5 Surprising IT Skills That Hiring Managers Want Now

Tech careers site Dice.com identified five up-and-coming IT skills based on searches of its resume database. At the top of the list: iRise.

By Ann Bednarz
Tue, August 02, 2011

Network World — Ever wonder which up-and-coming tech skills are catching the attention of IT hiring managers? Careers site Dice.com keeps track of the most popular terms that employers search for, and it also notes when emerging skills start appearing in keyword searches with greater frequency.

New trends often show up first in resume database searches, since 80% of employers search resumes before posting their jobs, says Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com. "It gives us a glimpse of some of the trends that are coming up."

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Most recently, Dice.com identified five up-and-coming skills based on searches of the Dice resume database. Topping the list is iRise, which makes a simulation platform that allows companies to test-drive business software before getting too far into the development process.

Next is an old-school term: COTS, or commercial off-the-shelf software. If job seekers have developed software for a commercial software maker, it might not occur to them to include the term "COTS" on their resumes, but that's one of the top search terms on Dice.com.

Rounding out the top five emerging search terms are Crystal SDK, PeopleSoft Security and NetApp (NTAP).

Interestingly, iRise also made the list of most popular search terms overall -- an indication that it's emerging at a fast and furious clip. Dice.com's most popular search terms overall, ranked from 1 to 10, are: Java or Java developer or J2EE; .Net or .Net developer; business analyst; SharePoint or SharePoint developer; project manager; Oracle (ORCL) DBA; C#; QA or quality assurance; iRise; and PHP.

Being aware of the tech skills hiring managers are looking for can help job seekers fine-tune their resumes, Hill says.

Job seekers oftentimes focus on sifting through and applying for posted jobs without realizing it's a two-way street: Potential employers are also on the hunt for candidates, sometimes for jobs that haven't even been posted yet, and they find talent by doing their own resume searches. The Dice.com platform provides tools to comb through millions of resumes and mine the data.

"Our customers have very powerful backend searching tools," Hill says. "It's not enough just to have a good resume and apply for jobs. You also want to make sure your resume has the right keywords so that potential employers are able to find you when they're doing searches."

Search optimization is equally important for hiring managers, particularly as the job market heats up and competition for key talent increases. "We work a lot with employers to teach them how to use the backend more efficiently," Hill says.

"There's competition among the hiring managers. The ones with the best searching skills will probably get to those candidates faster," Hill says. "And for the seekers, the more optimized their resumes are, the more likely they'll be found. The race is on for both sides."

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