Now is a fantastic time to work in IT. The unemployment rate is incredibly low, for some fields as low as one percent. Top IT talent is, therefore, quite a luxury. Below are 10 hot technical skills to be equipped with for 2016. With these skills, you will be a hot commodity to your employer.
- Security engineers: According to a recent study, 86 percent of almost 3,500 professionals felt there was a greater need for security/cybersecurity professionals and 50 percent of companies surveyed plan on increasing their security spend in the upcoming year. Currently, there are over 300,000 open security roles in the United States, but it is expected to surpass one million in the upcoming year. Recent security breaches in large corporations has reinvigorated companies’ desire to ensure the security of their employees, customers and data.
- Mobile engineers: Today’s consumer is constantly on-the-go. Mobile phones are now the most used platform, passing desktop computers. In order to reach the on-the-go consumer, businesses must have easy-to-use mobile platforms available.
- UI/UX developers: Today’s customer wants a simple, easy-to-understand user experience. With these ease comes strength in UI/UX development. They will be in demand to make user-intuitive websites and applications. A strong design can separate your company from the competition.
- Network engineers: Experts are saying that 2016 will arrive with more opportunity and desire for collaboration. To achieve heightened collaboration, you need a strong network base. The systems must be secure and stable, preventing any concerns by employees to utilize their tools.
- Business analysts: This role is growing in importance, as it is seen as a liaison between the IT department and the executive team. Being able to speak in both worlds will be incredibly useful as more companies look to upgrade their systems to the new technology offerings. They will be the key to comparing overall business requirements and technical constraints.
- IT project managers: With so many new technologies available to push companies forward, IT spending will likely be increasing for many business in order to utilize the new innovations. More spending often means an increase in project managers on staff. A recent survey found that almost 40 percent of companies would be seeking project management hires in the upcoming year. A new trend to be mindful of is seeking project managers from a specific vertical. Seeking project management from the same industry is growing as the ramp-up timing is less with their previous knowledge of the industry.
- Cloud architects: The cloud bandwagon is growing. More companies are moving their company’s data and resources to the cloud and 25 percent of companies surveyed plan on hiring cloud professionals in the upcoming year. With that shift, companies will be seeking skilled architects to execute the shift easily and securely.
- Data Scientists: Data is a hot trend in IT with 36 percent of companies seeking data specialist hires in the upcoming year. Big data and analytics is the top rated technology that companies will be focusing on in the upcoming year. With so many avenues to discover data, companies are often becoming overwhelmed by all the company data available to them. Companies are turning to data specialists, individuals who can find, evaluate and use data to make important business decisions to push companies forward.
- Help desk and technical support: Similar to business analysts, help desk specialists have one foot in two different worlds. Strong support specialists are technically savvy, but also have excellent customer service skills. A recent survey found that 30 percent of companies will be hiring individuals in this field in the upcoming year.
As your company starts to plan out its technical road maps for the upcoming year, be cognizant of the skills in demand. Individuals with these skill sets will be highly sought after and therefore be competitive for job offers.