Keeping up with the ‘programme’
HR Magazine recently reported that the growth in smartphone apps, tablets and online shopping has led to a ‘boom year’ for IT jobs, with more than one million specialist roles advertised in this sector.
The study found that despite the economic downturn, the UK employment market has been resilient. Based on this data, it is predicted unemployment will continue to fall in 2013 with technology and engineering sectors performing the strongest in the first 6 months.
But what IT skills were most in demand in 2012 and what will you need to succeed this year?
The results found SQL gurus, such as database administrators, continue to be highest in demand, followed by Java, .NET, PHP and ASP skills.
What was interesting, however, was the increased demand for specialist skills, such as open-source Linux-based technologies compared to traditional Microsoft development languages, like ASP and C#.
Python skills, for example, witnessed a 38% increase since 2011. The demand for Ruby on Rails skills also witnessed a 62.5% increase.
It’s these sophisticated programming languages that lend themselves perfectly to today’s generation of technology, including 3D animation, visual effects, managing big data, and of course, our growing appetite for cloud based applications.
Not only that, but as there are no licensing costs for such languages, more and more organisations are scaling technology across multiple servers for free, thus requiring more employees with specific skills to manage this.
But what does this mean for the year ahead?
Sharing their predictions for the most sought after IT skills of 2013, Helen Bayram, Marketing Manager at TechnoJobs, said:
‘Having seen a steady rise in the number of programming and development jobs on Technojobs throughout 2012 as companies begin to tackle projects that they put off during the recession, we predict that professionals with skills in these areas, particularly with experience in Java, .Net or PHP will be in high demand in 2013.
‘Web designers also continue to be highly sought after as the importance of having excellent user experience continues to increase for the majority of businesses’.
This predicted rise in programming jobs could also have a direct effect on the number of IT project managers in demand. To put it into context, a rise in programming jobs means more projects, and therefore, more project managers will be needed.
John Kasumovic, President at Webspring Consulting, supported this statement saying:
‘Last year we saw an increase in software development projects working across traditional boundaries. As software projects become more complex and solutions require greater inter-operability, organisations will lean further on the project manager role to drive teams towards a common destination that aligns with the organisation’s IT strategy’.
But it’s not all about the technical skills. Going forward, many organisations will also be looking for exceptional soft skills, perhaps over and above the typical accreditation and experience. Particularly as technology continues to evolve, it’s only natural that technical skills will need to be augmented with higher level skills such as communication and business acumen.
This is just a few of the key IT trends of 2012 and insights for 2013. I’m sure it goes without saying that the market will always favour the skills that are better suited to the changing nature of technology.
And for those of you looking to enter the IT field or advance your technology career, these findings highlight the importance of specialist skills if you’re looking to stay ahead of the ‘programme’.