The New Year is shaping up to be a bright one for technology professionals, according to a new report from job site Dice.com.
In a survey of 860 tech-focused hiring managers and recruiters, 73% reported planning to hire more candidates in the next six months, and 24% percent said their additional hiring will be substantial. That's good news for anyone looking to make a change in 2014.
But expect the IT landscape to change, too. Here's a look at five predictions on hot skills, evolving roles, and how social media will change recruiting.
1. Big data skills heat up. Companies were quick this year to adopt and invest in social, mobile, and cloud, but the rise of these technologies has created an overwhelming amount of valuable data that businesses need to make sense of, said John Michelsen, CTO of software management company CA Technologies.
"Big data demands a new breed of data scientists, and advancements in mobility, social, and sensing technologies rely on resetting the design and architecture of applications and user interfaces," he said. "These are highly specialized skills currently lacking and impossible to recruit completely within any one organization."
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Debra Germaine, managing partner at executive recruiting firm CTPartners, said that data scientists and data analytics leaders will be essential, especially in the consulting, retail, and banking markets.
"Enhanced customer relationship management and the development of products and services based on predictive consumer behavior spending patterns require the need for advanced interpretation of complex data sets," she said. "Using analytics and customer data is now primarily seen as a competitive tool that has calculated ROI."
2. SAP voids are still hard to fill. SAP database skills might no longer be sexy, but the demand is still high, said Rona Borre, CEO of IT recruiting firm Instant Technology.
"Assigning full-time resources to the SAP space is very difficult for businesses, especially in the US, but the demand for these people and skills will still be high in 2014," she said. "SAP isn't as exciting as something like mobility or big data. It's hard to find database people now and it will become harder because it's not that sexy skill."
3. CIO roles expand with more responsibilities.
"CIO" no longer stands for "career is over." Rather, the role is undergoing an evolution that positions it as more critical to most organizations than ever before, according to CTPartners' Germaine.
"The CIO of the coming years is at the forefront of many trends associated with other hot jobs: data, mobile, digital and analytics," she said. "The CIO's focus has migrated from the back office to the boardroom, making the role more visible, in greater demand, and hotter than ever. In addition, many companies are adding "and SVP" or other monikers to CIO titles. The dual titles reflect the increasing importance of IT within organizations and the increasing responsibility of the CIO."
4. Recruiting gets more social. The days when your resume alone got you interviews are over, said Shon Burton, founder of software company HiringSolved. It's not only about your skills on paper, it's also about your social presence.
"If you look at the evolution of recruiting, it started with going through phone books, then job boards, and what's changed everything today is that everyone has a social footprint," Burton said. "All this information offers us a much more rich profile of candidates than we had before."
Your social footprint can be a pro or con when you're looking for a new job, he said. Be wary of how you present yourself online, and take steps to improve your online presence. This might include answering questions in forums related to your profession or starting a blog. The goal, Burton said, is to provide Google and other search engines with a signal of your professional self rather than silence when recruiters or hiring managers search for you.
5. Talent management becomes social. Although social has changed how businesses recruit talent, it is also changing how they retain it, according to Scott Hebner, VP of social business at IBM. In 2014, say goodbye to the traditional HR survey and expect new methods to assess, develop, and retain talent.
"Organizations are searching for a means to not only recruit the right candidates, but more importantly, retain and nurture the talent to become passionate, engaged, and loyal," Hebner said. "In 2014, we'll begin to see organizations tapping social and behavioral data to better understand what is important to employees, what motivates them, why they stay with an organization, and much more."
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