Accelerate Your Career – 11 HOT IT Jobs For IT Pros With Unique Skills (Updated)

Accelerate Your Career

Don’t Read at Work!

In this Career Boost Lesson, we’re going to look at 11 IT jobs I’ve seen growing in popularity. (Updated: Added an exciting emerging career developing with TensorFlow Tools that has plenty of opportunities).

So take a break and listen closely to the insight I’m about to share with you.

Here’s our goal…

Let’s see if we can find you a challenging job that’ll ACCELERATE your career or double (2x) your salary.

Hang on, because I’m going to share exclusive insight where I see the biggest opportunities!

But before I begin listen to this quick story…

Almost 2 decades ago I was sitting at a help desk answering calls to reset user passwords; yes I was a help desk tech. And I also did desktop support.

I can relate to your boredom, especially if you are unlocking user accounts a day in and day out. 🙁

Anyways, one day I got a service request to install this new software on a developer’s laptop. This would later change my life…

No biggie I thought because I get requests like this all the time so I didn’t think anything of it.

But during the installation, I became intrigued because I had never seen anything like this before.

It looked simple enough and after carefully following the instructions – VOILA – it allowed me to carve out multiple virtual machine instances with magic. And then it booted them just like a regular physical system.

VM tech is common in today’s world, but then it was new and this was my first time seeing an operating system running inside the desktop of another operating system, it was 1998 (or maybe 97).

I was amazed by this new software, which by the way was VMware beta.

At that moment I made it my passion and learned everything I could about VMware. My fascination with virtualization continues – today…


I shared this story for this reason. To get you to TAKE ACTION!

Top It JobsSTOP and think about what I just shared with you! And let what I’m about to say sink in.


Today something new can come along that could be the next big IT technology trend (bigger than VMware!).

Are you watching? Reading the news? Paying attention to what experts are saying? Or are you just moping, complaining, struggling, and not taking any action?

I was fortunate I had this moment of insight, and I am even luckier I realized VMware was going to be big! But it wasn’t until my decision to take action and start learning about VMware that things changed for my career. (Please read this paragraph over until you get what I’m saying!)

One decision, which over time, turned into expertise that for years not many IT professionals had. This opened up doors to opportunities for cool jobs with titles like Senior VMware Engineer, Senior VMware Consultant, and Virtualization Architect.

Get this.

Not only did knowing VMware early on get me cool gigs, but it also accelerated my salary to 6-figures while most IT Pros were earning 50-60K.

But this lesson isn’t just about virtualization, it’s about the IT job trends that are emerging in the market, TODAY! Job trends that can put YOU in a very good career position…

What You Are Going To Learn

What you should take away from this lesson is an important insight into jobs that are going to offer the greatest career opportunity for IT professionals like YOU. Each job I cover will have links in it that will open a window to my SimplyHired page. Browse around and take notes on the skills hiring managers are looking for. You’ll need this information to start focusing on your training.

Now let’s get started with my list of 11 HOT Jobs in IT…

1. Virtualization Technologies

What I see going on still says Virtualization is going to continue to be a HOT job market. But let me qualify this thought a little better because although VMware is still the King of the Hill, especially in most Windows shops, it is not the primary virtualization technology being used in large public clouds.


As you can see, none of the big players are using VMware as a primary virtual technology.

That said, I want to make sure you know that VMware has a cloud offering of their own called vCloud Air.

So even though server virtualization is still growing and IT managers are going to continue to need virtualization engineers to handle design and daily support I see the roles and the technology changing.

Emerging & New Virtual Technologies

Another virtual trend I’ve been watching grow is how virtualization has expanded beyond just servers and is now used in just about every technology stack in the data center.

Check this out:

  • Cisco has a virtual offering of switches, routers, and firewalls.
  • F5 has virtual offerings of its load balancer.
  • NetApp’s new 8.x Cluster OnTap (AKA cDot) runs as virtual filers across multiple physical filers.

Careers working with cloud virtualization jobs are everywhere now and will continue to grow as more technologies join in.

2. Docker Containers

Last year I dabbled a little with Docker containers, which I strongly think are going to become a bigger deal.

Frankly, I will go as far as to suggest that containers will become the alternative to building huge VM farms.


The cool thing about containers is they are portable, which means what matters is not tightly integrated with the OS and can be spun up and moved around.

Do you know Google has been using container for years and from my understanding, each GMAIL account is a separate container.

That’s right – behind the scene, Google Engineers can move just my GMAIL as needed to do maintenance or as they evolve their services.

How cool is that! Are you beginning to see the value of containers?

I foresee Docker jobs becoming a huge opportunity for anyone who wants to become a subject matter expert with new technology. But it won’t stop there. Think about all the new software tools that are emerging to support containers. ENDLESS!

Now is the time to learn Docker…

Very soon banks, universities, governments, and local businesses will want (or need) the flexibility that Docker containers offer.

3. OpenStack

I already mentioned it but I want to emphasize how strongly I feel about OpenStack.

Not only do I see Docker Containers evolving and giving VMware trouble, but I also see a huge shift coming in many data centers that will eventually cause a gradual decline in VMware products, too.

My instincts are telling me that OpenStack will become the next big infrastructure technology that will change how we manage data centers, especially if you are not a Windows shop.

I’ve been tracking and writing a lot about OpenStack over the last couple of years and I even mentioned OpenStack in my free newbie guide. But now I am telling you to stop wasting time and money on VMware training and learn OpenStack as quickly as possible.


When I search for OpenStack jobs I come up with 4248.

And when I search for vSphere jobs I get 3631.

Yes, I know there are more if I search for VMware but that includes desktop, which I am not including in my analysis.

My point is this.

There are more OpenStack jobs in my local search than there are VMware vSphere jobs and here is why I think this is happening.

Most business that have been building big vSphere environment are starting to listen to Gene Kim and others about DevOps.

No kidding around:Best It Jobs

Let me share something else I have seen and heard for years from my Linux admins.

VMware is for Windows and we don’t want to use it!

At 3 different places where I consulted on infrastructure I had to stop the Linux teams from building rogue virtual infrastructure – you guessed it – they were all KVM and OpenStack.

So I am going to say this again – focus your time learning OpenStack because there are enough VMware experts in the market. The opportunity is ripe for OpenStack jobs!

And I only see the demand for OpenStack experts growing…

4. Automation Engineers

Automation Engineers are already a HOT market but there is a lot of confusion around this role because some also refer to them as DevOps Engineers.

DevOps definitely has a lot of automation built into the software (Dev) side for continuous integration; as well as on the admin (Ops) side for server configuration. But let me say that you can have a lot of automation going on in your operations, and software development, and still not consider yourself DevOps.

My point is this, automation engineer jobs are in high demand because businesses wanting DevOps are hiring, and businesses that just want to automate are hiring.

And here’s why.

Nobody wants their Ops teams to be building servers (or environments), releasing code, or patching using manual processes anymore.

For goodness sake, use tools! As an Ops manager myself, I want my team free from tasks that can be done using software tools.

For more information on some of the skills required for automation engineers, you can check out my post about DevOps skills, which goes deeper in staffing for DevOps than just finding a good automation engineer.

5. DevOps

Speaking of DevOps – yes it is still a HOT market for admins and developers who can work together in DevOps. DevOps jobs are HOT!

I still see the long-term need for Linux admins outpacing Windows admins because most startups are running Linux and are already using DevOps.

But don’t get me wrong because not every Linux admin can become a DevOps or Automation engineer. You will need to train and become a subject matter expert with Chef, Ansible, Salt, OpenStack, and many other tools that are on the DevOps Keychain.

I think DevOps is going to keep growing and more Linux admins are going to be needed to fill all the jobs created by software and service companies building more of their applications in the cloud on Linux.

6. Cloud Architect

There is already a cloud architect shortage!

I’m not talking about cloud admins who know IaaS, but rather Cloud Architects and Engineers who truly understand SaaS and PaaS.

IaaS is easy and most system admins can deploy a VM in the cloud on Azure or AWS. Whereas it takes more training and expertise to sit with a group of developers who only have an idea and expect that you can architect how they are going access user identity and application data which is stored safely behind data center firewalls.

This is a problem many companies are facing as they try to move their application to the cloud.

Many cloud engineers applying for job postings don’t have the experience I spoke of above because most haven’t had enough opportunities to really develop these skills.

Sure small/medium startup companies that begin in the cloud are already having success for obvious reasons, but larger and older companies with highly integrated and complex environments are not as easy to move.

It takes expertise to unravel years of code that hooks directly into the application or the database. Getting an AWS certification is the easy part, developing the know-how to transform legacy applications into Paas, SaaS or even IaaS in Azure is the real test.

Cloud Architects with real-world experience are in high demand and this trend will keep growing over the next few years while even bigger companies are expected to start moving to public clouds.

7. Scripting Guru

This job skill goes hand-in-hand with DevOps and Automation Engineer, but I am going to separate it because it is itself a unique skill set. I am talking about scripting guru.

People with advanced scripting skills are unique and will find a niche in the future as more applications are transformed from legacy to PaaS.

I’ve written about this topic a few times and I only think it is going to become more important to have applications that are on-premise be able to transfer user identity and data objects via an API or service bus.

And here is where scripting comes in.

Most developers are good at coding pieces of applications, but it takes a scriptwriter to understand bridging the code with the technology.

This is already going on. People with strong infrastructure experience and advanced scripting skills are going to be highly valued and paid resources.

Listen:Docker Jobs

Think for a moment when planes, trains, and cars were first emerging.

Now imagine if you were one of the few people who understood how to work on their engine?

Anybody wanting to hire you would have to consider the scarcity of your skills before offering you a job.

The same thing is happening today in technology.

On I help people to become INDISPENSABLE by helping them understand how to fill the gaps that nobody else can fill. In the Olympics, the difference between winning a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal is milliseconds or fractions of an inch. The same applies here. The difference between getting the job with Google, Apple or Amazon is measured in UNIQUE skills.

Nobody wants average system admins…

8. Data Analyst

With all the data everyone is collecting you can’t ignore how having a sharp Data Analyst on staff is going to become a huge advantage.

Compared to a measly 4K jobs for OpenStack, there are over 200K Data Analyst jobs.

For a while now it’s been called Big Data, but calling it big data is an understatement! It’s HUGE!


Do you know Google and Facebook are following you around collecting bits of data every time you browse the internet?

It’s done with a tracking pixel installed on millions of websites.

And behind the scene, all this data being collected is getting aggregated and turned into useful information so that product marketers can target you with advertisements and offers for products and services you have been researching.

But it doesn’t stop there because not only is Google and Facebook collecting data, everyone with an App on the web or that runs from a smartphone is also collecting data.

Their goal is to turn this data into some form of useful information that will help them better target us for sales, dating, jobs, loans, and any number of services. I suggest you also read this guide on TensorFlow tools because understanding machine learning is creating amazing opportunities for deep learning framework developers…


What I am saying is even skills as trivial as analyzing website traffic can be highly valuable.

Companies like MOZ and QuickSprouts have turned unique data analytic skills into very lucrative service offerings.

I see data analyst jobs as huge!

9. Database Architect

Database Engineer jobs are also on my HOT list of predictions.

But once again let me be specific because not all DBAs are the same.

I am going to focus my attention on those DBAs who understand data warehouse technology and a new term that has been gaining buzz called data lakes.

My understanding about data lakes is they are large cloud-based data source pools and in my experience new technology and opportunity which is going to take a highly skilled DBA who understands how to build and maintain huge data structures. (See the opportunity I am talking about?)

Yesterday was client, app, web and DB. And today its client, app, web, API, <db, db, db, db, db> service bus PaaS, <db, db, db>. Tomorrow it will be bigger data, faster!

Here’s a podcast I heard a while back on the DevOps Café (interview with Dave McCrory) that you should listen to. I think most people are missing the point Dave is making. But for those who get him, data will open a huge career opportunity for you.

10. IT Security Engineer

I think warm fuzzies are still why many companies are not in the cloud. But as better, safer, and secure technologies emerge, there is going to be a need for people to manage these services.

Intrusion prevention and protection are necessary services no matter how big or small your operation is. Hackers are not going away, and IT security-related jobs are going to increase as more businesses are starting to use more cloud services. But these jobs are also needed to protect existing systems on-premise from hackers and phishing attacks, too. Here’s an interesting Ethical Hacking Training Course on Udemy that gives more insight into what’s involved.

Accelerate Your CareerDo you want to succeed? (Apply NOW!)

As I said, virtualization will continue to grow. But I don’t want you to limit your training or job search to only VMware.

For system admins, I like Docker Containers and feel this is a new technology that will be wide open for a while because not many admins are trained to handle containers on a wide scale. This is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to get in on the ground level and become a subject matter expert.

OpenStack is still my Ace and I see it becoming a technology that all Linux shops will use in place of VMware (sorry VMware, I love you but I see the writing on the wall). Linux/Windows admins need to start their training to keep their skills sharp and possibly your jobs.

Automation Engineers will have multiple options where their skills can be used. I see really cool jobs for you with some amazing companies.

DevOps Engineers are truly the unicorn and will be highly sought after by every business that has a CIO/CTO who has read the Phoenix Project or has been listening to the buzz.

Cloud Architects with more than technical experience are needed. Like I said above, anyone who can design a solution to move legacy applications will have a huge opportunity for career advancement.

Data Analysts are not on the technology side but I see them in an awesome position to really transform how businesses see and use data. The companies with the best analyst and information will win!

Database Architects with big data experts who can survive the transformation coming will thrive. DBAs who can evolve into well-rounded architects will be able to cherry-pick where they want to work, especially if you have Hadoop experience and know-how to manage a data lake.

IT Security Engineers are very important and more will be needed to protect our precious data on-premise and in the cloud.

11. Bonus #1:

Converged Engineers/Architects are a combined skill set of Server, Network, and Storage technologies. I think they will eventually replace the common system, network, and storage admin as more hardware technologies converge like Cisco UCS. This role also flows well with DevOps by removing silos in legacy IT shops.

12. Bonus #2:

TensorFlow Tools is the deep learning framework that Google uses. And right now is a perfect time to jump in with both feet. I recommend reading my new post about AI jobs I’m Amazed After Reading Rise of the Robots – Best Jobs In 2017 (You won’t guess what’s going on!) The world is a different place.

Update for 2017 and beyond:

The list of opportunities is growing!

2017 is picking up where 2016 left off: Robots, Virtual Reality, and Microsoft DevOps are only the beginning…

  1. Why Storage Engineer Skills Are HOT! (Can You Say Big Data?)
  2. Microsoft DevOps: 25+ Power-Packed Windows SysAdmin Skills (NEW Guide!)
  3. 30+ Awesome Virtual Reality Jobs That Take You From Boring To Amazing!

Here’s what to do next…

I’ve shared 11 jobs I see growing in demands and all of them are ripe for anyone who will take action, get the training, apply themselves, and stop fussing about where they are.

This is the real deal so don’t waste time!

These high-paying exciting jobs are going to fill up fast…

1. If you haven’t already started browsing then Click the link below for job listings

2. Search for one or more of the jobs I listed above in your city

3. Take notes on the skills required to build your training plan...

4. Take Action (Get Training, Apply!)

Job Listings

Sources: The sources for this list come from my experience and assessment of the IT job market, reading technical news, and listening to podcast about technology. (Updated:4/9/2017)


  1. govindaraju salavurao
  2. Mohammed Husamuldeen
    • Joe

Leave a Reply