Reed says hiring managers are looking for people with "practical work experience" in the networking arena, especially if they have worked in an organization that has migrated to a virtualized or cloud-based environment. In particular, they're looking for people with VMware and Citrix experience.
As for certifications, they're important but they're "not driving the market one way or the other," he says.
5. Business Intelligence
• 23% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 13% in the 2010 survey.
Eliassen Group's McBrierty says his firm is starting to see more demand for IT professionals skilled in BI. The uptick indicates a shift from focusing on cost savings to investing in technology that provides access to real-time data, enabling better business decisions.
That may happen at Lorillard Tobacco, says Dan Clark, manager of server and desktop technology. The $6 billion company is looking to expand its use of Microsoft's SharePoint collaboration software from about 175 users to more than 2,000, he says. "This will require additional head count to develop and administer," Clark says, adding that he's especially interested in SharePoint developers.
6. Data Center
• 18% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, down from 21% in the 2010 survey.
Like networking, data center operations will be impacted by organizations' virtualization and cloud strategies. In particular, Reed says, hiring managers will be looking for IT professionals with backgrounds in data center operations and systems integration.
In addition, the demands of having data available to achieve guaranteed IT service levels underscore the need for people who are experts in disaster recovery and business continuity, according to Bob Cuneo, CIO at Eliassen Group. Companies need to ensure that the systems that users depend on will be there when they need them, and those systems need to be backed up and replicated, he says.
7. Web 2.0
• 18% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 17% in the 2010 survey.