Skills on the Rise

Be in the right place at the right time with the talents employers want.

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Other skills expected to experience an increase in demand include those dealing with cloud computing and managed services, wireless and telecommunications network engineering, and energy engineering, says Todd Thibodeaux, president of CompTIA.

Thibodeaux suggests looking through the postings on job boards to find trends in what skills employers want and are willing to pay the most for.

Acquiring in-demand skills is increasingly the responsibility of employees themselves, which means they have to look for classes, certifications or on-the-job training, he says.

"This is the best time to plan, to seek opportunities to do work on a project that you might not have had time to work on in the past," Mok says. "So ask your manager if there's a project on hold that you might be able to work on and learn from. That makes you more marketable, particularly if the project isn't just technical but connects to business as well."

Mike Zuro, network integration manager at CompTIA, moved into his position, which focuses on wireless systems and telephony in addition to other duties, when it was created about a year ago. Zuro says he combines independent learning with formal training: Like many in IT, he tinkers with technology on his own time, and he also recently finished a weeklong class on telephony, with his employer picking up the $3,100 tab.

He acknowledges that his evolving expertise is very marketable right now. "Demand is actually quite high," he says. And his salary reflects that. Zuro says he got a bump in pay along with a title change when he took on his new job.

Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer in Waltham, Mass. Contact her at marykpratt@verizon.net.

Next: Opinion: IT exodus looms as satisfaction wanes

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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