What would a final “Talking Tech with Cisco” installment for 2015 be without job predictions for 2016? There are so many forecasts at this time of year, and I found myself sifting through a bunch of such prophesies for you. One prognostication from CIO, a slide show presentation titled “10 Hot IT Job Skills for 2016,” most caught my eye.

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Reminding us that unemployment rates are at historic lows, CIO affirms that “it’s a great time to be in IT.” Here are some of the juicier job roles (for our audience) making CIO’s top 10 list for the coming year:IT-networking-jobs.jpg

  • Network engineers: Because networking underlies everything else—the Web, collaboration, streaming video, and security—it continues to be vital, even if not the “sexiest” place to be in IT, say CIO. But, as digital business drives companies to leverage technology for greater business impact, being able to provide reliable connectivity will be crucial to the momentum.
  • Security and cybersecurity professionals: If you want compelling data that this area will be in huge demand for some time to come, have a look at my post from just a couple months ago, “Cybersecurity Job Market and Salaries: ‘On Fire!’”. It’s a situation where cybercrime is mounting as a threat at the same time as we experience one of the more significant talent shortages in IT. Quoting Trevor Halstead, product specialist, Talent Services, at the online education and training provider Cybrary, CIO hits home: “We are in a situation where the sector of technology with the greatest potential negative impact on our lives, businesses, governments, peace, safety, and security happens to have a severe deficiency of qualified people to fill its jobs.”
  • Business analysts: The days of networking professionals working solely in IT siloes within an organization are fast disappearing. Nowadays, IT professionals must understand how technology supports the business. Quoting Anthony Gilbert, a technical recruiter at the IT staffing firm Mondo, CIO stresses the following: “Companies are going to need someone who speaks both the language of business and the language of IT, and be able to translate between the two so that business requirements result in features and so that everyone understands what constraints IT is working against.”
  • Cloud architects/integration: This “Talking Tech with Cisco” blog has devoted a good deal of attention to cloud thus far and for good reason. As our recent post “Cloud: Where It’s Coming From, Where It’s Headed” noted, all companies are beginning to see the value of cloud and leverage it. That means that they need skilled cloud professionals to help with adoption, deployment, and integration.
  • Data scientists: Our post “Wrap Your Head Around Cisco’s Global Cloud Index,” which talked about the zettabytes of data we’ll be working with in coming years, brought home the need for companies to manage an increasing torrent of data. “Professionals who can develop solutions to capture, process, analyze and interpret data will continue to be necessary for an organization's success in 2016,” states CIO.

Take a look at the complete list of 10 hot IT job roles from CIO and then, with a new year just around the corner and brimming with possibilities, explore training and certification arenas such as Routing and Switching, Security, Business, or Cloud here on the Cisco Learning Network and think about where your career might grow.

Do you agree with CIO's choices of hot job titles for 2016, or are there others you would add instead? Let us know in the comments section below.

We wish you a year ahead where you can combine your excitement for IT with a career path that has the potential for tremendous success.

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Gary Pfitzer is a content manager at Learning@Cisco, focused on bringing various aspects of today's IT journey to light through business papers, blogging, customer success stories, and other writing.