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As technology changes the way people do business, it also changes the way businesses hire people. Robert Half Technology's annual report on tech hiring trends places the spotlight firmly on big data, mobile, and network security technology as the biggest drivers for 2015. Let's take a closer look at how and why these trends have come about.
The Big Business of Big Data
Big data involves the accumulation and filtering of gigantic quantities of customer information from a variety of digital sources, from e-coupon use to the amount of time spent on each web page. Getting the most of a big data strategy involves a range of skills, including mathematics, statistics, computer science, and web coding and development -- all golden opportunities for professionals with those skills. Information Week points out that data engineers play a critical role on any big data team. These individuals track down the most potentially relevant data and integrate those various bits of information into meaningful sales trends. It's no wonder that big data engineers' salaries are predicted to go up by 9.3 percent in 2015.
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Sales (and Jobs) Go Increasingly Mobile
A big chunk of that big data will be coming to companies, not through traditional brick-and-mortar sales or desktop computers, but through orders placed via smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. In addition to helping employees plug in to their office networks remotely, mobile devices make impulse buying faster and easier than ever. KISSMetrics reports that three-quarters of online shoppers now rely on mobile devices instead of their PCs to make transactions.
Mobile devices obviously rely on mobile applications. As businesses and their customers become increasingly untethered, the demand for new and more powerful mobile apps will continue to rise -- and with it, the demand for app developers. Salaries for mobile app developers are expected to climb some 10.2 percent in 2015, averaging from $107,500 to $161,500. The fact that many businesses claim to be undergoing an IT talent shortage will only make these skilled professionals more valuable in the eyes of employers.
Network Security Gets Serious
The proliferation of mobile devices has helped fuel the increasing need for advances in network security -- not only for sales transactions, but also for everyday business operations. Mobile devices used as virtual workplaces or to access a cloud-based interactive work platform represent a potential breach point for hack attempts, viruses, Trojan horses and other unwelcome guests. As a result, wireless network engineers are expected to earn 9.1 percent more in 2015 than they did in 2014. Ellen Messmer of NetworkWorld adds that we can also expect to see evolving trends such as "people-centric" security, which emphasizes responsible user behaviors as a means of preventing cyber-attacks.
New approaches to networking may even extend to the creation of new security job positions and descriptions. Messmer cites security and risk management organization Gartner in predicting the rise of a new executive position described as a "digital risk officer." This office will assess and control all aspects of a company's digital security, including current and future innovations, network compliance, and areas where physical security and information security intersect.
The implications are clear: The more ways people can shop, work, or otherwise interact with enterprise through technology, the more intensely the high-tech hiring world will focus on manipulating, facilitating, and protecting all those ones and zeros streaming in from every imaginable source. Workers who can capitalize on those needs will find 2015 a very happy -- and busy -- year.