SOURCE: Spiceworks

Spiceworks

November 03, 2016 08:00 ET

Survey: Demand for Skilled IT Professionals in 2017 Set to Drive Major Shifts in IT Labor Market

New study shows more than one-third of IT professionals plan to search for a new employer and one in four plan to accept a new job next year

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Nov 3, 2016) - Spiceworks announced the results of a new survey exploring the IT job outlook for 2017 including the career changes IT professionals expect, the biggest challenges they'll face, and the skills they need to succeed. The 2017 Tech Career Outlook found that 37 percent of IT professionals plan to begin searching for a new employer and 26 percent plan to accept a new job next year. While 69 percent of IT professionals plan to switch jobs to advance their IT skills, 64 percent are looking for a more competitive salary, and 40 percent want to work for a company that makes IT more of a priority.

"Businesses rely on IT professionals to protect company data and make sure the devices and services they rely on 'just work,' but many IT professionals believe they're underpaid and their department is underfunded," said Peter Tsai, IT analyst at Spiceworks. "This is leading many tech professionals to take advantage of the favorable job market expected next year and seek employers that prioritize their IT department, invest in tech talent, and provide adequate resources IT professionals need to be successful."

Job satisfaction: Most IT professionals feel appreciated, but underpaid

The survey results show that although 61 percent of IT professionals feel appreciated by their current employer, 59 percent believe they're underpaid. Additionally, less than a quarter of IT professionals are expecting a salary increase in excess of 5 percent in 2017 and only 12 percent are expecting a promotion. However, 70 percent of respondents expect the IT job market to remain favorable in 2017, leading many to believe higher paying jobs with more potential for advancement will exist in the coming year.

Most important IT skill in 2017: Cybersecurity expertise

In terms of the tech skills necessary to be successful, 95 percent of IT professionals said cybersecurity expertise, soft skills, and computer networking expertise will be important skills to have in 2017. When asked which skills IT professionals are planning to improve next year, only 29 percent said they're planning to work on soft skills, such as better team management and communication, but 62 percent said they plan to focus on improving their cybersecurity expertise via certifications or training.

However, organizations are often hesitant to invest in security training for IT professionals, despite the fact that 55 percent of organizations do not employ or contract a cybersecurity expert. As a result, many IT professionals are seeking employers that are willing to help advance their IT skills and fill the cybersecurity skills gap.

Biggest IT challenge in 2017: Making IT a priority among business leaders

When asked what IT tasks will be the most challenging next year, most IT professionals cited the obstacle of getting business leaders to understand the importance of IT priorities and fund critical IT projects. These challenges are also reflected in the Spiceworks 2017 State of IT report, which shows IT budgets will remain flat in 2017 despite the fact that 60 percent of organizations expect revenue to increase next year.

IT professionals also expect to face major challenges associated with keeping their organization's data secure, ensuring IT infrastructure is up to date, and upgrading end-of-life software and operating systems on time -- issues often caused by a lack of adequate IT funding.

Methodology
The survey was conducted in October 2016 and included 476 respondents from North America and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). Respondents are among the millions of IT professionals in Spiceworks and represent a variety of company sizes including small-to-medium-sized businesses and enterprises. Respondents come from a variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, nonprofits, education, government, and finance. For more information and a complete list of survey results, visit https://community.spiceworks.com/research/tech-career-outlook.

About Spiceworks Voice of IT
Spiceworks' Voice of IT shares statistics, trends, and opinions collected from millions of IT professionals on the global technology issues that are important to them. For other Spiceworks Voice of IT reports visit: www.spiceworks.com/research

About Spiceworks
Spiceworks is the professional network millions of IT professionals use to connect with one another and thousands of technology brands. The company simplifies how IT professionals discover, buy and manage an estimated $600 billion in technology products and services each year. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Spiceworks is backed by Adams Street Partners, Austin Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), Goldman Sachs, Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital. For more information visit http://www.spiceworks.com.

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Spiceworks and Voice of IT are registered trademarks of Spiceworks, Inc. All other names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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