The advent of each new year brings a flurry of goals, resolutions and planning. It’s no different for the IT industry.
2019 is the age of digital disruption. The rise of cloud and SaaS technology, increasing integration between IT and other departments and the vast cybersecurity industry are fueling new demand for specialized IT skills.
Here are the IT hiring trends, including the hottest skills, job roles and retention strategies, that every IT manager should prepare for in 2019.
IT Jobs Are Growing Across Every Vertical
IT is no longer a siloed support system — it’s an integral tool that can drive business growth and agility. As technology infiltrates nearly every aspect of organizations, IT has grown not only in specialized skill sets but within specific verticals.
Healthcare is striving for new, innovative and modern ways to deliver better healthcare, from telemedicine to using data analytics to improve patient care.
In the finance industry, big data has made information security a top priority, spurring the need for experienced security and data professionals.
Manufacturing and automotive sectors are deploying robotics, utilizing advanced data analytics and implementing IoT devices to automate and improve manufacturing processes.
The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry is also on the rise. The enterprise SaaS market alone grew nearly 32 percent last year. As companies shift away from traditional software to cloud-based applications and subscription services, they need cloud architects, system engineers and developers to lead the digital transformation and implement SaaS platforms for their business.
Companies not only need skilled IT professionals to support technical endeavors, but who also understand the nuances and needs of different sectors.
Data, Cloud Computing, Security and AI Lead Top Trending IT Jobs
The IT industry is expected to grow by 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than average for all occupations.
The majority of the growth stems from three sectors; data, information security and cloud computing.
Here are the top IT skills to develop or hire for within cybersecurity, cloud computing and big data.
Analytics and Data Science Hiring Trends
Companies produce billions of datasets every year. Big data helps organizations identify patterns, solve problems and make better decisions. As a result, the demand for business intelligence analysts and data scientists is skyrocketing.
Business Intelligence Analysts
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, business analyst careers are expected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026.
Business intelligence (BI) analysts look for data patterns and trends that provide insight on customer behavior, productivity versus output and financial data. BI analysts leverage data to streamline business processes and help organizations make data-driven decisions.
Top BI Analyst Skills
Business intelligence analysts must have experience in analytics and reporting tools, programming languages and database platforms like SQL Server.
Browse business analyst training courses.
Where business analysts research and extract information from data sources to identify trends and insights, data scientists take it one technical step further.
Data scientists use statistical programming to develop and deploy algorithms that support the tools business analysts use.
The need for professionals who can manage large amounts of data has propelled data scientists into one of the most sought-after positions in 2019. Consider these statistics:
- LinkedIn named the data scientist as 2019’s most promising job (based on LinkedIn data, criteria including salary, job growth, job openings and likeliness to lead to promotion).
- Glassdoor named data scientists as the best job in America for the third consecutive year.
- According to an IBM report, the number of open data science and analytics job listings is expected to grow to 2.7 million open positions by 2020.
Top Data Scientist Skills
Data scientists are not only one of the top IT hiring trends of 2019. They’re also one of the most difficult roles to hire for.
Steep hiring costs and the need for continual training to keep up with rapidly evolving technology makes hiring data science and analysis roles a challenge.
Here are the top skills hiring managers should look for when hiring data scientists:
- Programming languages: R, Python, SQL, Hadoop and Spark are some of the most frequently used languages in data science.
- Creativity: There’s no rule book for managing vast amounts of data. Data scientists must continually find creative solutions to manage, interpret and visualize data.
- Communication: Data scientists not only have to wrangle and interpret data, but they also need to be able to explain it coherently to others.
- Mathematics: The majority of data scientists have a strong background in mathematics, particularly calculus and algebra.
Browse all big data courses and certifications.
Cloud Computing Hiring Trends
According to a Gartner survey of 137 senior executives, cloud computing is the top talent shortage they expect to face in 2019.
The cloud has upended traditional IT. From backing up, storing and recovering data to developing new applications and hosting websites, the cloud has shifted how IT professionals approach and provision IT infrastructure.
As organizations take advantage of the simplicity and high-performance capabilities of the cloud, IT must keep up to remain competitive, making hiring or training cloud-based skills one of the top IT hiring trends of 2019.
Here are two of the top cloud roles:
Cloud architects oversee the company’s cloud computing strategy, including managing, supporting and deploying cloud applications. They design cloud environments for organizations, including cloud adoption plans, cloud deployments and application architecture and design.
Top Cloud Architect Skills
Businesses should look for cloud architects with a strong understanding of operating systems, programming, networking and security. Candidates should also have a background in enterprise IT and cloud security.
Cloud Systems Engineer
Where cloud architects oversee cloud computing strategy, cloud systems engineers are responsible for installing, managing and supporting IT cloud systems.
Top Cloud Systems Engineer Skills
Cloud systems engineers typically have a strong background in cloud service platforms including OpenStack, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Cloud systems engineers should also have a solid comprehension of programming languages, APIs, DevOps and automation.
Browse all cloud technologies and certifications.
Cybersecurity Hiring Trends
Hackers are launching more sophisticated attacks than ever before. There were over 2,216 confirmed data breaches in 2018 alone.
The growing interest in cybersecurity jobs is another standout hiring trend. Information security jobs are expected to increase 28 percent from 2016 to 2026, almost double the growth rate of other IT occupations.
More organizations are turning to cybersecurity professionals including engineers, analysts and penetration testers to plan and oversee security initiatives. Job duties range from solving existing security issues and configuring firewalls to performing vulnerability tests and security assessments.
Top Cybersecurity Skills
- Internet of Things (IoT) Security: Company networks are often vast webs of interconnected devices beyond the standard desktop. IoT security protects all devices connected to the internet.
- Vulnerability Assessments: Cybersecurity professionals use vulnerability assessments to analyze an organization’s current security gaps in personnel, procedures or processes.
- Penetration Testing: Where vulnerability assessments attempt to assess security risks from within the organization, penetration tests are simulated cyberattacks to test security measures and identify and fix vulnerabilities.
Browse all cybersecurity courses & certifications.
Artificial Intelligence Hiring Trends
Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience. From natural language to self-driving cars, computers can be trained to perform specific tasks by recognizing patterns in data. Within IT, it can be used to improve performance monitoring, IT service management and automation.
The demand for AI has more than doubled over the past three years. While AI influences many IT roles today (including data scientists), the machine learning engineer is the latest true AI role.
Machine Learning Engineer
Machine learning engineers are highly specialized computer programmers. They create programs that enable machines to learn without specific direction or human assistance.
Machine learning engineers must have a strong background in computer science and programming, including data structures, computer architecture, computability and algorithms.
They should also have strong skills in statistics, data modeling, evaluation, software engineering and systems design.
Browse data engineering training courses.
Soft Skills Are No Longer Optional
IT roles used to be hidden, more isolated. They helped maintain technical infrastructure behind the scenes.
But digital transformations have pushed IT roles into the limelight. IT teams are no longer isolated entities but integrated into all aspects of the business.
The SaaS, cloud-first movement means that IT needs to work seamlessly with marketing, operations, finance and executive teams on a regular basis.
This trend has led to the rise in soft skills for IT positions. IT professionals need to be able to understand client and business needs, translate those needs into technical solutions and articulate the results.
Top soft skills include:
- Verbal presentation skills
Browse all personal development and leadership courses.
Retaining Top IT Talent Is More Critical Than Ever
The final IT hiring trend isn’t about hiring top talent, but retaining them.
The talent shortage gap means recruiting and keeping top IT talent is more crucial than ever.
But it’s not just about the salary — culture and work perks matter. Employees are increasingly interested in company culture, work-life balance, flexible work schedules and career progression.
Training is another key way to retain employees. For employees, it demonstrates their companies are willing to invest in them. For companies, it’s a way to develop highly specialized skills they need and boost employee retention.
Keep up With the Latest IT Hiring Trends With New Horizons Training
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