Weekly Word on the Street: Cloud Will Create IT Jobs

by Jim Staats | Mar 12, 2012

Takeaway of the week is likely more job options, job security and, likely, compensation for IT job seekers with the right skills and experience - namely, those targeting the emerging field of data scientist, skilled and/or experienced in cloud computing, mobile apps, big data management and, lastly, visionaries in our new IT security world. According to a whole host of studies, reports and surveys, the IT job market is your world, the rest of us just live in it.

Seeking Skilled IT Talent a Tough Go
Recruiting properly skilled workers in the technical field is a challenge when compared to other industries such as accounting, legal, marketing and other fields, new survey data indicates. According to the recent poll of 4,000 U.S. executives by staffing services Robert Half International, CIOs were found to have the most difficulty gathering a skilled workforce. Although the survey data did reveal a large majority of executives - 91 percent - were confident about second-quarter growth in 2012, the struggle was to find the workers with the right skills to meet those needs, a Network World article noted. CIOs, the survey showed, were having the most difficulty locating candidates in networking, security and technical support fields. Candidates most often sought were those with a solid knowledge of cloud computing, VoIP, software as a service and database development. Turnover was creating a high degree of demand for support staff, the survey revealed.

Cloud Materializes 14 Million Jobs
Technology generated by cloud computing will be responsible for an additional 14 million jobs reaching across various sectors within the next three years, a new study predicts. Put forth by Microsoft and IDC, the study also monetizes the trending mobile technology by estimating the cloud industry revenues also will hit $1.1 trillion by the year 2015. A new article in InformationWeek on the study indicates cloud technologies create jobs both by bringing in folks to help create the infrastructure and by shifting roles to strategic projects through a simplified IT resource requirement. “A common misconception is cloud computing is a job eliminator, but in truth it will be a job creator - a major one,” said John Gantz, senior VP at IDC, in a statement. The study predicts industries such as media, banking and manufacturing will see the biggest job gains. Security-conscious enterprises such as banking are likely to run private clouds rather than join public clouds, the study notes, helping to generate new jobs related to the technology. The study released geographic data with estimates that cloud-related job growth will be most widespread in emerging markets such as Brazil, India and China. The study suggested that cloud roles in the U.S. will grow by 66 percent by 2015.

The New Security Frontier Is Here
IT successful security professionals have to not only accommodate but secure data in the new world of cloud, mobile and social media technology. That’s the big takeaway from the recent RSA Conference 2012 in San Francisco, according to a piece in Computerworld on the event. With the undeniable trend toward cloud computing, IT consumerization and mobile opportunities steering enterprise data management requirements, IT security workers must adapt and remain ahead of the game. Enrique Salem, CEO of Symantec, said in his keynote that previously held notions of enterprise security must be bypassed in the face of such new technologies and social media tools. “This new world is one where we don’t control the device,” Salem said. He noted that with data shared through personal mobile devices and social networks, traditional security model focused on network controls won’t fly. Companies must use controls to securely authenticate, authorize and audit user access by other methods, Salem said. Others at the conference noted that the past decade has seen massive increases in the volume, speed and use of data by means of new technology. Security managers today are now faced with how to best protect and oversee user access to data by means of mobile devices, cloud infrastructure and other information services. “The problem is we have too much security data and don’t know what to make of it,” said Scott Charney, VP of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing initiative. IT pros can show how they’re staying on top of the latest trends in IT security with the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner certification (CASP).

Big Data Equals Big IT Opportunities
Mo’ data, mo’ jobs. That’s the inelegant, yet rhythmic, refrain that should be music to the ears of IT professionals building their skills in the field of “big data,” a recent Network World article suggests. As more companies do their best to sift through growing globs of real-time data about their customers, the newly titled data scientist with the analytical skills to make sense of it all is more highly sought than ever. The term “data scientist” has skyrocketed to relevance after being an unheard-of term less than two years ago. Google searches on the term hit high peaks at the end of last year and continue to do so this year with extensive popularity in high-tech epicenters such as San Francisco, New York and Washington D.C. Big firms looking for workers with the skills to handle big data needs include Amazon, HP and PayPal. The words “data scientist” can be found in 195 job listings on Dice.com job bank. Another sign the big data world is becoming more mainstream? More IT departments are seeking out developers and system administrators who specialize in tools such as open source Apache Hadoop software, designed to work with data-intensive applications. Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com, the technical job recruiting service, called Hadoop an “emerging skill. “Companies need to manage large-scale data operations, and the whole idea of Hadoop is that you can do it inexpensively,” she said. “That works really well with what we’re seeing in terms of the movement to the cloud.” She predicted opportunities in abundance connected to Hadoop for both entry-level and experienced IT professionals, as well as for hardware and software specialists. Job opportunities are being created across industries for those with the right data-wrangling skills, from Web companies and e-retailers to financial services, healthcare, energy, utilities and media. Hill said there are many directions to be explored for candidates with such data management skills in such demand these days. “It’s very fertile ground for experienced IT professionals, but also for people coming out with computer science degrees,” she said. “It’s a great area to specialize in.”

Study: Salaries Rising for Certain Skills
IT workers experienced in technologies including cloud computing, mobile applications and user interface skills can expect salary boosts this year, a new study suggests. Workers with backgrounds in those increasingly popular technologies are becoming more in-demand and, therefore, more valuable to their employers, so says data from the study by IT staffing firm, Bluewolf. This year promises an increasingly competitive IT job market for staffers with the enviable mix of skills and experience in those sectors, according to a recent piece in CIO.com. Experienced IT pros who can produce iPhone apps, code a website in HTML5 or construct a database with MySQL can envision a fairly lucrative next several months, study findings indicate. More companies remain on the hunt for employees with database development and business intelligence experience to help handle the influx of data. Candidates with knowledge of MySQL, HBase, Informatica and Cognos are considered especially enticing, the Bluewolf study notes. Salaries for BI, CRM and ERP developers are expected to increase to a range of $88,000 to $110,000, compared to a 2011 range of $84,000 to $105,000 for comparable skills. The study indicates a greater business need for staff with true user-experience backgrounds, reflected by generous salary bumps. Experience in cloud computing technologies including Salesforce.com, Google, Marketo and Eloqua also are targeted as being in demand, according to Bluewolf.

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