If you’ve got the right combination of skills and experience putting those skills to work to solve mobile, interactive, big data or healthcare technology challenges, 2013 should be a very sweet year for your career.
If not, you could end up spending the year wondering why you’re not being hired at a time when companies are complaining they can’t find enough technology employees.
If you can’t find a job in technology, or aren’t being promoted, the problem is less likely to be that you don’t have the right technology skills, but rather that you don’t have experience applying them to an in-demand task or a particular industry.
“Java is making a big comeback, yet Java programmers can’t find jobs,” points out David Foote, CEO and chief research officer at Foote Partners LLC, an IT research firm in Vero Beach, Florida. “Employers are looking at more than skills. It’s Java applied to mobile apps or big data or retail. It’s knowing how to make people more likely to spend money [online] or how to build an online presence along with C++ and Python.”
To take advantage of the trend toward mobile interaction and data mining, get creative in branding yourself. Focus your resume and social media profiles on how you’ve used process and analytical skills in applying your pure technology skills to mobile, interactive or data tasks, says Tammy Browning, senior vice president at Yoh Company, a Workforce Solutions Organization, in Philadelphia.
Even if you’re already overwhelmed by your current technology job duties, raise your hand when your employer asks for volunteers to work on apps, mobile, interactive or data projects, recommends Marty Sylvester, senior vice president with Modis, an IT staffing firm in Jacksonville, Florida.
Your goal: to create a portfolio with pictures, graphics, images and hotlinks that showcases your creativity.
Can’t find an opportunity in your current firm? Take online training courses, seek certifications and talk to a technology recruiter. “Share your current resume and say, ‘I’m willing to accept a lower salary to get involved in a mobile app environment and I’d like to speak to you,’” Sylvester says.” Just don’t reveal how far back you’re willing to step to move into a hot field because people will take advantage of you, he adds.
For those who lack the right mobile or interactive technology pedigree, Browning seconds the idea of taking a step back and going into a new position at a lower level and earning your way back up. “It’s competitive and lucrative for those in it, but it’s hard to crack if you don’t have the experience,” she says.
Healthcare Technologists in Demand
Healthcare is another hot area experiencing a shortage of technology professionals. “We’re constantly trying to get people with Epic, Cerner or McKesson [experience] for government and nongovernment clients,” Sylvester says. “We’re trying to get people with healthcare backgrounds and putting them into education courses to help them understand those systems.”
If you possess the right skill set, having knowledge of a particular practice setting in the healthcare industry is a bonus, but not required. If you know electronic medical records systems, experience and certifications will be enough to get you the job -- you won’t need to have worked for a particular type of healthcare practice or organization, Sylvester says.
Technology Salaries Rising
Regardless of where you end up as an individual, technology professionals as a whole should see their salaries rise in 2013.
Base compensation for all technology professionals will rise by an average of 5.3 percent in 2013, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2013 Technology Salary Guide.
The IT staffing firm predicts the highest salary bumps (7 percent and up) will go to:
Learn more about technology careers.