The 7 most in-demand tech jobs for 2018 — and how to hire for them

The 7 most in-demand tech jobs for 2018 — and how to hire for them

As companies scramble to adapt to the modern workforce, they’re doing whatever they can to attract top tech talent. For some that may mean getting a head start in filling next year’s most in-demand roles, which range from data-focused to security-related positions, according to Robert Half Technology’s 2018 IT salary report. The survey also reveals the average salaries for each role based off experience.

While Robert Half Technology acknowledges a lot will impact a company’s starting salary, including competition, location, corporate culture and budgets, there are certain things you can look for to make sure you land the top talent. Here are the seven jobs expected to be in-demand for 2018, the skills and experience you should look for and the average salary you’ll want to pay to stay competitive.  

The 7 most in-demand tech jobs for 2018

Job 25th percentile 50th percentile 75th percentile 95th percentile
Business intelligence analyst $83,750 $104,000 $130,250 $175,750
Data scientist $100,000 $119,000 $142,750 $168,000
Database developer $97,750 $104,000 $130,250 $175,750
Help/support desk technician $32,000 (Tier 1); $38,000 (Tier 2); $48,500 (Tier 3) $38,000 (Tier 1); $45,000 (Tier 2); $57,500 (Tier 3) $45,500 (Tier 1); $54,000 (Tier 2); $69,000 (Tier 3) $54,000 (Tier 1); $63,750 (Tier 2); $81,500 (Tier 3)
Network administrator $55,000 $62,500 $80,000 $104,750
Data security administrator $100,000 $117,500 $135,750 $168,750
System administrator $64,500 $78,750 $95,750 $102,500
  • 25th percentile: entry-level workers or those in industries with less competition
  • 50th percentile: “average experience,” a job with “average complexity,” or work in industry with moderate competition
  • 75th percentile: above average experience, strong skills, certifications, a more complex role or work in a “fairly competitive” industry
  • 95th percentile: significant experience, certifications, specializations, high level of expertise, work in a strategic and highly complex role or in a highly competitive industry for talent.

Business intelligence analyst

Business intelligence analysts need experience in database technology, analytics and reporting tools; businesses typically look for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems or engineering. You’ll want to hire someone with the right skills to understand your business’ data needs and then communicate those to stakeholders. It’s a role with growing importance as business needs pivot to relying on harvesting and making sense of data.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience with database queries
  • Stored procedure writing
  • Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)
  • Data cube technology
  • Strong written and verbal skills

Data scientist

While you need a BI analyst to help understand and communicate data patterns from a business perspective, a data scientist is the person who helps gather, process and analyze data. They should also be skilled in communicating those findings and offering recommendations to others in the business.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Programming languages (specifically Python or Java)
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • A masters or Ph.D.

Database developer

When hiring a database developer, you’ll want to look for candidates who demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills. Since they’ll be responsible for developing and managing enterprise databases, you’ll want to go into hiring with a clear idea of what skills you’re hiring for, and what type of developer will best suit your needs.  

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or database experience
  • Experience with enterprise database programs like Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle or IBM DB2
  • Certifications such as Microsoft Certified Database Administrator or Oracle Database Administrator Certified Professional

Help desk or support desk technician

For customer-facing businesses, the help desk is an important part of running an efficient business. As the first line of defense for customer service and troubleshooting, help desk workers need to have the right technical and soft skills for the job. Robert Half Technology breaks out the role of help desk technician into three tiers, since the job description and requirements can vary significantly based on the business.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Tier 1: Entry-level positions that require less than two years of experience, an associate’s degree or coursework at a technical school.
  • Tier 2: Positions requiring two to four years of experience, a two-year or bachelor’s degree and relevant work experience.
  • Tier 3: Four or more years of experience in a help desk setting, bachelor’s degree in a related field and professional certifications.

Network administrator

Network administrators are responsible for handling LAN/WAN protocol, software and hardware. They spend a lot of time troubleshooting and typically need to be on call in case of an emergency or failure. What you look for in experience will depend on how extensive your network needs are, but there are certain skills and certifications that can help you find the most qualified workers.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Troubleshooting and communication skills
  • Analytic and diagnostic skills
  • A willingness to be on call after hours
  • A bachelor’s degree or five-plus years of related work experience
  • Professional certifications

Data security administrator

Handling large amounts of data requires a dedication to security to protect your business, employees, clients and customers. Data security admins are responsible for defining network security requirements, ensuring all security measures are up to date, monitoring company-wide security practices and implementing security strategies.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Critical thinking and complex problem solving
  • Innovative and proactive thinking
  • A willingness to continue learning new skills
  • Strong programming, mathematics and general engineering skills
  • A bachelor’s degree, relevant certifications and a background in computer science

System administrator

Like most jobs in IT, a system administrator should demonstrate strong problem-solving, communication and analytical skills. But a system admin also needs a strong technical understanding of the company’s specific hardware and software. What you need in a system admin will vary depending on the services, hardware and software you rely on.

Skills and experience to look for:

  • Experience with servers, backup and recovery and installing, patching and upgrading software
  • Experience troubleshooting and resolving hardware, software and networking problems
  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, associate’s degree or technical training certificate
  • Certifications such as the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) or Sun Certified System Administrator (SCSA).

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