According to a survey of CIOs by Robert Half Technology, almost two-thirds of executives stated their organization’s understaffing has compromised innovation and the creation of emerging technologies. The other side of the coin is of course, that this need for IT staff provides positive job and career opportunities for those IT executives, professionals and technicians to fulfill in-demand and open positions.
If you’re one of these sought after women or men, you may be interested to know the market sectors with the highest level of demand include: manufacturing, nonprofit, oil and gas, and of course, technology.
Although hiring requirements vary between U.S. regions and market sectors, the survey states IT professionals retaining the following areas of expertise hold the golden ticket:
- Programming – NET, Java, MySQL, PHP.
- ERP Implementation
- Networking – LANs, WANs, and knowledge in emerging technologies such as cloud computing.
- Electronic Medical Records – More and more healthcare organizations are bringing their records into the 21st century, and they’ll need skilled IT personnel to plan, implement and manage these initiatives.
- Support – Help Desk, Technicians, Desktop Support.
- Business Expertise Blend with IT Proficiency – This hybrid of technical expertise with business analysis and project management skills is one of the highest areas of growth, as business goals and revenue are tied to measurable technology projects.
This is not a one-way street. As the pace of innovation increases and new positions emerge, hiring companies have high expectations when it comes to bringing a new person on board that possesses all the knowledge and experience (and in some instances, certifications such as ERP) listed out within the job requirements. And they’re finding more applicants have a skills gap, leaving these positions open and gathering dust.
This knowledge and experience gap has resulted in a change in hiring practices, where an education path is being introduced into new hire packages, or agreements of applicants obtaining certifications or completion of coursework is a provision of their hiring agreement. This fills positions and increases career opportunities for IT job seekers.
In addition to certifications, which have shown to lead to increased job opportunities and higher pay, the “Business Expertise” blend with “IT Proficiency” trend increases with no signs of slowing down.
Whereas many IT functions within an organization were traditionally centered inward at the network or wide area network level, or managing legacy software systems, more business processes and products/services are increasingly centered around technology applications, resulting in that business-process-meets-technology-platform link. Healthcare institutions are moving records to an electronic format to better serve the patient and increase internal communication; airlines are converting a pilot’s heavy binder of flight patterns and airport locations, which they are required have in possession, to an iPad application; retailers are equipping shoe sales clerks with mobile devices to check shoe size and availability on the spot to better serve the customer and provide more precise inventory management. The list goes on in every sector.
As demand grows, so does the salary range. For example, a Business Continuity Analyst saw a salary increase in 2011, with an annual rate of between $74,000 and $106,000. And those with project management skills will always play a key role in any technological initiative to effectively orchestrate all the players and pieces.
We’ve seen this trend at Regis University and in turn, have introduced degree programs and certificates to meet the demand for hybrid courseware, including a B.S. in Information Technology Management, a M.S. in Information Technology Management, a M.S. in Organizational Leadership with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), along with Executive Information Technology, Project Management and Executive Project Management Master’s Certificates.
So, for those individuals who do possess the technological and business bells and whistles, where are annual IT salaries in 2011/2012? A snapshot of the Robert Half survey states:
- Information Technology Manager – $88K – $127K
- Systems Analyst – $65K – $93K
- Project Manager – $76K – $113K
- ERP Technical Developer – $79K – $109K
- Database Administrator – $76K – $109K
- Web Developer – $58K – $94K
- Network Administrator – $55K – $82K
- Information Systems Security Manager – $99K – $137K
- Software Engineer – $73K – $112K
- Systems Administrator – $53K – $83K
- Systems Engineer – $66K – $97K
- Business Continuity Analyst – $74K – $106K
In a recent CIO.com article, CIOs describe their ideal job candidates, David Buzzell, CIO at The Sedona Group, a staffing firm, “sees the job market heating up for IT professionals at the entry and middle levels.” The story quotes Buzzell as he elaborates on the demand, “’There are an increasing number of jobs for people with SQL, C# and help desk support skills, be it from a two- or four-year degree,’ Buzzell says. Enterprise project managers are also in high demand, he says, adding, ‘If they’re certified, we would take as many as we can find.’”
[VIDEO] Interview with Jesus Borrego, affilate faculty member teaching software engineering and database technologies
School of Computer & Information Sciences
[VIDEO] Interview with Todd Edmunds, Regis alum, M.S. in Systems Engineering graduate