Top 10 Technical Jobs for 2018
IT pros want new jobs!
One-third of IT professionals will be chasing new jobs in 2018, per Spiceworks' 2018 IT Career Outlook, with higher salaries and skills advancement being their chief motivations. With the IT talent gap widening and demand for qualified candidates going strong, the job market looks promising for IT pros with the right combination of skills.
ITCareerFinder presents 2018's top ten IT jobs, along with the skills and certifications you need to secure a lucrative post in each role. (CIO.com's "The 7 most in-demand tech jobs for 2018 — and how to hire for them" is the source for most of these picks, with exceptions noted.)
These are the top 10 technical positions that hiring managers will be looking to fill in 2018:
Business Intelligence (BI) Analyst
By 2018, the U.S. could face a shortage of 1.5 million BI managers and analysts with the expertise to transform big data into actionable intelligence, says McKinsey & Company.
According to staffing firm Robert Half, BI analysts convert business data to information that leaders use to make decisions. Winning candidates leverage analytical and reporting tools, run database queries, and demonstrate stored procedure writing skills and proficiency with data cube technology and online analytical processing (OLAP), says CIO.com.
Expertise with tools like Excel, BASE SAS, and SQL frequently appears in job descriptions. SQL is #2 on Forbes' list, "The Five Most In-Demand Skills For Data Analysis Jobs."
The position typically requires a bachelor's degree steeped in work with quantitative data.
Demand for data scientists will grow 28 percent by 2020, per a recent report from IBM. The data scientist uses math and analytics, as well as programming skills in languages like Java and Python to develop custom solutions that sift data and solve problems for the business.
Data scientists use software such as the Rice Simulator for ILP Multiprocessors (RSIM) and the MathWorks MATLAB, databases, and software development environments. The job typically requires a Master's or Ph.D. degree in data science or a related field of study.
Data scientists with skills in MapReduce, a hotly sought-after big data programming platform, earn an average $115,907 per year, the highest salary related to a specific skill, according to IBM.
Database developers program, test, and secure databases and grant user access. They use database management software from leading vendors like Oracle and SQL, development environments such as Prolog, ERP software such as Ab Initio, development software such as Python, and web development platforms such as Apache Struts.
Oracle, the leading enterprise database, is on Forbes' "Top 10 Tech Skills Employers Are Hiring For." SQL is #4 on CNBC's list, "5 technical skills that will lead to a high-paying in-demand job."
Helpdesk / Technical Support
Support technicians solve customers' technical issues. Device support skills are a long-time staple in technical support, according to CompTIA, but specific in-demand tech skills for this role depend on your employer's product or service. Regardless, help desk jobs require superior soft skills, including effective verbal and written communication, critical thinking, and an empathetic understanding of customers' challenges.
"ITIL and/or PRINCE2 framework alignment and knowledge is [in very high demand for modern support technicians]," says Adam Gordon, CTO/CISO, New Horizons Computer Learning Centers of South Florida, (ISC)2 book author, and Microsoft Certified Learning Consultant.
Network administrators maintain and update local-area networks (LANs) and wide-area networks (WANs) including hardware and software around the clock, per CIO.com. The job requires advanced diagnostic and communication skills.
Some of the most marketable skills in this space include Cisco network management, VoIP administration, Linux/UNIX administration, and networking chops in Microsoft Windows, according to NetworkWorld.
Credentials for this role commonly include a bachelor's degree, five+ years of work experience, relevant IT certifications, or a combination of these. The certifications that appear most in network admin job postings include the Cisco CCNP and Cisco CCIE.
Information Security Analysts / Administrators
The information security analyst job market will skyrocket by 28% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These professionals set up firewalls, encryption, and safeguards to protect the organization's information systems against cyber attack.
InfoSec analysts are skilled in network monitoring software such as Wireshark, network security tools such as Intrusion Prevention Systems, virus protection software such as Symantec Endpoint Protection, and secure web/app development. Security analysts must apply ISO 27001 and 27002 for Enterprise Security Architecture and NIST SP 800-37 R1 for Risk Management, says Gordon.
Hot cyber security certifications include the CISSP, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Auditor, and GIAC Security Certifications.
Systems administrators understand the company's hardware and software. They know servers and troubleshooting, how to install and patch software, and how to backup and recover mission-critical applications and data.
The position typically requires a bachelor's degree in computer science, or a technical certification such as Microsoft's MCSA and MCSE certificates, Oracle Linux Systems Administrator, RedHat Certified Engineer, and CompTIA Server+.
The web developer position is first on Impact Business Group's, "Top 8 In-Demand Technology Jobs in 2018".
Web developers write code for web applications, design and build websites, backup websites, and choose the programming languages and tools best suited to web development projects.
According to a Robert Half Technology survey of 2,600 U.S. CIOs, 44-percent of respondents say telecommunications support is a top priority in their IT department for the first half of 2018.
These professionals support voice, video, and data hardware, circuits, and cabling. They resolve trouble tickets and maintain system logs, and possess a deep understanding of telecommunications theory and practice.
The job typically requires an associate's degree in electronics or a related discipline.
Wireless Network Management
According to the aforementioned RHT survey, 44% of respondents state that wireless network management is a crucial job role for 2018. This job is also #2 on Network Computing's list, "Top 5 Best-Paying Networking Jobs."
These professionals design, configure, optimize, and upgrade wireless networks, ensure wireless coverage, and document their work. Candidates need to know all areas of networking including wireless equipment, standards, protocols, and wireless LAN design.
Employers often seek candidates with a bachelor's degree in computer science, network engineering, or a related field, and five years of relevant work experience. Marketable specializations include Wi-Fi, WiMax, and WAP. Professional certifications such as the Certified Wireless Network Professional (CWNP) are valuable, according to Robert Half Technology.
- McKinsey & Company
- Robert Half
- IGI Global
- Impact Business Group
- Tom's IT Pro
- Bureau of Labor Statistics
- EC Council
- Network Computing