IT professionals have been through the wringer when it comes to managing their careers. They've had to keep up with ever-changing technology, endure the often painful aftermath of offshoring and outsourcing decisions, and learn new skills -- including communication and other so-called soft skills -- because of the blending of IT with the business. And those are just the biggest challenges they've faced over the years -- and continue to face today.
So when it comes to professional development and fortifying their resumes, where do IT professionals start? Which certification to choose? Which project to angle for? Which soft skill to develop?
We spoke with four IT leaders about their current hiring needs and the "dream resumes" they envision of the perfect candidates for entry-level, midcareer and technology-careerist positions.
CIO, The Sedona Group
David Buzzell, CIO at The Sedona Group, a staffing firm, sees the job market heating up for IT professionals at the entry and middle levels (the $40,000-to-$70,000 salary range). He says two market forces are at play: a release of pent-up demand for staff as the recession eases, and a decrease in the supply of candidates as the number of students pursuing technology degrees declines. Buzzell's impressions are gleaned from Sedona's own IT needs and from the requests that come in to the firm's technical staffing unit.
CIO, Schumacher Group
With 20% to 30% annual growth at Schumacher Group, demand for IT staff is high, says Douglas Menefee, CIO at the emergency medicine management company. Just this past year, the IT staff increased from 55 people to 92.
CIO, Chesapeake Energy
Chesapeake Energy is another company in rapid-growth mode, and CIO Cathy Tompkins is looking for IT professionals at all levels. "If we filled all open positions, we'd have well over 100 hires this year in IT," she says.