While overall demand for IT professionals is expected to remain steady in 2014, there are eight hot IT skills that have the potential to reshape the hiring landscape for companies and recruiters next year. According to experts, IT skills expected to be in highest demand for 2014 include programming and application development; networking; mobile; project management; and database administration. In 2014, 32% of companies are expecting to increase headcount in their IT organizations, compared with 33% in 2013.
Programming and application development tops the list of hot IT skills, although just under half of the respondents said they would hire in this area over the next 12 months, compared with 60% last year. Software developers, especially those with mobile development expertise, are the most sought-after technology workers and currently enjoy one of the lowest unemployment rates around, just 1.8%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Help desk/tech support remained near the top of the list, cited by 37% of respondents, moving up from No. 3 last year. Demand for networking and network administration skills jumped to No. 3 from eighth place last year.
With mobile devices proliferating in both the corporate and consumer worlds, mobile skills catapulted toward the top of the list, from No. 9 last year to No. 4 this year. And because of mobile's relatively new status, respondents named mobile expertise the third most difficult skill to find, after development and business-intelligence/analytics skills. While project management at No. 5 fell from its No. 2 position last year, it is considered a highly sought-after skill. This is another positive sign for the economy as a whole, because it indicates that companies are willing to pursue strategic projects. Meanwhile, database administration — which didn't even make last year's list — will be hot in 2014, likely because of interest in Big Data.
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