UK IT directors report that cloud computing is the most valuable skill for IT professionals to have in terms of career path and advancement, according to new research from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half Technology.
39% of IT directors said that cloud computing is the most valuable skill for IT professionals to have, followed by security (37%), project management (33%), virtualisation (29%), network administration and engineering (27%), mobile and application development (27%), database management (24%), C# development (15%), business intelligence (14%) and Java development (13%).
The huge rise in adoption of cloud computing initiatives is driving organisations to employ greater numbers of cloud experts, found the research. Almost half of IT directors said that they would hire additional staff to support cloud initiatives.
Of these, permanent employees would make up 17% of new hires, while contractors or interims would make up 24%. Just 18% said that they did not have cloud initiatives in place, suggesting that the vast majority of companies have undertaken or will undertake cloud projects.
As well as hiring new cloud experts, IT directors are investing in training and education to bring their current teams up to speed. 49% say that they deliver in-house training and development, while 32% invest in external training courses and 30% provide webinar and e-learning. A quarter of companies deliver on-the-job training while a fifth rely on previous experience in another company.
"The fact that so many companies are investing in cloud initiatives as well as training for their teams means that there are rich opportunities and a clear career path for IT professionals with cloud skills," said Phil Sheridan, UK Managing Director, Robert Half Technology.
"With such a high proportion of companies planning to hire additional staff in this area, it's clearly a good time to focus on cloud skills as well as security around cloud initiatives and across the technology function. However, project management and virtualization skills are also highly valued by IT directors so these are worth focusing on too."