10 hottest tech skills for 2017

Are your assets bankable in 2017? Hiring managers say they'll seek out these skills most in the New Year.

Scott Zulpo is facing stiff competition.

He's adding a senior project manager, a network analyst and a help desk worker to his 55-member IT staff at BCU, a Vernon Hills, Ill.-based credit union where he is vice president of IT. He plans to add even more people in 2017 to keep up with an increasing demand for tech-driven innovations.

"The challenge is twofold -- first finding talent, and then determining if that talent has the skills, experience and personality to thrive in the position," says Zulpo, who's mindful that "the cost and impact of not hiring an 'A' player is huge."

Zulpo has his work cut out for him. He's hiring at time when few IT professionals are out of work, so competition for tech talent is fierce. The unemployment rate for tech workers is about 2%, according to reports on recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Moreover, Zulpo is seeking the same skills that many of his fellow IT leaders also need. Computerworld's Forecast 2017 survey of 196 IT professionals found that both project management and technical support were among the top 10 most sought-after skills among survey respondents who said they plan on adding head count in the new year.

"The IT labor market is still very hot. The candidate is very much in the driver's seat," says Jason Hayman, market research manager for IT staffing firm TEKsystems.

Hayman cites a government report that estimates that 500,000 to 1 million IT jobs go unfilled every year, but notes that some analysts say the figure is closer to 2 million. He says there's a classic supply-and-demand scenario working here, with demand for talent far exceeding supply. "The takeaway is there aren't enough of these workers," he says.

Here's a look at the top 10 most in-demand tech skills, as determined by the 29% of respondents to Computerworld's Forecast 2017 survey who said they plan to increase head count in the next 12 months.

If you're a manager looking to hire people with these skills, be prepared -- it could take a while to find the right person. If you're an IT pro in possession of these skills, congratulations: Your services are in demand. If you intend to refresh your tech skills for 2017, start taking notes -- this is where the action will be in the upcoming year.

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