We previously blogged on the increasing need for certification to show that you have the relevant IT skills that employers are currently looking for, in this we briefly touched upon the necessity to have chosen a specific area of expertise.  The world of IT is so vast and ever changing that whilst a general competence covering all areas is essential it would be almost impossible to become an expert in every field with knowledge of all new software.
That said, with the world of IT developing at such a breakneck speed it is becoming increasingly difficult to anticipate trends and develop ones skills towards the next big thing that employers will be paying the above the odds in wages in order to secure qualified experienced contractors in that field.  With IT salaries tipped to rise by at least 5% in the areas of most demand it is important to make the right decisions now.
Therefore we have taken the time to analyse what the experts are tipping to be the skills that are going to be most widely sought after in 2016.

IT architecture/Cloud architects/integration – this is the surprise number one skill that according to surveys employers will be hiring in 2016 in order to progress technology driven projects.  Whilst IT architecture itself applies to a variety of different areas the recent shift towards a public cloud infrastructure is a specific one that looks set to continue well into this year ensuring that the skills in setting up and integrating will remain very much in demand.

Programmers – since the beginning of the IT revolution programmers have always been in hot demand and 2016 will be no exception.

IT project managers – the anticipation is that demand will continue to be high, although experts are tipping that those specializing in one industry will be the most sought after as they are aware of the unique issues that, that industry faces.  The industries where it is felt that the demand will be highest are healthcare, insurance, retail and financial services.

Information Security – the increased risk of cyber terrorism has led to such a surge in demand in this field that businesses have been citing a serious shortage in skilled cybersecurity professionals.  With the threat ever evolving to meet new measures put in place to combat this it would seem that this skill will be one that is highly sought after for some time to come.

Mobile Engineers –  Mobile has surpassed the desktop computer as the most-used digital platform and therefore the market for mobile application developers is extremely high.  It is anticipated that in 2016 there will be a high demand for cross platform mobile professionals.

Business Analysts–  with IT now playing such a major role in business development the need for professionals that are able to ensure that the IT is meeting the strategic needs of the company and communicate between senior management and the persons using the equipment regarding development of this is more important than ever.

Data Scientists – with so much more information now being computerized companies are constantly looking for ways to better handle this increase in data to drive business performance forward.

E-Commerce/Web Development – almost every company now has its own website.  However, this does not mean that this skill is dwindling.  With the internet fast becoming the number one way for companies to interface with its customers contractors are still very much in demand to build more attractive user friendly sites in order to maintain competitiveness.