Published on May 22nd, 2018

The technology sector is in the midst of a five-year run of historically low unemployment, with the most recent industry unemployment rate clocking in at 2.4%. Open roles vastly outnumber available technologists, and that makes finding the right technology talent for your business a challenge at best. However, not all roles are seeing equal amounts of demand. Technologists versed in niches like mobile, data, systems, and cloud computing are harder to find than others because the skills shortage within these areas is even more pronounced. Let’s take a look at these and other technical skill sets currently dominating market demand and what it all means for your hiring.

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In 2018, everyone from small children to elderly adults seems to have a smartphone or tablet in their hands. Our society is one that is increasingly focused on screens, proven by studies that show Americans spend an average of 12 hours per day consuming media. Since much of that activity takes place on handheld devices, the demand for technologists versed in mobile skillsets is higher than ever. That means hiring iOS/Android Developers, UX Designers, and Full Stack Developers is becoming more important and more difficult.


Ask any question about your business and it’s likely that data holds the answer. While the possibilities that data analytics and business intelligence hold are seemingly endless, the pool of talent is not. In fact, there is a current shortage of 1.8 million Data Managers, and demand for elusive Data Scientists is expected to grow 28% in the next two years. The investment in and focus on data analysis is so large that today’s organizations have no choice but to seek Datawarehouse Architects, Database Developers, and other niche talents in order to remain competitive.


Success in technology initiatives requires strong leadership, which is why finding the talent for executive roles such as CIO, CTO, and VP of Technology is so vital. These individuals are tasked with the pressure of providing the strategy and vision while deciding which technology trends to capitalize on and therefore where to invest the company’s time and resources. Surveys show that growth is the top priority for CIOs in 2018 and that 84% of CIOs have responsibilities outside of traditional IT. Executives with skill sets that balance technology knowledge with business expertise are rare, but highest in demand.


Much like plumbing that goes unnoticed until something goes wrong, systems singlehandedly make or break any organization’s technology. Systems roles can range from Information Security Architects to Windows Engineers to Help Desk Technicians and more. Technologists are required to analyze, design, implement and maintain these complex and constantly evolving areas. When these roles go unfilled they derail innovation and efficiency, which is what makes them so in-demand.


Many large companies employ SAP, ERP, Java applications, or SharePoint in their operations, and therefore require expert technologists who can manage these initiatives. In fact, Enterprise Architects are so essential to organizational success that they are billed as “secret weapons” who can evolve with the field and help the rest of the organization understand the technology powering them. Locating and recruiting these professionals is imperative for those who want smooth and streamlined operations, but it isn’t easy.


As one of the biggest technology trends in recent years, cloud computing powers a huge number of organizations. However, a set-it-and-forget-it mentality does not apply here, as upkeep is crucial at a time when hackers look to infiltrate companies through their cloud. This drives the need for DevOps Engineers, Cloud Architects, Cloud Security Engineers, and other positions versed in AWS and Azure. When 71% of companies have lost revenue due to a lack of cloud expertise, you can rest assured that demand for cloud talent will remain strong for years.

Exploring the Hardest-to-Find IT Skill Sets

Knowing which technology skillsets are difficult to find is one thing, but what does it all mean? For one, it means much more than just looking for needles in haystacks. Even when a technologist with expertise in one of the above areas is located, it’s even more difficult to sell them on an open role. Further, compensation levels fluctuate with market demand, placing greater importance on making the right offer the first time. All in all, companies looking to avoid speedbumps must adapt, and so too must their recruiting strategies.

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Written: May 2018