Top 6 IT jobs for 2012

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Despite multiple reports that 2012 may show declines in the job market for IT departments, many predict that cloud computing may actually be creating new roles within the field. The most recent IT Employee Confidence Index from Technisource reports that 32 percent of 257 employed IT professionals plan to look for a new job in the coming year. News that the job market will be burning brightly is promising to IT professionals seeking new jobs. With a competitive market, salaries are often more competitive as employers realize they need to pay premiums for certain IT skills.

Companies across the country are seeking IT talent; no longer are all the lucrative positions centered in the Silicon Valley. Staffing experts report six top jobs that will be in the highest demand and which will demand the high salaries.

1. Mobile Application Developers
With the proliferation of smartphones and tablet devices, IT professionals who can develop applications suited for this market are in high demand. As companies continue to adapt their websites to the mobile market, this group will likely remain in the top spot for 2012 IT positions. A recent example of the demand for application developers is on where iPhone job postings have risen 190 percent, and Android developer job postings have increased 129% just this past year. Salaries for application and mobile game development are projected to rise 9.1%; yearly earnings could be from $85,000 to $122,500. With so many job options and so few qualified applicants, many developers choose to work via contract positions. This gives the freedom of work choice while still earning between $70 to $100 per hour.

2. Software Developers
If you’re more of a PC than a mobile developer, don’t get discouraged. Programmers writing PC-based applications will not have difficulty finding highly paid positions in the coming year. Companies continue to need Java, .NET, C#, SharePoint, and Web application developers. Java is especially popular due to its open platform. Developers specializing in Java can expect to make between $60,000 to $150,000 per year, depending on experience. Those choosing to work as a free agent can expect an average contract rate of $90 per hour.

3. User Experience Designers
In order to ensure an enjoyable user experience, companies are also seeking user interface or user experience designers. These salaries are expected to increase 6.7 percent, to between $71,750 and $104,000 per year.

4. IT Security Professionals
Malware creation and cyber theft is on the rise. With continued security threats, organizations need IT professionals who specialize in security. Advertisements on for “cyber security” professionals skyrocketed 141 percent in 2011 over the previous year.
The new wave of cloud computing has created an increased need for infrastructure security. The number of Internet paths goes up when putting applications in the cloud, thus companies need a more secure environment to control entrances and exits to and from their system.

Application security specialists, those who run application scanners through individual web pages in search of weak spots, will experience a positive job market in 2012.

Base salaries for data security analysts are expected to increase 6%, to a range of $89,000 to $121,500 per year.

5. Data Warehouse Architects, Analysts and Developers
The amount of data-flow is overwhelming, and the demand for data warehouse architects, analysts, a developers has increased. Companies need ways to clean, organize, and mine the data they continually gather.
These salaries are projected to climb 6.7 percent, to a range of $88,000 to $160,000 per year in 2012. Contract rates should vary from $65 to $85 per hour.

6. Infrastructure Professionals
Professionals who have skills in setting up and managing virtual servers and their virtual storage environments, who can identify which applications are used most frequently, and who know how to reallocate hard drive storage among a spectrum of applications- these professionals are highly sought after. Cloud computing and Windows 7 migrations have also fueled the demand for network engineers and systems administrators.

These professionals are needed for infrastructure upgrades, consolidating data centers, and moving applications to the cloud. If you have skills in planning and executing upgrades and consolidation initiatives, 2012 will be a good year. Network engineers may experience salary increases from $75,000 to $107,750 per year, a gain of 5.8%.