In a story entitled “8 hot IT skills for 2014” dated September 23, ComputerWorld reports on areas of “zero unemployment” within the general field of IT (whose latest 6.6 percent unemployment rate as of August 2013 already beats the overall unemployment rate of 7.3 percent for that same month). Here’s their list of items, straight from the source, listed in rank order based on the publication’s recently completed 2014 Forecast survey, which also indicates that about one-third of responding organizations plan to increase IT headcount, with about half that amount (14%) expecting to decrease, and the remainder (54%) expecting to maintain headcount status quo:1. Programming/application development (with a reported 1.8% unemployment rate according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics) where the biggest demand is for mobile development skills, and experience in building secure applications.
2. Help desk/technical support, which may be a nice indicator of overall economic improvement because “Organizations mainly add help desk and tech support when they’re adding workers and expanding their technology infrastructure,” according to Scott Melland, CEO of Dice Holdings (parent company of Dice.com).
3. Networking took a big jump from 8th place in 2012 to 3rd this year, thanks in large part to increasing demand for IT pros who possess skills and knowledge in wireless networking, and also, no doubt, to help staff the ever-increasing number of data centers for cloud-based services, big data analysis, and so forth.
4. Mobile applications and device management takes a great leap forward (9th place in 2012, to 4th place this year) because of the onslaught of BYOD and mobile-based information access in a preponderance of businesses and organizations everywhere.
5. Project Management may have slid from second to fifth place this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still white-hot in the IT community (Dice’s Melland places it second only to mobile developers in his estimation of where the IT job action is at present).
6. Database Administration makes its way into the rankings from out of nowhere, thanks in large part to the zooming interest in and use of “Big Data” in organizations and businesses of all stripes. DBMS skills and knowledge have always been important, but now they are starting to gather some serious interest and financial value on the IT job market, too.
7. Security Compliance/Governance: Security has been important for the past decade or more, but understanding of security requirements, processes, and business import is gaining value and momentum, thanks to increasing adoption of governance and compliance regimes such as ITIL and COBIT, along with a growing set of government mandates to require attention to such things.8. Business Intelligence/Analytics: ongoing emphasis on “Big Data” and data mining ensure continued interest in and added-value for this burgeoning field (its fall from 5th place last year to 8th place this year simply shows that as IT job opportunities expand, it must make way for other, even hotter specialties).
In nearly every one of these areas you can find IT certifications that will help you stake out a presence. Check out my various “Top 5 Certification” and other stories for Tom’s IT Pro that relate to 7 of 8 of these topical specialties:
- Top 5 Programming Certifications for 2013
- Leading Help Desk and Technical Support Certifications
- The Top 5 Networking Certifications (look for a 2013 update soon)
- Nothing specifically focused on mobile applications and device management, though it gets some coverage in item 1 above
- Project Management Certifications in 2013
- The Top 5 Database Certifications
- Top 5 Information Security Certifications for 2013
- Blog response on Big Data/Analytics with pointers to other writings: “Making it in IT: Breaking into Business Intelligence and Data Analytics“