IT Still A Good Career In A Tough Economy

In spite of tough economic times, Information Technology is still one of the hottest industries. This means that it has a better than average career outlook. If you are thinking about entering the IT career field or even if you are already an IT worker and looking to change positions, it is important to understand the trends. Before making a move, take stock of what jobs are hot. Otherwise, you could find yourself on direct path to a dead-end at best or a layoff at worst. So what are the hottest IT jobs for the rest of 2011? What skills do you need to future-proof your position? After performing a recent job search myself, here are the top four hottest IT jobs that I see on the market today.

Software Developer (Application Developer)

After the internet bubble burst in the early 2000’s, there were a lot of over-priced, unemployed developers looking for work. But that certainly isn’t the trend now. Many employers looking for .NET (primarily C#) and Java skills. The key here is real-world experience. If you have experience in mobile or cloud technologies and have developed using agile methodologies, the outlook appears to be good in the near term.

Project/Program Manager

Companies want IT to deliver value. In order to meet this need, today's project and program managers are trained and skilled to deliver business value. Along this line of thinking, there is a trend towards project/program managers who specialize, but are not limited to, specific types of IT projects such as application development, infrastructure, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), and mobile technology. Certifications remain a sought after credential. All industry indications point toward a continued shortage of people to fill the need.

Computer Support Specialist

As companies roll out more applications to meet business demand and produce value, support will remain a major concern and need. The days of the help desk technician restarting a bath job are long gone. Today’s support specialist must be skilled in a variety of technologies including virtualization, mobile computing, remote assistance, and resolution of complex application problems. Additionally, deeper skills in operating systems and a good understanding of the hardware inventory add value to the specialist who can quickly and efficiently keep the business running. The current demand for the computer support specialist and desktop support technicians looks good.

Network Engineer

One thing companies cannot do without is a communications infrastructure. There are plenty of job postings for those who have recent experience in designing and implementing networks. It takes a great deal of knowledge to bring together communications hardware and software in an architecture that allows the business to run optimally. There doesn’t appear to be any slow-down in this career field either because technology efficiency is so dependent on communications.

The hottest IT careers are not limited to the four listed above. However, at least for the rest of 2011, they stand-out as high demand choices when looking at IT across all sectors. The best advice for any technology worker is to stay current, look ahead, and find the best way to add value to your organization.