Hot Skills, Cold Skills

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

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Systems auditors will grow in importance because "compliance isn't going away -- it's getting more intense," Foote says.

Security

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  • IT security planning and management
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  • Continuity and recovery

As news of data security breaches at high-profile companies keeps coming, so too does the need for security planning and management skills. IT security is one of the top 10 skills that will become "newly important" to companies in the next five years, according to Kaiser.

Companies employ 1.4 million IT security professionals worldwide, according to a January study by IDC on security workforce trends. By 2010, that number will reach 2 million, an increase of almost 30%, the researcher said. U.S. companies will also increase spending on information security training by 16.4% annually through 2009. Meanwhile, skills associated with data continuity and recovery will be relegated to third-party providers.

Storage

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  • Storage administrator

A company with an enterprise server strategy needs an enterprise storage strategy and the skills to deploy it. "We've seen the prices of storage administrators with SAN specialization rise. You can't find these people. They're heavily in demand," Foote says.

A storage-area network routes data to storage devices according to rules that administrators set up. It overcomes geographic limitations. So for global companies in 2010, "it's pretty obvious that the administration of storage will be a huge issue going forward simply because of the amount of data we have to deal with [and] the fact that we're looking at geographically broad markets, [and] we're architecting systems that will be relying on utility computing, open-source and managed services," Foote says.

Application Development

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  • Customer-facing application development
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  • Legacy skills
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