OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Information technology (IT) skills across a broad range of disciplines will become increasingly important for Chicago area employers in the next two to three years, a new study from CompTIA, the leading non-profit trade association for the IT industry, and the Illinois Technology Association (ITA) reveals.
“This reinforces the importance of continuing education and training for IT workers to assure that their skills levels stay current.”
Specialists in mobile and wireless technology, green IT, cloud computing and software-as-a-service all show significant growth in their levels of importance, according to the CompTIA-ITA survey. At the same time, security specialists, project managers and help desk technicians will continue to be in high demand, as they are today.
“While certain IT skills will be more important to some firms than others based on elements such as business type and size, one of the most notable findings from this study is that 20 of the 21 IT skills covered are expected to increase in importance over the next few years,” said Gretchen Koch, senior director, workforce development, CompTIA.
Occupations and areas of expertise expected to grow the most in importance include mobile/wireless administrators or specialists (12-percent increase in importance); green IT specialists (12 percent); security administrators (11 percent), cloud computing and software-as-a-service specialists (9 percent), security specialists (8 percent), project managers (8 percent) and help desk technicians (7 percent).
The CompTIA-ITA study also reveals that IT workers skilled in information security and business intelligence and analytics are currently in highest demand and short supply in the Chicago market.
“Chicago area IT companies rate these as important occupations for their business, yet lack confidence in finding the right workers for these roles,” Koch said.
Employers are more confident in finding workers to fill other current in-demand IT occupations, including project managers, database administrators, network administrators and PC support specialists.
Two accelerating industry trends are changing the look of the IT workforce in Chicago and around the country.
First, more and more businesses are choosing to outsource their IT operations to a technology service or solution provider. The delivery of technology via a managed services model is a trend that’s accelerating with customers of all sizes. The managed IT services model ensures that the customer gets the services they need in an affordable and predictable manner, so they can focus on their core business.
The second trend revolves around the adoption of hosted or Internet-based technologies, often referred to as cloud computing or software-as-a-service. Businesses that previously installed software themselves or managed functions such as data back-up or storage now subscribe to these services via an Internet-based service.
So while some employers may require fewer IT workers, companies providing technology services will require more workers with a broader and higher level of skills.
“The need for IT workers will not diminish, but where and how they work will change,” Koch added. “This reinforces the importance of continuing education and training for IT workers to assure that their skills levels stay current.”
The purpose of the CompTIA-ITA study was to better understand the IT job market in the Chicago area, including evaluating the jobs and skills of most importance now and in the future; determining the level of confidence employers have in filling IT positions; and identifying gaps in skills. The web-based survey of IT executives and professionals at 171 Chicago-area companies in IT and other industries was conducted between March 23 and April 8.
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through its educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications, and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit www.comptia.org or follow CompTIA on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/comptia.