IT job seekers have real reason to hope. No fewer than 10,000 IT jobs were added to payrolls in May alone, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, reflecting a steady month-over-month increase since January. And in a June survey by the IT jobs site Dice.com, 65 percent of hiring managers and recruiters said they will hire more tech professionals in the second half of 2011 than in the previous six months.
But which jobs have the greatest growth potential -- and stand the best chance of withstanding outsourcing or another economic downturn?
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To find those hottest of hot jobs, we've scoured listings on IT hiring sites like Dice and Modis and talked with IT execs about the skills they're looking for in the year to come. Our sources point to a cluster of new job titles created to make IT more agile, more social -- and more tightly intertwined with business.
Our results are not scientific. The six job titles you see here have actually been listed, but we didn't choose them based on frequency of appearance or random sample polling. Instead, we picked them because we think they answer the real needs of businesses that want to prepare for the future. In short, we expect they will pay well, have staying power, and truly influence the organization either now or in the future. When's the last time you heard that about a job in IT?
The notion that IT is separate from business has faded into antiquity. Upper management recognizes that technology is not just integral to success, but actually drives the way companies pursue their business goals. To help merge technology and business processes, a new breed of enterprise architect -- known as the business architect -- is emerging.
"Business architecture is about making sure the whole business holds together," says Forrester Research analyst Alex Cullen, who researches IT strategy and organizational planning. "It's a role built around business planning, pointing out opportunities to utilize IT more effectively" in sales, customer service, and other key areas.
Unlike the traditional enterprise architect, whose role is to organize technology to meet business goals, the business architect is a member of the business organization, reporting to the CEO and fashioning high-level company strategy with technology in mind. The successful business architect has a deeper knowledge of the company's business model and workflow than the average enterprise architect. Think MBA with an IT focus.