Hot IT job skills in 2014: Mobile, web development and big data
"The system kind of got purged of the specialists," he said.
IT security followed the same pattern and employers are now encountering a lack of security talent, he added. In a Robert Half Technology survey 14 percent of CIOs polled listed security as an area where finding qualified staff is challenging.
The survey also found that skills involving network administration, Windows administration and desktop support will be in demand in 2014. The number of these technical support positions is growing, said Reed.
"They're not as sexy, but [finding] people with strong skills in the tech support arena continues to be a challenge for our clients," he said. "All of these great technologies are only awesome when they work and when people can use them."
Cullen expects the stronger economy will mean an increase in project manager and business analyst hiring as companies add or expand projects to handle the work uptick.
The business opportunities that accompany the improving economy drive the need for tech workers, as enterprises seek to use technology to gain a competitive advantage, said Reed.
"As companies are investing in their business, IT is really getting the lion's share of the investment," said Reed.
But this need for tech talent also contributes to the industry's hiring struggles. IT's low unemployment rate, which Reed placed between 3 and 3.5 percent, indicates that a majority of IT workers have jobs since hiring professionals view 2 percent unemployment as full employment. By comparison, the overall U.S. unemployment rate for December was 6.7 percent.
"There is always 2 percent that's in transition [between jobs], that can't work or that don't want to work. Holistically there just aren't a lot of people out there to do those jobs."
In fact, Reed is seeing signs that the demand for tech workers may grow stronger in 2014. Salaries are rising "which is always a reflection of the supply and demand in the marketplace," he said. "The tighter the supply, the [more] compensation creeps up."
Although IT workers are needed, the demand for some positions isn't as strong.
Embedded systems development roles are starting to wane, said Schade, who attributes the decline to the rise of Web and mobile development.
Cloud computing, another trendy technology, is behind a decline in network telecommunication jobs, said Cullen. As more companies move some or all of their application to a cloud environment, positions that involve working on internal data and computer networks are decreasing.
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