From education to retail and government to major corporations, organizations have been collecting huge amounts of data. In fact, Big Data is predicted to grow more than 40 times by 2020 to over 35 zettabytes. (A zettabyte is a billion terabytes.) With that volume of global data, companies and governments are eager to gain a competitive edge with ever more sophisticated analytics capabilities. Since many consider business intelligence and analytics a specialty, there are fewer postings in early 2014 than expected by 2015.
According to hiring surveys, demand for these skills and data modeling are double what they were last year and among the most difficult skills to find. The desire for a competitive edge is just one aspect of the increased demand for these skills. Security implementations are using analytics to search for data flows that are abnormal for the network and, therefore, suspect.
This third-fastest growing skill set means professionals can command six-figure salaries. Using these skills to transform heavy volumes of geospatial and consumer preference data into actionable insights on a timely basis will help organizations be more proactive and their data more useful in business decisions.
Organizations are moving strongly toward bring your own device (BYOD) access, bringing outsourced activities back in-house, and finding ways to make use of the growing amounts of data flowing in from many new sources such as social media. These factors create an increasing shift in required and desired skills showing up in IT departments. Hiring and salary surveys, such as the 2014 IT Skills and Salary Survey from Global Knowledge and Windows IP Pro, TEKsystems' 2014 Annual IT Forecast, Foote Research Group's 2014 IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index, Computerworld's annual Forecast survey, Robert Half Technology Survey, and information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Futurestep, Mondo, GovLoop, and Dice have presented a developing picture of the IT skills that will be in demand in 2014.
More than half of the surveyed HR managers report they have open positions that may stay that way, as qualified candidates are rare. Nearly half of them say they expect things to remain this way through the first quarter of 2014 or perhaps longer.
Instead of waiting for a perfect applicant, about half of the employers surveyed are planning to train those who are short on the IT skills but have experience in the organization's field, up 10 percent from 2013. About 25 percent are sending employees back to school.
More than 25 percent of hiring managers plan to present their organizations to high school students or even younger. The plan is to begin luring future applicants to help them prepare.
All of this activity is an encouraging sign for the economy as a whole, as it indicates that there is a continuing place for those who are willing to reinforce their business skills by adding IT skills to their resume or vice versa.
Here, in survey order, are the top 10 major skills and why they made the list.