9 Hot Skills for 2012

IT hiring ticks up for the third straight year, and IT pros with programming skills will be first in line for jobs.

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7. Web 2.0

18% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, up from 17% in the 2010 survey.

Technical skills centered around social media remain in demand today, as more industries look for ways to integrate Web 2.0 technologies into their infrastructures, and Reed says he expects that demand to continue in 2012. He sees .Net, AJAX and PHP as key back-end skills, with HTML, XML, CSS, Flash and Javascript, among others, on the front end. "Organizations know they need to engage their customers via online platforms, and professionals who can support these initiatives will continue to command a premium in 2012," Reed says.

8. Security

17% plan to hire for this skill the next 12 months, down from 32% in the 2010 survey.

The one-year drop may be surprising given that information security threats are a moving target, but security is a top-level concern for many organizations, especially those that are considering cloud computing as part of their IT strategies, says Reed.

Corey Peissig, senior vice president of technical operations at Mortgagebot, a Web-based mortgage software provider, says security is a top priority at his company. "Strong technical security and auditing skills are in high demand in our business," he says. "The challenge is that good talent in this arena is sometimes difficult to find."

9 Telecommunications

9% plan to hire for this skill in the next 12 months, down from 17% in the 2010 survey.

"We have an aggressive agenda to upgrade communications systems," with a strong need for voice-over-IP help, says Laurie Connors, a human resources official who handles IT hiring at Partners HealthCare, a Boston-based healthcare organization that includes the renowned Massachusetts General Hospital.

That's why Partners will be looking for telecommunications expertise in the coming year. Foote says he sees demand for people with IP telephony skills, and for those familiar with Cisco IPCC call center systems.

Although there may be some concerns about the resiliency of the U.S. economy over the next year, the three-year trend in hiring plans highlighted in Computerworld's Forecast survey indicates that IT hiring budgets are expanding. "We're in a cycle now where it's more about innovation than cost savings," says Reed. "You can only create so much efficiency, [and] you can only reduce so much cost."

Saia is a freelance writer in Shrewsbury, Mass.

Next: IT energized by budget boosts

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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