Top Five Hot IT Careers for 2014

IT continues to be one of the strongest job categories in the country. While many career fields are still stagnant, IT continues to roll along at a blistering pace. There’s no letup in sight: according to a Computerworld survey, 32% of IT shops plan to add more staff next year (Link). What jobs are going to be most in demand? Here are a few that are certain to shine in 2014.

1. Programming/application development. This perennial favorite is still highly marketable. As any programmer knows, though, this category is awfully broad. What specific skills are employers looking for? According to the monthly stats at Job Tractor (, Java and PHP continue to rule the roost, and since they’ve been among the top languages for a while now it’s likely they’ll continue their dominance into 2014. This doesn’t necessarily mean that jobs based on other skill sets pay any less or are more difficult find. Computerworld says that the unemployment rate for software developers in general is a very healthy 1.8%.

2. Mobile app development. Java plays a starring role in another sought-after skill, mobile app developer. The demand is so high that at least one university reports that students are being stalked outside classrooms by employers (Link). To all appearances, this career isn’t going to lose steam any time soon. Smartphone user numbers are projected to be five times as high in ten years as they are now.

3. Database administration. With all that big data out there, demand is growing for someone to manage it. Then there are the complexities of cloud storage—it’s exploding in popularity, and companies want to take advantage of it, but they want their data to remain secure too. Database administration was a bit of a sleepy backwater for years, but new technology has brought it to the forefront of in-demand careers again (Link).

4. Cloud architect. This is still the Wild West phase of cloud hiring, and what companies are looking for in cloud architects varies from company to company (Link). Mostly, however, they want expertise in virtualization and experience in public, private, and hybrid clouds, as well as deep knowledge of areas such as SaaS. Skill in all aspects of risk management is another critically important asset. Just what the parameters are for a cloud architect position are probably going change, but it certainly looks as if this is going to be an important career in 2014 and probably for years to come.

5. Business intelligence and analytics. We’re swamped with data, and the demand for experts to analyze all this information is growing. And it’s not easy to find the expertise. According to Computerworld, analytics is ranked second among the most difficult skills to find ( This is another career field where the need to get the most out of big data is driving new concepts and technology, and at the same time traditional concerns, such as ensuring data integrity, need to addressed. As marketing departments clamor for more and more information, preferably in a form they can translate to sales, analytics will likely remain a skill where demand outstrips availability.

Lani Carroll lives in Colorado Springs with her bees, chickens, and horses. She can be found at her Google+ Profile.