Infrastructure, security skills most in demand

The top five IT skills Canadian companies are seeking, in order, include TCP/IP, proficiency with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows XP, Windows 2000/ME, security skills and knowledge of Microsoft’s SQL server, according to a survey released in March.

On behalf of the Software Human Research Council (SHRC), IDC Canada Ltd. polled 414 senior IT professionals from across Canada in Q4 2003 regarding the IT skills their organizations needed most. There was a resounding answer — networking.

While the demand for IT skills is down overall since IDC’s study in 2002, the latest research indicates that the demand for networking skills has increased and the demand for messaging skills has decreased. Other findings include an increased need for IT professionals familiar with Windows XP, while the demand for Linux experts is up only modestly, except within smaller organizations (less than 100 employees).

These results compare to a Q1 2002 IDC survey of 252 senior IT professionals and HR professionals in Ontario. The top skills sought by employers at the time were: Microsoft SQL Server, security skills, Windows NT Server, Microsoft Exchange and wide area networking. Results were similar for the three regions indicated by IDC Canada: western Canada, Ontario and eastern Canada.

Now, skills needed by medium and large Canadian companies fall into the areas of infrastructure, reliability and security, said Julie Kaufman, director, Canadian professional services research at IDC Canada in Toronto.

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