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The Skills It Takes To Get Hired At Google, Facebook, Amazon, And More

Source | FastCompany : By LYDIA DISHMAN

LinkedIn dove deep into its user data and produced a list of the top 40 U.S. companies for attracting and keeping talented employees.

Only three companies in the top 20 (Coca Cola, Under Armor, and Black Rock) were not in the tech industry. These days though, plenty of businesses consider themselves a part of that sector. Take the CEO of Goldman Sachs, who refers to the financial firm as a tech company. Furthermore, coding has become the most important job skill across industries.

As the LinkedIn report notes, with every company going through a tech-driven transformation, “being a talent magnet is going to be what separates the winners from the also-rans.”

Photo: courtesy of Google

Google cinched the top spot among the 40 top attractors. In addition to perks like free meals and massages along with a culture that supports diversity and thecreation of the “perfect” team, Google has no trouble drawing candidates. One former Google recruiter estimated that he reviewed 3 million resumes in one year.

But what does it really take to get a job at the top organizations?

Tech knowledge, is of course, a requirement. However, Chris Bolte, the cofounder and CEO of Paysa, a big-data platform providing market insight about compensation and retention, says he’s seeing another trend that is clinching jobs for those without a traditional computer science degree.

“The most explosive growth we’re seeing is the emergence of deep learning,” says Bolte. He explains, “It’s a branch of machine learning and artificial intelligence leveraging what are called neural networks.”

At its simplest, the neural network functions like a web of interconnected brain cells inside a computer that can parse signals from images or video, for example. It can learn to recognize patterns and make decisions in a human way.

Bolte explains that deep learning extends a number of layers “deeper” than what was previously computationally feasible. He says given the amount of data Internet giants create, coupled with the advancement of computing, these deep learning methods are able to model signals more completely.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning as broader skills offer opportunity to a variety of tech talent. In a recent interview with Fast Company, senior machine learning recruiter at Microsoft Amanda Papp revealed: “Not everyone has to have that PhD in computer science. We have folks that have more physics backgrounds or biomathematics or permutational biology. [Machine learning] doesn’t necessarily have to have that standard comp-sci path.”

Paysa’s data shows that programming is still in high demand. At Google, for example, nearly half (45%) of its 60,000 employees know Java, and 42% know Python. Only 13% are knowledgeable in Git (open source software development), and 14% have skills in cloud computing. The majority (83%) of employees at Google have a bachelor’s degree, but only 7% come from Stanford. Other schools include Colorado School of Mines, Carnegie Mellon, and University College Dublin.

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