So you want to work in Information Technology (IT)? This is a list of the Top 10 areas of IT in the next couple of years. The IT field is growing rapidly and as the economy rebounds I expect to see the job growth explode.

1. Programming and Application Development

Programming jobs are a dime a dozen. Companies are and will always be looking for people to write code. Management is always looking for application developers, programmers and people with new product innovation knowledge. Therefore RAD, Agile environments are to be highly sought after. Areas I see growth in€¦  Smart Phone Application/Mobile Device Programming will be huge.  Of course the current standards are PHP, C# and Java.  Other up and coming languages include Python, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript.

2. Help Desk/Technical Support

As technology advances and shifts, software, computers and new systems are created and implemented. These new systems always require someone to help the users, learn new systems, transition to new equipment and software. Help Desk and Technical Support is usually the professional hand holder of users.  It’s an extremely important part of every business that uses computers and software.

3. Networking

Networking is a talent/skill that is in demand.  Networks are the skeletal back bones of computer systems.  Every device from smart phone, to iPad to computer to server needs a network to run on.  Networking skills include IP, Firewalls, Routers, Switches and Wireless.  Cisco equipment is the de facto standard.  The great thing about networking jobs is that they are hard to outsource overseas.

4. Security

Computer/Network security is increasing in demand.  The demand is being driven by regulatory compliance needs and threats from employees, competitors and data/information terrorism.

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. Social media security is something that is being thrust to the forefront.

5. Data Center

As more computing moves to the €œcloud€ the need for experts in data storage, data center skills and the ability to think strategically, i.e. safety, backup and disaster recovery data support. Virtualization of servers and computers will also grow in data centers.  I expect to see a lot of growth in data centers.  The amount of data being produced and stored is growing exponentially every day.  I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.

6. Web 2.0

Web 2.0 or the next stage of the internet is a hot field. Hot Web 2.0 skills in 2011 include expertise in Adobe Flex, JavaScript, Adobe Flash, AJAX and JavaScript Object Notation. The next generation of web and mobile products and their growth and their increased need for development and internet marketing optimization will fuel more growth.   Look at the incredible growth of Facebook and Twitter.

7. Telecommunications

Telecom skills are in constant demand. People need to communicate especially in the business world. There is always a demand for people who can design infrastructures, integrate communication tools like  instant messaging, IP telephony, remote access, printers, servers, etc. I see video conferencing and collaboration becoming more important in the near future. A lot of people think that this area of technology is old school and boring. It might be but there is a huge demand for people who have these skills. Humans love to communicate.

8. Business Intelligence

As data grows and increases and IT departments look for ways to contribute to the company’s profitability, business intelligence skills will be ramped up in the post recessive society. Whether SAP, Microsoft, Cognos, Informatica, etc these will be largely sought after suites of products. Information is power and the more information a company has the more potential power a company has.  Real time data is becoming the standard. Business metrics is a hot field.

9. Collaboration Architecture

Globalization of business is creating IT jobs. Shrinking the world through the use of collaboration is a booming business. Collaboration architecture expertise is high on many lists of hot skills. Companies are constantly looking at “how to help€ interactive, aesthetic end-user experiences to be better by understanding how things like portals, Web and audio can integrate. Integrating more groups working together using online collaboration tools is a growing field.

10. Business Communication/Marketing Skills

This might not be a direct part of the IT department but it’s becoming more technology based and is important to any business. Social Media and Online Marketing skills are a growing part of IT.  Blogging, Twitter, and Facebook are quickly becoming the best method to communicate with potential customers, current customers and past customers. Businesses are using these mediums to connect with customers, create brand awareness and to train customers and employees on a myriad of information. Blogging, copywriting and media savvy internet skills are becoming more and more important in the business world. Other important related business communications is training especially online training.

11. Project Management

Many companies have put project managers at the top of their 2011 hiring list. has over 80,000 project management jobs listed. Employers will need people to oversee Web and Mobile Initiatives, System Enhancements, Improvements, Implementations, and a legacy application refresh, among others. All these projects need someone to oversee them and get them done.

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