7 In-Demand IT Job Titles And Advice On How To Nab Them12:00 PM EST Fri. Nov. 30, 2012
Job growth in the IT sector has been heating up across the country. And, as it does, the IT job landscape has begun to shift, with many VARs and solution providers taking the hiring plunge from bringing on contract and part-time help to seeking top IT talent for full-time permanent positions. But, some job titles are in higher demand than others.
As part of an ongoing series exploring the IT job growth and hiring trends in the channel, CRN this week spoke with Todd Billiar, director of IT channel recruitment at VAR Staffing, a Richardson, Texas-based VAR consultant agency that's been specializing in IT channel staffing and recruitment for more than a decade. CRN asked which job titles employers are looking to fill and how job seekers can land those positions.
The Trend: As Cisco continues to dominate the unified communications (UC) market segment, the rising need for Cisco UC architects/engineers has never been more apparent, according to Billiar. "Across the board, for both large integrators and small to midsize integrators, those guys are very much in demand."
The Advice: Billiar's advice to job seekers looking to land Cisco UC architect/engineer positions? "Don't let your certs expire," Billiar said. "There's a big push in the Cisco Gold Partners, and they really only want to talk to those who have the certificates," he said. "People with this skill set are only going to be unemployed as long as [they] want to."
The Trend: The data center is changing, with the ever-growing need to consolidate, cut costs and move to the cloud pushing it forward. Data center and cloud solutions architects/engineers are the ones who make things happen. "The end users are approving the projects so the VARs are landing the business, and they have to go acquire the talent to deliver those projects," Billiar said.
The Advice: For those looking to land data center/cloud solutions architect/engineer positions, Billiar advises job seekers to highlight their deliverables. "Document delivered projects. People want to see experience. The larger-scale the delivery, the more valuable they are. There's a big difference between deployment for 20 users and one for 2,000."
The Trend: From SSD and Flash to big data and BYOD, the storage industry has been flourishing as new technologies emerge and the needs of storage evolve. As such, the demand for storage architects/engineers is also increasing. "It's the EMC, the HP, those are the big skill sets in demand," Billiar said.
The Advice: For the storage architect/engineer job hunters out there, it's important to have markers of success documented on your resume. Job seekers need to document their projects and highlight their achievements, Billiar advised. And experience with virtualization is a definite plus. Optimizing storage for virtualization can certainly make a resume stand out, Billiar said.
The Trend: As everything makes its way the cloud, the virtualization space has been heating up. VMware, which Billiar calls "the 800-pound gorilla," may be leading the way, but Billiar said he's seeing an uptick in Microsoft technologies, such as Hyper-V. Likewise, a number of virtualization startups have been crowding the market, providing the linchpin technology for cloud services. As such, the need for virtualization architects/engineers is on the rise.
The Advice: In addition to having an active online profile on LinkedIn or other job posting websites, having virtualization certification can go a long way, Billiar said. "VCP certification, they definitely like to see that. Certifications are golden."
The Trend: Many companies are starting to tackle the issue of updating old technology and signing off on shelved projects. And, they need experienced field systems engineers to lead the way. With the "uptick in sales, you can only sell as much as your field can deliver. The end users have been sitting on technology for so long. Projects that were maybe on hold are being approved now," Billiar said.
The Advice: "In addition to, specifically, the technical skills, [job seekers] have to have the people skills, presentation skills." And, the more diversified your skill set is, the better. "They're looking for a good mix," Billiar said. Employers want to see that potential employees are "a specialist in one [technology], but they're familiar with others; they're comfortable with a secondary or even third technology." So, if you're a Microsoft Certified IT Professional, you'll need to have another certification, Billiar advised, maybe a Cisco Certified Networking Associate.
The Trend: Solution providers are looking to bring on talented technology solution salespeople who know and understand both the business and value that a VAR's services offer. "It's less about the speeds and feeds," Billiar said, "and more about knowing the business and solving business problems, selling cloud solutions, selling business solutions instead of selling technology. Instead of being a box seller, you're selling services and products."
The Advice: According to Billiar, nabbing a technology solution sales position boils down to two things: "People skills and business knowledge, business acumen. You have to understand business, and [understand] it's more of a financial sell than a product."
The Trend: With companies rushing to the cloud and the ever-growing rise of BYOD, it's no surprise that security solutions architects are in "real big demand," Billiar said. "I tie it back to the mobile and cloud-based applications. As more and more data becomes available from outside the firewall, people want to make sure that data is secure from end to end."
The Advice: For security solutions architects, it's important to show off a technologically diverse skill set. "F5, Juniper and Cisco are three good ones. F5 seems to be big in demand, [and] you'll never go wrong with Cisco skill sets," he said.