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Hot IT Skills for 2012

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 trend is reflected in Computerworld‘s annual Forecast survey. Nearly 29% of the 353 IT executives polled said they plan to increase IT staffing through next summer. That’s up from 23% in the 2010 survey and 20% in the 2009 survey. Altogether, it’s a 45% increase in hiring expectations over the past two years.

Here are a few areas that Computerworld talks about.

Programming and Application Development

61% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 44% in the 2010 survey.

This large year-over-year jump doesn’t surprise people like John Reed, executive director of staffing firm Robert Half Technology, who sees demand for a variety of skills in areas ranging from website development to upgrading internal systems and meeting the needs of mobile users. “Web development continues to be very strong” as companies try to improve the user experience, he says, adding that there will also be a lot of effort to develop mobile technologies to improve customer access via smartphones.

A great course on our schedule for Programming and Application Development is the M-10264 on 11/14/11.

Project Management

44% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 43% in the 2010 survey.

Big projects need managers, but they also need business analysts who can identify users’ needs and translate them for the IT staffers who have to meet those needs and complete projects on time. “The demand has been more for business analysts than project managers,” Reed says — in other words, those who can help deliver projects rather than merely oversee and monitor them.

That’s what Sean Masters discovered when he embarked on a job search in March. “When I was framing myself as a systems, network, security or other administrator role, I was hardly getting any attention,” says the IT professional from Worcester, Mass. “As soon as I shifted my résumé to list those specific technologies used in accomplishing specific projects, I was suddenly framing myself as an engineer who could not only manage systems, but also plan, design and implement them.”

We have an amazing Project Management class with an Amazing instructor, Dave Wirick.  Our PMP class scheduled for next week is nearly full, but there are still a couple spots available.  If you can’t make it next week we have one more offering before the end of the year on 12/12/11.

Networking

35% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, down from 38% in the 2010 survey.

Robert Half’s Reed says IT professionals with networking skills continue to be in high demand and have been “for a few quarters.” That demand has been fueled, in part, by virtualization and cloud computing projects. In fact, during his recent job search, Masters says he saw heavy interest in virtualization skills.

Reed says hiring managers are looking for people with “practical work experience” in the networking arena, especially if they have worked in an organization that has migrated to a virtualized or cloud-based environment. In particular, they’re looking for people with VMware and Citrix experience.

For Networking, check out our VMware 4.1 class on 11/7/11, as well as our Citrix course on 10/24/11.

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.”

For security we offer a great CISSP class, and it’s scheduled for 10/31/11.

You can view the entire Computerworld article by Rick Saia here.

-Matt