“CompTIA projects global IT industry growth of 4.1 percent in 2017. If this growth materializes, it will push the $3.4 trillion global IT industry past the $3.5 trillion mark by year’s end,” according to the CompTIA IT Industry Outlook 2017. A one-hundred-billion-dollar increase in one year in an already massive market, where sufficient candidates are already lacking, has to spell job openings, and it does.
ITCareerFinder targets the ten hottest IT jobs this year, based on market data, outlining the skills you need to step into these positions. (The Computerworld Forecast 2017 is the source for job demand statistics where not otherwise stated.)
Here are the top 10 IT skills and job roles that hiring managers need in 2017:
Software / Application Developers
In June, Forbes ranked Software Developers fifth among 2017’s “Fastest-Growing Jobs in America.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the Software Developer job market will create 186,600 new positions by 2024.
Good Software Developers are self-starters. “Application Developers must write software applications from scratch,” says Adam Gordon, CTO/CISO, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of South Florida, (ISC)2 book author, and Microsoft Certified Learning Consultant. They must understand and apply the Software/System Development Lifecycle (SDLC) that their employer favors, Gordon adds.
Help Desk / Technical Support
Some 35-percent of the Computerworld Forecast survey population expect to add help desk and technical support staff in 2017.
Help desk professionals should understand technology consumers and their needs, clearly articulate this understanding while providing solutions, and apply best practices to resolve incidents, says Gordon. “Skills and certifications in IT project and service management frameworks like ITIL and PRINCE2 are also helpful,” Gordon notes.
Empathy and patience are keys to establishing and maintaining the consumer relationship and the conversation. “Employers are looking more and more for people who have soft skills first,” says Todd Thibodeaux, president, and CEO, CompTIA.
Security Analyst with a focus on Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC)
More than one in four of the companies surveyed need more security, compliance, and governance professionals. Security Analysts should understand and apply ISO 27001 and 27002 frameworks, enabling documentation, creation, deployment, operation, and maintenance of the Enterprise Security Architecture, says Gordon. “Security Analysts should be able to use the NIST SP 800-37 R1 Risk Management Framework to address risk across the enterprise,” Gordon says.
Training for, and earning sought-after cyber security certifications will help you organize your enterprise security skill set, and validate these skills to prospective employers.
Cloud Skills with a focus on SaaS
About 26-percent of respondents require IT professionals with skills in cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS). Specific virtualization skills in VMware, Amazon AWS, and Microsoft Hyper-V for private cloud hosting will help you land these jobs, says Gordon. You should be able to design private on-premise clouds and integrate existing IT infrastructure with private, public and hybrid hosted off-premise cloud solutions, says Gordon; familiarity with DevOps, containers, the entire cloud stack, and IPv6 will serve you well.
Business Intelligence (BI) / Data Analytics / Visualization
Twenty-six percent of IT hiring decision-makers need business intelligence and data analytics people in 2017. “These positions require high math, engineering, data mining, and statistical skills; you will use specific BI tools and data-related programming languages such as SQL to sift data,” says Gordon. According to IT staffing firm Robert Half Technology, these jobs require deep, broad experience across database technologies with an emphasis on analytical and reporting tools.
Database Administration (DBA)
Twenty-five percent of companies aim to fill Database Administrator positions this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects this field to grow 11-percent faster than the market average. New DBAs need proficiency in data modeling, database design, data quality, and UX to fill this role, according to Gordon. Marketable database management systems to know in 2017 (and beyond) include Oracle 12C, Microsoft SQL Server, SAP and IBM’s DB2.
Project Management (PM)
A quarter of companies are seeking Project Managers this year. Credentials such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, a master’s degree, and a record of successfully managing projects will make your resume shine, according to Gordon. In this position, you will collaborate with various business partners, multi-task across projects, and understand the technical and functional elements of your role. The core mandate of IT project managers: complete projects on time, within scope and under budget.
One in four respondents stated their interest in hiring for this skill set sometime this year. Big Data professionals work with structured and unstructured data, mining insights that the business finds useful for innovations and company advancement. You must know Hadoop, Oracle, and big-data-oriented computer languages such as Scala, says Gordon.
Mobile Application Development
Twenty-one percent of companies need Mobile Application Developers in 2017. This year’s top mobile programming languages include HTML5, Objective-C, Swift, Python, C++, C#, and Java, according to DZone. Mobile development job applicants will also benefit from UI/UX design skills.
In addition to native application development for Android and iOS devices, demand for professionals with skills in responsive design – the creation of cross-platform apps and websites that automatically conform to screen size and orientation – is also skyrocketing as mobile devices continue to permeate all aspects of our daily lives.