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10 hottest tech skills for 2017

Mary K. Pratt | Dec. 8, 2016
Are your assets bankable in 2017? Hiring managers say they'll seek out these skills most in the New Year.

As manager of data analytics for North Carolina healthcare system Mission Health, Arun Murugesan has seen his team grow from two people to 35 in just a few years. He expects to hire 15 to 20 people in the next couple of years as his organization seeks to gain greater insights from the data it collects.

"There has been a huge surge in [the number of] people harnessing the power of data," he says. Healthcare companies have put a particularly high premium on BI and analytics skills, but the insurance and financial services industries, the retail sector and other industries are also driving demand for these specialists.

"Companies want to mine their data to gain a competitive advantage," says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, explaining that companies need tech pros who can turn data into insights that senior leaders can use to understand buying patterns and industry trends and ultimately drive business strategy.

Top candidates for BI and analytics jobs often have math, engineering and statistical backgrounds, Reed says. They know how to use specific BI tools and are skilled in data-related programming languages such as SQL. They're also business-savvy and are able to mine the data to show ways to improve revenue or cut costs or otherwise deliver competitive advantages.

Web development

26% of respondents with hiring plans said they will be seeking people with this skill in the next 12 months.

The internet is the vehicle that organizations use to connect employees, clients, partners and customers, so it's not surprising that the job of web developer remains a staple in the IT team, and that talented web developers continue to be in demand even as companies add social and mobile platforms to their portfolios.

WinterWyman's Dowling says companies are hiring both full-time web developers and contractors at a fast clip. Employers are particularly interested in technologists skilled in front-end development, so they're searching for people with HTML, CSS and JavaScript expertise.

"The website is your storefront; you need a slick interface that supports content and connects with other systems," Dowling says.

Companies are continually updating and innovating in this area, Dowling says, and that's one of the big reasons why web development expertise is among the top 10 most sought-after skills.

According to recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for web developers will grow significantly faster than demand for other tech professionals. According to BLS estimates, by 2024 the number of web development jobs is likely to have grown 27% from 2014 levels, translating into 148,500 additional jobs. The average projected rate of growth for all IT jobs in that same time frame is 12%.

 

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