Skip to comments.What IT skills and roles will be in demand this year (2014)? Recruiters share the scoop.
Posted on 01/07/2014 10:16:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Sorry, IT job-hunters: If you're hoping for surprising predictions about what 2014 has in store, you're probably going to come away dissatisfied. That's because it's unlikely there will be any seismic shifts that completely upend the technology skills, roles, and titles that employers want.
"There's nothing that I would say is the new 'hottest thing ever' " coming in 2014, said Jack Cullen, president of IT staffing firm Modis, in an interview.
Indeed, much of what follows should sound familiar. This could be a good thing. Earth-shattering predictions have a knack for missing the mark. (Apocalypse 2012, anyone?) So the job-market calls that Cullen and other industry experts shared with InformationWeek are more realistic and more useful if you're looking for a new position in 2014. Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Big data experts. Yesterday's buzzword is tomorrow's hot job market. While the hype around big data isn't new, Cullen thinks actual hiring in the category will start to gain tangible ground in 2014. "The area where I think we'll see some pickup, that people are still trying to figure out, is this whole world around big data -- whether it's products like Hadoop or big data analytics" or other relevant skills, Cullen told us.
2. Business intelligence (BI) designers. Tom Hart, CMO of staffing firm Eliassen, offered another specific example within the big data universe: the ability to turn all of that information into stuff the executive suite, marketing, and other non-technical business units can actually understand and use. (PowerPoint achieved popularity for a reason, people.) Enter BI designers.
[Are you aiming for the corner office? Read IT Millennials: CEO Or Bust.]
"There are plenty of companies that can help you to store data, build redundancy into storage, and normalize the data for efficient storage and access," Hart said via email. "But there's clearly a shortfall of talented developers that can help you to interpret and present the data in a meaningful way, in the form of executive-level or business-level dashboards, guiding the decision-making process through the intelligent discerning and representation of that stored data."
3. DevOps experts with cloud and mobility skills. We're cheating a bit here. IT pros with serious DevOps chops are in high demand right now, according to Kevin Gorham, recruiting manager at Hollister. That's going to continue in 2014; DevOps experts who build and maintain cloud infrastructure and mobile apps are sitting pretty in the labor market.
"If I have people with this skill set, I can call my clients and easily get several interviews set up for these candidates. They really are a walking placement," Gorham told us in an email. "They can command higher salaries, and I'll often get into a bidding war with my clients over these potential hires. Developers who are more of an engineer and can program and script in Linux -- not your just your run-of-mill admins -- are highly marketable, too."
4. Linux pros. Indeed, while "Linux" and "hot" don't often appear in the same breath, IT pros with Linux expertise will remain in demand in the coming year. In 2013, the "Linux Jobs Report" -- produced by Dice.com and the Linux Foundation -- found that three out of four Linux pros had received calls from headhunters in the previous six months. Meanwhile, 90% of hiring managers reported difficulties filling Linux positions.
Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, expects even more favorable conditions for Linux job seekers in 2014.
"Demand for Linux professionals continues to go up and represents a multi-year trend that is the result of Linux becoming more and more ubiquitous. It is the software that runs our lives, and we need more systems administrators and developers to keep up with the growth," Zemlin said via email. He attributes much of the demand to wider business adoption of open-source technologies in general, and added that the Linux Foundation will ramp up online learning and advanced training opportunities in the coming year to help meet demand. "If you're an IT professional looking for long-term career growth, there is no better place to be than working with open-source."
5. Mobile developers. Stop the presses: Mobility is hot. Specifically, IT pros with legit mobile development skills can effectively call their own shots right now. Hart of Eliassen points to mobile as a job category that essentially has negative unemployment: There are more open positions than qualified people to fill them.
"While there have been plenty of early adopters, many companies are just starting to figure out how to either enhance access or boost sales, related to their product and service offerings," Hart says. "Mobile application developers are in great demand, and this will continue for some time to come. If you're looking to secure your employment status for the long-term, enhance your mobile app development skills."
6.The "old" reliables: .NET and Java developers. Sticking with the development side of IT, Cullen of Modis expects .NET and Java programmers to have no trouble finding work in 2014. The two platforms remain ubiquitous in application development. They're "going to remain relatively hot," he predicts.
7. Business Analysts (BAs) and Project Managers (PMs). Cullen said his firm's clients continue to seek qualified BAs and PMs for their IT organizations. Both are "old" job titles. What's changing, Cullen said, is that employers are increasingly seeking very specific experience and skills in those roles. "What companies are looking for, instead of just bringing in a generic BA or PM, they're looking -- particularly in the financial services sector -- for some real specific areas," Cullen said. For example, "derivatives experience, capital markets experiences, low latency-high frequency experience -- they want skills very specific to a type of application in those areas."
8. Small and midsized business (SMB) IT pros. This one's not so much a skill set as a growing employer pool. Cullen said Modis's SMB accounts have robust hiring plans heading into the new year. "Companies that used to have maybe a one- or two-person IT staff are expanding that to four or five." He attributes that expansion to several factors: business growth, competitive advantages, and -- perhaps most of all -- more SMBs figuring out how IT investments can help them cut costs in other areas of their organizations. In other words: SMBs aren't necessarily adding headcount overall, but instead are redirecting existing resources into IT -- welcome news for job-hunters.
What's not hot? Traditional telecommunications roles will shrink as more and more businesses move into cloud environments, according to Cullen. (Cloud computing, meanwhile, can be a lucrative career path.)
Cullen also says IT pros with Oracle and SAP skills may find a flatter job market next year. He points to the expensive, cyclical, and sometimes slow-moving nature of large enterprise software deployments as the reason: 2014 may simply be a quieter year for internal enterprise application projects.
"The demand for Oracle and SAP -- I can't say it's gone dramatically down. But it's not as robust as some of the other areas," says Cullen. "A lot of these companies over the past two years have invested in their enterprise [applications], so maybe it's going to be a little bit less of an investment on that side [in 2014], as opposed to a big increase in investment on their web side."
Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and midsized businesses.
But what if I don't want to process large data sets for the NSA?
I can't say I've experienced this. Recruiters are all over me.
RE: But what if I don’t want to process large data sets for the NSA?
You can use the same skills for PRIVATE INDUSTRY ( and they’ll pay you better IMHO ).
That is ok it will be in the cloud so you won’t know it is for the NSA.
Big data is HUGE right now (pardon the pun). Big data and BI are THE buzzwords in IT. Teradata is a player in this market and is making big data a corporate watchword.
What they’re trying to accomplish is wholesale cataloging of your life for both business security AND marketing. For instance, in the financial industry, your card purchases are cataloged and put into massive data warehouses where your spending habits are analyzed and presented to corporate leadership to watch for trends and new business opportunities. This data is also used for fraud detection and prevention.
If you’ve consistently spent money in the same area, the card company assumes you live, work and play in that area. If, however, your card is swiped at a POS three states over and there’s no record of you traveling (airline ticket purchase or fuel purchases on major roadways between point A and point B), they flag that purchase as potentially fraudulent. Likewise, most fraud-suspect websites are usually blocked even if you are the one making the purchase.
This is good and bad, really. It’s great for the protection of your account and your hard-earned money. It’s bad because the marketing is going to be tailored to what you’re buying, and you’ll be flooded with spam you don’t want. This, however, has been going on for over a century, so it’s really business as usual.
Linux is a highly marketable skill as well. I’m a lowly admin on the Linux front. I know how to get around and follow online write ups. The real money is in scripting and automated systems management. Word to the wise: if you’re learning Linux, practice on Fedora or CentOS. If you want to play with RHEL, do so, but RHEL can’t be updated without a subscription; and since RHEL is the most common Linux distro in corporate IT, it’s best to play with the distros designed off the same kernel (Fedora & CentOS).
Then you just need to be an expert on Little Data.
The top handful of the best and brightest from schools will get jobs, the rest will be scrambling in frustration and that is the truth.
The market is horrible out there and if not for 40% of the jobs being government jobs in the market the real unemployment would be near probably 17% right now.
If you are a PM with one Technical cert, you have it made. I am going with the PMP/VCP5 combination with security +.
That will ensure employment that can carry me to retirement.
What? No big demand for 4th Dimension developers?
Time will tell
“What? No big demand for 4th Dimension developers?”
No, but the demand for 5th dimension developers will begin when the moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.
The types of IT jobs I see most in demand/salary are in the area of development/programming, but since I’m primarily into Server/Network stuff, I can’t be more specific.
IMO, Linux and skills in Virtualization are a great combination. Being skilled in Linux also helps a great deal with VMware in particular, as it runs on Redhat. A Microsoft Admin and or a Cisco Certification thrown into the mix would also be a great plus. Skills in advanced Wireless networking and VOIP are also a great combination.
Network/System Security demand is huge, and continuing to grow. Speaking of ‘security’, a security clearance with .gov is a BIG help, and can make you employable for many high paying IT jobs. IMO, a .gov security clearance is getting to be about as significant on a resume as a degree from a university when it comes to IT.
Maybe, maybe not. In my experience, when that happens, then peace will guide the planets and luh-uh-uh-uh-uhv will steer the stars.
2. Business Sintelligence (BS) designers.
Let me show you a chart showing tremendous growth....
18 posts and no mention of migration of ESX + VMware and VDI to Server 2012 Storage Server, Server 2012 Hyper-V and MS VDI?
Anyone who knows and can do that is literally worth millions /year to any large sized IT dept. in licensing costs alone.
Seriously, I haven’t seen such a MS-heavy incentive since the days of Groupwise and the advent of Server 2000 and DNS-based Active Directory. But this migration is much larger since it also includes SANs and cluster management as well as virtual desktops. That’s money. Big money.
I been automating just about anything with Perl, shell, Expect/TCL and others for a while now and I’m having trouble finding work. I’ve been trying to break into devops but think I’m seeing some major age discrimination now. I excel in phone interviews (personal/technical) but in-person interviews end after a few minutes if they even start. I hate that.
Where in the USA do you live? Some parts of the USA have more need of skills like yours than others.
I sent you freepmail.
It’s also good to be able to make tools.
Where I work, I built our VM Infrastructure literally from the ground up. As a part of another project, we had purchased an EMC SAN that had a ton of unused storage, even after factoring long term growth. I had been dabbling in VMware ‘on the side’ before then, and put all of that extra storage to good use. We had about 50 physical servers, in most cases each were existing just for handling a single application. I purchased 4 physical boxes, loaded to the max with processing power and RAM, building a ESX Cluster(three for production + one for fault tolerance).
Where I could, I ran a ‘P2V’ conversion on the existing servers, and was able to bring nearly all of them into the ESX Cluster. In nearly every case, the migrations went so well, there was NO downtime. We’re talking only a single dropped packet, while disabling the NIC on the physical server I was migrating from while connecting the NIC on the newly virtualized server. After I was done, my director walked into our datacenter, and it was nearly quiet. He saw all of the servers that had been shut down and panicked, thinking there was a power failure. I had to explain to him that our once sprawling datacenter was now contained in a single cabinet, only using 4Us. Not counting the SAN, which was in another cabinet.
The whole thing ran for about a year before he and my co-workers finally accepted and trusted it.
We’re a Windows shop, but have most of our stuff virtualized on ESX hosts right now. I’m still fighting a battle to wean people off the GUI, and use server core.
Good luck with that! LOL
I think that GUI keeps too many people warm at night!
If they’d only give it a chance and learn it, they’ll find that the GUI only gets in the way.
It doesn’t scale. IMHO, Powershell was the best thing MS has done in the last 10 years.
But of course.....you one-uped me! ;)
That is something that is not too common these days, with the demise of our technical/trade schools.
Groovy, Grails, Java and Spring.
There was a time when making tools was an act of rebellion. We may be headed there again.
Good work! Didn’t they ever look at the electric savings?
You should do a report on the electrical and HVAC savings over the year to justify an increase in funding. A raise or more equipment is justifiable. Stats for a server’s electrical and cooling requirements are provided by most manufacturers websites. We have to include and tally up these figures before doing any install or upgrade as our server facilities’ space, power and HVAC are managed and budgeted resources.
If you have >50% available capacity in your SAN the first thing I’d do would be to put in a request for an additional chassis for VMware High Availabilty (HA). If the current chassis or even the interconnect switch fails the datacenter is SOL. HA is a parallel chassis and interconnect which VMware manages as an active-passive chassis array. Besides failover it’s also helpful for maintenance and upgrading of equipment without downtime.
It’s pretty good you had the freedom to do your own upgrade without briefing mgmt but it’s also sad they were ignorant of the advantages for a year. These advances save big $$ and you deserve credit for implementing them.
Thanks! I indeed built in HA with one of the boxes in the Cluster and network redundancy with two switches(an adapter running to each). I continued to lobby for additional storage for SAN redundancy and power redundancy for the data center itself, but they were too cheap to make the investment. The servers themselves have redundant power, but ‘the room’ doesn’t. I made it a point to make all such requests via email. :p
IT security experts will remain in high demand. Anyone who promises to fill in NSA security holes will be worth their weight in gold or Bitcoins.
Cloud computing will decline except for those organizations setting up private clouds.