I've noticed that there tends to be a trend in North America of defining rather "vague" requirements for technical positions, contrasted with e.g. in some countries, where a position might advertise very specific requirements such as:
- MSc or PhD in computer science, bioinformatics, AI or related field
- 10+ years' experience (even though the field is less than 10 years old)
- Experience with Java Enterprise software development, Spring, MySQL, Maven and 30 more buzzwords
- Knowledge of Hadoop and Mahout a plus
I've seen similar job adverts in the US/Canada sometimes look more like:
- 10+ years of relevant work experience
- Knowledge of machine learning, bioinformatics
- Excellent communication skills
- Solid programming skills in Java, Eclipse etc. (actually writing "etc." in the advert)
How can I judge what level of qualifications and competence the recruiters are expecting given a relatively "vague" advert? — While the above two descriptions share similarities, the first one seems (at least to me) to be asking for someone already with very mature skills in the target area, while the second one is not as transparent to me: If an advert explicitly requires a PhD, it's more or less obvious that I should be able to design and execute research ideas independently and already have a relatively deep understanding of the field.
I know that, at least to some degree, North American companies are often less obsessed with papers and degrees than those in some other parts of the world, but how can I "guess" what level of "goodness" I'm supposed to have?