February 02, 2010, 3:19 PM — IT professionals looking to find new employment or upgrade their current positions should investigate job opportunities that address growing demand for technologies such as virtualization, cloud, network security and social computing skills.
Industry watchers report that while an economic recovery won't guarantee that IT jobs return to pre-recession levels, increased interest in emerging and existing technologies will drive internal training and external hiring decisions.
"IT staffing got hit in 2009, but it didn't get decimated they way it did back in 2002. Companies were renegotiating contracts, freezing salaries and delaying projects, so this year we won't see a flood of IT employment back," says Mark McDonald, group vice president and head of research, Gartner Executive Programs. "But we will see a skills shift from IT personnel that operates only in the old, slow expensive ways to IT pros that can adopt agile methods. There will continue to be opportunities in analytics, for people who understand lean IT, Six Sigma, business processes and improvements -- it's going to be about information, connectivity and collaboration."
Here we examine 10 IT job titles that could gain traction in 2010 as new technology demands require evolving IT skills.
1. Security specialist/ethical hacker
Disturbing new facts and figures appear almost daily about companies falling victim to hackers and experiencing security and/or data breaches. That won't change in 2010 and IT training and employment industry specialists report that interest in acquiring new security skills continues to grow among IT pros and hiring managers who seek the latest skill sets to better secure their environments.
"If you know how to keep your company's data secure, you were in demand yesterday, are in demand today and will be in demand tomorrow," Tom Silver, senior vice president with Dice.com, said in a recent interview with Network World.