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Career advice: The most promising IT skills right now

Premier 100 IT Leader Vince Campisi also answers questions on making a belated entry to the profession

By Vince Campisi
June 10, 2013 04:09 PM ET
Vince Campisi
Vince Campisi, CIO and 'lean leader' at GE Intelligent Platforms

Computerworld - Ask a Premier 100 IT Leader
Vince Campisi
Title:
CIO
Company: GE Intelligent Platforms

Campisi is this month's Premier 100 IT Leader. If you have a question you'd like to pose to one of Computerworld's Premier 100 IT Leaders, send it to askaleader@computerworld.com.

What are the two or three most promising IT technical skills for the next few years? It isn't a big stretch to predict that roles related to data management and analytics will continue to be in high demand. But I feel that the traditional business intelligence skills are evolving. The paradigms and tools around data replication, data storage and data visualization already look quite different than they did just three to five years ago. A second skill I would highlight is enterprise architecture. These skills and roles aren't talked about now nearly as much as they were when SOA (service-oriented architecture) was such a big focus. I would contend that they are even more important now (and going forward) to truly reap the benefits posed by cloud, mobile and big data.

I am a registered nurse transitioning to IT security. I am in my fifties, so time is a factor and I cannot afford to make any missteps. I need to have an idea of what education (college) and certifications would be the best and quickest route to a top IT security position. Information security professionals have a wide variety of backgrounds, and many do not have a technical degree. I have worked with great people with backgrounds in fields such as psychology and history, for example. But we are now seeing graduates with college degrees in fields such as cybersecurity and risk analysis. Many employers are looking for this type of degree and/or a certification. My advice is to get involved in information security organizations and participate in industry conferences. This will help you establish contacts and become more familiar with IT security in general. Additionally, community colleges that offer courses in IT security are an alternative to pursuing a dedicated degree. Lastly, be sure to target the right entry positions; for example, access management is less technical in nature and can help you segue into a career in IT security.

After serving in Iraq, I went to school for a computer science degree. I will be 29 when I graduate. Will my age hurt my chances in the job market, and if so, how can I offset that? First, thank you for your service! I am confident that the leadership, integrity and commitment to excellence instilled through participation in military service will be important career differentiators for you. Those skills, coupled with your computer science degree, should serve you well in your job search. In fact, you will find that most companies have targeted efforts to recruit veterans, and they do this precisely because of those differentiating skills learned through military service. Just to help illustrate the point, is my company's website for recruiting folks just like you.

Read more about IT Careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.



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