My list for the jobs in the information technology world that will likely be safe during a slowing economy.
1. Database Administrators and Architects - These database experts are in high demand. Even with the slowing economy, information continues to explode inside many businesses, especially healthcare.
2. Data Integration Experts - Combined with the growth in data and desire by executives to have information readily available about the condition of their business, data integration experts are the center of getting the information to the right place at the right time. In addition, with consolidation taking front and center in various industries, these data integration experts will be required to combine data sources from the consolidated businesses.
3. Data Quality Experts - As businesses consolidate, so do their information sources. However, these information sources may have messy data. Getting the data in shape requires experts in data quality and no doubt the world has only a limitted supply of these data quality experts.
4. Healthcare IT Professionals - Healthcare is just not slowing down, no matter what shape the economy is in. Anyone and everyone that has technical depth in the healthcare vertical will be in good shape.
5. Virtualization Experts - Virtualization continues to be hot in the market driven by the adoption of an ever growing list of businesses. Virtualization also helps drive down complexity and costs in the data center. Experts in this area of technology will continue to be in demand.
6. Open Source Professionals - As companies look at reducing their IT expenditures, they will certainly be looking at ways to reduce the costs of their licenses on commercial software. They will likely turn to open source as a way of either augmenting their future purchases of commercial software with lower cost open source alternatives or simply use open source alternatives as a vehicle for negotiating lower cost licenses from their commercial vendors. The good news, they can feel comfortable that if the commercial software sales rep doesn't cave, the open source solution is likely to do well for the organization in terms of capabilities that are compatible with the commercial counterpart.
7. Cloud Computing Technologists - One of the strong attributes of cloud computing is around cost savings, why build your own data center when you can turn to the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft for the heavy lifting. However, cloud computing has a big buzz factor in the industry and only a few have a really strong handle on this topic area. If you have deep experience in cloud computing, you can be of big help to your organization as they explore this topic as part of their future IT strategies.
8. SaaS Application Experts - If you have experience in any of the major SaaS applications including SalesForce, that may play out nicely in a world that is pursuing more and more use of SaaS offerings in the business application category.
9. SEO & SEM Experts - With an ever increasing web centric world we live in, driving traffic to your website can be a huge problem without expertise in search engine optimization and search engine marketing. Its a skill that can have a very positive impact on a business, but it is more than strong knowledge of what works and what doesn't work, it requires a very strong strategic thinker and one who can be very creative. Combine that with having a deep knowledge of web technologies, your likely to find the job prospects look good.
10. Any IT job where you are approached by a recruiter - Why? It's got to be a hot job and very important to the business if they are ringing your phone. You might resist knowing it is tough times out there, but on the other hand, if your company is suffering from the downturn, why not at least take a look. You might be better off.