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10 hot IT skills for 2013

Mary K. Pratt | Sept. 25, 2012
The number of companies planning to hire tech professionals continues to grow, with 33% of the 334 IT executives who responded to Computerworld's 2013 Forecast survey saying they plan to increase head count in the next 12 months.

Hamilton says demand for project managers is strong in part because projects are growing more complex as the connectivity between applications increases.

Successful candidates need to have proven track records. "Three things are key for us, and they're more around behavior: Are you a leader, and do you operate as a leader? Do you have a history of executing? What's your behavior around detail?" Hamilton says.

3. Help Desk/Technical Support

" 35% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months.

Jack Wolf, vice president and CIO at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, says he has a list of initiatives to pursue, including deployments of new radiology systems and electronic health record applications. To ensure success, he's looking not only for people to build and implement the systems, but also for tech support workers to help employees use them.

"New systems mean you need more help desk people to handle the increase in calls we expect," Wolf says.

He's far from the only one searching for such skills. Tech staffing firm Modis reports that help desk technician is the job title that companies most often seek help filling.

4. Security

" 27% plan hire for this skill in the next 12 months.

Security has long been a concern of IT leaders, and demand for specialized security professionals is growing as the task of safeguarding systems and data becomes increasingly complex.

Consider the case of Netherlands-based Royal Philips Electronics, which has U.S. headquarters in Andover, Mass.

Cynthia Burkhardt, vice president of talent acquisition, says the company is building its IT security department internationally. It hired a chief information security officer, who is based in the Netherlands, and it's adding four more IT security executives -- two of whom will be based in the U.S. She says the company expects to continue building its IT security team from the top down.

Burkhardt says Royal Philips wants experienced IT security professionals who have business acumen in addition to expertise in deploying firewalls, threat detection tools, encryption technology and other security systems.

5. Business Intelligence/Analytics

" 26% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months.

Big data is one of the top priorities for many companies, but getting the right people to analyze all that information is challenging, says Jerry Luftman, managing director at the Global Institute for IT Management and a leader in the Society for Information Management.

The best candidates have technical know-how, business knowledge and strong statistical and mathematical backgrounds -- an uncommon mix of skills, Luftman says. In fact, some companies are hiring statisticians and teaching them about technology and business.

Joe Fuller, CIO at Dominion Enterprises, a marketing services company in Norfolk, Va., says he anticipates hiring data scientists or data analysts in the future but acknowledges that it will be a challenge.

 

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