Where the tech jobs are -- and will be in the future

New study shows high demand for skills related to security, cloud, analytics, IoT, and converged infrastructure.

Video: Digital transformation explained

Digital transformation is increasing demand for skills in key technology areas including cyber security, cloud services, data analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT), and converged infrastructure, according to a report to be released today by research firm International Data Corp (IDC) with sponsorship from networking technology company Cisco.

See also: Digital Transformation: A CXO's Guide

Factors such as the proliferation of network-connected devices, the adoption of cloud services, and the exponential rise in security threats are affecting hiring trends, said the study, 20 Most Significant IT Roles You Should Consider. It's based on a global survey of IT hiring managers, examining nearly two million IT job postings for requested skills.

The technology trends that are increasing demand for skills across all types of IT roles include cybersecurity/data security, cloud solutions/technologies, data analysis/visualization, big data, IoT, business intelligence, artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtualization/software defined infrastructure, and converged infrastructure.

Digital transformation efforts require that organizations maintain a technical workforce that has an intimate understanding of the latest technologies, opportunities, and threats that impact their ability to innovate, improve processes, and ensure customer success, the report noted.

When hiring and developing employees, many organizations are leveraging vendor certification programs that provide employers with a way to validate new job-related skills, and are often directly linked to hiring decisions, salary levels, and professional advancement.

Overall, IT will add more than four million "well-paying" jobs through 2027, the report said. Well paying is defined as a mean salary above the average of all other jobs. Some IT roles will be niche and have only a few positions, while others will have high demand and lots of new positions. Some of these roles will remain hard to fill in the coming years.

The 20 most significant IT roles, according to the report, are:

  • Network/systems administrator
  • Network engineer/architect
  • Security management specialist
  • Systems analyst
  • Cyber/information security engineer/analyst
  • Data engineer
  • Database architect
  • Data scientist
  • Transformation consultant
  • Computer support specialist
  • IoT designer/developer/engineer
  • Business intelligence architect/developer
  • Business intelligence analyst
  • Software developer/engineer
  • Change management
  • Machine learning designer/developer/engineer
  • Mobile applications developer
  • Social media tech manager/administrator
  • UI/UX designer/developer
  • Web developer

The report said IT organizations are developing and hiring people to fill roles in the high-demand areas today. These roles also represent the future of IT, it said, as they will add more than five million positions worldwide by 2027. There are currently shortages for many of these roles today.

TechRepublic: The 10 best tech jobs in America for 2018

Other key findings of the study: To be ready for these roles, IT professionals should become certified in areas organizations are looking for; the most frequent talent acquisition strategy for organizations globally is to "grow from within"; and 71 percent of hiring managers say they have more confidence in the knowledge, skills, and abilities of an applicant with IT certifications.

"The economic opportunities are huge for individuals looking to further their IT careers -- or begin them," said Cushing Anderson, program vice president at IDC. "This research provides a roadmap of where the jobs are and will be in the future."

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