2015 IT hiring at a glance: Challenges, optimism, required roles

From the consumerization of IT to the cloud to enterprise mobility, corporate IT is an ever-changing landscape of software, services and solutions. IT hiring managers and CIOs must navigate this complex environment in order to improve overall business, and that process starts with employees. After all, in the era of the cloud, technology is ubiquitous and it is easy to start a company with little to no on-premise hardware or support staff. That means that the best way to stay competitive is to arm IT departments with the strongest professionals.

According to a recent CompTIA survey of almost 650 IT companies, 43 percent of U.S. IT businesses reported having job openings, while 36 percent said they are fully staffed but still would like to acquire additional tech employees in order to support business expansion and growth.

Facing difficulties
Of course, everyone looking for qualified professionals at once does not bode well for businesses that are in desperate need. In fact, the CompTIA survey indicated that 68 percent of executives anticipate “a challenging or very challenging” hiring environment for technical positions this year. It’s simpler to deploy cutting-edge solutions relative to difficulties faced when merely finding an individual to help support those best systems, as every organization demands well-educated, trained and solution-certified professionals.

“68% of executives anticipate ‘a challenging or very challenging’ 2015 IT hiring environment.”

Industry optimism
It’s not all bad news, however. While it could be a challenging year to find the best, most-qualified IT employees, there are some reasons to be optimistic about hiring. For example, InfoWorld reported that the upcoming H-1B visa lottery scheduled for April 1, 2015, could expand the visa pool past its current limit of 65,000 individuals. Supporters of this lottery believe that job creation will see a boost in the tech industry as it becomes easier to fill open positions.

On top of that, the source pointed to a recent H-4 visa rule change that would make approximately 179,600 people eligible to apply for work authorization. While it is certainly difficult to predict if these individuals will even apply for IT-related jobs, the proposition of such a boost indicates that 2015 could be healthier than some experts originally perceived in regard to filling open positions.

The four big positions
So, as 2015’s clock ticks down, businesses should identify in-demand skills for this year, with the goal of acquiring professionals who fill those gaps first. Furthermore, it’s very likely that these hiring trends will continue into 2016 as college students graduate and more businesses turn to new technologies. Here are four areas IT hiring managers should focus on for the next 12 months:

1. Cloud
According to a recent RightScale 2015 cloud outlook, 93 percent of surveyed organizations use the cloud. Breaking that down, 88 percent of IT teams leverage public environments and 63 percent of them deployed private clouds, with 58 percent using hybrid systems. Those statistics alone indicate a variety of different required roles, so once a business knows what it’s doing, it should find IT professionals with knowledge in migrations, DevOps and containerization solutions such as Docker.

2. IT and Software Architecture
David Foote, chief analyst and research officer at Foote Partners, told CIO that there will be a desperate need for architects “of all varieties,” including those certified in Cisco and Amazon Web Services. Additionally, security, data and infrastructure architecture are at the top of the list of the highest paid skills. Foote posited that demand will continue its upward trajectory.

A 2015 IT challenge will be finding professionals with a background in big data analytics.A 2015 IT challenge will be finding professionals with a background in big data analytics.

3. Big data
Staffing Industry Analysts cited a TEKsystems survey of IT leaders that found 44 percent of them expect to hire more individuals for big data positions this year. In terms of specifics, hiring managers should keep any out for big data architects, as the source noted that 65 percent of respondents rank this role as the most difficult to fill.

4. Cybersecurity
InformationWeek reported that 71 percent of businesses considered cybersecurity to be their top tech priority this year, while 41 percent placed this as their second focus. This sector has roles available from beginner positions to executives, so hiring managers should expect some security resumes on their desks this year.

This year doesn’t need to be hard to navigate for CIOs or hiring managers. In fact, many of the stresses they face can be completely mitigated with help from third-party resources. In the next 12 months, IT hiring will remain a priority for many, so if problems arise internally, it’ll become a best practice to think outside the box.

2015 IT hiring at a glance: Challenges, optimism, required roles

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