Although IT workers in general are still highly sought-after in the business world, the need for different specializations means that the demand for particular skill sets can wax and wane periodically. Currently, one of the hottest specialties in the Canadian IT sector is the server virtualization professional, according to a recently released study from Randstad Technologies. Aside from project managers, IT workers with server virtualization skills saw some of the fastest growth in demand.

Particularly among small businesses, the company said, there was a spike in the need for server virtualization specialist. Randstad said that the 8 percent rise in demand for such personnel was enough to push them to the top of the most-wanted list for companies with fewer than 1,000 total employees. Additionally, they were the specialty cited most often by CIOs and vice presidents responding to the survey.

Regionally, Quebec had the highest level of demand for server virtualization experts, the researchers said. Nor were these the only infrastructure professionals needed in the province, which had the greatest need for this category of workers in general.

The survey, which was commissioned by IBM, found several other notable trends in Canadian IT hiring. Demand for security personnel was also on the rise - again, particularly in Quebec - and larger businesses across the country expressed a need for technical project managers.

Positions continued to be available for business analysis workers as well, according to the researchers, noting that this skill set has been "steadily in demand" for years now.

South of the border, in the U.S., the news of late has been fairly positive for IT workers. Despite a generally stagnant trend for IT spending overall, a report released this week by employment firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas saw the tech sector's layoffs fall to their lowest levels since mid-1997.

"Several trends in the sector, including the advancement of cloud storage and the push to develop more portable computing devices, such as [tablets] and smartphones, is helping to create and protect jobs in the sector," CEO John Challenger said in a statement.

Nevertheless, the same variance in employment demand among different skill sets was seen in the U.S. company's study, with the picture remaining significantly brighter for those who have stayed up to speed with the latest technology.



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