The IT job market is on the rise, and top jobs include
anything in big data, mobile, cloud or security. Learn more about
the latest hiring trends with TechRepublic's roundtable of IT
executives and tech recruiters.
Tech hiring trends vary year by year. The top IT hiring trends
for 2014 include the driving need for IT security, the boom of big
data, and more people embracing the cloud.
TechRepublic talked to several IT executives and tech
recruiters in a roundtable to find out what they predict in tech
hiring this year.
Rona Borre, CEO and founder, Instant Technology
Sean Casey, co-founder and CTO, Shiftgig
Phil Foley, senior vice president of communications, NanoTech
Shan Fowler, director of product and marketplaces,
Tim Herbert, vice president of research, CompTIA
Zubin Irani, CEO, cPrime, Inc
Pete Kazanjy, co-founder, TalentBin
Barbara Keihm, director of HR, Wintellect
Jason Langhoff, director of corporate development,
Frederick Mendler, co-founder and COO, Trueability
Denise Messineo, senior vice president of HR, Dimension Data
Robert Noble, director of software of engineering,
Steve Porter, technical director, Wintellect
Kenton Scearce, regional director of career services, ECPI
Garth Schulte, trainer, CBT Nuggets
Tendu Yogurtcu, vice president of engineering, Syncsort
TechRepublic: What are the top tech hiring trends for
Kazanjy: One of the biggest trends in 2014 will be the
continued uptick in demand for technical talent, but more broadly
across the entire economy, and not just siloed in its own "tech"
sector. Technology is ceasing to be a "sector" on its own, and is
instead becoming more critical in every industry, as seen with
Google's recent purchase of Nest, the transformation of traditional
commerce companies like Wal-mart, Macy's, Best Buy and so forth
into "e-commerce-first" players. Moreover the ramp of "mobile" as
something that will impact all forms of technology will continue
apace. And with that comes the need for the technical talent to
drive those processes.
Porter: This year will be more important for the UX engineer
than ever before. More and more applications, especially mobile,
are going to require sophisticated and extremely useable
interfaces. We expect higher numbers of developers will be adopting
and embracing UX skills and roles. Also, we see more and more
enterprises are embracing the cloud, so naturally engineers with
cloud expertise will be more in demand.
Scearce: From what I have seen, as well as read, is that 2014
will have a huge focus on data. Social media is exploding, cloud
computing is a bigger focus for organizations of all sizes, and
mobile technology has become a necessity. Therefore, we will see a
bigger emphasis on employees educated and skilled with data
programming/administration, mobile development and security as more
information is provided online and via the cloud.
Yogurtcu: With the rising popularity of Hadoop, positions are
geared towards filling these roles, with lots of interest placed on
big data and data mining and analysis. Most of the new hires are
recent graduates, since they embody a lot of creativity and forward
thinking, both qualities needed in the industry of big data.
Foley: I know we’ve heard it several times over the past few
years, but a lot of employers are using social media to do extra
research on potential hires. It gives you a much quicker insight
into receiving and analyzing a resume in order to see what the
person is all about. That will not stop. It will continue to
Noble: The demand for tech and software talent is exploding. A
lot of companies have been aggressive and creative to compete for
candidates in these fields. For instance, besides compensation and
the technical work of the job role, companies are using culture as
a key differentiator. They aren’t only talking about the company,
they’re also talking about the perks outside of work, and benefits,
like cool team events, providing free haircuts, massages, food and
Schulte: Big data. Data is exploding all over the IT scene and
reshaping how we think about storing and analyzing large volumes of
data. Companies are realizing they can mine valuable business
intelligence to improve decision making and gain the competitive
advantage. Tools such as Hadoop are making all of this possible and
because of it, NoSQL skills at all levels are in extremely
TechRepublic: Is the tech job market improving and will it
lead to more jobs this year when compared to last year?
Yogurtcu: We think so. With more big data initiatives and
higher adoption from organizations, there will be more new tech
jobs. In addition, technology advances such as GPS data, medical
sensors, and social media have expanded the realm of what is
possible. This increases the demand for tech professionals, without
diminishing the need for the more traditional tech roles.
Langhoff: Technology grew 21 percent in 2013 and looks to
maintain a strong pace for 2014. New York has actually outpaced
Silicon Valley in the last year and Los Angeles; Denver/Boulder;
Austin, Texas; and Boston also have strong tech scenes. We will
also see a continued shift to cloud-based computing and tech
workers versed in cloud related tools and architectures will be at
Fowler: The tech job market is improving. We’re seeing it in
not only when it comes to hiring but in increased educational and
training opportunities for students and potential candidates in the
Herbert: Steady is probably the best way to characterize the
IT job market. Nearly 100,000 IT jobs were added in 2013, which
translates to growth of about 2.1 percent over 2012, according to
Bureau of Labor Statistics data (note: this include jobs at firms
plus self employed, sole proprietors.) Growth over the past three
years has been in a similar range, so it’s not so much improvement,
but rather maintaining a steady, but modest, growth rate. The data
suggests 2014 IT job growth will be comparable to last year.
Scearce: Overall I think we all can agree the job market is
improving and government data confirms it. In terms of the tech
market specifically, yes. All of our campuses have been seeing an
increase of tech-related positions from employers and recruiting
firms. Businesses are growing again, creating the need for more
support staff for a growing IT infrastructure. Company data is
filling the cloud, website, etc. and must be protected. Things are
certainly looking very positive for the tech industry.
TechRepublic: Which tech jobs will be most in demand?
Fowler: The top three roles will be: software developers,
database administrators (DBAs) and IT security professionals. Every
company, regardless of industry, can be considered a software
company because technology touches every aspect of an organization.
IT is responsible for the success of a company’s supply chain,
finance, communications and customer service. The explosion of
mobile apps and big data is driving the needs for savvy developers,
data administrators and security pros who can ensure businesses and
their customers are well covered. Consumerization is driving the
demand for great software developers. We can also expect an uptick
in hiring for IT security roles given recent high-profile hacks at
major retailers and a general sense of insecurity from consumers
around NSA activities.
Borre: There are top four skills IT professionals will need in
2014. The first is web frameworks, because as more applications are
moving away from closed systems and desktop to the web it is
crucial for both infrastructure and application development
professionals to familiarize themselves with web based frameworks
such as ASP, Java or Ruby. The second is big data. In 2014, data
will range from geocached information to audio recordings to video,
and new systems are needed to both effectively store and analyze
this data. The third skill is responsive design. Nearly 20 percent
of all web traffic in 2013 was from a mobile device and that number
will only grow as more and more people work remotely with little
more than their smartphone and a tablet. The fourth is UX, which is
webspeak for User Experience. Professionals are dedicating entire
careers to not only understanding how users interact with their
system but analyzing how applications and client facing systems can
be optimized for users to find exactly what they’re looking for in
the minimum amount of time.
Messineo: As we expand our business in cloud, IT outsourcing
and data center, skills in those areas will be critical. This will
also include virtualization, security, project management, help
desk, unified communications and consulting skills; Cisco certified
talent (CCIE) as well as Microsoft Lync and Exchange. In general,
it's more about cultural fit than having all of the technical
skills on a manager’s wish list.
Scearce: Considering the trends, I would say positions in
database programming/administration and application development
will be in high demand this year. As companies move data to
cloud-based systems and establish a more robust presence on the
web, security of that data will be crucial. Therefore, positions
related to the network and overall IT security will be in high
demand. Businesses are growing again and they need proper IT
support. So, positions such as IT help desk associates and general
technical support positions will be growing in 2014 (specifically
in the healthcare niche) and we have already seen a large increase
Schulte: It's incredible the amount of big data job titles
that are out there, and new ones are popping up every week. Search
your favorite career site for big data and you'll see what I mean.
This includes big data scientists, big data software engineers, big
data DBA/systems administrator, anything business intelligence (BI)
related, anything Hadoop related.
Porter: The top jobs will be UX engineer, cloud engineer,
Kazanjy: The top tech jobs in 2014 will be mobile developers,
full stack software engineers, and engineers with strong design
chops who encapsulate skills in newer technologies and
Noble: Big data and mobile computing are in most demand this
year. For big data, companies are looking to find clever ways of
mining data and discovering business intelligence they didn’t know
before. In mobile computing, there’s blurred lines between laptops
and mobile devices and tablets, and other devices like smart
watches, so the demand for job roles focusing on these will be
popping up a lot this year.
Yogurtcu: The big data industry is growing at such a fast rate
that the high-demand positions vary. Data scientists and IT
professionals are dominating roles, employers in are looking for
Hadoop-certified individuals with experience in distributed
computing, MapReduce, Hbase, Pig and Hive.
Foley: Without a doubt, programming skills are on an
exponential growth pattern. Particularly, the Android operating
system, Apple and any mobile development platform, including
TechRepublic: Which tech jobs will be less popular this
Porter: UI Designers who purely design and do not feel
comfortable in the UX and development worlds.
Casey: Systems roles. Infrastructure management is becoming
increasingly efficient and tools like Puppet make it easy for a
single person to maintain thousands of servers. The need for highly
skilled development engineers will be there but companies need far
fewer people to manage that.
Irani: SAP/Oracle ERP is on a big decline. With most companies
outsourcing support in this area and most large skill ERP
implementation a thing of the last decade, the demand for these
skills is sharply dropping while the supply of skills continue to
Fowler: iOS native mobile development may be in less demand in
favor of HTML-based mobile solutions.
Noble: Older technologies like Cobol are dying. Assembler is
less popular, and more people are moving to higher-level languages
like Java, Python and Ruby.
TechRepublic: What skills sets should people considering
adding in 2014 to stay relevant?
coming in a very close second.
Noble: People should gain front-end skill sets, including
human computer interaction, user experience and responsive design.
On the back-end side, skill sets should be focused on big data and
scale, so we’re looking for people who are able to process enormous
quantities of data in real time.
Foley: With the explosion of social media and its growth, it
would benefit anyone developing content to gain skills in video
editing and graphic editing.
Scearce: From an IT skill set perspective, the hot skills to
add would be focusing on network security, application and database
development, and cloud computing for any industry niche. From a
job-seeking perspective, the skill of networking is still the most
important weapon when looking for an opportunity. There are also a
multitude of social networking sites, such as Linkedin, and apps
that can really help if used properly.
Kazanjy: In 2014, recruiters will look for people who are more
modern, iterative, and can quickly develop languages like Ruby,
Python, Node.js, and such will continue to accelerate. Mobile
development, especially newer technologies like iOS, Android,
Windows Phone, and cross platform mobile frameworks like Sencha and
Appcelerator's Titanium, will be a big trend in 2014. And as big
data becomes something that shows up across more and more
offerings, familiarity with NoSQL data stores like Hadoop,
Cassandra and Redis will be helpful.
Fowler: Developers with superior skills in big data, Hadoop,
Java and NoSQL (MongoDB), as well as HTML5 and CSS3, will have a
leg-up on the competition.
TechRepublic: What skill sets should people gain in 2014 to be
sought out by headhunters?
Mendler: The most sought after skills by headhunters are
development skills such as Python, Java, CSS. For systems
engineers, the most sought after skills are experience with NoSQL
databases such as MongoDB, Cassandra and Redis. And configuration
management tools like Chef and Puppet.
Irani: The top skill is Agile. Agile is blowing up, we have
seen the number of jobs requiring Agile skills go up by a factor of
10x in the last 18 months and that trend will only continue. Also
in demand is DevOps. It’s still a relatively new concept, but we
have seen an increased trend and expect to see a greater increase
of demand for people with skills in this area.
Langhoff: With the continued shift towards cloud computing,
familiarity with development operations skillsets and tools will
become critical in quickly deploying servers and software. Popular
CSS), the mobile languages (e.g. Java for Android, Objective-C for
IOS), server side languages and frameworks (e.g. Python, PHP,
Ruby), and database tools and frameworks (e.g. SQL, Hadoop).
Scearce: In addition to the IT skills I have
mentioned above, graduates and job seekers should also pursue
certifications. IT certifications can net candidates an additional
5-15 percent increase in salary (from various reports and data).
They also make you much more marketable as a candidate, since
certification standards are constantly updated to keep current with
the latest in technology trends.
Foley: I would have anyone looking to pick a secondary set of
skills to look into HTML5 programming. It’s extremely easy for a
non-programmer to learn. Its capabilities will redefine how we
interact with the Internet.
Yogurtcu: Since Hadoop is rapidly dominating the big data
field, employers are looking for professionals who are
knowledgeable on the administration and development side of Hadoop
projects. Basic skills like problem solving, the ability to apply
information to a current problem and computer science fundamentals
are also hot topics in the field.
Fowler: Technology is a vast industry and it will depend on
what chunk of that field an individual would like to get involved
with. I would recommend expanding your skill sets with Java EE, big
data, Hadoop, MongoDB and Spring, as those seem to be what
companies are currently looking for in their
TechRepublic: If someone is in college, what degree should
they be pursuing for a tech career?
Keihm: A computer information systems (CIS) degree, or a
bachelors or masters in information technology.
Fowler: Hone in on a computer science degree with a strong
emphasis in math, and explore the option of one-off code school
setups to develop specific coding skills.
Casey: My development team is a mix of high school graduates,
computer engineers, and a CS PhD. Someone needs to have the drive
to continually learn to be truly successful.
Noble: Someone who is pursuing a tech career should be
pursuing a computer science degree. There’s not nearly enough
talent coming out of schools to meet the demand in the job market
for these positions. If you’re looking to expand your specific
skill set, Coursera is a great program as well.
Scearce: I would focus on a CIS degree, and focus on one (or a
few) of the following: cloud computing, database
programing and application/web development, network security and
TechRepublic: What are the top computer languages to learn for
Foley: HTML5, Android, Apple OS, and JQuery.
Herbert: CompTIA does not produce an official list of top
computer languages. For any insight on demand for skills, Burning
Glass Technologies Labor Insights tracks job postings, which helps
to quantify what employers are looking for. For 2013, these
programming languages were cited at the highest rates in job
number of emerging programming languages that have high growth
rates, but because they are still somewhat niche, the total count
of job openings is still relatively small (for example, Pig, Hive
and other Hadoop-related languages.)
Casey: Other than native mobile languages, developers should
Scearce: I do not think this is a big change from last year,
but some of the top programming languages in demand are SQL, Java,
HTML, C#/C++, ASP.Net and XML. They all seem to be in popular
demand from companies, large and small.
Yogurtcu: This is a very dynamic area. The ability to learn
new languages and have a good foundation in algorithms is critical.
There are opportunities for filling the skill shortage in the big
data market with Pig and Hive. Java and Python will continue to be
popular, and Scala is certainly will be another interesting
Mendler: High-level languages such as Python continue to be a
popular choice. Python skills can be used for mobile application
development, and scientific data analysis including big data number
frameworks such as Node.js, Angular, Ember, and jQuery.
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