Thursday, December 28, 2006

Outlook 2007, Part 2

This article is the second of a two-part series [ view Part 1 ] on career prospects for Web designers and developers in 2007. In Part 2 of Outlook 2007 we'll take a closer look at the demand for technology professionals and identify three skill sets that Web professionals should focus on developing in the New Year.

According to 2007 Job Forecast, a survey of more than 2,600 hiring managers and human resource professionals in private sector companies, 40 percent report they will increase their number of full-time, permanent employees in 2007. Information Technology is one of the areas that employers will be recruiting for the most (13 percent of respondents). For a detailed evaluation of corporate hiring plans access 2007 Annual Job Forecast (pdf) available from CareerBuilder.com.

A closer look at the information technology (IT) marketplace reveals that skilled IT professionals are in demand. According to the
Robert Half Technology 2007 Salary Guide, one and a half million new computer and IT-related jobs will be created between 2004 and 2014. The Salary Guide helps identify the specific skills required to fill those job in 2007 and what the salaries are likely to be for Web professionals with those skills.

The IT positions in the United States that are expected to experience greater than average demand in 2007 are as follows:
  • Software Developers
  • Web Developers
  • Data Warehouse Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Application Architects
"Web developers are in high demand as web-based tools, services and applications – collectively referred to as Web 2.0 – gain popularity among companies of all sizes and industries," according to the Salary Guide.

Three areas that Web professionals should focus on developing in 2007 that relate directly to the five in-demand areas are as follows:
  • programming skills
  • database expertise
  • project management experience
Access the Robert Half Technology Website to obtain a FREE copy of the 2007 Salary Guide.

A closer look at the IT hiring landscape can be gleamed from the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report , a survey of more than 1,400 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) from companies with more than 100 employees.

Here are the skill sets that are most in demand by CIOs at large companies:
  • Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) (77%)
  • network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell) (71%)
  • database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2) (63%)
On the programming side these larger companies tend to be more Microsoft-centric with 23% of CIOs reporting demand for Microsoft-specific skills (i.e. ASP.NET). Open source Web programming skills (i.e. PHP) were not reported to be in demand at these larger companies.

Here's the three-step plan for career development in 2007:
  1. seek opportunities to develop project-management skills -- the ability to develop a project plan and deliver on that plan in a timely and cost-effective manner

  2. develop programming skills -- ASP.NET if you are focusing on larger companies; PHP (open source) if your target market is smaller organizations

  3. develop database skills -- Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 if you are focusing on larger companies; MySQL (open source) if your target market is smaller organizations
By developing a project plan to improve two skills -- one programming skill and one database skill -- your skill set will expand, your confidence will grow and your marketability will improve.

Here's wishing all of my readers a healthy and prosperous New Year!


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