6 hot IT jobs that will pay well in 2012

Meridith Levinson

Companies' desire to extract insights from the petabytes of data streaming into their back office systems is driving demand for data warehouse architects, analysts and developers. Q's Bernstein says companies will be making a big push in 2012 to clean and organize their data so that they can better mine it.

Robert Half expects base salaries for data warehouse analysts to climb 6.7 percent, to a range of $88,000 to $119,000 per year in 2012. According to Q, data warehouse developers command average salaries in the range of $120,000 to $135,000 per year or contract rates ranging from $65 to $85 per hour. Data warehouse architects can earn $130,000 to $160,000 per year or $80 (or more, depending on experience) per hour on contract, also according to Q.

6. Infrastructure Professionals

Cloud computing has yet to eliminate IT infrastructure jobs. Now and through 2012, cloud computing--and Windows 7 migrations--are creating demand for network engineers and systems administrators.

Dice.com's Hill says companies are seeking IT professionals who can set up and manage virtual server and virtual storage environments, who can identify which applications are used the most, and who know how to reallocate hard drive storage among those various applications.

The move to Windows 7 is necessitating infrastructure upgrades for some companies, while others eye opportunities to consolidate their data centers and move applications to the cloud, says Sean Ebner, vice president of strategic accounts for Technisource. In the short term, IT departments need infrastructure professionals who can help them plan and execute upgrades and consolidation initiatives, he says.

Network engineers should see their salaries rise 5.8 percent due to increased demand in 2012, to a range of $75,000 to $107,750 per year, according to Robert Half.

"The demand for this talent is so high right now," says Yoh's Browning of these hot IT jobs. "Hiring managers need to move quickly and waste no time putting offers out. There are bidding wars right now for this talent."

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