Top 5 Skills to Look For in an IT Professional

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The Computer Merchant, Ltd. (Frank Anigbo)

Near the end of each year, many experts in IT-focused magazines and blogs put out lists of in-demand IT skills predicted for the coming year. By the end of the year, we at The Computer Merchant make a game of looking over those past predictions to see how they compare with the reality of the skills our clients hired throughout the year. Some experts get it mostly wrong and some get it mostly right. But through the hits and misses, some skills predictions come out a sure bet, year after year.

Rather than jump into the bandwagon and make our own crystal-ball-gazing predictions for 2017, we will instead give you our top 5 skills based on actual job placements we made during this year and the preceding two. These are skills that don’t seem to get old. And from all indications, we could title this article Hottest IT Skills for 2017 and score a perfect hit.

Solution Architect

A Solution Architect is one of those individuals that seem to end up playing a lot more roles than their title suggests, and that is because Solution Architecture, especially at an enterprise level, puts this person in touch with cross-over disciplines in sales, accounting and finance, management, and IT.

The principal job of a Solution Architect is to create and maintain synergy between the software and IT infrastructure footprint of a company and the information needs and data management of the company. The Solution Architect typically started out as a developer, systems analyst and/or project manager, exposing him or her to the various user groups and workflows within an organization. The Solution Architect must attain a fairly deep knowledge of what each department does, why and how, to be effective at devising solutions and optimizing systems and workflows to keep the information technology health of the company in fighting shape.

More and more companies are realizing that it isn’t enough to have the latest tech. Keeping it all working as one seamless whole requires a Solution Architect – a skillset whose star we do not see dimming.

Network Engineer

We fretted over titling this skill Network Security Engineer as cyber security is a very hot button at the moment, one that most of our larger clients lose sleep over. But we decided to go with a catchall Network Engineer to better reflect the overall demand of IT pros with network management skills.

In addition to managing cyber security threats, the Network Engineer is tasked with the general health of a company’s IT hardware infrastructure and connectivity.

Since businesses run on information and information is managed and served up by machines on a network, it is hardly surprising that these folks aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

Business Intelligence Analyst

Consider the old adage: knowledge is power. With even the smallest of companies now possessing the ability to capture and store massive amounts of data cheaply, the need to translate all these information into meaningful, actionable knowledge has in recent years become an obvious competitive advantage.

Compared with past advances in marketing and data transformation, business intelligence is in its infancy but rapidly gaining common use. What we have seen here at The Computer Merchant is high demand for Big Data architects and data visualization and analytics developers. We expect that the trend for BI Analytics engineers will continue for the foreseeable future.

Application Developer

At the end of the day, application developers/coders/programmers make software a reality. This has been the case since businesses embraced computers. And unless we go back to working with paper, binders and book ledgers, the demand for application developers will not end.

That said, the greatest demand is for developers working with .Net and mobile development platforms, including Application Architects, Java/J2EE, C#, mobile App Dev tools, Database Architects, Front End Developers.

Database Administrator

Yes, everything information technology often begins and ends with the humble, ubiquitous database. And as far as we have come with computer technology, the same advances that have made life much easier for the consumer of technology has in many cases done the opposite for the database and the folks who keep them running and available 24/7.

The Computer Merchant, Ltd.

The Computer Merchant, Ltd. (TCM) is a veteran-owned, national provider of technology staffing solutions for commercial enterprise companies, systems integrators and public sector/government agencies.  We’ve been deploying top-notch IT and engineering talent for our clients in 48 states and across many diverse industries and cutting-edge technologies since 1980.

At TCM, we learned early on that in order to compete against billion dollar companies with endless amounts of people and resources, we must always maintain a significant advantage in how we employ technology to scale, strengthen and customize our delivery for our clients. Today, we utilize a broad array of internally developed systems and integrated commercial 3rd party applications to optimize our talent sourcing and assignment management, onboarding and off boarding, strict client regulatory compliance, supplier vetting, and track real-time industry competitive rates by skillset and location.

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