The current economic recovery may be proceeding far more slowly than most would like, but when it comes to IT hiring, two trends appear to be going relatively strong.
First is that systems administrators--a position some have said would disappear in the near future--are holding their own in terms of demand from employers, according to a September report from IT careers site Dice.
"The system administrator role is one employers are still trying to fill," said Alice Hill, managing director for Dice.com. "I don't see this position going away in the foreseeable future. Changing, yes. Eliminated? No."
Specifically, the role is evolving to become more strategic and less task-based as servers migrate to the cloud, Dice suggests.
'Multiple offers and rising salaries'
Then, too, there's a growing reliance on DevOps, or the practice through which development and operations teams work side-by-side more closely than they traditionally have.
Among the potential benefits of using a DevOps methodology are reduced development times, lower costs, and fewer conflicts between developed projects and operational integration, Dice says.
Lately there are an average of some 200 job postings on Dice on any given day seeking professionals who are working in a DevOps environment, the report notes. By contrast, there are typically some 1,400 job postings recruiting for system administrators, as shown in the chart at left.
"In markets like Silicon Valley, recruiting DevOps talent can be a headache," Dice explains. "It's not unusual for multiple offers, counteroffers and rising salaries for DevOps experience."
'A superstar pairing'
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects a faster-than-average growth rate of 28 percent for network and computer systems administrators in the coming years, resulting in the addition of more than 96,000 jobs by 2020 to the 347,000 that were in place in this country in 2010.
For those working in this field, however, gaining DevOps experience may create what Dice calls "a superstar pairing."