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8 hot IT skills for 2014

Mary Brandel | Sept. 24, 2013
Help desk staffers are coveted, but developers are the hottest commodity of all.

6. Database Administration
" 24% of respondents said that they plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months.

" Last year's ranking: Not ranked

Database administration — which didn't even make last year's list — will be hot in 2014, likely because of interest in big data. Kirven concedes that the term big data is a catch-all for everything companies want to do with the burgeoning stockpiles of information they store on internal systems and, increasingly, collect from sources such as social media sites, the Web and third parties. Much of the interest in big data originates in marketing, which wants to learn as much about customers as possible.

"Oracle DBAs, data architects — these people stay on the market for about an hour until they're hired," Kirven says. "People are looking for that person who can build a logical data map of their systems and aggregate relevant data so they can analyze and report on it."

DBAs with experience moving pieces of the IT infrastructure to the cloud will be highly sought after, says Melland, noting that demand for cloud skills is up 32% from last year.

To help kick off PrimeLending's big data initiative, Elkins says he is seeking systems analysts, developers and DBAs to integrate data from third parties, with the goal of easing the mortgage process. "Mortgages have been like a big black hole, with a lack of transparency and a lot of sitting and waiting," Elkins says. "Our focus in 2014 is to give consumers more control and an experience with mortgages that they've never had before."

7. Security Compliance/Governance
" 21% of respondents said that they plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months.

" Last year's ranking: No. 4

Security expertise seems to show up on every list of hot IT skills, and Melland says interest in cybersecurity will further drive demand, which is up 23% from last year. "It's one of those skills that falls into a lot of job types, like network engineering, software development and database architecture," he says. Respondents to a recent Robert Half Technology survey said security jobs are among the most challenging to fill, in addition to application development and database management positions.

With the increase in malware and cyberattacks, security has become a No. 1 priority for PrimeLending, which doubled its security staff this year, from four to eight people, Elkins says.

8. Business Intelligence/Analytics
" 18% of respondents said that they plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months.

" Last year's ranking: No. 5

With the volume of global data predicted to expand by a factor of 44 from 2009 to 2020 and reach 35.2 zettabytes, according to IDC, companies are eager to gain a competitive edge by developing sophisticated analytics capabilities. Although BI/analytics is still considered a specialty and therefore has fewer postings than other job categories on Dice.com, Melland says it's the third fastest-growing skill area on the website, and demand is up 100% from last year. Analytics expertise is scarce, ranking second among the most difficult skills to find in the Computerworld survey. Accordingly, these professionals command high salaries, often into the six figures, Melland says.

 

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