Leadership

Top IT skills wanted for 2012

A new Computerworld survey indicates the nine IT skills that will be in demand in 2012.

Nearly 29 percent of the 353 IT executives who were polled in Computerworld's annual Forecast survey said they plan to increase IT staffing through next summer. (That's up from 23% in the 2010 survey and 20% in the 2009 survey.)

Here are the skills that the IT executives say they will be hiring for:

  1. Programming and Application Development--61% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 44% in the 2010 survey. This covers the gamut from website development to upgrading internal systems and meeting the needs of mobile users.
  2. Project Management (but with a twist)-- The twist is that they're not going to just be looking for people who can oversee and monitor projects. They also want people who can identify users' needs and translate them for the IT staffers-the increasingly popular business analysts.
  3. Help Desk/Technical Support--Mobile operating systems have added a new dimension to help desk and tech support.
  4. Networking-This demand is being fueled partially by virtualization and cloud computing projects. The survey also revealed that execs will be looking for people with VMware and Citrix experience.
  5. Business Intelligence-Computerworld interprets this uptick to a focus shift in many companies,  from cost savings to investing in technology. That will be nice if it pans out that way.
  6. Data Center-Virtualization and the Cloud could also be behind the increased need for IT professionals with backgrounds in data center operations and systems integration.
  7. Web 2.0-Tech skills centered around social media will be in demand, with .Net, AJAX and PHP as key back-end skills, with HTML, XML, CSS, Flash and Javascript, among others, on the front end.
  8. Security-Although down from 32 percent in the 2010 survey, security stays a top concern of IT executives.
  9. Telecommunications-The survey indicates a demand for people with IP telephony skills, and for those familiar with Cisco IPCC call center systems.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

118 comments
jambbleit12
jambbleit12

Currently focused on Project Management and been very interested with it offshoring this thing is new to me.

numenon
numenon

The best career options are now in Europe. In the United Kingdom, prestigious career sites like http://qualifind.co.uk feature top jobs at multinational companies while on the continent there are high-level IT jobs in services management and audit and analysis regularly featured on http://www.qual.fr which is the top place for computer experts in France. Nonetheless, there is a lso a substantial amount of activity 'outside' the EU taking place in Switzerland, which has the highest paying jobs in Information Systems, notably in SAP, banking systems software, Oracle, Cisco and the more obscure Microsoft technologies like SCOM. Switzerland's http://www.qual.ch also lists a high number of software engineering and architecture jobs which very highly paid. Plus there is the phenomenon of low Swiss taxes which makes it a prized destination for expat experts in IT or Information Systems management.

garpubenson
garpubenson

I like the discussion, what will IT be like in 2013? Will there be more IT job.

mcnmm
mcnmm

I like that my job is on the top of the list. and I love what I do. Although I should be getting paid a lot more for it.

JasonTRunner
JasonTRunner

Simply put - people and management skills. The technical and certifications are a dime a dozen - way to much supply in the market. The best skills from what I've seen being on both sides of the table are those IT profs. who can think outside the box, and have personal skills - to many I've seen have killer skills - but can't talk with 'bleep' dealing with the end users are others...very frustrating.

RockinRandy
RockinRandy

Managing IT teams for a number of years now, and being on both sides of the table (hiring and bring hired), I found the biggest bull or frustration is that you can qualify a hire for their specific technical skills, but if the individual lacks culture integration or personal skills if having to deal with internal end-users (aka customers), then regardless of what certification or IT skills is on their CV, they're just not a fit. Conflict resolution, client-side services, understanding business needs....all plays into the ideal IT hire I look for...beyond the IT skill sets.

JonathanTrent
JonathanTrent

Great post! I'm wondering what other people think about learning Flash. It seems a lot of websites aren't using Flash anymore because so many phones don't display it. Is Flash a good program to learn still?

Szasz
Szasz

Data Center-Virtualization and the Cloud. I'm dealing with that now. I'm lucky. haha

newh1
newh1

very informative and useful article

stainless_ak
stainless_ak

What really get my attention in this part of the world is that most employers understands the value of Professional Certifications in these fields when it comes to recruiting that is why having just a degree in Computer Science or Engineering doesn't really count in the real work environment.

techformore
techformore

Nowadays , IT has developed fast day by day. It has provide us with many new advanced tools to be convenient our life. But it also has put forward much more requires to the it employees. so it becomes a great problem for them .

daisyraq
daisyraq

I found a research saying that Business intelligence software sales cover the second largest on the whole software sales in America. and Does it mean BI and data process skills become more and more important in future?

ahmedziauddiin
ahmedziauddiin

what is command to look on bandwidh is active or down in cisco router 3800

brendanspaar
brendanspaar

I am currently in the IT job market and have been interviewing like crazy for the last two months. What I can tell you from the jobs posted in the Alpharetta, GA area is that many employers want a blend of networking and systems experience (development is a plus). If you have these three things on your resume, you will be very marketable: VMWare, VLAN, PowerShell. That's a tripple threat for any IT systems or teir 3 support person. If you are a developer, it wouldn't hurt to have both UNIX and Windows experience. For the IT Project Managers out there, you should serve time as either a QA Analyst or Implementation manager. Like the article says, employers are looking for someone that can translate business requirements into technical requirements. Having been in the trenches, you will be able to translate between the two languages. - Brendan Spaar, Alpharetta, GA

iskandarfaliq
iskandarfaliq

wow...that gratz rank... can you make comparison percent of salaries.. tq

keithmayer
keithmayer

Many of the business organizations I work with are getting their IT Pros involved in Private Cloud data center virtualization initiatives to gain more business value and lower costs than with straight server workload virtualization alone. This may be one of the reasons that Data Center Virtualization is in the Top 10. If you're in a Microsoft shop, you can prepare for certification on the new Microsoft MCSE: Private Cloud certification by leveraging the free study resources and software at http://aka.ms/studyguides. Hope this helps! Keith http://KeithMayer.com - IT Pros ROCK!

intushour
intushour

Cloud computing related skills.

skykeys
skykeys

This article is almost a year old. By now, any trends associated to the predictions in this article ought to be apparent - or not, as the case may be. So, are they apparent, or not? Have the hiring trends and the technology trends predicted in this article actually happened? If not, why not? Thanks.

MrKunst
MrKunst

I don't understand why java related technologies are not listed as these are relevant and power most of worldwide enterprises.

Seotop
Seotop

To my mind "Programming and Application Development" one of the needed skills nowadays. Also web development and internet-marketing will play a huge role in the future!

sirmiller
sirmiller

Help Desk/Technical Support = these jobs will be mostly in Canada and peru Networking these jobs are being replaced by remote techs from china and india with their huge data center farms already set for cloud. Data Center-Virtualization and the Cloud could also be behind the increased need for IT professionals with backgrounds in data center operations and systems integration yes true but these jobs will not be in america much much cheaper to move it to china and india server admin is a dead end job here in usa within 5 years most nsa jobs are gone.

briant11
briant11

I think all I.T. workers think this, it sure can help me in a way but I've got only enough to get by and if you believe in Christ so say to yourself - that's enough for me but deep inside, I don't think like that however, I wish I could obey His teachings but his a Jew. So we're now in a different world, a world of technology and I guess if you can't make it in this world, what can you do?

briant11
briant11

Y'know what I reckon? The most important concern for most I.T. companies nowadays is "money". There's no substitute in our reality anyway because in exemplification, without money, you lose everything that's good in life and we can't survive without money so don't spend too much this weekend they tell me. Cheer.

mdehrlich
mdehrlich

I was an computer operations person for over 30 years who is now reinventing myself into a helpdesk tech. Are the Certifications really necessary and in what way?

MartinLiza
MartinLiza

The requirements of IT is changing with time. And now they are trying to refine their search to more precise professionals. This is done by clubbing requirements. So now a project leader needs to manage the team as well as handle the requirement gathering and analysis. I follow the same for my Company Conservatories.

gabimbola
gabimbola

If you see the requirement today in order to get employed by an IT firm, you would be almost a 100 years old before you can get all the experiences required!

eliweir
eliweir

The cloud allows us to abstract away from things that don't have any instrinsic value, such as data centers, servers, operating systems, etc, and focus on what does actually have value in a business. That mindset also allows us to spend more time thinking about the people that consume it (customers) and provide it (staff and vendors).

terrylchandler
terrylchandler

Strong decisive leaders abound, and we're all beneficiaries of their ability, but we still struggle! Why is that? Well, let's consider that perhaps our expectations are unrealistic, shall we? The victim mindset will always be the choice we make, or not. Right?

io_zen
io_zen

this means that 71% percent were not planning to increase IT staffing this year, (77% were not planning to do so in 2010 survey and 80% were not planning to increase IT levels in 2009 survey). So for majority of organizations would keep IT levels the same or even reduced.

tarund
tarund

This concerns me. Considering the amount of security breaches last year alone, security should be on top of the list for every IT executive. No matter what the trend is in IT, security should always be at the top when companies like RSA are being hacked by elite hacking groups. These "IT executives" need to rethink their strategy to stay ahead of the curve before their companies are the next target.

sandeepseeram
sandeepseeram

IT Industry has changed its color in last 2 years, virtualization was a trend before, now renamed as Cloud Computing, opening doors to many companies to sell SaaS & IaaS... I think for the next 2-3 years the skillset will be in Cloud Computing, OpenSource Softwares, Data Storage, Green IT and ITIL..

jameswvoss
jameswvoss

Toni, Great article. Number eight seems to be gaining ground though fairly quickly.

nadinestevens
nadinestevens

Hi Toni, Thanks for putting this out. There are certain skill-levels that are important for businesses to have. And if companies want to run their business efficiently, they will need to play to another individual's strength. Those skills will help businesses to keep up with trends in their industry, especially in IT. Best, Nadine

Jeff Malm
Jeff Malm

Sometimes it feels like Business and Intelligence can be contradictory terms. I've witnessed first hand the train wreck and the 10's of thousands of dollars wasted when executives try to dream up their ideal view of BI. However, it still will continue to be one of those hot acronyms over the next few years. While the technology will morph and evolve, unfortunately the executives within the organizations seeking BI will remain the same. -Jeff Malm

rexyosu
rexyosu

This is basically a list of all the current jobs in IT. Granted, COBOL and mainframe developer aren't on the list, but it probably would have been more helpful to compile a list of IT skills that have fallen out of demand.

adamdunlop5
adamdunlop5

I definately feel security is going to become a bigger area of software. If you look at the amount of high profile hacks on companies and websites in 2011 you can see it's a potential area for growth. Every company and website wants to instill trust in their customers and users, so safe usuage is important.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Now what!?I need a digital field strength meter or some sort of spectrum analysis device."Replace everything".There are no scope test points in a computer or a network."Any luck?" "It looks like a loose grounding wire in your building","Somebody is transmitting on your phone line","You got a bad email that infected your entire system". "Is there something that you can do to make the system more powerful?","Those are the best power supplies that money can buy already." "Where is all this power going?" "There's no way to tell"."My brother in law is on his way from California,he says he seen this problem before." "He won't talk about it on the phone." "Stop shouting."

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

So I start a business and I need to set up a computer system.This is probably a good one to run through.I'll end up talking to Geek Squad and others of the like.One snow job after another.Should I purchase the computer system by myself or keep hunting until I end up with somebody like IBM.Or maybe it's time for a new system.I can run a business but can I run a network?Tried and true tech gets stymied around computers.I don't know what a virtual cloud is and in the end it sounds just like a bunch of computers.I know that I will not understand a word that anybody says and that even the best might be wrong on some issues.I say good luck to me!

thejeffdavis
thejeffdavis

[quote]Project Management (but with a twist)??? The twist is that they???re not going to just be looking for people who can oversee and monitor projects. They also want people who can identify users??? needs and translate them for the IT staffers-the increasingly popular business analysts.[/quote] That sounds like they want their PMs to double as business analysts and technical writers. There's nothing wrong with that, but I can't count the number of supposedly great project managers I've encountered who have neither the desire nor the skill set to interview users and write specifications that developers can use. Some of them can't think abstractly enough to describe a work flow, let alone mock up the screens and pseudocode the data pulls. We need to stop hiring project managers and trying to teach them IT, and start teaching IT people how to manage projects.

StevenWung
StevenWung

Mobile Application Development is the trend

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

If you were one of the design engineers of the computer at it's invention you would want to ensure it's perpetuity.There would be a big plan to recapture it if it was onslaught.Much of the plan would be automatic in the computer files themselves.I see the attack against computers as massive.Who would even make part one for the computer if they say it crash every time it was powered up?It would be if one computer gets a virus out it would communicate to all computers and they in turn would get the virus out.This is at extremely high frequencies.The computer should be fast and easy with no hesitations in it's operations.There would be dead of night teams here.

scfinder
scfinder

I really looking forward for more IT jobs on the feature. to be ready I recommend you guys to look for training and seminars that will suite you.

briant11
briant11

In the opposite universe, the computer could be the core source of civilization, a big super computer could control an entire galaxy of organic beings. You know what I really think, the I.T. systems to run the internet are too big to be vulnerable to a threat like yours, there seems to be too many users and too many people using the internet and Windows operating system. There are advances in I.T. systems and devices that are beyond my comprehension and sadly that makes me feel a bit left out because university courses are too expensive and it all seems a waste of time and money when you finished it because you don't get the satisfaction you thought you'll get when you first applied for it.

briant11
briant11

I really think it's going to waste my time, your time is not mine, I have a life and I don't want to waste my time on going to training sessions and seminars to improve my I.T. skills because I know it's going to return a zero afterwards. I guess it's where I'm living but there's nothing anybody can do about that.