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Jamie Fisher
Graduate, Everest College (Network Administrator Diploma)

"I had an opportunity where I could get in and get out within a year and within a month I had a new job, ..."

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Hot Tech Jobs

As part of a 2008 survey by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), 3,578 iT managers were asked about iT trends and hot job areas today and over the next five years. Here are some highlights:

  • Wireless technology: Wireless technology today enables communication over greater distances and users are demanding faster anytime, anywhere connections to their networks, making wireless and mobility technology skills hotter than ever.
  • Web 2.0: The second generation of web-based services requires a host of updated application development skills to help organizations expand their web presence, enhance the interactive experience and improve business processes.
  • Virtualization: Virtualization is emerging as a way to consolidate multiple platforms and operating systems on virtual servers, combining data centres and disaster recover initiatives to maximize an organization's computing potential.
  • Security: Three-quarters of survey respondents ranked security, firewalls and data privacy as the number one skill in light of concerns about web and network security, putting security architects and other specialists in high demand.
  • Networking: Many organizations today are focused on upgrading systems to improve communications, enable new wireless technologies and reduce iT security risks. As a result, managers are looking for networking skills related to everything from designing and managing large-scale networking environments to supporting online transactions, wide area networking and network installation.
  • Application delivery: As networks grow more complex, and are distributed to remote locations and branch offices, they require expertise in cross-storage, security, network and application development disciplines, as well as application optimization techniques.
  • iT business analysis: It is becoming increasingly important for iT hires to be able to help make technology decisions in terms of business relevance, and manage iT with business goals and finance issues in mind.
  • Database management: Since companies are recognizing that their data is their most valuable resource, the development and execution of technology architectures, policies and procedures to manage their customer, inventory and project data is growing in importance.
  • Business intelligence/data mining: After collecting and storing their data, organizations must then analyze it for patterns or correlations that could generate revenue for the company, often through software applications.

Green technology is another rapidly growing area. More and more companies are creating or buying products and technologies that are environmentally friendly.

A view to the next decade
While the crystal ball provides a more murky view when we look too far into the future, the prospects for job seekers look very promising.

Between 2008 and 2015, Canadian employers will need to recruit between 126,400 and 178,800 iT workers - an average of 15,000 to 22,000 per year - according to the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). Over that period, roughly 80,000 people will retire from the iT labour force.

Employment growth in the iT sector isn't just a Canadian phenomenon. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 24% growth rate for professional-level iT positions between 2006 and 2016, estimating the creation of approximately 854,000 new jobs. The BLS also identified five iT jobs among the “30 fastest-growing occupations” between 2006 and 2016:

  • Network systems and data communications analysts: They keep electronic communications operating, such as data transmission over the internet, and oversee local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs) and intranets.
  • Computer software application engineers: They use computer-programming languages, such as C++ and Java, to design, build and support broad computer software applications.
  • Computer systems analysts: They help companies and departments plan and develop new computer hardware and tailor software to meet an organization's needs or address problems.
  • Database administrators: They set up computer databases, test and plan changes to computer systems, and identify user needs to ensure efficient database performance. 
  • Systems software engineers: They design and implement software applications to meet an organization's specific computing requirements, including construction, maintenance and expansion.
Did you know?

According to the first comprehensive study of the gaming industry, entitled "Video Games in the 21st Century", entertainment software is a multi-billion dollar industry and one of the fastest growing in the U.S. economy.

Not surprising since almost two-thirds of all households today play computer and video games, including through wireless devices such as cell phones and PDAs. While comparable data is not available for Canada, these statistics are no doubt reflective of the overall North American experience.

The iT Career Guide has been developed through the co-operation of the following sponsors:

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