Information technology always in flux, with both the technology itself and its application subject to constant change and development. If IT professionals want to keep ahead of the curve and maximize their earning potential, they have to both be prepared to invest time in upskilling and be judicious about how they spend that time. There’s very little advantage in learning skills that are not sought after by enterprise employers.
Earlier this year, Foote Partners LLC., released their IT Skills & Certifications Pay Index, which surveys the current state of the job market and wages for a wide variety of IT skills. CIO examined that report and highlighted the skills that were most beneficial for Information Technology workers in 2013.
We thought it would be useful to highlight a number of those skills that are of particular relevance to system administrators and devops professionals looking to stay on top of trends in the field and advance their careers.
Big data is getting bigger all the time and, as understanding of the value to which that data can be put increases in enterprise circles, so does the demand for professionals who can use it to provide meaningful and actionable insight for businesses. BI is still an immature field with a limited pool of experts, so professionals that have BI skills are sought after.
If an employee wants to advance beyond a data center sysadmin, they’re going to need to know how to put their employer’s technology to the best possible use within existing regulatory frameworks.
Infrastructure architecture is a related field to system administration, but it requires a somewhat different perspective to plan infrastructure deployment and organization so that it aligns with business needs.
Obviously this one is related to infrastructure architecture, but it has its own unique set of skills and areas of focus. As data becomes ever more important to business and privacy becomes ever more important to both companies and their clients, professionals who are expert in security issues and how they relate to wider business requirements are going to be in heavy demand.
The Information Technology Infrastructure Library is a repository of best practices for aligning IT services and business needs. According the the Foote survey, the demand for ITIL skill has increased by nearly 20% over the last year with employees receiving a 1 % skill premium for ITIL expertise.
If you’re more interested in developing skills focused on a particular technology, you’re unlikely to go wrong with HBase, the growth of which is being driven by the Big Data trend and the need for companies to deal with large amounts of unstructured data.
It’s clear that many of the most in demand skills involve moving focus from simply keeping technology up and running smoothly towards appreciating the ways in which technology can be used to further the goals of the company. System administrators and devops pros who augment their skill sets with these valuable skills are likely to find themselves in increasing demand over the next few years.