Forecast 2014

8 hot IT skills for 2014

Help desk staffers are coveted, but developers are the hottest commodity of all.

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4. Mobile applications and device management

27% of respondents said that they plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months.
Last year's ranking: No. 9

With mobile devices proliferating in both the corporate and consumer worlds, it's little wonder that mobile skills catapulted toward the top of the list, from No. 9 last year. And because of mobile's relatively new status, it's also not surprising that Computerworld survey respondents named mobile expertise the third most difficult skill to find, after development and BI/analytics skills.

Which of these skills do you expect it will be most difficult to hire for?

Among respondents who expect an increase in IT employee head count in the next 12 months

Programming/application development 32%
Business intelligence/analytics 21%
Mobile applications and device management 17%
Project management 14%
Security 14%

Source: Computerworld Forecast survey; base: 221 IT executive respondents; June 2013

Mobile app development is "a huge initiative" at PrimeLending in Dallas, says CIO Tim Elkins, and it will be a key hiring area next year. In addition to expanding its development ranks, the mortgage provider hopes to hire two or three mobile developers, he says. PrimeLending's first mobile app is designed to enable its business partners -- real estate agents and builders -- to view loan statuses; its next one will be for consumers.

Elkins anticipates difficulty finding mobile developers and is therefore training a couple of current staffers to fill the need. " developers are really tough to find because of the high demand, and so are mobile developers," he says.

Mobile expertise is also a priority for Hyatt, and Zoghlin says the company is trying to fill niche roles to ensure a consistent strategy across areas like mobility and user experience.

5. Project Management

25% of respondents said that they plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months.
Last year's ranking: No. 2

While project management fell from its No. 2 position last year, it is considered a highly sought-after skill. Melland says that Dice has found demand for project managers to be second only to demand for software developers/engineers, having risen 11% from last year. That uptick, he says, is another positive sign for the economy as a whole, because it indicates that companies are willing to pursue strategic projects.

Mondo's Kirven attributes the demand for project managers to renewed interest in complex, strategic business-technology initiatives. "IT has historically been graded based on the success or failure of projects, so [companies are] making heavy investments in the business analyst/project manager layer," he says. "These people need to be able to talk to developers about technology and the right solution, but they also need to put on their business hat to gather requirements and prioritize needs and translate that into a programmable effort for IT."

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