IT salaries are projected to rise by 4.5 percent in 2012, according to Robert Half International, though they've been largely flat this year by Janco Associates' figures. But Robert Half foresees bigger raises in what it calls "seven high-potential jobs."
The positions on the list are hardly a surprise. As John Reed, Robert Half executive director put it:
A common feature of high-demand jobs is a large degree of specialization. Professionals with the best prospects have finely tuned abilities that enable their companies to take advantage of new technology and the increasing amount of information available to them.
- Mobile applications developer - Those developing apps for smartphones and tablets can pretty much write their own ticket. Starting salaries are expected to increase 9.1 percent to a range of $85,000 to $122,500.
- Data warehouse analyst - The press release talks about the need for professionals who can effectively collect, store, analyze and mine data, though those could be a number of separate roles, all in demand. Base compensation is expected to rise 6.7 percent to between $88,000 and $119,000.
- User experience (UX) designer - Those who create a positive digital experience for customers can command $71,750 to $104,000, an increase of 6.2 percent.
- Data security analyst - Base compensation for those dealing with ever-changing threats is expected to rise 6 percent to between $89,000 and $121,500.
- SEO/SEM specialist - Salaries for those with three or more years of experience in helping companies be found online are projected to rise 6 percent to a range of $63,750 to $87,500.
- Network engineer - Starting salaries for those who can ensure the efficient and secure transfer of data and information are projected to rise 5.8 percent to a range of $75,000 to $107,750.
- Web developers - Base compensation is expected to increase 5.4 percent to between $61,250 and $99,250.
I think we can add to this list of in-demand skills, though I can't put salary projections with them. How about these:
- Health Informatics - In the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey released last March, the average respondent's salary was $98,703, up 17 percent from 2007. Folks at the intersection of health care and IT are in such demand that the federal government has stepped in with aggressive training programs, some with free tuition.
- ICD-10 coders - The required switch to the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases has been called the health care equivalent of the Y2K projects, but with far too few people skilled to tackle it.
- Cloud computing - Though there's still debate about the essential skills for cloud computing, CompTIA has a new certification created in collaboration with major vendors to bring some focus to that area.
- Project managers - Among the wealth of material available on our IT Downloads center, documents on project management remain the most popular.
- Social media specialists - No longer just a time-waster to be controlled, savvy businesses are harnessing social media for competitive advantage.
- <strong>Vendor management</strong> <strong />- Managing multiple vendors is becoming ever more important as companies move to software-as-a-service and cloud computing.
What will be the hot skills for 2012 at your company?