Hot Skills, Cold Skills

The IT worker of 2010 won't be a technology guru but rather a 'versatilist.'

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Also, projects will be multisourced. "You'll be working with people from different types of channels," Morello says. "That will raise opportunities in relationships and sourcing management" and require IT workers to think about process design and management.

By 2010, six out of 10 people affiliated with IT will assume business-facing roles, according to Gartner. What's more, IT organizations in midsize and large companies will be at least 30% smaller than they were in 2005. Gartner also predicts that by 2010, 10% to 15% of IT professionals will leave their IT occupations as a result of the automation of tasks or because of a lack of interest in the sector.

David Foote, CEO and chief research officer at Foote Partners LLC

David Foote, CEO and chief research officer at Foote Partners LLC"For my money, the hot jobs in 2010 will be these enabler jobs: business enterprise architects, business technologists, systems analysts and project managers," says David Foote, CEO and chief research officer of Foote Partners LLC, an IT management consultancy and workforce research firm in New Caanan, Conn. "If I were in IT, I would be in one of these jobs in the next five years. A lot of people can't because they're pure technologists. But there are some pretty safe bets for them both inside and outside of the service industry."

Kate Kaiser, an associate professor at Marquette University

Kate Kaiser, an associate professor at Marquette University"There is much more emphasis on the business domain and on project management skills than on the technical skills," says Kate Kaiser, an associate professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee. In September 2005, Kaiser led a Society for Information Management (SIM) study of 104 CIOs to determine their skills needs through 2008. She expects the top 10 skills identified to remain in the top 12 by 2010.

"It's not that you don't need technical skills, but there's much more of a need for the business skills, the more rounded skills," she notes.

IT professionals who will survive and perhaps thrive in 2010 will expand their knowledge base and stretch beyond their comfort zones. Those who don't will find job opportunities in niche areas. With that in mind, Morello, Foote and Kaiser offer some advice.

Business Domain

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  • Enterprise architecture
  • Project leadership
  • Business process re-engineering
  • Project planning, budgeting and scheduling
  • Third-party provider managers
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