15 hot jobs for 2010
CDN $72,000 to $120,000
Source: Sapphire Canada

Sapphire Canada expects a demand for architects of all forms, including application development, business, database, network/infrastructure and security. Database architects start at the lower end of $72,000, while business architects can see salaries up to $120,000, according to the company’s Q1 to Q3 2009 IT Salary Survey, which lists national averages of permanent salary ranges by role. 

Business analysts
$50,000 to $100,000+
Source: Info-Tech Research Group

One IT position that doesn’t necessarily require a background in IT, business analysts focus more business skills and communications skills than hard-up technical skills, explained Perrier-Knox. Business analysts come from a variety of backgrounds, including business school degrees, the general arts and humanities as well as traditional techies with good soft skills, she said. 

In terms of coursework, business analyst programs are one of the leading training programs that existing IT pros are sent out on and there are plenty of workshops out there for those interested in developing the appropriate skill set, she noted. 
While salaries start at $50,000, they can climb above six figures depending on the complexity of the business and the individual’s experience, according to Perrier-Knox. “In terms of a money-maker, it’s not a bad one,” she said. 

Business intelligence analysts
$65,500 to $93,500
Source: Robert Half Technology

Enterprises are trying to understand the past to make sure they are competitive and there is a lot of emphasis on business intelligence and reporting, said Abramovitch. Top end salaries usually accompany those with experience in top-tier BI tools like Cognos and the new financial reporting standard IFRS, he said. The salary range indicated reflects 2009. The Robert Half Technology 2010 Salary Guide is available upon request by visiting rht.com/salarycenter. 

Data analysts/report writers
$60,000 to $85,250
Source: Robert Half Technology

Related to the growing emphasis on business analysis, positions are emerging for report writers, report developers and those with IFRS skills, noted Abramovitch. 

Help desk analysts
Tier 1 $33,750 to $44,000
Tier 2 $41,250 to $53,750 
Tier 3 $54,750 to $71,250
Source: Robert Half Technology 

Skills in basic administration, Cisco network administration, Linux/Unix administration, Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista, Windows Server 2008 and virtualization can add seven to 10 per cent on top of base salaries in tech services, according to Robert Half.

But “you can’t just take a techie and throw them on a help desk. You need somebody who’s got those soft skills,” said Perrier-Knox. Help desk roles are service-oriented, require a blend of soft and hard skill sets – including communication, problem analysis and a comfort level with a range of end-user technologies, she said. 

These roles also tend to be the lowest-paid, according to Perrier-Knox, who estimates the salary range between $30,000 and $55,000. An entry-level position can start even lower than $30,000 and heavy-duty roles that require a lot of technical expertise often blend into other positions such as systems engineers, she said. 

Help desk positions are open to a broad range of people who want to get into IT but don’t know how, said Perrier-Knox. “It’s a mixed role, but it’s a good opportunity for people who might not have tons of formal, hands-on IT, but are really comfortable with it,” she said. 

Network administrators and analysts 
$64,000 to $75,000
Source: Sapphire Canada 

Sapphire Canada includes systems and security administrators within this group, but not Web or database administrators.

Network administrators
$54,750 to $73,250
Source: Robert Half Technology

Specialized skills in Cisco network admin, Linux/Unix admin, VoIP admin and Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista or Server 2008 can add 7 to 10 per cent on top of the base salaries for networking and telecommunications positions, according to Robert Half. The firm also anticipates a 4.1 per cent increase in salary ranges for network administrators in 2010. 

Project managers
$77,500 to 105,000
Source: Sapphire Canada

Salaries for project managers in applications development range from $77,500 to $90,000, those in infrastructure see between $81,000 and $92,500, while others can earn up to $105,000, according to Sapphire.
System administrators
$53,750 to $76,750 
Source: Robert Half Technology

Problem-solving, analytical and communication skills plus an in-depth technical knowledge of systems hardware and software are needed for these roles, according to Robert Half. “Three to five years of experience working with the specific types of hardware and software systems used by the company are generally required,” states the company’s Glossary of Job Descriptions. 

Systems analysts
$62,750 to $91,250
Source: Robert Half Technology

Specialized skills can provide an additional 4 to 13 per cent on top of base salaries in application development, according to Robert Half. These include: .NET development (9 per cent), Java development (7 per cent), LAMP skills, which includes Linux, Apache, MySQL and Perl/PHP/Python (7 per cent), AJAX (6 per cent), Visual Basic (4 per cent), SharePoint (13 per cent), SAP (9 per cent), Hyperion (7 per cent), Business Objects (7 per cent), PHP (8 per cent). 

Systems and application integrators
$40,000 to $100,000+
Source: Info-Tech Research Group

Systems and application integrators are the highest paying of the hot jobs, according to Perrier-Knox, and reflect the mergers and acquisitions trend. Those with more experience and advanced skills can make well over $100,000 a year, she pointed out. 

The positions involve the very complex responsibility of bringing disparate IT systems together, which “is a bit of a mess,” she explained. “You bring two companies together and you have to figure out how to make the systems work together,” she said. 

Web developers
$55,750 to $81,000
Source: Robert Half Technology

Robert Half is seeing a lot of Web development with applications moving from a client to a Web model, said Abramovitch. This is being driven by the business and users being able to access their applications online versus on their desktop, he said. Virtualization skills can add 8 per cent to the base salaries of Internet and e-commerce positions, according to Robert Half.

Web 2.0 developers
Source: Info-Tech Research Group

“The salary is all over the map for this one,” said Perrier-Knox. A relative newcomer to the IT workforce, the positions may not even originate from IT departments. While they have a very strong IT component, the positions are often advertised through marketing, she said. 

Responsibilities focus on customer-facing, Web-based applications, including how to leverage interactive features such social networking, blogs and online chat, she explained. Hands-on experience is almost a must, she noted. 

“You don’t see nearly as much in terms of formal training,” she said. Job ads will often ask for some proof of engagement, such as prior experience with social networking sites or blogs – both personally and professionally, she said.

Follow me on Twitter @jenniferkavur.

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