Weekly Word on the Street: Semi-sunny Outlook for 2012

by Jim Staats | Jan 06, 2012

Takeaway of the week is more of the good and a little of the bad, kind of a semi-sunny outlook for this new year. More good words on the horizon if you design, code, maintain and orchestrate in the tech arena and continuing good things are in store for those who seek to control the spigot on giant inflows of customer and product data. The year also brings with it a healthy dose of fun, new titles for IT pros and some all-too-familiar woes.


Dice: Developers Dominate Staffing Needs

If you design, code or build, 2012 could be a good year for your job prospects.

So say the bulk of about 1,200 tech-focused hiring managers and recruiters whose opinions were culled for a recent Dice.com newsletter item forecasting the coming year.

The data indicates that Java developers, whose know-how need has been climbing for the past two years based on the technical job site’s postings, are the top priority for staffing needs in 2012.

Software developers are the second most in demand positions, according to figures from Dice. Roles are posted in 44 out of the 50 states, with significant demand coming from Florida, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona in addition to always-potent big city regions.

While the stock of mobile and .NET developers continues to climb, some recent additions to the most wanted tech list include systems and network engineers/administrators.

Companies certainly are trying to do more with less these days, but as evidenced by the tech roles dominating employment wish lists, firms are still in dire need of technical professionals to help oversee their communication channels and platforms.


Big Things for MDM Data

Technical professionals with skills and an interest in master data management could be hot properties if a recent forecast comes true.

The worldwide MDM of customer data is estimated to reach $66 million in revenue this year with expectations to top $1 billion in the next three years, according to IT research firm Gartner.

In an indication for the continuing good news heaped on those in the data storage sector, the report predicted the market - currently dominated by IBM, Oracle and SAP - will reach $3.2 billion by 2015, a recent eWeek article noted.

Gartner findings showed that while big players were driving the marker, more than half of the predicted revenue would come from products by smaller vendors as the ideals of specialization continue to win over more followers.

Massive pulls of customer data and product data, expected to double its current size in the next few years, have pegged MDM as “a critical discipline required for dealing with the challenges of social data, ‘big data’ and data in the cloud,” so notes Colleen Graham, Gartner’s research director.


New Tech Trends Promote New Tech Roles

Are you a skilled cloud transformation officer? How about a talented augmented reality specialist? We all know that big data, mobile computing, social media and the cloud will only gain strength as towering trends this year, but what of the newly generated job titles put out there for the taking?

According to a recent article in Computerworld, a number of new positions are popping up for 2012 - details included:

  • Director of cloud transformation: firms need professionals to guide their transition from a client-server world to one in the cloud. This position may also be referred to as VP of virtualization. Skills needed include proven ability to handle high-risk projects and ever-evolving technology, full knowledge of the company’s applications and ability to negotiate with and manage vendors.
  • Socialite: Companies need true leaders for their overall social media strategies. Skills sought include business strategy savvy, technical background such as HTML and Web rendering as well as proven marketing successes.
  • Data scientist: Basically your big data wrangler. Skills being sought are just the right mix of business and technical balance, an understanding of process management and communication.
  • Augmented reality specialist: Companies are increasingly dependent on applications that enhance how customers view the world around them, and this role is for the techs who can produce just such a ‘reality.’ Technical skills needed include programming expertise in HTML5 and iOS and Android platforms along with proper understanding of enhanced graphics.

For some more technical titles on the rise, view the entire article.


Study’s Sad Equation: Low Pay + Less Perks = High IT Job Turnover

Based on comments to a recent Network World’s article highlighting high rates of turnover among young technical professionals, it’s all about the money and stuff.

A number of readers were eager to respond to the piece, which depicted a high degree of 20-something techs who quit after just a year, which produced the ensuing Network World article showing that non-competitive pay and meager perks were the cause of big-time turnover for IT pros in their 20s and 30s. Granted, the sample size of some dozens of responses is not overwhelming, but the overriding indicator for such exodus came down to pay and related qualms.

One reader responded that “employees are leaving because they’re not paid competitively...they have no opportunity for advancement, no flexibility with their jobs, no incentives to stay like pension plans or stocks, and (a boss) who thinks they should be grateful for not having to work around the clock.”

One self-described 20-something IT professional indicated switching jobs after a year wasn’t a goal, but a 30 percent salary increase and ability to learn more were too hard to pass up.

A number of readers said since U.S. companies rarely show loyalty to their IT staff, they shouldn’t be surprised when the staff refuses to show loyalty in return.

Wrote one industry professional: “If I were still in this reported age group, I, too, would bolt if offered a better deal. I spent years at various companies that turned around and laid me off as soon as they needed to give the CEO a bonus.”

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