Unemployment rates in IT are near an all-time low, especially in a few key areas – according to CIO Magazine, network and security engineers and software developers have an unemployment rate of only 1%. With such a strong demand for their skills, technology professionals are expecting to command some significant pay raises in 2016 – according to Information Week, technology professionals are projected to receive average base pay increases of 5.3% this year, compared to 4.1% for the general professional workforce. If you're looking for a new job in 2016, it helps to know which areas are seeing the most demand and which skills are commanding the highest salaries.
According to employer demand and industry surveys, here are a few of the hottest job skills and career fields in IT for 2016:
1. Wireless Network Engineers: These tech pros help maintain secure and reliable access to wireless networks, and their skills are in demand – according to Information Week, this job category can expect to see a 9.7% salary increase in 2016, with a salary range of $108,750 - $150,750.
2. Big Data Engineers: These engineers serve as a go-between working with data scientists and business users to create new data processing workflows to make business recommendations and help organizations save money. An Information Week article found that this job category will see a salary increase of 8.9% during 2016, with a salary range of $129,500 to $183,500.
3. UX/UI Designers: User experience and user interface (UX/UI) designers and developers help create a seamless and intuitive user experience for software, online shopping or gaming, and make a cohesive and easy-to-follow look and feel for websites. CIO Magazine rated this category of skills as one of its top 10 IT skills in demand for 2016.
4. Cybersecurity Professionals: According to CIO Magazine, by 2020 there will be between 1 million and 1.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. There are big rewards awaiting the IT professionals who can help keep data safe from hackers and manage other security risks.
5. Mobile App Developers: With mobile devices more important and widespread than ever before, the shift to mobile-first design and the prevalence of mobile apps are creating big career opportunities for mobile app developers. According to Information Week, mobile app developers can expect to see an average 2016 salary increase of 8.2%, with a range of $115,250 to $175,750.
As the job market for IT professionals continues to heat up, 2016 is expected to be a big year for technology works with the most in-demand skill sets. For more details on the hottest tech jobs and most valuable IT skills for 2016, check out these articles in Information Week and CIO.