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.
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