Weekly Word on the Street: IT Skills for Marketing & Finance Jobs

by Jim Staats | Sep 28, 2012

Takeaway of the week is that your next IT role might be in one of those places you'd least expect it — say, Wall Street or surrounded by marketing professionals. Expand your horizons and your job search. If you're in the Baby Boomer generation, though, you're probably already doing that.

Next Big Thing in IT? Marketing

The increased use, critical nature and technical goals of social networking for many organizations have inched marketing and IT denizens toward a match made in tech heaven.

Firms heavily embracing social applications and practices are committing more IT staffers to marketing and communication projects while technical skills are an increasingly valuable commodity for marketing professionals.

As a recent article in InformationWeek suggests, opportunities to integrate these roles previously found at opposite ends of the org chart abound, thanks to recent technology trends.

As one high-ranking executive put it, having an IT person within the marketing department "makes perfect sense, and ideally allows the team to be even more creative and realistic in their approach. Less time wasted, more time implementing cutting-edge creative campaigns."

Another CEO touts knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript as a "big plus" in the hiring process for marketing team members.

And vice versa.

"We look for IT team members who know more than just how to code," the CEO said. "We hope they have a basic understanding of the e-commerce conversion funnel, SEO, and social media."

A sampling of one company's requirements wish-list to fill a marketing/technical role:
Understand website design and functionality
  1. Ability to add social media icons to product pages, checkout pages and blogs
  2. Design email templates for newsletters
  3. Assist branding initiatives with design and programming

Coders Wanted on the 'Street'

A new survey on the most in-demand skills on Wall Street produced results likely to surprise most folks.
In the land of finance and investment banking, IT skills such as programming and database management are topping hiring managers' wish lists.

On the list of top 10 skills searches released by eFinancialCareers, a career site for investment banking and like-minded industries, those IT skills and others dominated job postings, an eWeek article on the findings noted.

According to eFinancialCareers data from the past three months, those in charge of hiring on Wall Street are most interested in candidates with IT talent such as C and Java programming, Big Data wrangling, SQL and high-speed trading.

As one Wall Street insider noted, the increased sophistication and expectation of today's financial services clients require firms "to innovate, not just in the products they offer, but also in how they adapt and run their businesses."

Baby Boomers Best at New Wave Job Search

A new survey centered on today's job market suggests the youth-infused generation thought to be the most tech-savvy isn't when it comes to the job hunt.

That "old fogey" Baby Boomer generation, not the aforementioned Gen Y, is doing the most to take advantage of online job searches and social networking avenues, according to a survey by Millennial Branding and Beyond.com.

The survey, which analyzed job-search trends by more than five thousand job seekers across various generations, does highlight a greater degree of job-related optimism among the younger set, however.

Findings from the survey, reported on in a recent Forbes article, include a higher percentage of Boomers using online job boards and social avenues including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for their job hunts compared to the younger generation.

As the article notes, likely reasons for Baby Boomers taking more comprehensive action in their job search is that they likely have more at stake and have been out of work a longer length of time.
Baby Boomers, survey findings note, are much more likely to maintain their own professional websites, while younger job seekers tend to rely more heavily on Twitter and LinkedIn profiles instead.

As one recruiter posed, "What happens if Twitter suddenly goes under. Your presence is gone," he said. "The best way to ensure and control your online presence is a personal website - because you own it."

Away from the computer screen, Baby Boomers are also leading the way, with a higher percentage seeking offline networking as a means of finding employment, though numbers remain low for that angle across the board.

That could present an opportunity for the enterprising job seeker: use online resources to scout openings and then put in the time to build real-world connections to get one step closer.

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