Here are some sectors that will be especially active with IT hiring in the year ahead:
Financial Services: Financial services providers are offering more technology-enabled services to customers, such as online banking and brokerage services. There is a business-critical need for reliability and connectivity for both internal and customer-facing systems and apps.
Healthcare: Healthcare organisations are embracing new technologies to meet regulatory compliance demands, accelerate innovation and improve the quality of patient care.
Managed Services: More companies are relying on managed services providers for day-to-day IT needs, from data storage to network management.
Telecommunications: Trends include relentless demand for connectivity and speed in communication, robust growth in devices and services, and network convergence.
Infrastructure & Support.
Cloud Computing and Virtualisation continues to be a huge trend with a significant percentage of companies looking to derive cost savings by switching to virtual environments. This is a market in its infancy with massive growth expected over the next 3-5 years. There has never been a better time to be an infrastructure professional in Northern Ireland. This commercial trend is driving demand for technical skills such as VMware and Citrix in particular.
We understand this market in immense detail and can assist you making the right career move to the companies that value their employees, provide structured career road mapping with commercial certifications and give you the technical exposure you need to really take your infrastructure career to the next level. Project work and consulting roles will likely remain abundant in 2016. Increasing business demands
are prompting many companies to invest in new technologies, along with upgrades and migration projects around tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP)systems. Candidates who have knowledge of both new and legacy business systems are highly sought after by employers.
Many employers, depending on their clients, are now insisting that candidates have certain credentials. Certifications currently in demand include:
- Cisco certifications: Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), Cisco Certified Networking Professional (CCNP) & Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE)
- Microsoft certifications: Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP)
- Project management certifications: Project Management Professional (PMP), Prince II
- Security certifications: Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Virtualization certifications: VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
Over the last 3 years, the specific sectors that are most in demand have changed just as quickly as the local IT landscape. Last year, the hype was Software Engineering and Testing. This year, these areas are still sought after but rising rapidly through the ranks are Cloud Engineering/Support, Information Security, and Data Analytics.
Peak demand continues to grow for open source and proprietary developers with excellent opportunities in the Northern Ireland market for developers at all levelsto really carve out an excellent career. Web, software and mobile app developers – employers across industries are looking to hire them all. Those with .NET, PHP and MySQL skills, as well as those with responsive design skills, are in high demand. For full stack developers with strong degrees and a couple of years commercial experience, we have seen salaries rise year on year by about 8%. Mid-level developers with 4 + years’ experience have been seeing increments of 7% - 10%. More seasoned, senior developers have seen comparable increases.
Developers/ Programmers must have strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. They must understand and conceptualise applications from both a technical/ programming perspective and a business point of view. Because they deal with both technical personnel and business managers/administrators, as well as participate on project teams, they need strong interpersonal and communication skills. Most employers look for at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information science or management information systems and relevant job experience.
Temporary/ Contract IT.
The temporary IT market has transformed dramatically in the last year, with more and more companies recognising the value of having a contingent workforce and adopting a tentative recruitment process. Candidates have been increasingly more open to contracting opportunities now that the economy is improving and consequently the perceived risks relating to contracting are decreasing.
Companies are now more inclined to recruit IT specialists on a temporary basis to streamline processes, as contractors are often a more financially viable choice than a permanent member of staff. Due to the stronger demand for integration work, we have seen an influx of demand for project managers and other IT contractors, such as system administrators and deployment engineers. We expect this to continue into 2016, driven by management projects and growth in investment, as well as merger and acquisition activity.