The Five Hottest Jobs in Technology

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Robert Half Technology

There's good news for those searching for jobs in the technology field. Business expansion and increasing investments in technology are driving demand for skilled information technology (IT) professionals across the United States. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 1.49 million new computer and IT-related jobs will be created between 2004 and 2014.

Following are some of the positions experiencing the greatest demand -- and largest increases in base compensation -- according to the Robert Half Technology 2007 Salary Guide, as well as an overview of the qualifications necessary to secure these jobs.


1. Software Developers

How much can you make? A shortage of skilled software developers means companies are willing to pay top dollar to recruit and retain these professionals. As a result, software developers will see the greatest salary gains of any job classification in 2007. Average starting salaries are expected to rise 5.1 percent, to between $60,250 and $94,750.

What are the typical duties? Software developers code, test and debug programs. They also work with analysts, engineers and quality assurance testers to coordinate and document application development and testing.

How can you get the job? Employers normally require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a similar field and a minimum of two to three years of programming experience. Candidates with ActiveX, C#, Visual Basic, .NET or Java skills are the most marketable. In addition, software developers need to be detail oriented and have excellent problem-solving and analytical abilities. They also must possess strong communication skills and be able to work independently and in teams.


2. Web Developers

How much can you make? Web developers are in high demand as web-based tools, services and applications gain popularity. Average starting salaries are expected to be between $54,750 and $81,500 annually, an increase of 4.2 percent over 2006 levels.

What are the typical duties? This person gathers business requirements, develops specifications for web-based applications and provides technical assistance to web administrators. A web developer also may integrate Web sites with back-end systems and write test plans and report results.

How can you get the job? Candidates should have an in-depth understanding of Internet protocols and applications as well as business strategy. Employers typically require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field, plus several years of web-related experience. Those with .NET, Ajax or Java skills are highly sought.


3. Data Warehouse Managers

How much can you make? Starting salaries will increase 4.2 percent in 2007, to the range of $85,500 to $113,500 annually.

What are the typical duties? Data warehouse managers design, develop and maintain data warehouses and data mart systems. They also work with database developers, administrators and managers to ensure that data systems conform to enterprise data architecture and strategy.

How can you get the job? This role requires proficiency in warehousing tools and architectures, as well as technical expertise in database languages and applications such as Oracle, SQL Server and DB2. A bachelor's degree in computer science or the equivalent, along with five or more years of experience in a data warehousing environment and three or more years in technical personnel management, are typical prerequisites.


4. Project Managers

How much can you make? According to a 2006 study by the Society for Information Management, the top three skills sought by employers for midlevel IT hires are planning, budgeting and scheduling -- the exact qualifications strong project managers possess. Consequently, project managers can expect starting salaries to rise 4.1 percent in 2007, to the range of $72,750 to $106,250 per year.

What are the typical duties? Professionals in this role manage the overall coordination of IT applications development projects, from planning through implementation. The job also entails setting project scope, priorities, budgets, deadlines and deliverable schedules, as well as facilitating discussions among various project stakeholders.

How can you get the job? Candidates must have experience with project management methodologies in order to oversee intricate, multifaceted projects. Typical requirements include a bachelor's degree in an IT- or business-related field, a background in applications development, and five or more years of experience managing complex projects. Project management certifications, such as those from the Project Management Institute, also are valued by employers.


6. Applications Architects

How much can you make? Starting salaries will increase 4 percent in 2007, to the range of $80,000 to $112,750 annually.

What are the typical duties? Applications architects design application components such as the user interface, middleware and infrastructure. They also may provide technical leadership to the applications development team, perform design and code reviews, and ensure that uniform enterprisewide application design standards are maintained.

How can you get the job? Candidates must possess technical expertise combined with excellent planning, coordination and communication skills. Employers typically require a bachelor's degree in computer science or information systems and a minimum of eight years of related work experience. Those with knowledge of DB2, Oracle database products, XML or C++ are highly marketable.


Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week >>

For more information about hiring and salary trends, request a free copy of the Robert Half Technology 2007 Salary Guide by calling 1.800.793.5533.

With more than 100 locations in North America, Europe and Asia, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. For more information, please visit www.rht.com.

Copyright 2007 Robert Half International.

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