If you’re a network engineer or a mobile application designer you’re among a group of people whose talent will be in demand, says a staffing firm

Six technology jobs will be hot in 2013

It’s nice to be in demand.

For one thing, it’s good for the ego. For another, it’s great for the pocketbook.

According to Robert Half Technology, people in the following IT-related positions will hold the hottest technology jobs in Canada in the coming year.

“Companies seek individuals who can help with key growth initiatives, such as improving the firm’s web and social media presence, gathering and analysing business data, and optimising a customer’s online experience,” Lara Dodo, regional vice-president of RHT said in a news release Tuesday.

“Many of these positions are quite challenging for employers to fill — and in some cases, the supply of qualified professionals is lower than the demand.”
In an interview Chris Brady, an Edmonton-based division director for RHT — and former network engineer – said Tuesday the list is based partly on demand seen from clients as well as the company’s annual salary survey. “These are salaries that have really risen in demand in the last year.”

Here are the company’s descriptions for six technology jobs it predicts will be in demand 2013, along with their anticipated average starting salaries: 

1. Network engineers — Demand for them is “as strong as ever,” said Brady, because organizations continue to use wireless or wired networks that require high bandwidth for multimedia applications.

Those who can effectively engineer the integration of cloud computing with other new technologies and maintain a secure transfer of data to multiple locations via LANs or WANs will have little trouble finding work. Network architects are forecast to receive starting salaries between $79,500 and $104,250, on average.

2. Mobile applications developers — As companies strive to reach consumers on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, RHT says, they need professionals who can develop for the small screen. Average starting salaries for mobile applications developers are expected to range from $79,000 to $112,000.

3. Business intelligence analysts — These individuals assist firms in making critical business decisions by gathering and analysing data to better target marketing efforts. RHT says business intelligence analysts should see starting salaries between $76,000 and $105,750, on average.

4. Web designers — As firms look to enhance their online presence, they need talented professionals who possess front- and back-end development skills, an eye for design, and solid expertise in maintaining interactive Web sites and social media pages. Those with five or more years of experience should see base compensation ranging from $75,000 to $120,000.

5. Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing specialists — These individuals are responsible for formalising search SEO and SEM strategies and tactics. Other duties include analysing website traffic, as well as developing website assessments and recommendations. SEO/SEM specialists with three or more years of experience can anticipate average starting salaries ranging from $75,000 to $95,000.

6. User experience (UX) specialists — Since so much customer interaction happens online, companies are looking for workers who can create positive digital experiences guiding application developers or creating apps. UX specialists can expect starting salaries between $65,000 and $115,000.

The big thing that differentiates between last year’s list and this year’s is the increased demand for people to create Web, mobile or customer applications that hold customers’ attention, Brady said.

He also said that despite its notable absence on this list, people with IT security skills are still in demand.

Separately, Manpower Employement said the general hiring outlook among Canadian employers for the first quarter of the new year is “hopeful.” In a news release the company said a 13 per cent of 1,900 organizations surveyed plan to increase staff, while seven per cent anticipate cutbacks. Of those surveyed, 78 per cent of employers expect to maintain their current staffing levels.
 
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