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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.

If you’re thinking about picking up web dev skills or making a career change, Agrawal suggests focusing on the ECMAScript 2015 Language spec.

“The JavaScript ecosystem is maturing rapidly,” Agrawal says, “and ES2015 (formerly ES6) is the foundation of its future. While JavaScript is currently hot and the JavaScript frameworks rock, what will differentiate JavaScript developers going forward is their knowledge of ES2015 and associated tools.”

The work can be rewarding in more than one way: Good salaries mix with a nice work/life balance, in part because many of the jobs -- including full-time staff or short-term contract work -- can be done from anywhere.

HR services and staffing firm Randstad estimates openings for full-stack engineers grew more than 100 percent from 2015 to 2016, with salaries ranging from just over six figures to nearly $140,000. Certifications for application development and ScrumMaster may help boost your pay or expand your opportunities, once you have proven your mettle with a full-stack framework.


Data scientist

As AI becomes part of the business toolkit, making decisions quickly based on large amounts of data is increasingly important to firms hiring new developers.

“All developer roles are in high demand, but there is especially high demand for data scientists,” says Jill Witty, vice president of talent at Entelo. “Every company is looking to leverage data and analytics to improve their business and they need individuals who are experts at solving complex data questions.”

As for where to begin, Witty emphasizes math.

“Predictive analytics and machine learning are the future of tech, so I would focus on math, statistics, and behavioral psychology,” she says. “Regarding programming languages and back-end tech I would emphasize R, Python, Java, JavaScript, Julia, Scala, and Hadoop, among others.”

LexisNexis’ Villanustre agrees that data scientists -- along with data analysts and modelers -- are difficult to find and specialization is likely to continue.

“Data science has become more complex, broader and more involved as it’s difficult for a single individual to possess all of the required knowledge,” Villanustre says. “Coders come in many forms, and the path to one’s dream role isn’t always linear. Understand what your ultimate goal is. Whether pursuing a career as a data analyst, a statistical modeler, or a data scientist -- which is a subset of the two -- there will be continuous career opportunities.”


IoT engineer

Randstad reports that job postings for IoT (internet of things) architects spiked more than 40 percent in the last year, and the company predicts that growth is just the start.

“The internet of things is where the world of technology is going,” says Dino Grigorakakis, vice president of recruiting at Randstad. “Working as an IoT engineer has a lot of current and future opportunity, the position is often competitively compensated, and experience with IoT will prepare candidates to move forward within the information technology industry even if they choose to move away from working directly with the internet of things.”


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