In the Global Knowledge/TechRepublic 2010 Salary Survey, conducted at the end of last year, one of the questions put to respondents was "What skill set will your company be looking to add in 2010?"
The skills listed by respondents include the perennial favorites, such as security, network administration, and Windows administration.
Also included are virtualization/cloud computing and Web development. Meanwhile, an old favorite, business analysis, makes a come back. Here's the complete list, with the No. 1 skill listed being in the highest demand.
1. Project Management
As we emerge from the recession, organizations aren't likely to go back to the go-go days of throwing money at IT initiatives or taking risks and deploying without careful thought and planning.
Organizations are putting pressure on IT to only implement projects that can show real return-on-investment. The first step to achieving a good ROI is professional project planning and implementation.
Project management skills often appear in top 10 skills lists, perhaps because some organizations got their fingers burned in the 1990s through the poor implementation of IT projects such as enterprise resource planning initiatives.
But even though the profession is mature (in IT terms), project managers still have work to do to advance their status within organizations.
According to an article on the Project Management Institute Web site, project managers still have to develop their people skills, organizational leadership, and individual professionalism.
It's a never-ending game of cat and mouse for security professionals and 2009 proved to be another fun filled year.
According to Symantec's Security and Storage Trends to Watch report, the number of spam messages containing malware increased nine-fold to represent more than 2% of e-mails, while other criminals manipulated people's love of social networking sites to launch attacks.
Twitter, for example, spent much of 2009 battling DDoS and other attacks. Meanwhile, top headlines, such as the H1N1 flu and the death of Michael Jackson were used by criminals to lure people to download malware.
Symantec predicts more of the same in 2010, warning that attackers will continue to use social engineering to get to consumers' sensitive data, and criminals will take Windows 7 as a challenge for seeking and exploiting vulnerabilities in the new platform.
Mac and smartphones will also be targeted more by malware authors, Symantec says. Despite the economic challenges of '09, organizations continued to hire security pros.
The most sought-after security skills were information risk management, operations security, certification and accreditation, security management practices, and security architecture and models, according to a survey last year of 1,500 U.S.-based security pros by security certification provider ISC2. 2010 is expected to be another busy year from security professionals.
3. Network Administration
Networking administration skills never lose their luster. It's the second most sought after skill in the Global Knowledge survey and it will be the top skill sought by CIOs in the first quarter of 2010, according to a survey of IT chiefs by Robert Half Technology.
In 2010, organizations are expected to upgrade to Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Windows 7 client, and perhaps install Exchange Server 2010 and SharePoint 2010.
Enterprises are going to need network administrators to ensure network traffic continues to move without a hitch.
Meanwhile, Cisco hopes to push more data-intensive traffic onto corporate networks.
Video is a key focus for Cisco in 2010 as it works to finalize its control of video conferencing maker Tandberg and through its 2009 purchase of Pure Digital, developer of the Flip video camera.
At the end of last year, Cisco introduced two Tele- Presence certifications: the Cisco TelePresence Solutions Specialist for midcareer voice or networking engineers seeking to specialize in the planning, design and implementation of Cisco TelePresence; and TelePresence Installation Specialist aimed at installation technicians.
4. Virtualization - Cloud
The projected cost savings and efficiencies are no-brainers for organizations seeking to implement virtualization and cloud computing.
With the cloud computing space now taking shape it's difficult for enterprises to find pros with substantial relevant experience.
Instead companies are drawing expertise from a range of IT skill sets, including storage, networks and desktop, according to a Network World article.
Initially companies will set up cross-functional teams to buy and implement virtualization, but eventually cloud computing will be an expected skill set of systems administrators.
In a few years, it could even be a standard skill set of all IT pros because it touches different aspects of IT.
For details about virtualization certifications from leading virtualization software vendors VMware, Citrix and Microsoft, see Global Knowledge's Top IT Certifications in Demand Today newsletter of June 2009.
5. Business Analysis
Business analysis roles were commonplace in many organizations in the 1990s when big projects, such as enterprise resource planning initiatives, required the critical thinking that business analysts could provide.
But as businesses began moving at a faster pace, business analysis fell by the wayside.
Factors such as the economic downturn and regulatory compliance have forced companies to take a step back and to think through business problems and their solutions, and business analysis is making a comeback, as a result.
Kathleen Barret, president of the International Institute of Business Analysis says the discipline is a phoenix rising...
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