10 hottest tech skills for 2017

Are your assets bankable in 2017? Hiring managers say they'll seek out these skills most in the New Year.

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Business intelligence/analytics

26% of respondents with hiring plans said they will be seeking people with this skill in the next 12 months.

As manager of data analytics for North Carolina healthcare system Mission Health, Arun Murugesan has seen his team grow from two people to 35 in just a few years. He expects to hire 15 to 20 people in the next couple of years as his organization seeks to gain greater insights from the data it collects.

"There has been a huge surge in [the number of] people harnessing the power of data," he says. Healthcare companies have put a particularly high premium on BI and analytics skills, but the insurance and financial services industries, the retail sector and other industries are also driving demand for these specialists.

"Companies want to mine their data to gain a competitive advantage," says John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, explaining that companies need tech pros who can turn data into insights that senior leaders can use to understand buying patterns and industry trends and ultimately drive business strategy.

Top candidates for BI and analytics jobs often have math, engineering and statistical backgrounds, Reed says. They know how to use specific BI tools and are skilled in data-related programming languages such as SQL. They're also business-savvy and are able to mine the data to show ways to improve revenue or cut costs or otherwise deliver competitive advantages.

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