Roundup: Nokia’s Moving Jobs to Silicon Valley

Nokia’s decision to abandon its own Symbian mobile OS in favor of Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 will likely cause job losses in Finland but gains in Silicon Valley, where more of Nokia’s R&D will soon move. Microsoft paid “billions” to convince Nokia to join its team (and also happens to be a former employer of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Elop pointed out that while 80 percent of the world’s population lives within range of cellphone coverage, only 20 percent is connected to the Internet. Nokia, he said, can bring 3 billion people online through mobile Internet on cell phones.

Weekly News Roundup: Nokia's Moving R&D Jobs to Silicon Valley

And it’s not just Nokia that’s heating up the Valley. Employers there added 12,300 jobs last year, according to Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Google, Facebook, and a new batch of social media startups are leading the charge. Facebook will be moving from Palo Alto to Menlo Park to find more office space for its growing team.

Also hunting for good tech pros: Tesla Motors, the electric car company based in Palo Alto. With revenues up, the company is hiring 165 people including firmware engineers, sales staff, and even an executive chef.

In Washington, the President’s 2012 budget includes $79.5 billion in federal IT spending, up 1.3 percent over the estimated $78.5 billion to be spent this year up. Among the initiatives likeliest to be funded are cybersecurity programs, including $2.3 billion at the Department of Defense, as well as $119 million for the military’s new Cyber Command. The government also hopes to spend on data center consolidation and cloud computing. The Washington Post suggests it’s possible to “read the 2012 budget as a roadmap to government employment.”

This week’s presidential field trip to the Valley and Intel’s headquarters in Oregon is meant to draw attention to job growth in the tech sector. Obama is set to discuss job creation with Facebook, Google, and Apple executives, among others.

The latest study from researcher Foote Partners suggests that Microsoft certifications are dropping in value and provide a smaller pay boost than skills related to Cisco, Oracle, EMC, VMware, IBM, SAP and Red Hat technologies. IT workers with Microsoft certs earn 5.9 percent more than they might if they didn’t know Microsoft technologies, but the pay premium is smaller than the industry average, which is 7.3 percent across 225 IT certifications.

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February 20-23 – Las Vegas

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February 22, 1:00 PM (ET) – Online

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Taking Sustainability to the Bank: Energy Optimization and the Bottom Line

February 23, 1:00 PM (ET) – Online

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SCALE (Southern California Linux Expo)

February 25-27 – Los Angeles

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IT Security Entrepreneurs’ Forum

March 15-16 – Palo Alto

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— Don Willmott

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