CompTIAWorld, Issue 6, Fall 2019

Learn how how the tech industry is embracing the Tech for Good movement—the intentional design, development and use of technology to tackle social challenges. CompTIA members share how their products—from blockchain promoting safer food sources to IoT helping to combat climate change—are making a positive impact. Read all this and more in CompTIAWorld, Issue 6.

Tech for Good

Angel Piñeiro CompTIA Member of the Year Tech for Good Can Emerging Technologies Help Build a Brighter Future? Tech in Real Life

Impacting Tech Pros Through CompTIA’s Advocacy Initiatives



In an era of perpetual disruption – much of it propelled by breakthroughs in business technology – access to industry insights and expertise is more essential than ever. So is CompTIA. CompTIA is your non-profit, global tech trade association connecting innovators with experienced technology solution providers, who together, are actively redefining the state of business technology. If your business builds, sells, influences or drives the adoption of technology, CompTIA is the place for you! become amember today

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Save up to 20% off everday car rental base rates * as a CompTIA member. Plus, enjoy combinable bonus offers and premier travel perks when you enroll in Hertz Gold Plus Rewards ® with your CompTIA Discount Code. Log into your Premier Membership account at and click on the red membership benefits tab to learn more. For program questions, please contact your CompTIA representative. We’re here to get you there. *Save up to 20% off a rental’s base rate at participating Hertz locations. Advance reservations required. Blackout periods may apply. Always include your Discount Code CDP# in your reservation to take advantage of this year-round discount program offered to your organization. Discounts identified by your CDP# may not be combined or used with travel industry discounts, prepay rates, tour rates or other discounts or rates not included in your organization’s discount program. Hertz age, driver and credit qualifications in effect at the time and place of rental apply. Base rate includes time and mileage charges only. Taxes, fees and optional charges are not included. Additional terms apply. © 2019 Hertz System, Inc. All rights reserved. CS 119156

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5 Note FromNancy 6 CompTIANewsflash 8 Member Matters 14 CompTIA Communities Cross Over at CCF 22 The Cyberstates Story 26 The Ethics of AI 34 HowOne IT Pro Built a Career— and Confidence—Fast 36 Tech In Real Life 46 Q&A: Delivering Technology Solutions That Can Change Lives 50 Passion for Technology and Service: Angel Piñeiro, Member of the Year 58 Tech for Good 64 TechGirlz SetsWorld Record for Girls in Coding 66 Leadership Circle 75 Tech for Good, for All

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Note from Nancy

Note From Nancy

T he tech industry often gets a bad rap. Data breaches, the digital divide, displacement of workers due to automation, privacy concerns—it fills our news feeds every single day. But technology is not an enemy. That’s not to say there aren’t important questions to ask and challenging ethical debates to have. Technology is a tool capable of rapidly changing society, which can cause anxiety among those who don’t understand it. Tech pros, companies and governments have begun to recognize and harness the awesome power of technology to solve our world’s most pressing problems. This movement, known as Tech for Good—the intentional design, development and use of technology to tackle social challenges—is the antidote to the negative stories that dominate the media and fuel uncertainty. In this sixth issue of CompTIAWorld, we put a spotlight on some of the awe-inspiring stories connected to this movement. In Tech for Good: Can Emerging Technologies Help Build a Brighter Future? (page 58), we take a look at the United Nation's 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how tech has rallied around this call to action—from blockchain that is promoting safer food sources to AI that is providing people with disabilities access to more job opportunities to IoT that is helping to combat climate change—and much, much more. We also look at other ways our industry is serving the greater good. We dive into companies that are providing resources to drive innovation, profile professionals who are making a difference and share stories on the efforts CompTIA and our members are making every day to advance the industry and train the workforce for 21st century jobs—jobs that have the potential to make a positive impact on people’s lives. We are also thrilled to introduce to you our 2019 Member of the Year, Angel Piñeiro (page 50), a longtime member and industry leader who embodies the concept of giving back, dedicating countless hours to creating opportunities for the next gen, particularly the at-risk and underserved, inspiring them to pursue careers in tech. We don’t shy away from the ethical debate either. In The Ethics of AI (page 24), you’ll learn how the industry is anticipating and managing the possible consequences of this emerging technology. It’s a critical conversation to have in order to maximize the benefits of AI as we learn how to balance ethical considerations with the technology’s potential. We are only beginning to scratch the surface with how tech and tech professionals can and will change the world for the better—and what a surface it is! CompTIA is committed to continuing to highlight how the industry is embracing the Tech for Good movement. We hope you enjoy this special issue and please email us with your Tech for Good stories at

EVP, Industry Relations Group


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News from across the association

Same as It Ever Was: Emerging Tech Needs Foundational IT Skills Despite the evolution of technology, there are core IT skills that have stood the test of time. Emerging technologies such as IoT, VR/AR and artificial intelligence still need IT pros who have a foundation of skills related to troubleshooting, cybersecurity and computer infrastructure. In January, we released a new version of CompTIA A+. Although the certification has been around since 1993, the content continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s IT departments. Learn more about the new CompTIA A+ at Following three sold-out events in the spring, the Women in Technology Summit (WITS) will hold its next events in Denver, Colorado on Oct. 4 and Raleigh, North Carolina on Nov. 8-9. WITS brings together women from a cross-section of industries and career levels for tech workshops and career discussions. Profits from the events support TechGirlz, which develops hands- on tech workshops for girls in middle school. To attend a WITS event, register at . To become a sponsor, contact Gloria Bell at . IT-Ready Graduates are Now Available Nationwide This year, Creating IT Futures more than doubled its IT-Ready career classes. With in-person classes plus online classes for Wounded Warrior Project members, dozens of CompTIA-certified graduates are equipped with both technical and professional skills and available for entry-level tech jobs. Creating IT Futures trains motivated people with an aptitude for technology from underserved populations. If you have entry-level IT positions open and need smart, dependable candidates, check out and connect with the workforce solutions manager in your area. CompTIA Launches New Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence CompTIA’s Industry Advisory Council on Artificial Intelligence will officially launch in January 2020 with a mission to advance the adoption of AI into mainstream business. The council will focus on developing content that can be shared with the broader tech industry, including micro courses, infographics, research, industry standards, webinars, podcasts, videos and more. The council will meet four times a year to discuss topics, provide guidance to CompTIA, and help drive education and thought leadership. To learn about all of CompTIA's Industry Advisory Councils, visit . Tech Summit to Highlight Critical Tech Policy Issues Tech policy issues cut across state, federal and international boundaries as well as help steer public sector markets and sales strategies. That’s why CompTIA brings together members who focus on government affairs and government solutions to converge at the annual Tech Summit, a two-day policy and public sector event. Attendees will hear from experts about what the 2020 presidential election will mean to tech businesses, and explore how artificial intelligence, automation and political transformation will impact future initiatives. For more information, visit . Women in Technology Summit Heads to Denver and Raleigh


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CompTIA Member Matters

Leveraging Technology to Improve the Delivery of Services to Citizens As chief information officer and director of information technology for Spotsylvania County, Virginia, Jane Reeve understands the vital role public agencies play in a growing suburban and rural county. She also understands how critical technology is to providing services to the community. “We have an incredibly diverse community and we’re very proud of the balance we have between a modern

suburban community and the traditional rural way of life,” Reeve said. “We want to deliver world-class services to all our residents without disrupting the quality of life that makes this a wonderful place to live and work.” Reeve’s team is responsible for managing the IT systems for just about every agency or department in the county. One of her biggest projects to date has been connecting all government offices via a high-speed broadband network. “For a county of more than 400 square miles, to get fiber to all of our fire and rescue stations, all of our water tanks, our schools, all of our facilities, was nothing short of a monumental task,” Reeve said. “We did all of this in a very fiscally responsible way and ended up with a return on our investment in four years.” That broadband project, along with everything else her team does, centers on empowering government agencies with the latest in technology. “I want to give them the tools they need to provide world-class services to our residents and businesses,” Reeve said.

Jane Reeve, Chief Information Officer, Spotsylvania County Last year, Reeve enrolled in PTI’s Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO) program to gain an even stronger understanding of how technology can improve public services. The program provides a foundation for assessing and addressing the critical issues facing IT leaders in the public sector. Reeve graduated from the program earlier this year and said it was one of the most valuable investments she’s made in her career. “PTI connects IT leaders with each other so we can share best practices,” she said. “PTI’s programs create the perfect environment for us to learn applicable skills that make us better CIOs.” Her commitment to public service led Reeve to the Public Technology Institute (PTI), which is now part of CompTIA.

"PTI’s programs create the perfect

environment for us to learn applicable skills that make us better CIOs."


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CompTIA Member Matters

Cisco’s Connected North Initiative Empowers Youth in Canada’s Indigenous Communities According to Statistics Canada, indigenous youth graduate high school at approximately half the rate of their non-indigenous peers. While there are a variety of factors that may contribute to this, the fact is that Canada’s northern, remote communities don’t have access to the learning resources the rest of the country enjoys. That’s where Cisco Canada’s Connected North initiative comes

in: The program delivers immersive and interactive virtual education as well as mental health and wellness programming to these communities via Cisco TelePresence technology. Mark Collins, vice president, Cisco Canada, and CompTIA Canadian Business Technology Community Executive Council leader, says the goal is to use advanced technology to connect classroom experiences and services to students. “Our goal has been, and continues to be, to deliver experiences that encourage students to come to school. We listen to community leaders and help them deliver the services that are most in need, whether those connect students with experts, experiences or ideas.” Launched in 2014 with one school in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, a territory in Canada, Connected North now serves 10,000 students from 42 schools across the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. The Connected North teamworks with each school to customize content and

address unique needs. Content is rooted in indigenous themes of culture and tradition, and indigenous ways of knowing and learning. The program has been so successful that in 2016 Cisco migrated Connected North to dedicated charity partner TakingITGlobal in order to foster growth and scale. Cisco Canada, in partnership with TakingITGlobal, has built an ecosystem of over 60 funding partners to support growth, including federal, provincial and territorial governments, private sector leaders, private foundations and individual donors. “Connected North helps overcome the digital divide. Students in remote northern communities are being given the same learning opportunities as students in southern Canada,” said Collins. “This is a new digital model for learning in the north. But it’s more than a network to deliver 21st century learning. It’s a network of hope.” Mark Collins, Vice President, Cisco Canada

"This is a new digital model for learning in the north. But it’s more than a network to deliver 21st century learning. It’s a network of hope.”


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CompTIA Member Matters

CompTIA AITP’s Rising Star is Inspiring the Next Generation of Tech Pros One of the most valuable resources an aspiring IT professional can have is a mentor, especially women and people of color who are underrepresented in the industry. Fortunately, rising tech professionals like Susanne Tedrick are stepping up as champions of mentorship and helping to expand the universe of those who see a future for themselves in IT.

As a member of IBM’s Cloud Platform technical sales team, Tedrick works with cutting edge technology, but her career path didn’t lead straight to the IT industry. “Growing up, I was always interested in technology,” said Tedrick. “I would take my parent’s appliances apart and try to see how they work, but it was never something that was cultivated beyond general interest.” Her first jobs were administrative in nature, but she felt a calling to work in IT. She enrolled in courses at Northwestern University and joined CompTIA, which led to opportunities to meet local tech professionals and learn about where IT skills are needed. “To make a career transition you need to network, find mentors, and know what’s relevant in the industry,” said Tedrick. “School can only go so far in providing that, and that’s what I was looking for when I joined—to fill holes missing in traditional education and augment my transition to IT.” In addition to working full-time and studying for a master’s degree, Tedrick

volunteers with mentoring programs such as IBM’s P-TECH initiative and Black Girls Code, a nonprofit that empowers girls of color to develop IT skills. “I love going to [Black Girls Code] workshops because it’s really important for girls that age to see that women of color can do this and are succeeding,” said Tedrick. Seeing women leaders in tech and finding a mentor was critical for Tedrick’s career, and now she’s working to build that same confidence with the next wave of innovators. "Being able to have people that understand your background and struggles and have that partnership and friendship is important,” said Tedrick. “When you have diversity of thought and different backgrounds you get really incredible things.” Susanne Tedrick, Client Technical Specialist, IBM Cloud Platform

“When you have diversity of thought and different backgrounds you get really incredible things.”


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CompTIA Member Matters

Connecting Law Enforcement Technologies for a Safer World As senior director of government affairs at Axon, Esmael Ansari works to ensure that state and federal laws and regulations encourage the development and deployment of innovative technologies that embrace artificial intelligence, as well as advanced software and data management solutions for the law enforcement community.

“The technology that Axon develops is built to improve officer efficiency so they can spend less time doing paperwork and more time working in their communities,” Ansari said. “One pain point for officers that we have received feedback on is the time it takes to redact video evidence. In response to this, Axon developed an AI- powered tool called Redaction Assistant.” Instead of manually drawing boxes around objects frame-by-frame in a video, Redaction Assistant uses AI to detect a license plate, a face or a screen and automatically draws a box around it so the user can confirmwhether it is an object that needs to be redacted. While this tool involves face detection, not facial recognition technology, there is a lot of misinformation about this type of AI. “Regulation and policy around AI is an important issue, which is why Axon created our AI and Policing Technology Ethics Board," said Ansari. Axon, a member of CompTIA, is involved in federal and state government affairs work including committees focused on procurement, new and emerging

technology, cybersecurity, privacy and data security. The company participated in CompTIA’s Tech Demo Day on Capitol Hill and works directly with the New and Emerging Technology Committee. “CompTIA has helped Axon amplify voice in our key markets,” Ansari said. Axon’s products include the original TASER ®

“CompTIA has helped Axon amplify our voice in key markets."

Esmael Ansari, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Axon

conducted electrical weapon, a less-than- lethal option for law enforcement, as well as body-worn cameras and

the digital evidence management system Axon Evidence. “At Axon, the ultimate mission is to protect life, there is determination to make new things possible in service of that goal. It is easy to be enthusiastic about your work every day when you know what you are doing is for the betterment of humanity," said Ansari.


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CompTIA Member Matters

Public Sector Tech Leaders Graduate from Exclusive PTI Program CompTIA’s Public Technology Institute (PTI) recently celebrated another class of Certified Government Chief Information Officers (CGCIO) at a formal ceremony that featured presentations from all participants on a variety of critical issues facing county and city governments. The 12-month certification programwas established to deliver exclusive professional development and training opportunities designed to help public sector technology professionals maintain the skills necessary to address the responsibilities that come with being a technology leader. These officials face increasing challenges and are responsible for managing the expanding role of IT while keeping up with advances in technology. Presented in partnership with Rutgers University Center The program addresses topics such as leadership, emerging technologies, security, risk management, human resources, communication, ethics, big data, strategic planning, managing change and more. Each topic draws on participant experience to provide both theoretical and practical applied knowledge to the challenges facing technology leaders. Congratulations to the participants, including: Eileen Cazaropoul, Deputy CIO, City of Worcester Steven Chozick, Division Chief - Emerging Technologies / GIS, City of Alexandria Barry Condrey, CIO, Chesterfield County Michael Culp, Director of Information Technology, Albemarle County Bruce Hermes, Deputy CIO, City of Austin Adam Luckhaupt, CIO, Franklin County John McGinn, Communication Consultant, Mission Critical Partners for Government Services, the program comprises 240 contact hours that take the form of reading and written assignments; nine monthly live, online classes; three full days of class; self-paced online coursework; and the writing and presentation of a capstone project.

Chris Nchopa-Ayafor, CIO, Tarrant County Linda Pounds-Adams, Deputy CIO, City of Austin Jane Reeve, CIO, Spotsylvania County Ryon Saenz, Deputy CIO, City of Alexandria


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CompTIA Communities Cross Over at CCF Successful innovation doesn’t live in a silo; the business of technology is about a crossover of ideas.

by Michelle Lange M anaged services providers are ideally positioned to layer new technology into their recurring revenue business, while emerging tech providers are looking to the MSP model as a route to market. To find solutions, CompTIA brought in both audiences to learn from the other side’s experience. You can’t buy that kind of crossover expertise—it’s a specialty of CompTIA Communities.

executive vice president of industry relations, as she welcomed hundreds of thought leaders to the CompTIA Communities and Councils Forum, held in Chicago, March 11-13. “Thank you all for being here and contributing.” Throughout the three-day event, CCF attendees tackled the confidence gap, new business strategies and the future of the tech industry, which means addressing young people who are interested in tech. “Gen-Zers have learned a lot from their parents and the generation before,” Hammervik said. In her reading, she’s found they are more focused on skills- based jobs and want the kind of stability and security technology can offer. “They’re not looking to take on college debt; they’re looking for results.” Hammervik laid out CompTIA’s 2019 priorities and goals, so that the work done in the community meetings and workshops could all map to the same place. The CCF audience of business leaders, which

"I always talk about the energy at meetings, but this has gone past an energy. This is a vibe,” said Nancy Hammervik, CompTIA


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grewmore than 25% from the 2018 event, made a conscious effort to share ideas and tackle big problems frommultiple points of view. During the session on recurring revenue, the Managed Services Community invited the entire crowd to their workshop on how to bring XaaS and recurring revenue models to the business of technology. “If we were a startup it would be easy. We were a legacy model,” said West McDonald, describing Tigerpaw’s challenging switch from perpetual licenses to recurring revenue. “You needed a Ouija board and an org chart to figure out what to buy from us.” The first step to changing over is to identify the ways your service offerings fit a recurring revenue model, he said. Starting there, TigerPaw convinced 95%

of its customers to give up their licenses in favor of a subscription. “It had to do with a whole repackaging of our services and a lot of math,” McDonald said. Crossing Paths to Fill in the Gaps During CCF, CompTIA’s Emerging Technology Community debated the top 10 emerging technologies that will disrupt markets and rock the tech industry and found the Internet of Things on the top of the list—a position it has held for many years. To CompTIA’s Chief Technology Evangelist James Stanger, that proves a point: There’s a fundamental gap between what we can do with technology and when it’s widely adopted. “We’ve been talking about ‘the cloud’ for 10 years and we’ve only seen strong implementation over the last three to five years,” said Stanger. He calls it future gap and says it feeds into some other gaps addressed at CCF—the confidence gap, the skills gap and the diversity gap. “We did a root cause analysis for what’s causing these gaps and part of the answer is the 'future gap'.”

The Emerging Technology and Advancing Diversity in Technology communities held a joint workshop to address the diversity gap with emerging, like using AI to reduce bias in job descriptions and career goals. Focused on the gender gap, the Advancing Women in Technology and IT Security communities met in a joint workshop to brainstorm barriers and solutions to the fact that only 14% of the current U.S. workforce in cybersecurity is female. In “Hidden Figures: Opening Up Cybersecurity Careers to Women,” members brainstormed qualities that work well in cybersecurity and steps to take to get a foot in the door. “Get to know the industry,” said Lysa Myers of ESET. “Find someone who will vet you and says, ‘This person is ethical and knows how to work well in a team.’ You need to prove you are reasonable and ethical and are doing things in a way that’s helping people.” For anyone trying to get into technology, there’s a big enough need for skilled workers that sometimes it helps to simply ask. “We need to take that angst and awkwardness out of the ask,” said Kathryn Rose of wiseHer. “People are afraid they’re going to get rejected. If you don’t ask, it’s 100% a ‘no’ so you might as well ask.”


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Addressing the generation gap, the Technology Lifecycle Services and Future Leaders communities held a workshop to address the ways communication methods have changed. In “You’ve Been Slacked, NowWhat?” they came up with solutions to the challenges of getting five generations on the same page, whether they prefer the phone, email or a unified communication system. Community Meetings In addition to joint workshops, CompTIA Communities held their annual meetings where members define their latest projects and make headway on initiatives. CompTIA’s Advancing Diversity in Technology (ADIT) Community hosted three talks about accelerating workplace diversity.

“You must ensure you have a meritocracy process,” said Kim Thornton of BP, delivering six actionable steps to bringing more diversity into technology. Thornton recommended things like foregoing the traditional routes to hiring, like partnering with diverse external organizations and understanding how your company is perceived in the community. If you’re having trouble finding diverse candidates, look harder, she said. “You have to be very intentional in this space,” Thornton said. The ADIT Community will continue its partnership efforts with the National Urban League and Creating IT Futures, CompTIA’s charitable arm, to expand the IT-Ready program and reach additional underrepresented populations. In the Future Leaders Community meeting, CompTIA members developed the IT-Ready Graduation Toolkit, a set of resources designed to prepare graduating students to put their best foot forward when searching for a job in IT. The project is a collaboration between Creating IT Futures and the member community for the industry’s youngest members—a good stepping stone for people new to the business of technology. The Advancing Women in Technology Community launched discussion groups on

AWIT Connect, a directory of likeminded organizations that support women in technology. They’re also developing a new podcast series about the realities of women working in technology, hosted by Cristina Martin Greysman of Amazon and Janet Schijns of the JS Group. “We’re going to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Schijns. The Managed Services Community covered executing a one-year process and the quarterly rock—an objective that should take a quarter to produce—in their ongoing discussion on how to futureproof your business. The Technology Lifecycle Services Community kept their recurring revenue conversation going with expert talks on how to build a more profitable business. Members plan to write a book on the recurring revenue lifecycle and used their time to plan out the table of contents. The Emerging Technology Community is planning deep dives with content on IoT, AI and 5G, based off their top 10 list.


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Learn more about CompTIA Communities

If you want to hear more from CompTIA Communities, search for CompTIA on your favorite podcast app and subscribe. You can also join any of the CompTIA Communities online at


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WHO we are

TechGirlz is a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring middle school girls to explore the possibilities of technology.

WHAT we do Free workshops for girls Summer camp

50+ topics, including:



Teen leadership opportunities Volunteer opportunities for tech professionals



HOW to help

visit us online TECHGIRLZ.ORG

Lead or assist at workshops Sign up for our parent newsletter

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We are pleased to announce that TechGirlz is now part of the Creating IT Futures family. Plans are in the works to expand the TechGirlz program to reach more girls than ever before, offering them the opportunity to explore over 50 technology topics. You can join us in our mission! Get involved with TechGirlz by helping to host or teach a workshop, or provide needed funding to bring the program to more locations. Visit to learn more about how you can support TechGirlz in 2019!

THE CYBERSTATES STORY: How the Top States Stack Up Tech-related employment across the United States increased by more than 260,000 jobs in 2018, and the tech sector increased its contribution to the nation’s economy, according to Cyberstates™, the definitive guide to national, state and metropolitan area tech sector and tech workforce analytics. Here’s how the top 10 states rank for net tech employment in 2018.

#5 ILLINOIS 439,541 net tech employment 69% increase in number of tech job postings $55.5 billion direct economic impact

#1 CALIFORNIA 1,782,499 net tech employment 51,567 new tech jobs 86% increase in number of tech job postings

#2 TEXAS 982,988 net tech employment $141.8 billion direct economic impact 112% increase in number of tech job postings

CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux honors the 2019 CompTIA Tech Champions; Sen. Gary Peters, Rep. David Schweikert and Stephen T. Cobb, senior security researcher at ESET.


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WHAT IS NET TECH EMPLOYMENT? The techworkforce consists of two primary components. Net tech employment is a single metric that encompasses both components, making it easier to describe the tech workforce. The first component is the set of technology occupation professionals working in technical positions, such as IT support, network engineering, software development and related roles. The second component consists of the business professionals employed by technology companies. These professionals play an important role in supporting the development and delivery of the technology products and services used throughout the economy.


CALIFORNIA Apple Inc. Northrop Grumman Amazon

TEXAS IBM Deloitte Accenture

NEW YORK IBM JP Morgan Chase Capital Markets Placement FLORIDA Accenture Lockheed Martin Corporation Deloitte

#9 MICHIGAN 409,406 net tech employment 109,300 new tech jobs $37.4 billion direct economic impact

#3 NEW YORK 663,295 net tech employment 51% increase in number of tech job postings $188.9 billion direct economic impact

ILLINOIS Accenture Deloitte Capgemini

VIRGINIA Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. General Dynamics ManTech International

#8 MASSACHUSETTS 428,788 net tech employment 80% increase in number of tech job postings $87.1 billion direct economic impact

PENNSYLVANIA Comcast Pennsylvania State University Deloitte MASSACHUSETTS Raytheon Capital Markets Placement World Travel Holdings

#7 PENNSYLVANIA 435,170 net tech employment 70% increase in number of tech job postings $53.7 billion direct economic impact

#6 VIRGINIA 436,545 net tech employment

MICHIGAN General Motors FCA US LLC Fast Switch Limited OHIO JP Morgan Chase Accenture Fast Switch Limited

#10 OHIO 396,795 net tech employment

$62.7 billion direct economic impact $94,493median tech occupationwage

$34.5 billion direct economic impact $74,116median tech occupationwage

#4 FLORIDA 567,862 net tech employment 18,147 new tech jobs $71 billion direct economic impact

Looking for more data? Visit CYBERSTATES.ORG.


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by Natalie Hope McDonald W h en Arizona officials invited Uber to test its self-driving cars last year, they didn’t anticipate that the innovative beta program would result in a headline- grabbing tragedy. But after a pedestrian in Tempe became the first known fatality associated with the autonomous technology, many jurisdictions put the brakes on similar programs as local legislators scrambled to find a way to regulate a technology that challenges our understanding of it. The Ethics of AI How the tech industry is navigating one of the most misunderstood and game-changing technologies of our time

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the umbrella term for smart technology that is already being programmed into systems and devices to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition and decision-making. What makes AI such a powerful tool is that it’s proving to operate much more accurately and faster than any human possibly could. As such, there are many ethical questions that surround not only how the technology is being developed, but how it will be used in the not-so-distant future. “Just like how there are benefits as well as concerns regarding every new technology that comes into picture, AI, too, has received its own share of credit and apprehension from the industry,” explained Amit Agrawal, founder and COO of Cyber Infrastructure (CIS), a custom software development


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Plenty of U.S. cities, big and small, are experiencing their own individual tech renaissances that contribute to the global whole.



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company in San Jose, California. “Even with all the amazing advantages that AI is capable of delivering, there is still the need to obtain greater transparency into the actual working and decision-making mechanism of AI and specify clear ethical guidelines regarding what the AI should and shouldn’t be allowed to do.” Like many in the tech industry who are considering how AI will inevitably change the way we do business, Agrawal is aware of serious ramifications within even the most promising technological advances. In fact, CIS has taken this a step further by implementing its own ethical checklist as it develops tools that already leverage

popular applications related to machine learning, robotics and natural language processing for AI systems. “When we are thinking about solving a business problem, no matter what industry vertical it pertains to, ethics is certainly one of the most important factors that we consider during the solution development process,” Agrawal said. “It is also one of the areas that we clearly discuss with our clients prior to and during the development.” For Agrawal, the bottom line is that ethical adherence is important for an AI solution to be viable over the long term. Key considerations often hinge on things like consumer privacy, cybersecurity concerns and digital data management, especially as AI becomes more familiar and useful to consumers worldwide. “AI is one of the most trending technologies today in the IT industry,” said Agrawal. "But what’s even more interesting is how AI is now being connected with other technologies, like blockchain and IoT.” For the technology to be a success, according to Agrawal, ultimately it will be necessary to eliminate the possibility of mistakes, accidents, unpredictable consequences or biases.

Safety, Privacy and Quantifiable Success Ethical questions have long pervaded the tech

industry’s development of new solutions with fierce debates swirling around everything frommobile phones to automation. Like with any burgeoning technology with a great deal of potential to create social change, AI inspires just as many questions as it does accolades. What makes AI particularly notable is the extent to which these questions are taking place in both the consumer and the enterprise arenas. According to Seth Robinson, senior director of technology analysis at CompTIA, “One of the prime examples of AI today is the virtual assistant. This is actually true in both the consumer space and the


CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019


CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

enterprise space.” While consumers have enjoyed some perks from systems such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri, there are also concerns about the way these systems record conversations and use the data on the back end. Robinson notes that while enterprise-style virtual assistants are not using natural language interfaces as much, they still need to be concerned with how AI results might be interpreted when making strategic decisions. “Virtual assistants and other AI applications are driving new behaviors as people interact with their technology, and the technology on the back end is becoming more contextual by analyzing behavioral data,” said Robinson.

Beyond virtual assistants, AI is appearing in more subtle ways in many other places, which inevitably impacts the IT industry at large. “For example, business productivity software is now using new AI techniques to provide suggestions for an end user, but this may appear to be more of a feature of the software rather than a brand new application,” said Robinson. Understanding the way that AI is making decisions and providing assistance is a key part of using AI applications, and CompTIA research shows that AI troubleshooting is expected to become one of the most in-demand skills that businesses are looking for. As consumers and businesses ease into using technology enhanced by AI, Robinson expects that many of the most mainstream efforts will be limited to narrow use cases, at least in the near future. “Although virtual assistants appear to be the first step toward general purpose applications, their functionality is still very limited,” said Robinson. “Achieving general purpose AI is still several years away. In the meantime, AI will continue to change the landscape in more subtle ways as an enabler for existing applications to produce new results.” The Big Picture

“When we are thinking about solving a business problem, no matter what industry vertical it pertains to, ethics is certainly one of the most important factors that we consider during the solution development process." Amit Agrawal, Founder and COO, Cyber Infrastructure

Marc Fischer, CEO and co-founder of Dogtown Media, a mobile media development company in Venice Beach, California, has been talking to legislators and business leaders around the country for the past few years about how AI is poised to change the way we all live and work. As an incubator of new technology that relies heavily on AI, Fischer believes that it isn’t a question of if AI will change the financial and employment landscapes, but when. “The two scariest things that will keep folks up late at night are around financial security and safety,” said Fischer. “It will go farther than anyone ever expected.” During a two-day symposium on AI at the University of Missouri, Fischer says that one of the


CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

For one thing, the mainstreaming of AI means that human employees will ultimately lose jobs to robots and other autonomous machines. “We know it’s coming, but it’s a question of what we are doing to prepare for it," said Fischer. One example could be the elimination of ride-share drivers to driverless cars. As companies such as Uber and Lyft invest time and money to create autonomous vehicles, they do so with the presumption that they’ll reap financial reward. Presently, a company such as Uber may net about 20% off the top of each ride, but it could bank closer to 100% if it replaces humans with intelligent machines. For this to happen, of course, plenty of ethical questions must first be answered, like whether a machine can be as intelligent as a driver, and how exactly it will need to be programmed to make life and death decisions every second on our highways. Potential benefits aside, it’s not an idea that always rests comfortably with the general public even as the industry is racing to make the best prototype. There’s also the question of education and creating an employment landscape that matches up with available training. “There are many areas

biggest takeaways was just how powerful and misunderstood AI really is, even within the tech community. “AI is what I coin as the greatest technological transformation in human history since the advent of the Internet,” he said. But the industry has yet to truly grasp howmuch of an impact it’s poised to have, not only on the tech world, but also the overall employment structure that is rapidly changing. The predicted global financial impact of AI alone is staggering, estimated by PWC to reach $16 trillion in worldwide growth in the next few years. “The main beneficiaries will be the U.S. and China,” said Fischer. “AI will have a major impact all through our economy.” The biggest sectors, most of which are already feeling it, include mobile and smart home technology, medicine, data processing, delivery and transportation. Despite the financial stimulus promised by this game-changing technology, Fischer is cognizant of the inevitable transitional period between now and when AI truly goes mainstream, and whether enough people in power really grasp how the technology will change the structure of work and life.


CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

of the workforce that will be replaced by AI,” Fischer said. That’s why a big part of the ethical discussion needs to be focused on training and retraining a workforce that will inevitably lose jobs. Bridging this gap certainly comes with challenges. Fortunately, the tech industry has been proactive in addressing disruption. Google, most notably, has been hosting events on AI for the past few years. In 2018, California state and local leaders were invited to the campus to discuss how inevitable disruption within the workforce will impact citizens in the short and long term. For its part, the tech industry, which is already facing

a shortage of talent, is advocating hard for training and retraining people who risk being replaced. Many of the top tech companies like IBM, Microsoft and Facebook have also established ethics boards, while innovators such as Elon Musk have championed for strict regulations. At SXSW last year, Musk famously warned that unchecked, AI is potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons. Fear, Loathing and Regulation Two areas that tend to draw the most ire from critics have to do with militarization and law enforcement. Drones that use AI, for example, have already been used to bomb opponents during war, while the police department in Dallas came under scrutiny several years ago after it used an AI-enabled drone to deliver explosives. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force is already experimenting with pilotless planes intended for battle, while federal and local investigators are using facial recognition to track and identify potential suspects—all thanks to advances in AI. And it’s only the beginning. “We’re moving into an age where all of your movement is tracked through geo- location and all the people you’re talking to on social media are tracked not by humans, but by algorithms,” Fischer said.

“There are many areas of the workforce that will be replaced by AI. That’s why a big part of the ethical discussion needs to be focused on training and retraining a workforce that will inevitably lose jobs. Bridging this gap certainly comes with challenges." Marc Fischer, CEO and Co-founder, Dogtown Media

These ethical debates have prompted the EU to establish “Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI,” something that many U.S.-based companies such as IBM are eagerly embracing. According to Francesca Rossi, IBM’s AI ethics global leader, “The guidelines recognize that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.” Rossi is one of many tech leaders from around the world who has been working with the European Commission to develop ethics, policy and investment recommendations around AI. Two major components of “Trustworthy AI,” are to “respect fundamental rights, applicable regulation, and core principles and values, ensuring an ‘ethical purpose,’” and, “It should be technically robust and reliable since, even with good


CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

Are You AI Ethical?

At Cyber Infrastructure, Founder and COO Amit Agrawal has created a checklist for how the custom software development company currently considers the ethics of AI. Before bringing any solution to market, for example, employees work closely with partners to establish the following: • Ensure that the data stored and managed by the AI applications is completely secure from any type of misuse. • Make sure that each operation carried out by the system is explained with certainty so that the client has complete control and autonomy over the system. • Determine the overall impact of the AI solution on the business, while focusing on maximizing the productive value of the solution and minimizing any possible risks. • Ensure that the AI application works within safe boundaries and is not susceptible to any glitches.

Without funding and guidelines, it’s unclear how AI will actually be implemented within different agencies stateside. Agrawal says that both funding and standards are needed to make any practical movement in the U.S. “Establishing universally accepted standards for safe, accountable and secure implementation of AI is the need of the hour,” Agrawal explained. “These norms will help bring more clarity around AI, allowing not just the technology experts, but even the common public to accept AI without any doubts.” Check out the latest AI research from CompTIA at , and learn more about addressing the skills gap created by technologies like AI in Creating a 21st Century Workforce at .

intentions, a lack of technological mastery can cause unintentional harm.” In the U.S. earlier this year, the Trump administration issued an executive order to launch a kind of AI taskforce that will work with the Office of Science and Technology. The American AI Initiative, as it’s called, could have wide-reaching impact on the way various sectors develop and use the technology (or don’t), particularly when it comes to both military and health. But unlike China’s plan two years ago that channeled billions in spending toward the development of AI, the U.S. has not allocated funds or proposed a formal federal policy as of yet. Instead, federal agencies are encouraged to pool resources from existing budgets in order to “drive technological breakthroughs in AI,” according to a press statement.


CompTIAWorld | FALL 2019

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