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Security skills still most valuable to IT chiefs

Research claims 73 percent of IT managers value security skills most, but 53 percent think mobile, wireless and RFID skills will be key in the future
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Written by Natasha Lomas on

"Safety first" is still the motto written in sweat above the door of IT departments everywhere but research suggests change is coming.

Three-quarters of IT managers rate security as the most important skill for IT professionals to have, according to a survey of more than 3,500 bosses by technology industry body CompTIA.

The results also reveal there is a significant skills gap in countries with established IT industries, including the UK.

Seventy-three percent of respondents in these countries identified security, firewalls and data privacy as the most important skills to their organisation today — but just 57 percent said their IT staff are proficient in these skills.

The security gap is even wider in China, India, Poland, Russia and South Africa, where the emergence of a strong IT industry is relatively recent, said CompTIA.

But security may be set to be knocked off its pedestal in the near future.

More than half (55 percent) of IT bosses surveyed said mobile, wireless and RFID skills will become more important than all others within five years.

Bob Cockshott, a technology translator for the Location and Timing Knowledge Transfer Network — an industry body set up by the government to research, develop, operate and apply location and timing technologies — said these areas are of growing importance for businesses.

Cockshott said in a statement: "Technologies which harness the power of RFID, mobile networks and wireless protocols are a big growth area of the market. The knock-on effect is that IT professionals must now acquire the right skills to exploit these technologies in new and existing applications so their employers' can draw maximum benefit from their adoption."

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