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9 hot IT skills for 2012

Rick Saia | Sept. 27, 2011
Slowly but surely, many U.S. companies are loosening their viselike grips on IT hiring and looking to add new staffers to bolster business growth in the year ahead.

That may happen at Lorillard Tobacco, says Dan Clark, manager of server and desktop technology. The $6 billion company is looking to expand its use of Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software from about 175 users to more than 2,000, he says. "This will require additional head count to develop and administer," Clark says, adding that he's especially interested in SharePoint developers.

6. Data Center

• 18% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, down from 21% in the 2010 survey.

Like networking, data center operations will be impacted by organizations' virtualization and cloud strategies. In particular, Reed says, hiring managers will be looking for IT professionals with backgrounds in data center operations and systems integration.

In addition, the demands of having data available to achieve guaranteed IT service levels underscore the need for people who are experts in disaster recovery and business continuity, according to Bob Cuneo, CIO at Eliassen Group. Companies need to ensure that the systems that users depend on will be there when they need them, and those systems need to be backed up and replicated, he says.

7. Web 2.0

• 18% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 17% in the 2010 survey.

Technical skills centered around social media remain in demand today, as more industries look for ways to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into their infrastructures, and Reed says he expects that demand to continue in 2012. He sees .Net, AJAX and PHP as key back-end skills, with HTML, XML, CSS, Flash and Javascript, among others, on the front end. "Organizations know they need to engage their customers via online platforms, and professionals who can support these initiatives will continue to command a premium in 2012," Reed says.

8. Security

• 17% plan to hire for this skill the next 12 months, down from 32% in the 2010 survey.

The one-year drop may be surprising given that information security threats are a moving target, but security is a top-level concern for many organizations, especially those that are considering cloud computing as part of their IT strategies, says Reed.

Corey Peissig, senior vice president of technical operations at Mortgagebot, a Web-based mortgage software provider, says security is a top priority at his company. "Strong technical security and auditing skills are in high demand in our business," he says. "The challenge is that good talent in this arena is sometimes difficult to find."

9 Telecommunications

• 9% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, down from 17% in the 2010 survey.

"We have an aggressive agenda to upgrade communications systems," with a strong need for voice-over-IP help, says Laurie Connors, a human resources official who handles IT hiring at Partners HealthCare, a Boston-based healthcare organization that includes the renowned Massachusetts General Hospital.

 

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