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8 Hot IT Jobs For 2014

What IT skills and roles will be in demand this year? Recruiters share the scoop.

5. Mobile developers. Stop the presses: Mobility is hot. Specifically, IT pros with legit mobile development skills can effectively call their own shots right now. Hart of Eliassen points to mobile as a job category that essentially has negative unemployment: There are more open positions than qualified people to fill them.

"While there have been plenty of early adopters, many companies are just starting to figure out how to either enhance access or boost sales, related to their product and service offerings," Hart says. "Mobile application developers are in great demand, and this will continue for some time to come. If you're looking to secure your employment status for the long-term, enhance your mobile app development skills."

6.The "old" reliables: .NET and Java developers. Sticking with the development side of IT, Cullen of Modis expects .NET and Java programmers to have no trouble finding work in 2014. The two platforms remain ubiquitous in application development. They're "going to remain relatively hot," he predicts.

7. Business Analysts (BAs) and Project Managers (PMs). Cullen said his firm's clients continue to seek qualified BAs and PMs for their IT organizations. Both are "old" job titles. What's changing, Cullen said, is that employers are increasingly seeking very specific experience and skills in those roles. "What companies are looking for, instead of just bringing in a generic BA or PM, they're looking -- particularly in the financial services sector -- for some real specific areas," Cullen said. For example, "derivatives experience, capital markets experiences, low latency-high frequency experience -- they want skills very specific to a type of application in those areas."

8. Small and midsized business (SMB) IT pros. This one's not so much a skill set as a growing employer pool. Cullen said Modis's SMB accounts have robust hiring plans heading into the new year. "Companies that used to have maybe a one- or two-person IT staff are expanding that to four or five." He attributes that expansion to several factors: business growth, competitive advantages, and -- perhaps most of all -- more SMBs figuring out how IT investments can help them cut costs in other areas of their organizations. In other words: SMBs aren't necessarily adding headcount overall, but instead are redirecting existing resources into IT -- welcome news for job-hunters.

What's not hot? Traditional telecommunications roles will shrink as more and more businesses move into cloud environments, according to Cullen. (Cloud computing, meanwhile, can be a lucrative career path.)

Cullen also says IT pros with Oracle and SAP skills may find a flatter job market next year. He points to the expensive, cyclical, and sometimes slow-moving nature of large enterprise software deployments as the reason: 2014 may simply be a quieter year for internal enterprise application projects.

"The demand for Oracle and SAP -- I can't say it's gone dramatically down. But it's not as robust as some of the other areas," says Cullen. "A lot of these companies over the past two years have invested in their enterprise [applications], so maybe it's going to be a little bit less of an investment on that side [in 2014], as opposed to a big increase in investment on their web side."

Kevin Casey is a writer based in North Carolina who writes about technology for small and midsized businesses.

These five higher education CIOs are driving critical changes in an industry ripe for digital disruption. Also in the Chiefs Of The Year issue of InformationWeek: Stop bragging about your Agile processes and make them better. (Free registration required.)

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User Rank: Guru
1/4/2014 | 10:19:46 AM
Re: DevOps+ cloud and mobile skills
"Just last week someone told me that there are no more server administrators, now that everything is virtualized."

That's pretty funny, in a Dilbert sort of way. Hope your statement is satirical. 

It's not always. We actually had a meeting with IT in which we were discussing our request for a new Linux server. They insisted that it had to be a virtual server, not a physical one, until we pointed out that the isolated network on which it was to be installed didn't *have* any physical servers yet!

*Every* server can't be virtual. And even virtual servers require administration! :-)
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2014 | 6:18:51 PM
Re: DevOps+ cloud and mobile skills
Susan - I am a fan of the old series Le Femme Nikita. The world of the show was very shadowy, super deep spy stuff, at a place called simply "Section". Nikita was told that she had been put on "Active Status". Later, she asked her only confidant what exactly that meant. She was told:

"It means whatever they want it to mean. Until they decide it means something else."

"Devops" really seems to mean different things to different people. Strictly speaking, I suspect that most have a misunderstanding of the 'correct' and intended meaning. But in a practical sense, does it matter? If everyone starts calling it blue when they see the color red, before long, blue *is* red.

I think in this case, Section had it right.
Susan Fogarty
Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Author
1/3/2014 | 4:09:33 PM
Re: DevOps+ cloud and mobile skills
TerryB, thanks for checking into that. You are right that many of these are not necessarily jobs but specific processes or functions. Linux is especially interesting, now that you bring it up. Just last week someone told me that there are no more server administrators, now that everything is virtualized. Hopefully those Linux pros are keeping up with the times.
User Rank: Ninja
1/3/2014 | 1:48:25 PM
Re: DevOps+ cloud and mobile skills
Good question. I had to look it up. According to Wikipedia, it's more of a methodology/process than a job. Seems like it is trying to increase the scope of what Agile is trying to do in development, bringing the management of release cycles and application capacity into the mix.

That seems to be where it ties into the cloud/mobile thing, because those are a big deal as opposed to developing applications for your inhouse business.

Many of these "jobs" listed strike me as funny in the same way as DevOps.  BI for example. Isn't every developer's task to create information out of raw data? I'm not sure because you now have terabytes instead of megabytes the function has fundamentally changed, just a different toolset to get it done at that scale. Some developers have always been more gifted than others at making that happen.

I loved the Linux one also. Linux is an o/s, not a programming language. You don't create anything directly with Linux. And if you need an o/s admin for Linux itself, seems like a step back to the old days where IBM mainframes had System Programmers who had nothing to do with application development. And the comment about "open source being hot", I think about the Indiana Jones movie where the old knight says "Choose wisely, one chalice will give you immortality, others will kill you". If you know the winners and losers (long term) in the open source world, you are far more gifted than me.
User Rank: Author
1/3/2014 | 11:55:22 AM
Program Managers?
One job category not listed, but is likely to be in high demand within the federal government in 2014, especailly after the fiasco: IT Program Managers who know how to manage large scale projects.
D. Henschen
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
1/3/2014 | 11:15:04 AM
Cloud takes a bite out of SAP/Oracle Jobs?
I find Cullen's observation about flat demand for Oracle and SAP skills very interesting. Is it a matter of the "expensive, cyclical, and sometimes slow-moving nature of large enterprise software deployments," or is it the start of a long-term move to cloud-based apps? Workday, NetSuite, Kenandy, QAD, Plex System and other cloud players are taking market share from somewhere.
Susan Fogarty
Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Author
1/3/2014 | 10:30:03 AM
Re: DevOps+ cloud and mobile skills
Laurie, I noticed the exact same thing, and it definitely coincides with the pressure readers say they are facing to learn new skills. I have found, however, quite a bit of disagreement over the term DevOps and what people think it means. Who can set the record straight?
User Rank: Author
1/3/2014 | 10:11:14 AM
DevOps+ cloud and mobile skills
Interesting that the term "bidding war" comes up for this skill set. Does this match with what you're seeing, IT pros?
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