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The 7 hottest jobs in IT

Paul Heltzel | June 6, 2017
These emerging and resurging IT roles may be your best path forward in the years to come.



Recruiting firm Randstad recently reported that, despite being one of the most in-demand fields, there were fewer than 5,000 potential candidates for virtual reality jobs as of the end of last year. “You can expect that number to increase as more organizations embrace the virtual reality trend,” according to the report.

Aymen Sayed, chief product officer for CA Technologies, points out that while AR and VR tech made a splash with a range of consumer products shown at this year’s CES, more promising opportunities will occur this year in the enterprise for simulation and training, which should mean more roles for AR and VR developers -- both in development and security.

“The integration of the next wave of apps requires immense coordination and security across systems, data centers, and applications,” Sayed says. “Companies will begin to realize incredible efficiencies and cost savings by leveraging immersive enterprise apps. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2020, augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality immersive solutions will be a part of 20 percent of enterprise’s digital transformation strategy.”

Scott Chasin, former McAfee CTO and now CEO of ProtectWise, touts VR-based cybersecurity as both a better way to identify threats and a means to attract new security analysts using an immersive experience they’re familiar with.

“Analysts will become infinitely more effective at responding to incidents and detecting anomalies,” says Chasin, whose company is developing a VR-based cybersecurity app. “And enterprises will better be able to bridge the talent gap by tapping into a new generation of analysts for whom sensory-rich, immersive, and virtual environments are second nature.”


Security analyst

With all the recent cybersecurity breaches and rise of advanced persistent threats, it should come as no surprise that security analysts are in high demand, marked by high starting salaries, potential for growth, and greater influence in the workplace these days.

“[Security analysts] are expected to stay up to date on the latest intelligence, including hackers' methodologies, in order to anticipate security breaches,” states a recent report from CareerCast, which noted security analyst as one of the top two jobs for 2017. “The explosion of cloud-based storage drives the 18 percent growth outlook for information security analysts.”

Jeff Friess, practice leader of cybersecurity for Global Executive Solutions Group, says firms are so concerned about cybersecurity breaches -- which may cost companies millions of dollars per incident -- that there are many more open jobs than professionals to fill them.

“In the United States, more than 285,000 cybersecurity positions sat vacant in 2016, and an estimated 2 million positions will be left unfilled by 2020,” Friess says. “With the struggle to hire in-house cybersecurity talent, organizations open themselves up to hacking, data breaches, and ransomware attacks.”


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