Computerworld ranks Top 10 tech skills for 2015
'Tis the season for Christmas decorations, shopping lists, turkey dinners and holiday cheer. It's also the time of year, however, for another seasonal delight: making predictions about 2015. In the IT industry, many of those predictions will center around the coming year's job market. What skills are likely to be in demand next year, and how can IT pros best prepare themselves to take advantage of those opportunities?
A recent article in Computerworld takes a stab at evaluating the IT job market and forecasting next year's hot hiring trends. Computerworld based its predictions on data gathered from a survey of 194 IT executives, who responded to questions about their future staffing intentions. Nearly one-fourth of those surveyed have definite IT hiring plans for 2015, so there will be jobs available, although not as many as in previous years. Expected hiring topped 30 percent in each of the previous two years.
At the top of Computerworld's list, next year's golden ticket IT skill is the same as last year's, and probably won't come as a suprise to anyone. Businesses want programmers and, more specifically, application developers. Apparently the world still can't readily answer, "There's an app for that," to nearly enough of life's pressing questions. Among those with hiring plans in 2015, nearly 50 percent are fishing for programmers and app developers. (I code, I code, so off to work I go.)
One skill that's made a notable leap up the list is project management, which is also a red hot specialization in IT certification circles. At the end of 2013, project management was only the fifth-most demanded skill, but now it's No. 2, bumping last year's runner-up, help desk and technical support acumen, down to No. 3. That's right, help desk drudges, stand tall: Telling customers where to find the on/off switch and connecting coworkers to the office printer is one of the hottest skills in IT.
Also on the rise are security skills, which climbed from No. 7 last year to No. 4 this year. It's a little surprising that more hiring managers aren't desperate to add IT security experts, but the upward trend at least aligns with the general hue and cry about the demand for cybersecurity skills.
The bottom of the Computerworld list is also surprising, largely for what it reveals about supposedly hoppin' job markets. Despite the increasing fever-pitch hubbub about the Internet of Things, networking know-how tumbled all the way from being the third-most demanded skill at the end of 2013 to ranking ninth this year. The No. 10 spot belongs to the similarly buzzworthy big data skill set, but at least there's an upward trend there. Last year, big data skills were just outside the Top 10 at No. 11.