Information technology (IT) workers are always in high demand by organizations in a wide range of industries. On a year-over-year basis, IT employment has grown by 2.88 percent since May 2013, adding 130,100 workers. As companies continue to increase their reliance on technology solutions, industry experts expect that IT hiring will increase in the upcoming year. Employment and output in the industry are projected to grow rapidly through 2020, outpacing similar professional industries and the economy as a whole. This forecasted growth is attributed to firms and individual consumers continuing to increase their usage of information technology services, with cloud computing contributing substantially to industry demand.
What’s Trending in IT
IT experts at the recent Gartner Symposium identified what they believe to be the top strategic information technology trends for 2015. These trends are expected to have a potentially significant impact on companies over the next three years.
The continued advancement in smart-phone technology prompted Gartner experts to project that in 2015 there will be an increased emphasis on serving the needs of mobile users, as opposed to focusing on the device itself. Smart phones and wearable devices will continue to be important, and user experience design will be critical to organizations offering products and services.
The Internet of Things
Gartner predicts that the Internet of things will continue to expand and will be replicated in both industrial and operational environments.
Experts believe that the cost of 3D printing will decrease in the next three years, leading to a rapid increase in demand for the technology. Industry analysts predict that 3D printing will be a viable means of reducing costs through improved designs and streamlined prototyping. Gartner believes that organizational use of 3D printers will rise, especially in industrial, biomedical, and consumer applications.
Analytics will continue to advance, as vast pools of unstructured data both within and outside of organizations are generated. Gartner experts believe that every app will have analytic capabilities.
Analytics and responsive context-rich systems will lead to increased development of systems that are able to learn for themselves and act upon those learnings. Gartner analysis speculates that smart machines will be a major disruptive innovation in the history of IT.
Cloud computing is rapidly becoming the foundation for both internal and external facing applications. Mobile computing and cloud computing continue to lead to the growth of centrally coordinated applications that can be delivered to any device. Experts say that lowering bandwidth costs, coordination, and cloud-based management, will be areas of focus in the coming year.
Temp IT Hiring Expected to Increase
In September of 2014, the unemployment rate for IT professionals was just under 3 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This figure is leading to many IT managers realizing that finding talent will be a demanding endeavor in the upcoming year.
A recent survey by Robert Half Technology reveals that 87 percent of U.S. Chief Information Officers (CIOs) surveyed plan to expand their IT teams in the first half of 2015. Corroborating this trend, a Computerworld 2015 Forecast survey showed that 24 percent of respondents said that their companies plan to add more IT employees in the year ahead.
DCR TrendLine IT Employment Index
According to TEKsystems’ recent quarterly IT Reality Check survey, IT leaders reported that temp worker hiring has increased over 2014. Approximately 42 percent of IT leaders reported an increase in temporary hiring in 2014. Experts believe that more IT professionals will shift from full-time work to consulting and freelancing due to the flexibility and higher hourly rates available.
“The global economy in general is moving to a contract or freelance workforce. It’s now a $1 billion worldwide market, and projected to be $5 billion in the next five years.” ~Xenios Thrasyvoulou, Founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour and SuperTasker
4 Must-Have IT Skills for 2015
Though demand for IT workers is high, staying at the top of the field is a daunting task for those employed in the industry. Below are some of the most in-demand IT skills for 2015:
1. Big Data
Big data is predicted to grow by 40 percent per year over the next ten years, reaching over 40 zettabytes by the year 2020. IT professionals who are able to process enormous amounts of data in real time are in high demand, with Hadoop skills topping the list of desired skills.
The use of smartphones, tablets, and wearable devices continues to increase, and companies are looking for workers with a broad set of skills in mobile. Native iOS and Android development will continue to grow, and employers are also highly interested in workers who have expertise in responsive design and user experience.
Demand for cloud computing grew more than 30 percent in 2013. As more software solutions are being deployed in the cloud, employers are searching for professionals who have migration, integration, and developer knowledge of different APIs.
Throughout 2014 the news was full of stories of the fallouts from security attacks on major and small companies. Companies large and small are looking to bring their security function in-house for better control and oversight, and are looking for security experts. Additionally, the growth of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) adoption is causing a greater demand for mobile security.
“There are large initiatives [underway], and you have to have the people to get them done.” ~Jason Hayman, Market Research Manager at TEKsystems