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It Jobs: Data Center Hiring Turns a Corner

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According to Symantec's 2010 State of the Data Center report, companies will likely hire slightly more data center workers this year. Even as they deal with management pressure to keep budgets low, they are facing a growing need for workers who can navigate a wave of new technologies flowing into the data center. Corporations adopting new technologies—such as virtualization, data protection, identity systems and cloud computing—are requiring different skills of job seekers. Workers are being asked to manage more systems and deal with new technologies, while simultaneously providing better service levels for the overall business. Faced with these expanding roles for the data center, 40% of companies report trouble finding qualified staff.

Job postings for the information technology industry have jumped 17% year over year, with clicks on postings up 27%, according to Jobs listing "cloud computing" ranked No. 2 in the site's list of most popular job postings. In addition, the area of virtualization remains popular. Workers that focus on security, backup and disaster recovery are also in demand. More than 80% of companies named security a top priority in the data center, with backup and recovery and continuous data protection ranked No. 2 and No. 3. There are a few initiatives that seem to be top-of-mind, such as those having to do with mitigating risk or reducing capital costs.

While most researchers predict slight growth in IT hiring over the next year, some categories are not faring as well. Application programming, a category that includes those who write custom applications for data centers, continues its decade-long decline. More off-the-shelf and less custom work is certainly part of it, as is the amount of work being sent offshore. Moreover, some areas—such as green IT—continue to under-perform expectations. The last six months of 2009 were sluggish at best; while green IT had a big surge at the beginning of last year, it definitely leveled off. While the demand is not across the board in data center jobs, overall the market for staffing is trending positive.

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