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Which IT skills can put you in high demand?
The unemployment rate has been stubbornly high in many developed countries around the world. Ireland reports around 15%, France approximately 10%, the US and UK, around 8%. Despite this, a new report by IDG Research, “Note to CIOs: Train and certify your way out of the skills gap” reveals that CIOs say there is a pronounced skills gap in their organization. IT leaders are having difficulty finding and hiring qualified people for emerging high value solution areas that span across the datacenter like cloud and converged infrastructure. Furthermore, profitability, innovation, productivity and time to market are being adversely impacted as a result of this talent shortage according to the CTIA “State of the IT Skills Gap” March 2012 report.
Hot IT jobs: 5 year horizon
Echoing this finding, the Corporate Executive Board  also conducted analysis into future IT skills and talent needs. They found that on the 5 year horizon, major changes are occurring in demand for certain roles in technology. They estimate that demand for information and business architects will increase by 200 percent or more and that roles that are just beginning to emerge today like “cloud integration specialist” and “service architect” will be in very high demand. If you are one of the IT professionals that has the right attitude, skill set and experience for these types of roles, job retention and advancement should not be an issue. Employers will also need to invest in their talented individuals and keep skills fresh or risk being left behind for other employers that do.
It is about being on top of your game with the right skill set at the right time. This industry waits for no one.
Optimal skills to address the challenge
Building optimal skills to carry you through the next several years is crucial today. Broadening out beyond “silo skills” in focus areas like networking, servers, and storage to cloud and converged infrastructure solutions can set you apart. Employers also want individuals to contribute not only technical expertise, but also business acumen. They want someone who can help affect their bottom line—and confidently address the wants and needs of the lines of business leaders they support with innovative, agile, user-friendly solutions. Practical, real-world training, strong community support and up-to-date certification is critical to achieving the optimal skill set to meet the new and emerging technology demands in a modern datacenter.
Further, if CIOs can’t find skilled individuals in-house, they will seek out qualified consultants. The IDG Research study showed that achieving a proven level of knowledge in these areas is a critical selection criteria—two thirds indicated that technical certifications are “extremely” or “very” important considerations in choosing external consultants, resellers and systems integrators.
Put your foot firmly on the right path
So what critical factors should you consider to determine the best training and certification path? Join the HP ExpertOne Community—start connecting with industry experts and leadership minded peers about the essential knowledge you need to arm yourself with today and read the full IDG Research report “Note to CIO’s: Train and Certify your way out of the IT Skills Gap” including insights from HP ExpertOne’s director of learning product management, Rebekah Harvey.
Join HP ExpertOne and get the IDG report “Note to CIOs: Train and certify your way out of the skills gap”
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 Andrew Horne, Corporate Executive Board blog "IT Skills Gap" on Forbes.com 1/02/2012