Strategic thinking will be king in 2014. Rote programming skills will not even get you across the moat. Employers are looking for IT professionals who can not only succeed operationally, but can bring a certain level of business acumen to the table. Regardless of your role, starting in 2014 you will need to have an understanding of the strategic business environment that your department (and even your team) works in. The year 2014 is shaping up to be a mirror image of 2013 as far and job opportunities are concerned. According to research firm, Foote Partners, the following three job categories are poised for another stellar year. However, the reasons about it have more to do about strategy and business know-how than with pure, raw programming skills: 1. Cloud Professionals – In 2013, companies hired enterprise architects, cloud administrators and resource planners …outperforming 348 IT skills and 293 IT certifications… according to Foote Partners’ annual survey. It is expected that the demand for cloud architects, solution architects, administrators and integrators will continue to rise. IT professionals that understand not only what the cloud portends but also have the ability to align business requirements or modify business models in anticipation...well, they will be ahead of the curve. 2. Big Data Experts – There is a ton of information on the Internet today...information that is expected to double every 40 years. Companies are putting a lot of effort into not only capturing it, but putting it to work. With more and more companies using big data, the demand for business data analysts – or big data experts - is increasing rapidly. Business data analysts know how to manage the overwhelming amount of information these systems generate and then put it into a useful form. They are able to assess the data, spot patterns and draw conclusions...making an overwhelming amount of “noise” usable by decision-makers and providing real business value. 3. Mobile App Developers – Some retail companies earn 40% of their revenues through their mobile apps. As businesses are seeing mobile contribute a larger and larger part of their revenues, the demand for mobile app developers will continue to skyrocket. However, a developer needs to have a working knowledge of the industry being worked in as well as an understanding of in-app purchasing, paid subscriptions and even mobile display ads. If the app is sold, the developer should be able to provide data points on how much should be charged. Another emerging role in the mobility space this year will be device manager. Device managers may work in-house or for third-party firms that oversee “bring your own device policies” and the myriad of security issues involved. No one understands the IT job market better than Seattle IT hiring pros at PACE Staffing Network. If you are looking to make a change and want a new technology job in Seattle WA, contact us today.