Evolving Market Calls for Evolving Skill Sets

What will be the right skill set to bring to the table in upcoming years?

An uncertain economy, new technologies and new business requirements add up to a job market that few can fathom. Are you better off taking a lower-paying, less demanding position, or should you hold out even longer for something appropriate to your skill level? And what skills will you need in the coming years to make sure you come out atop that huge pile of résumés? How can you distinguish yourself amid downsizing, stalled projects and new rounds of acronyms of which you are only vaguely aware? How can experts still predict a chronic shortage of IT skills when right now to those out of work it seems a lot more like a chronic shortage of IT jobs?

Recently, in conjunction with the Society for Information Managements annual Interchange conference, two of our editors assembled a roundtable of experts to address this confusing employment market. Jeff Moad and Lisa Vaas met with a select group of CIOs, educators and IT work force experts to get an expert view of the state of the IT job market, the prospects for an upturn in technology employment and what will be the right skill set to bring to the table in upcoming years. We think the roundtable report will help IT professionals match their current skill sets with future requirements.

Also in the eWeek Labs section this week, we relay our opinions on some of the technologies and products we think are important to enterprise IT. In "Mac OS X 10.2 Makes Fast Break," Jason Brooks takes a careful look at Mac OS X 10.2 and finds an operating system well-suited for the mainstream enterprise desktop. In "StormWatch Stops Attacks," Timothy Dyck examines Okenas StormWatch 3.0 and finds an enterprise-level security product geared to intelligently locking down the corporate network. In "SANs Get Wired for Long Distance," Henry Baltazar explains why previous distance restrictions for running storage networks using Fibre Channel are about to be broken.

If youre considering honing your open-source programming skills but arent sure if open source will ever find a home in the business world, check out "Cashing in on Linux." In the article, John McCright and Peter Galli look at retail operations, including Papa Johns pizza restaurants and Regal Cinemas, that have turned to Linux-based point-of-sale systems to improve computing performance and profit margins. Retail operations tend to run on tight profit margins and welcome any help to improve those thin profits. Find out how in some cases Linux is giving Windows a run for the POS money.

Whats going to put your résumé at the top of the pile in tomorrows job market? Write to me at eric_lundquist@ziffdavis.com.