While many information technology jobs might be left unfilled due to the natural supply-demand cycle of the economy, other jobs will become increasingly valuable to companies as technology evolves. As organizations deploy leading-edge information technology, it’s no wonder that there’s a shortage of IT talent across the board.
This shortage can be driven by technologies like cloud computing, big data, virtual reality, mobile computing, or blockchain, or by industry imperatives such as information security. We see shortages of professionals with specific technical skills and experience, as well as with industry expertise — think healthcare, finance, and government.
We often say you should go wide and then deep with your skill sets, which inevitably produces jack-of-all-trades situations. There are many reasons these jobs are hard to fill. Let’s look at some hard-to-fill jobs.
Qualified security consultants are hard to find. Rarely a day goes by without a report of another catastrophic security breach. There is a critical need for experienced cybersecurity professionals with qualifications such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP).
Even less rigorous exams like Sec+ or any of the most difficult IT security exams will put you in a good place to score one of these abundant, yet hard to fill jobs.
Some companies basically consider an analyst anyone who sits at a computer. Within most companies, however, there’s typically a modifier for an analyst. Whether building a custom application or implementing an off-the-shelf package, organizations need business-savvy systems analysts to map the technology to the business requirements.
And there’s a tremendous demand for these skills — and the certifications that prove you can handle the network, server installs, or software implementations.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, systems analysts jobs are expected to grow by 21 percent from 2012 through 2022. That is three times the rate of all other occupations.
Although big data seems to be the hot data technology at the moment, the reality is that many organizations don’t even have a clear view of their “small” data. Businesses should be relying on a single source of truth for their company-wide data, which means a single database or dashboard, which means wrangling their data.
Companies attempting to properly warehouse data need both the technology and the talent with the right certifications and skills. This puts them at a distinct disadvantage if they want to deploy customer-facing and supply-chain apps that are deeply integrated with their backend systems. They need to have a data architecture designed, deployed, and managed. And that’s why database architects are in demand.
Systems Integration Engineer
Everything’s connected — or at least it should be. Connecting disparate applications and systems has become easier with the advent of AWS or Ansible tools, but organizations still need people to hook everything up. Systems integration engineers are the specialists who make this happen. They need to have a deep understanding not only of engineering, hardware, and advanced networking principles, but also the business processes involved. We’d like to put special emphasis on the business processes portion, which means brushing up on your soft skills.
Embedded Software Developer/Engineer
As we said — everything is connected (or should be) — and this extends to devices in the home, the office, the factory, everywhere. Internet of Things (IoT) applications communicate with software that is embedded in sensors that can be literally anywhere — in a watch, in a car, in a thermostat, even in the human body. There’s a high and growing demand across almost every industry for engineers who can develop embedded solutions. While there’s no specific certification, embedded software engineers need to be experts at hardware, software, and networking.
Who would have thought? Developers are in short supply. Dice, the career site, reported that when hiring managers are surveyed, they cite mobile developers, Java developers, .NET developers, and ‘plain’ software developers among the most difficult jobs to fill. Apparently, the mobile app market is expanding rapidly and attracting developers experienced in other domains to that space.
DevOps — the bridging of the development and sysadmin worlds — is being adopted by many IT organizations as a way to streamline their development and deployment of applications. Most companies who have a good DevOps team are probably intent on retaining the team members.
Because it’s a relatively new function, there’s a smattering of applicable training for the DevOps engineer. Luckily, we compiled the rough outline of a DevOps training pathway, which include these popular DevOps tools.
We’ve discussed a number of hard-to-fill IT jobs, but we probably missed quite a few. Although we did discuss the problem of finding people with government security clearances, we did not mention jobs requiring experience in particular industries like healthcare, or pharma. Nor did we discuss the need for specialists in the myriad modules of SAP software or for plugins to Salesforce.com, and the like.
You may be in the unenviable situation of trying to hire for a hard-to-fill position. We wish you the best of luck. If you’re unable to find a good candidate externally, you may want to ‘grow your own’ with training.