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  • A Professional Development Academy provides frontline IT managers with mentorship opportunities from Fortune 500 executives and business school instructors.

  • Professionals worldwide continue to work longer hours every week, according to a recent survey from Kensington. The computer accessory company reports that a significant number of professionals are working at least 50 hours a week. Given the always-connected culture that technology advances have helped create, employees also stay on the job while at home, checking email right before going to bed and shortly after getting up in the morning. Survey findings also cover a broad range of other work-life topics. While the majority of survey respondents reported that they are most comfortable working at their home, for example, most still work in a traditional office environment. Even if they work from their home and have a designated workstation there to support this arrangement, many still prefer to work while sitting on their couch. Regardless of where they get the job done—and which devices they use to do it—nearly all survey participants who started their career post-2000 said they expect to receive a BYOD (bring-your-own device) allowance this year. More than 3,225 global Kensington customers and visitors to Kensington.com took part in the research.

  • When you're getting ready for a job interview, you've probably prepared yourself to field some tough inquiries about network administration, software design, cyber-security, mobile app development or whatever else your tech specialty happens to be. But did you ever think you'd be asked about, say, the formation of the earth? Or swim meets? Or the Muppets? (That's assuming you've ever watched a Muppet TV show or movie.) Believe it or not, technology companies—including some of the biggest names in IT—posed questions about these topics to job candidates. And Glassdoor recently ranked them to compile the following top 10 list of oddball interview questions. These questions seem to indicate that you should be prepared to address pretty much any topic during a job interview. And, in case you draw a blank when asked about unusual and unexpected subjects, you'll need a strategy to come up with an acceptable response. One suggestion from the experts: Instead of trying to provide some sort of answer to the bizarre question, explain how you'd go about trying to find an answer. That will demonstrate your problem-solving skills. Read the unconventional questions—and the companies that asked them—below.

  • Data is now considered a key focus for the majority of U.S. jobs, according to research recently released by the Department of Commerce's Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA). The accompanying report, titled "The Importance of Data Occupations in the U.S. Economy," reveals that data positions are growing at a remarkably faster pace than other jobs. As a result, workers in these jobs make far more than the average private-sector employee, findings show. The highest paying IT jobs, which are considered "data occupations," include computer information systems managers, software/application developers and computer systems analysts. As for where to go for these job? There's always California and New York, of course, but southern states such as Texas and Florida also rank in the top five of data employment states. The increase in demand for data skills is expected to continue: Annual investment in information technology equipment and software has surpassed $600 billion, which accounts for 3.8 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

  • According to an old adage, you should dress for the job you want, not the one you have. To take this further, you should also consider emulating your company's leaders in other ways. Before you do that, however, you should get answers to the following questions: How many hours do these executives work in a typical week? Do they eat lunch at their desk or at a fancy restaurant? Will they order a beer during an office happy hour event or stick with water? To find out how CEOs and other top executives roll on these and other options, we present this slideshow, which is based on a recent survey from CareerBuilder. If you're looking to move several rungs up the corporate ladder, you'll want to know about their choices, because that can make a difference when you're being considered for a big promotion. But don't expect something out of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, as many C-suiters take a modest approach in their personal and professional lives. "Certainly, getting ahead in your career is based largely on your performance," says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer of CareerBuilder. "The way you present yourself, however, is to many a reflection of how seriously you take your job." More than 550 executives—including CEOs, CFOs, COOs and senior vice presidents—took part in the research.

  • Spring is a time of renewal, so why not recharge your career by reading some of the following professional books, which cover a wide range of topics that address today's essential technology and business trends? For example, one book focuses on getting the most out of your work teams, while another explains how to proactively use disruptive technology to "attack" change in your organization. A third presents a guide that's designed to bring out the "intrapreneur" in you. Other titles focus on some of the traditional skills that have helped professionals advance their careers, such as effective communications and engagement. You may also want to check out a book that delves into the transformational nature of the peer-to-peer economy, or another that discusses the positive impact of what are called "stay interviews." And you won't want to miss some great tips about convincing your boss to give you a raise. Publishing information about these titles is subject to change, so please refer to the included links for updated release dates and other details.

  • IT certifications are increasingly serving as potent career-boosters for today's technology professionals, according to a recent survey from CompTIA. The accompanying report, "HR Perceptions of IT Training and Certification," indicates that most tech pros have at least one certification. However, HR and business executives have traditionally been unsure about the true value of these certificates, according to the report. Fortunately, such impressions are changing, as many executives now attribute a wide range of strategy-supporting benefits to them. As a result, you're very likely to make more money with an IT certification than without one, findings show. "Having IT job candidates with industry certifications saves time and resources in evaluating applicants, ensures a candidate's credibility and demonstrates that they have a baseline set of knowledge," says Amy Carrado, director of research and market intelligence for CompTIA. "But the benefits to the employer don't end when the certified IT pro is hired. … Certified hires get up to speed more quickly; are more likely to stay with the company long term; have a higher likelihood of being promoted; and generally perform better than non-certified IT staff." HR executives, managers and professionals representing a total of 400 U.S. organizations took part in the research.

  • Social media continues to expand at a dizzying pace: Every second, an average of 6,000 Tweets are sent—more than 500 million a day. The number of Facebook users is now approaching 900 million, with five new profiles created every second. And LinkedIn boasts approximately 350 million professionals. Meanwhile, there are 300 million monthly active users on Instagram, and an estimated 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. In other words, there's an awful lot of competition for attention. That means you need to take proactive steps to stand out from the crowd if you want to use social media to elevate your professional profile, as well as your company's. With this in mind, consider the following 11 ways to boost your social media presence. They include advice about both the style and the substance of your posts, as well as how you should interact with social network members. The tips also provide information about making the best use of your time while on social media sites. These guidelines were compiled from a number of online resources, including SocialMediaExaminer.com and Business2Community.com.