Hottest Jobs Involve Wireless and Mobile Technology

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Wireless and mobile devices are some of the technologies that earn the biggest “oohs” and “ahhs” from employees as they gain access to exciting new communication features and options. There’s little doubt that these gadgets have the “wow factor,” but, as many information technology professionals know, a lot of work is required to support and maintain them.

To put it frankly, a mobile workforce is more demanding. Growing use of wireless devices such as smart phones, cell phones and laptops has created new pressures to ensure these tools function effectively and securely within a company’s network. There may be a variety of products and brands in use, requiring IT professionals to broaden their expertise quickly to manage them all.

Here are some of the positions being most affected by the growing use of wireless and mobile devices:

Messaging Administrator
Messaging administrator is one of the hottest job categories in IT right now. According to the “Robert Half Technology 2008 Salary Guide,” salaries for these professionals are expected to increase 7.1 percent this year versus 2007, to between $55,000 and $77,500 annually, due to the strong demand for their talents. Messaging administrators are needed to evaluate, recommend and implement mobile messaging solutions.

Network Manager
Network managers are responsible for ensuring a company’s road warriors can securely and easily access the firm’s data and files remotely. They oversee mobile messaging servers and integrate wireless products into the firm’s network. For three consecutive quarters, networking has been cited as the most in-demand position in the “Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report.” According to the “Salary Guide,” compensation for network managers is forecast to climb a solid 7 percent in 2008, to the range of $74,500 to $98,500 annually.

Network Security Administrator
One of the chief concerns for most companies when they consider the use of wireless and mobile devices is security. How can employees use these gadgets securely when they’re out of the office? What if the devices are stolen or lost? Network security administrators implement policies and procedures to deal with these types of issues, resulting in employers competing heavily for their talents. Salaries are projected in the range of $72,750 to $103,000 per year, a 4.5 percent increase over 2007.

Telecommunications Specialist
Those who specialize in telecommunications and are able to design and manage remote access technologies are in demand. The role of telecommunications specialist historically has focused on voice, data and video cabling and equipment, but it has broadened in recent years. Salaries for these professionals are forecast to rise 4.1 percent in 2008, to between $49,250 and $72,500 a year.

Systems Administrator
Systems administration is another category that has been changed by the growing use of wireless and mobile technologies. Systems administrators have had to develop knowledge of wireless connectivity to play a key role in helping maintain the wireless network. They’re often responsible for configuring and troubleshooting wireless and mobile devices. Salaries for systems administrators are expected to increase 3.8 percent this year, to the range of $51,750 and $78,750 annually.

The use of wireless and mobile devices is only expected to grow over time. So if you’re looking to make yourself more marketable, gaining new expertise in working with and optimizing these tools can be a smart career move.

Katherine Spencer Lee is executive director of Robert Half Technology, a provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis. She can be reached at editor (at) certmag (dot) com.

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