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Top skills for IT employees identified

IT directors report that cloud computing is the most valuable skill for IT professionals to have in terms of career path and advancement, according to new research1 from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half Technology.

Thirty-nine per cent of IT directors said that cloud computing is the most valuable skill for IT professionals to have, followed by security (37%), project management (33%), virtualization (29%), network administration and engineering (27%), mobile and application development (27%), database management (24%), C# development (15%), business intelligence (14%) and Java development (13%).

The huge rise in adoption of cloud computing initiatives is driving organisations to employ greater numbers of cloud experts, found the research.  Almost half (41%) of IT directors said that they would hire additional staff to support cloud initiatives. Of these, permanent employees would make up 17% of new hires, while contractors or interims would make up 24%.  An equal number (41%) of IT directors said that their cloud initiatives were fully staffed. Just 18% said that they did not have cloud initiatives in place, suggesting that the vast majority of companies (82%) have undertaken or will undertake cloud projects.

As well as hiring new cloud experts, IT directors are investing in training and education to bring their current teams up to speed.  Almost half (49%) say that they deliver in-house training and development, while a third (32%) invest in external training courses and 30% provide webinar and e-learning.  A quarter of companies deliver on-the-job training while a fifth (20%) rely on previous experience in another company.

Phil Sheridan, UK Managing Director, Robert Half Technology said: “The fact that so many companies are investing in cloud initiatives as well as training for their teams means that there are rich opportunities and a clear career path for IT professionals with cloud skills.  With such a high proportion of companies planning to hire additional staff in this area, it’s clearly a good time to focus on cloud skills as well as security around cloud initiatives and across the technology function.  However,  project management and virtualization skills are also highly valued by IT directors so these are worth focusing on too.”

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