With the economy still stuck in slow-growth mode, many job-seekers are scrambling to add new and improved skills to their resumes. In the tech sector, in fact, employers are dealing with a labor shortage that job hunters can target, if they know where to start. Here are some of the most in-demand tech skills -- and some details about the training required to attain them -- that top the list:
Social Media Marketing/Search Engine Optimization
These days, if your company isn't using LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, then it might as well be churning butter. Profitable businesses know that, in 2010, communicating with their customers via social media is key. Naturally, young applicants have a cultural leg up in this arena. Search engine optimization, however --the practice of altering the code or content of a webpage so that it turns up higher in search engine results -- is a learned skill, and one of the most important parts of internet marketing. Marketing professionals looking to add to their skillset would do well to familiarize themselves with this kind of training.
The mobile business app industry is booming: According to a study by IBM, mobile apps sales will increase from 6.2 billion dollars to almost 30 billion dollars in 2013. Additionally, a BusinessWeek article cites a shortage of mobile app developers in 2010. Since 42% of Americans use smartphones -- and smartphone capability will only keep evolving -- businesses will continue to hire developers. Knowledge of HTML5 is probably necessary, as is the ability to keep on top of industry trends.
Cloud Computing Skills
More and more businesses are hosting their software in "internet clouds." Virtualization cuts company costs and allows more customization on the part of buyers and users. In a few years all IT professionals will be expected to know Cloud -- at the moment, however, specialists are hot. According to an IBM Tech Trends survey, 91% of responders said that in 5 years it'll be more popular for firms to use online software services than to use "in-house computer networks."
Even though consumer buying is way down, businesses are looking for ways to keep themselves afloat by hiring sales professionals that can produce. Like many other professions in the new decade, social media skills will be a more-than-necessary part of this job description.
It's an oldie, but a goodie: Project Management skills are still hot. Companies are looking to hire people who can not only successfully implement projects -- but who can produce returns, as well. In 2010, virtual and independent consulting teams are on the horizon, and social media management will weigh more heavily in the overall planning process. So don't discredit those "soft skills": event/risk planning, delegating/monitoring, scheduling and budgeting. They'll never become obsolete, as long as you're flexible, of course.
This industry is also suffering a lack at the same time that companies are struggling to hold themselves off against security attacks, comply with state and federal regulations, and avoid data breaches. Even in 2009, when the economy was arguably at its lowest, Security professionals continued to be sought after. According to a "Hot Skills for 2011" ComputerWorld article, valuable security skills include "expertise in identity and access management, threat and vulnerability assessment, encryption, data loss prevention, incident analysis, governance, compliance and auditing, biometrics, Web content filtering, safeguards for voice-over-IP systems and e-discovery support for litigation."