IT industry is on the rise, and it is safe to assume that so is IT labor market. But what are the IT trends shaping the industry and what tech skills are in highest demand this year?
At the beginning of 2014, TechRepublic interviewed IT executives of several industry leaders, including Wintellect, CompTIA, Shiftgig, Instant Technology, and some others to inquire about their predictions for the state of IT hiring in 2014. As the year is getting to its end, let us see how accurate the forecast was.
So, according to TechRepublic’s roundtable, the key IT trends influencing the job market are:
Retailers Shifting to E-commerce
As traditional retail companies like Best Buy and Wal-Mart embrace e-commerce and shift the focus onto their e-commerce stores, this trend will inevitably influence the demand on e-commerce development professionals, says Pete Kazaniy, co-founder of TalentBin.
Growing Importance of Mobile Technology
Pete Kazaniy, Rona Borre, CEO of Instant Technology, and Robert Noble, Director of software engineering at WhitePages, agree that mobile computing is another big IT trend, with the line between desktop computers and mobile devices getting more and more blurred. IT statistics shows that in 2013 almost 20% of all web traffic was from mobile devices, and as more people are using tablets and smartphones to work remotely, this percentage is likely to increase. That means IT professionals working with mobile technologies will continue to be in demand.
A Focus on User Experience
According to Steve Porter, Technical Director of Wintellect, more applications, both web and mobile, require high-end user interfaces, making UX one of the top IT trends for 2014. Both Porter and Borre agree that user experience is a career more IT professionals will be willing to take, and UX engineers are the professionals companies will inevitably need in their dedicated software development teams.
Explosion of Big Data
Almost all participants of the roundtable agree that big data will continue developing at a fast pace, fuelling the need for dedicated developers, skilled at data science. Big data positions dominate career websites and new ones open each day, Garth Schulte, trainer at CBT Nuggets, says.
The Need for IT Security
IT security is another key trend influencing the demands of the IT labor market. According to Kenton Scearce, regional director of career services at ECPI University, IT security experts will be among the most sought-after IT professionals, as more data is transferred via the cloud. Shan Fowler, director of product and marketplaces at Benefitfocus, agrees that IT security job openings will be more frequent in relation to the hacks major retailers have experienced and the fact that consumers feel worried about NSA activities.
Businesses Embracing the Cloud
Most IT executives agree that developers with cloud knowledge and experience will be highly sought after, as more and more businesses are adopting cloud technology.
So What IT Skills Will Be in High Demand?
Based on the IT trends, predicted for the year 2014, the following skills will be among the most sought after:
- user experience (especially responsive design)
- big data programming/administration
- IT security
- IT support
All in all, 2014 was predicted to be the year of the cloud, mobile technologies, and big data, with an increase in demand for e-commerce, IT security, and IT support professionals.