant, CC, 1/28.]

Tim Finin (finin@algol.cs.umbc.edu) sent me a Women in CS report announcement. It's a 100-page tech report by Ellen Spertus, a graduate student in the MIT AI Lab. Bound hardcopy of AI TR 1315 is $8 plus shipping from publications@ai.mit.edu. You can also FTP the text (or PostScript, DVI, or compressed DVI) from pub/ellens on ftp.ai.mit.edu. [Rick Weingarten (rweingar@cs.umd.edu), Forsythe list, 1/31.]

ACM will be generating mentoring materials for women and minorities, supported by $47K from NSF. A training manual for SIG newsletter editors is also available. Contact acmhelp@acmvm.bitnet. [ACMemberNet, 1/92.]