Tech Jobs: How to Get Hired in 2007: Page 2

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Wanted (Desperately): Project Managers

It’s a refrain that has been heard throughout the IT industry for years – and it’s still true in ‘07: there aren’t enough good project managers.

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“What’s interesting is that project management is both a top hiring and and a training priority,” Bright says. IT hiring execs are saying, “If I had a choice between 20 project managers and 20 programmers, I’d happily hire the 20 project managers.”

Not only do 26% of IT hiring execs plan on bringing aboard new project managers, a whopping 59% say they’ll be training in-house staff to fill these big shoes.

If anything, the role of project manager has become even more critical over time. IT departments are loved or hated based on whether they deliver projects on time, and more importantly, within budget. This big responsibility rests with the project manager.

The scarcity of project managers derives from a central paradox: to have sufficient technical depth to manage a project, you typically need to have years as an IT staffer. But many IT staffers are not temperamentally suited to the demands of the very political job of project manager. (After all, it means getting along with the suits.) So project managers remain in high demand.

Please, Get Me a Security Pro

In a world in which top cyber criminals have the technical sophistication to earn six figures (were they to take a legit job), hiring staff to protect against bad guys is exceptionally important.

In 2007, “most firms plan to spend between 7.5% and 9.0% of their budget on security, regardless of their size, geography, and industry,” the report notes, pointing to a “mad rush for qualified IT security talent.”

Nearly a third of hiring managers hope to recruit new security talent, and these new hires will see ever expanding job roles (which typically translates to expanding salaries).

Hot and Getting Hotter: Architects

The term “architect” has a broad definition in the IT world. This year, two types are in demand: enterprise architects, who envision and plan company-wide tech initiatives, and infrastructure architects, who in the age of SOA are gaining importance. A quarter of hiring managers expect to hire new IT architects this year, with the enterprise and infrastructure types in equal demand.

The popularity of this job illustrates a larger trend in IT: the big thinkers (like architects) are getting more popular while the routine technicians are seeing their job sent oversees.

In-House Training Dollars

While taking a job with a new firm is one option, some IT staffers will grow within their current company. Many firm hopes to develop a key skill set in-house this year: change management.

A full 60% of companies will dedicate resources to grooming internal staffers to handle this task, the Forrester report notes. Change management, loosely defined as overseeing a system’s move toward greater integration, efficiency and/or availability, is becoming more important. The reason? IT is asked to do more with the same or fewer budget dollars. A prevalent form of change management is the move toward IT automation, which management sees as a major cost cutter.

Another big area attracting in-house training dollars is service management, especially as it relates to ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), a framework of best practices designed to improve IT services. Fifty eight percent of companies will train their staffers in this area.

Also attracting in-house resources is vendor and sourcing management. Translated: with more than a quarter of IT work now done by outsourcers, proper supervision of these external workers is vital to a business’s success. Important skills include negotiating contracts, assessing vendor risk, and monitoring service agreements. Given the importance, it’s no surprise that 56% of companies will focus on this in 2007.

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