Foote Partners Predicts Hot IT Jobs and Skills for ’06

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Research firm Foote Partners has released its predictions regarding the most in-demand job roles and skills in the information technology field in the following year. The forecast is based on its third-quarter IT workforce study, which involved approximately 50,000 industry professionals throughout North America.


Foote Partners broke down both the skills and occupations into three categories: customer-facing, infrastructure and enablers. According to David Foote, the organization’s co-founder, president and head of research, opportunities for professionals in these areas will include sheer volume of employer demand and potential for compensation increases.


For professionals who deal directly with consumers, the hottest jobs will include applications developers (.NET, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning), Web apps programmers, data warehousing specialists, database administrators and help desk staff. In-demand skills for customer-facing professionals include radio frequency identification (RFID), database (Oracle, SQL), rapid application development and extreme programming, and Web-enabled analytics and management apps.


IT pros who work mostly with organizations’ technology infrastructures will see a rise in demand around jobs like security (especially forensics and analysts), data modelers, network managers and engineers, wireless network engineers and administrators, software engineers, disaster recovery specialists, system auditors and storage administrators. As for skills in this area, they include networking, wireless, security, Web services, storage and messaging (particularly the MCSE and MCSA specialization.


In the study’s high-level “enabling” category, the top jobs of next year will be IT architects, business technologists and business analysts, process modelers and project managers. Hot enabler skills include open source and Linux, as well as project management. For the latter, this above all means the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional certification.


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