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Tech hiring in 2014 is expected to show modest consistent growth, with 16 percent of U.S. CIOs planning to expand their teams during the first half, an increase of 5 percentage points from this year’s second half. Among the top skills they’ll be looking for are some time-tested technologies that are widely used. "The technologies that are in the highest demand are the ones that have a broad user base. There are a lot of hot technologies like MongoDB that are great skills to have, but there's not as many jobs as you would see in other areas," says John Reed, senior executive director at recruiting firm Robert Half Technology. In looking at skills that have such appeal, Reed ticked off his Top 10 list for 2014:
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Java
  • PHP
  • C#
  • .NET
  • SQL Server
  • LAMP Stack
  • Virtualization
  • iOS
  • Android
Reed notes that Microsoft is the world's largest software company and most businesses use some flavor of its technology, from SharePoint to SQL Server. "Every company uses these products and this is what is driving demand for these skills," he says. Plus, these skills can provide a competitive advantage for some businesses. "Companies invest in technologies that give them an edge," Reed observes. That demand, coupled with a talent shortage in the area, are driving up salaries for IT workers with the right experience. For example, SharePoint experts are expected to see a 12 percent increase in salary next year over 2013, while Microsoft SQL server specialists may garner a 10 percent increase. Oracle database and C# engineers are likely to see an increase of roughly 9 percent, Reed says. Some of the Top 10 skills also rank high on the TIOBE Index for popular programming languages. Java, C# and PHP are among the top six languages on the list of 20. Reed says other skills that are increasingly popular – though not as broadly in demand – include Hadoop, Puppet, Ruby on Rails, HTML5, Python and MongoDB. "Hadoop has a lot of chatter now, with people looking at using tools in this area as it relates to Big Data," he observes. HTML5 is beginning to "catch fire," and he expects interest in hiring people with these skills will grow in the near future.