Showing posts with label skills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label skills. Show all posts

Monday, 15 February 2016

The 25 hottest skills to target in 2016

 By Sarah Morgan

If you work in IT, chances are, you have a profile on the world’s largest professional networking platform, LinkedIn. Over at LinkedIn HQ, the Data Analysts have been hard at work collecting and analysing data from some 400 million members. The end result is a list of the 25 hottest skills in 2015 as found in LinkedIn.

This list has produced some interesting results. We have been talking about the growing demand for IT skills being on the rise for some time, but LinkedIn’s list quantifies the rise in a global and market-wide context. These skills have been measured throughout 2015, including the end of the year, meaning that many of these skills will continue to trend into 2016 and beyond.

What’s new?

Looking at the global list, most striking is the entry of cloud as the most in demand skill in 2015, a skill not present in the 2014 list. IT related skills dominate the list with 19 out of the 25 being IT focused. Thus, solidifying IT skills as the best to target acquiring in 2016.

Aside from IT, demand for skills in areas including marketing, and corporate law and governance also feature.

The rise of cloud technology

As mentioned, the most significant addition to LinkedIn’s 2015 list is cloud and distributed computing skills – entering the list at the top position. It’s safe to say that 2015 was the year of the cloud. Furthermore, 2016 is shaping up to be just as fruitful for those with cloud skills.

Cloud technology has become important to so many businesses, and along with this trend, skills to migrate to and maintain cloud platforms have become highly sought after. This move towards the cloud is driven by businesses looking to make their servers cheaper to run, more flexible, more accessible and more recoverable. Businesses now require specialists in their chosen platforms like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and HP Cloud. As cloud skills are still in short supply, those with the requisite skills are in high demand.

Cloud technology is not so new that it wasn’t around in 2014. The reason why it makes its list debut in 2015, is there simply weren’t enough people on LinkedIn with cloud skills for it to make the 2014 list. This perfectly highlights the shortage of cloud skills. This means getting these skills with certification courses like Microsoft MCSE: Private Cloud, Microsoft MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect, (ISC)² Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) and MCSA: Linux on Azure will make you a valuable asset to your business or potential employer.

Dominance of IT skills

Having touched upon the dominance of IT skills in LinkedIn’s list, it is also the variety of these IT skills that is interesting. They range from the aforementioned cloud technology, to network and information security, to coding and scripting languages like Perl, Python, Ruby and Java. These skills, in conjunction with others, cover the entire spectrum of IT and development skills, which means this rise is not an anomaly - the industry is growing as a whole.

It’s also important to mention data in IT. As the top skill in 2014, it has carried over well into 2015 and early 2016 in the second position. This demonstrates the continued importance of data in business and beyond. Being able to manage and analyse data are vital skills that businesses require. For example, the role of Data Scientist was hailed as the hottest job title in 2015. The skill also consistently ranks highly among all the countries LinkedIn analysed.

Make the most of the need

It’s important to remember that each of the skills in LinkedIn’s list has massive potential because of the value to employers and for the growth of your personal skills and knowledge. Perhaps you’re already in IT and a particular skill would help broaden the abilities of the team you manage or your own role.

Getting certified in these areas can help you achieve and demonstrate your skills. Whichever of the 25 skills in which you want to improve, there is a certification to help you succeed. Check out the list below to find out what certifications are most applicable to the skill you’re interested in.

1. Cloud and Distributed Computing

2. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining 

5. Middleware and Integration Software

6. Mobile Development
8. Storage Systems and Management 
11. Date Engineering and Date Warehousing
12. Algorithm Design
15. Mac, Linux, and User Systems

21. Database Management and Software
22. Software Modelling and Process Design

This eye-opening list is a fantastic indicator of what skills are in high-demand with employers. Now is the time to take advantage of these skill deficits.

Demand for these skills is likely to continue in 2016, especially areas like cloud technology. Equally, we’ll probably see the rise of new areas of skills in 2016 – some that may be very surprising like.

For further detail, here is a list of the top 25 skills of 2015 specific to the UK.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Guest Post - 5 reasons why keeping your IT skills current will keep you contracting


Employers look for both recognised, up-to-date qualifications as well as relevant experience from their contractors. However, as many successful contractors will vouch for, taking time off to get training or re-register their qualifications can be the last thing on their to-do list – especially when another contract calls.

Qualifications are becoming increasingly important in the contracting industry. Here are just 5 of the reasons why keeping your IT skills up-to-date is crucial to having a long-lasting contracting career:

1. Increase your potential earnings -  There is a vast discrepancy in the rates attainable for various types of work so whenever possible you should look into training in some of the more highly paid skills so you are able to earn your maximum daily rate. The cost of courses can sometimes be high, but the potential rewards can also be great

2. Open the door to new opportunities - The broader your skill set, the wider the variety of contracting opportunities that will be open to you. Be careful not to get pigeon-holed, if you happen to do a few more contracts of the same type then you might find yourself being limited to one speciality – however unintentionally that may be. Keeping up-to-date with qualifications will prove to employers that although the majority of your experience may have been concentrating on one skill, you are capable of taking on other types of contract roles.

3. Stay ahead of the competition - Unlike permanent employees, contractors are unlikely to receive on-the-job training. Contractors will often have been brought on board specifically because they already have a particular skill which the company needs, therefore are expected to know what they’re doing and add value from the get-go. Where on-the-job training is not available the responsibility ultimately lies with the individual contractor to ensure that they undertake the necessary training in order to keep up with the skills that permanent employees are gaining in the workplace.

4. Avoid early termination in the recruitment process - Employers will often now specify to recruiters that candidates must have the relevant qualification to be suitable for their role, as well as having had experience in the area. You may have had years of experience but if a qualification has been specified as essential, which you do not possess, then your CV won’t even make it past the first screening and you could be missing out on your perfect contract role to someone who has the desired qualification but only half the experience.

5. Keep up with the rate of change in technology - The consistently rapid development of existing technologies and the creation of new technologies mean that IT contractors’ skills, experience and knowledge need to be updated more frequently than perhaps contractors in other industries. This is where re-registration becomes vital; if your qualification is a few years old there may well be gaps in your knowledge. Not only this but re-registering also demonstrates to employers that you are truly committed to keeping your knowledge up to date.

It can be frustrating for experienced contractors who feel that qualifications are simply a badge; and equally for those who find it extremely difficult to get the time off to re-register their existing qualifications or train for a new skill. However, all things considered, if it means that your contracting career is longer and healthier, it could well be worth bumping it up your to-do list! 

For more hits and tips on contracting and how training can ensure you secure your ideal IT Contract job please visit Contractor UK

About the Author: 
Laura Foster writes for ContractorUK on various topical issues surrounding the IT contracting market including new and existing legislations, jobs, interviews, training, money and service providers.


Thursday, 19 April 2012

Five In-Demand Skills for 2012

Computerworld undertook an annual forecast survey of 353 IT executives. Nearly 29% of the respondents said that they plan to increase their IT staffing through next summer. This is up from 23% in 2010 and 20% in 2009. 

The surveyed said that the following skills will be in demand:
  • Programming and Application Development61% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 44% in 2010 survey.
  • Project Management44% plan to hire for this skill, up from 43% in 2010 survey.
  • Networking35% plan to hire in Networking, down from 38% in 2010 survey.
  • Business Intelligence23% plan to invest in professionals with BI skills, up from 13%
  • Security17% plan to hire Security professionals, down from 32% in the 2010 survey.

Source: Computerworld's exclusive Forecast 2012 survey, June 2011. Base: 353 IT executives. Full report here: