The job market remains tight, but that doesn't mean IT isn't hiring. Indeed, there are those who say IT is one area where organizations will keep hiring near term.
Who's getting hired? Statistics show demand for networking experts, database administrators, security experts, and help desk personnel. But there are a handful of other positions that remain much tougher to fill. And in some ways, these high-level posts are going to be strategically necessary for organizations looking to prosper in today's economies.
Here is a sampling of some of the IT job titles in growing demand and for which supply is "rare as hens' teeth":
Data scientist. The professionals who can identify the questions to ask of big-data are turning out to be the heroes of the new analytics movement. But they're hard to find. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, authors Thomas H. Davenport and D.J. Patil acknowledge the difficulty of finding help in this area:
[T]here are no university programs offering degrees in data science. There is also little consensus on where the role fits in an organization, how data scientists can add the most value, and how their performance should be measured.
The lack of available talent is a boon to IT vendors. In a recent Internet Evolution 7DEE lecture, Deepak Advani, who owns strategy and development for the business analytics product portfolio at IBM, said that technical tools for analytics are getting easier to use. But professionals with the skills needed to use these solutions to greatest advantage may be tough to find. So, IBM offers its own services.
Enterprise architect. Considering the amount of rhetoric around the need for IT to align more closely with the businesses it serves, it is surprising that this job is rarely filled. But apparently, it is a post that's rarely occupied, even where it's most needed.
Perhaps one reason is that an EA position demands as much business sense as technological know-how. There are a range of certification programs, none of which are easy to fulfill. Further, some confuse the job with that of a CIO. Not so, says one observer. "I think few CIOs will see EAs as co-anything but as direct reports practically translating business needs into technically detailed plans for the IT needed to execute on them," wrote "Imran" in a
posted on IE in March 2012.
Data storage manager. A prerequisite to cloud computing and analytics is an underlying storage network that is affordable, practical, and performs well. Experts in data storage tools and technologies are among the toughest to find. Sometimes storage is assigned to a manager within IT whose primary function is something unrelated. Sometimes the SAN (storage area network) manager is looked down upon. In any case, storage is a difficult area to master, and real talent is tough to come by -- which boosts the earnings of consultants in this area.
The above list of tough-to-fill IT positions is by no means complete. It's
been said that IT in general is an area where talent is in demand and hard to find. And as analytics, mobility, cloud services, and security evolve, expertise in these areas is likely to become even more valuable.
As they say, great work if you can get it.
— Mary Jander , Executive Editor, Internet Evolution