2014 has been an incredible year for the IT sector, with growth and demand of IT skills skyrocketing further than it has in the past fifteen years. This demand is more than anyone could have anticipated, and it is a genuinely exciting time for IT professionals as well as for the world of business, who are well aware of how important technology is to the success of their organisations.
At the same time, the IT industry is experiencing a time of transition, with new technologies coming to the forefront. Although there are still a great number of skills which have been around for years that are unlikely to be forgotten, which IT contractor skills will pose a challenge to recruitment teams in 2015.
1) Microsoft SharePoint
This web application framework has rapidly grown in popularity over the past year. One study carried out lists SharePoint as the most profitable IT skill, and that possession of it will add 12% to an IT professional’s overall salary. The high demand for SharePoint is likely related to the release of SharePoint 2013, which prioritised simplicity and usability and is particularly popular within the legal industry. SharePoint is known as being a safe, powerful and reliable server platform with an efficient and fast search engine. It also makes handling corporate risk simpler by allowing easy management of relevant documents and records. Professionals who decide to go through the development route within SharePoint will require further skills such as XML, HTML and .Net.
2) .Net and C#
.Net has continued to see growth in this year, and is very likely to do so in 2015. It’s advantages with regards to simplicity, speed and reliability, has led to a great number of companies using it to create their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems from scratch. C# is the most popular programming language used to develop .Net programs. C# and .Net have both been listed by many sources as being amongst the most in-demand IT skills of 2014.
Whether it’s a Big Data project, machine learning, research, or data science, Python is increasingly being used by rapidly growing enterprise applications. The last 12-18 months has seen the demand for Python Developer rocket, with some job boards reporting a 10% increase in python related ads. Demand from the banking sector alone leading to salary increases of up to £40K. Its worth noting employers are often looking for a combination of Linux, C++, Pearl & Java in addition to Python.
We’ve seen a real increase in the number of companies looking for DevOps contractors in 2014, and we expect to see this continue into 2015. The combination of coding/scripting, deployment, network operations and testing is a powerful set of skills in a developers arsenal. Good employers appreciate that strong DevOps candidates can improve the speed production code is delivered, whilst simultaneously improving reliability and reducing downtimes.
6) Office 365
Software powered by Cloud is rapidly increasing in popularity, which means that there is a huge demand for those skilled in administering and transitioning to cloud-hosted applications. This demand can be seen in studies that suggest that by 2017, 33% of office software users will be using cloud-based systems, with the number growing to 60% by 2022. Companies using Office 365 have claimed to have seen significant reductions in their IT expenditure. It is ideal for big-data analytics, file storage and archiving.
7) Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6)
This latest version of the Internet Protocol has grown incredibly in popularity and demand over the past few years, and this doesn’t seem set to change. The benefits of IPv6 for businesses are clear by observing its features. It allows for easier management of networks, it possesses integrated interoperability and mobility and it has improved security features when compared to IPv4.
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