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10 hottest tech skills for 2016

Mary K. Pratt | Dec. 8, 2015
Gunning for a banner year in IT? Make sure you have these skills in your toolbox.

Compensation for security pros keeps going up because demand for talented people is strong, and because security specialists play a critical role in most organizations. According to Robert Half Technology's 2016 Salary Guide, salaries in the security field will rise about 5% to 7% next year, ranging from $100,000 on up to nearly $200,000 on average.

9. Cloud/SaaS

* 25% of respondents with hiring plans said they will be seeking people with this skill in the next 12 months.

* Last year's ranking: No. 12

Andrew Ho is the new vice president of technology at Global Strategy Group (GSG). At the moment, he's both the top and only IT staffer at the public relations and research firm, which has 90 employees in four U.S. offices. He wants to add someone with experience in cloud computing and software as a service.

Andrew Ho, president of technology, Global Strategy Group
Andrew Ho, president of technology, Global Strategy Group

Ho says GSG has made a significant investment in Salesforce tools, and he wants someone who can ensure that the firm is getting its money's worth from that technology and any cloud offerings it uses in the future.

"We bought ourselves a Ferrari, but we haven't figured out how to get it out of first or second gear. There's so much more we can do with it," Ho says of Salesforce, noting that many companies face that challenge with other cloud-based systems as well.

Others are following his lead, as the cloud continues to reshape enterprise IT. Research firm IDC predicts that more than half of enterprise IT infrastructure and software investments will be cloud-based by 2018. Specifically, spending on public cloud services will grow to more than $127 billion by 2018, according to an IDC forecast report.

10. Web development

* 24% of respondents with hiring plans said they will be seeking people with this skill in the next 12 months.

* Last year's ranking: No. 5

Web development continues to crack the Computerworld Forecast list of the top 10 most in-demand IT skills because organizations have come to rely heavily on the Web as a channel for connecting with customers, clients, partners and employees since they built their first websites a decade or two ago, IT leaders say.

While they don't need Web developers to establish a Web presence anymore, they do need people with the ability to ensure that their sites are open and ready for business.

"One of the main categories where we're seeing double-digit growth is in Web development," says Reed, of Robert Half Technology. "Companies want [to ensure] they have a website that's mobile-friendly, that's easy to navigate, and that showcases other products and services so it drives incremental sales."

 

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