Forrester analysts ID hot IT jobs

Research group finds 16 IT roles with a promising future

In a survey of its experts, Forrester Research unveiled last week what its analysts believe are the hottest roles in IT.

The survey is directed at CIOs and is meant to help them determine who they should either "hire, cultivate or rent." For IT workers, it may be a way to insure a long and successful career in IT.

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Analysts were asked to analyze the hot roles within their own coverage areas by incorporating such data as drivers, demand, and influence of roles.

Forrester put 16 such roles in categories designated "hot, very hot, extremely hot, hottest."

What's hot
Rather than classifying jobs by title, the report identifies hot areas by job description -- that is, the function within IT. 

Six IT roles are identified as hot: account manager, desktop virtualization expert, mobile operations devices expert, service manger, business process analyst, and storage director.

Account manager: Acts as the interface between IT and the business; includes initiating projects, IT planning, project monitoring.

Desktop virtualization expert: In this role, an IT worker would oversee the implementation of desktop virtualization. Moving from desktop to datacenter also requires knowledge of back-end infrastructure operations.

Mobile operations and devices expert: Responsibilities include wireless networks, the interface between IT networks and carrier networks, knowledge of devices, and a level of knowledge about compliance regulations as they affect mobile security.

Service manager: Defines services IT offers, monitor SLAs and business continuity.

Business process analyst: Must be able to understand business process requirements and reinterpret these requirements into specifications for a technical staff.

Storage director: Responsible for all parts of storage including staff and infrastructure.

What's very hot
Enterprise application strategist: In charge of long-term application strategy for the enterprise; must define ongoing and future business processes.

IT planner: Prioritize and manage IT investments and integrate IT plans with business plans and forecasts.

Network architect: Design network solutions on a micro and macro level, oversee quality assurance and testing before network is put in production.

Enterprise project manager: Define project management superstructure or framework, manage outsource providers, and provide hands-on management of large projects.

What's extremely hot
Data/content-oriented business analyst: Responsible for designing components for the creation, classification, and access to unstructured data.

Business architect: Define business processes, integration, and technology needed to support the processes.

Enterprise architect: Manage the governance of enterprise architecture, including processes, data structures, and deployment of enterprise-wide applications.

Vendor management expert: In charge of pre-and-post contract management.

What's hottest
Information/data architect: Must have the ability to describe and monitor an organization's approach to shared information, create enterprise data model and related artifacts; may include the design of data marts and warehouses.

Information security expert: "define, implement, and oversee risk management and compliance policies."

The Forrester analysts also found five attributes that prospective candidates who would like to fill one of the above roles should have:

* Local knowledge of the business industry or region.
* Cross-discipline knowledge; understanding both management practices and customer groups.
* Those willing to take on high-risk roles that, if successful, will have a major impact on the business.
* Limited external supply; that is, while an outsourcer may be willing to supply 500 coders, the benefits of finding you a half-dozen enterprise architects is not worth their while.
* Consistency with technology, vendor, or industry direction, meaning rapid changes in technology; an example is how mobile put a higher demand on real experts who have domain-specific knowledge.