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As that inimitable and always sly soothsayer, Yogi Berra, once said: "It's like deja vu, all over again," when it comes to chart-topping IT skills and technical areas for 2016. There are some recurring themes here to be sure, but also some newer technologies that promise to take up residence on the short list of what's hot for next year.

In composing my final 2015 blog post for Tom's IT Pro on Tuesday, I picked the following areas as "rife with opportunity and interest" for 2016: Big Data, Cyber Security, Virtualization (including SDN and NFV), and Cloud Computing. I also recommended some related articles at TIP in these topic areas:

Consequently, I was pleased to see Cisco blogger Gary Pfitzer make some highly similar picks in his end-of-year post featuring "five favorites" for IT job roles. These include:

  • Network Engineers
  • Security and cybersecurity professionals
  • Business analysts
  • Cloud architects/integration
  • Data Scientists

What's tried and true in this mix is networking, security, Big Data, and the cloud. New elements include topics related to the Internet of Things (IoT) which cross into some or all of these areas, plus SDN and NFV (which promise to replace lots of networking hardware with virtualized software equivalents). One thing seems sure: there are lots of interesting areas and technologies waiting for IT pros to tackle, and skill up on, that should be quite helpful to their career prospects. I suggest some prospecting for same, including the resources available right here at PITC, as you start staking your own claims in one or more of these areas.

Enjoy, and Happy New Year, too. May your 2016 be safe, prosperous, and full of career enhancement and satisfaction.