Healthcare, financial services, and manufacturing will be the top sectors leading information technology hiring activities for 2018.
This is according to the 2018 Salary Guide for Technology Professionals from California-based human resources firm Robert Half.
Healthcare businesses need IT professionals to modernize operations and innovate to deliver better patient care, the report said.
Moreover, big data and information security initiatives drive the need for IT professionals in the financial services sector, it said.
Meanwhile, the manufacturing industry is quickly changing to accept IT as valuable with the trend toward automation, it added.
Based on the greatest business demand throughout North America, the report listed some of the needed technology skills and certifications.
They include NET, Agile and Scrum certifications, Angular, C#, Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP), CompTIA A+, Java, Microsoft SQL Server, PHP, Project Management Professional (PMP), and VMware.
IT workers with knowledge of the latest developments in cloud, open source, mobile, big data, and security are in demand.
Among the trends powering up IT hiring is worker skill shortage, the study stressed.
“The persistent shortage of technology workers is no longer just an inconvenience for many employers,” it added. “It’s quickly becoming a significant business problem.”
Also, the report listed some of the most in-demand technology roles for 2018. They include business intelligence (BI) analysts, data scientists, database developers, and DevOps engineers.
Moreover, other in-demand tech roles are help desk and desktop support professionals, network administrators, security professionals, and systems administrators.
In a study on workplace happiness, technology professionals ranked sixth, both in terms of on-the-job happiness and level of work interest, out of 13 fields surveyed. However, technology ranked first in a survey of lowest on-the-job stress levels.
The study said a key part of hiring and attracting the best technology professionals is to pay them well. Particularly, it said, the key to attract the best is to pay as much as competitors are offering or more.
Consequently, digital-powered initiatives are driving higher demand for IT professionals, the report said.
“The more companies look to digitize and automate business processes, the greater their need for technology professionals. But many IT workers are already employed full-time or have a steady stream of project work,” it stressed. “Facing this shortage of talent, some companies have decided to hire professionals who have less experience” but have high motivation to learn new skills quickly.
Hence, it said the lack of available IT talent – and the project nature of many IT initiatives – has led to the hiring of IT consultants on an interim basis.
Therefore, hiring project-based IT consultants is the best approach for handling short-term and specialized initiatives, it added. Among the common project-based IT initiatives are into corporate cyber-security and cloud migrations.
Even small and midsize firms prefer project-based talents, since having full-time tech hires is impractical, the report said.
Properly vetting job applicants is understandable and prudent, it said. However, taking a longer time to make hiring decisions brings the risk of losing out on top candidates.
A Robert Half study said more than two-thirds of IT professionals would lose interest in a job if there was no follow-up within two weeks of an interview. It said making quick and efficient hires means being ready to provide above-market compensation.
An array of coveted incentives include signing bonuses, health insurance, generous vacation time, and professional development opportunities, it added. Attractive perks include flexible working hours and remote working arrangements.
The report noted that automation and artificial intelligence will have no widespread adverse effects to IT jobs. In fact, IT professionals will enhance and power up automation and machine learning in AI software programs.
While automation and AI may potentially disrupt some IT roles, it explained, there will likely be a shift in the types of skills necessary to do specific jobs, rather than an elimination of those jobs altogether.
Further, it said companies prioritize IT professionals who take the initiative to keep pace with technology updates, especially those doing so on their own time, demonstrating their passion for the craft.