The job market has had its ups and downs these last few years—and though IT has fared better than most industries, it hasn’t been immune to the fluctuating economic conditions. So predicting the IT job market for 2014 is not easy. Although it is not a significant change, 32% of companies are expected to increase their staff in 2014 compared to 33% in 2013. Considering the rapid growth of technology today, demand for IT professionals will remain steady. What will change, however, is the skill set that IT professionals will need to land available jobs. Topics like big data, cloud computing and mobile technology will continue toward the foreground next year and will dominate in 2014.
It’s really no surprise mobile app development is one of the top hiring needs. Mobile apps are used for almost everything. Considering the demand for mobile technology and device management professionals is so new, it is expected that candidates with knowledge in this area will be hired quickly and well compensated.
The same can be said for other in-demand areas like programming, networking, project management, and business analytics. Hiring for these skill sets are expected to increase by a combined 170% next year.
If these are not your areas of expertise, there’s no need to worry. The demand will remain for IT security professionals and IT contractors as well. The average placement time is 24 to 48 hours for contractors, compared to three to four weeks for a permanent employee. Among a surveyed group of IT managers, 73% are already using contractors to maintain applications. IT managers also plan to increase the amount of training around hot topic areas to keep current employees up to speed.
Even beyond knowledge of technology, companies need people who understand their industries and communicate effectively. A well-rounded IT professional will have a number of opportunities to find employment and grow in his or her career in 2014.