5 In-Demand Retail IT Jobs
Posted on April 13, 2015
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of information technology jobs in the U.S. is expected to grow more than 20 percent by 2020. The retail sector is helping drive this growth as mobile technologies continue to advance and consumers have become more comfortable shopping and making purchases online.
As the demand for IT workers grows, the supply of skilled IT employees is lagging. Retailers who responded to a 2013 Internet Retailer Survey said filling IT positions was their greatest hiring challenge. So if you’re looking for a career path with a lot of potential, consider pursuing one of these in-demand retail IT jobs.
“Retailers need to understand customers, optimize supply chains, improve operations and manage facilities. One of the best ways to do this is to analyze data,” says Alan Lipson, global retail industry marketing manager at analytics software company SAS.
Data scientists analyze the massive amounts of data a company has to determine insights that can help the company optimize its performance. They, along with business analysts, statisticians and computer scientists, will play a pivotal role in the future of retail as companies’ desire to make data-driven business decisions increases, Lipson says.
Mobile developers and experience managers
As consumers move to their mobile devices for shopping and buying, retailers have been hiring mobile IT professionals such as mobile retail developers and mobile experience managers. Mobile is one of the initiatives Sunglass Hut has been hiring for, says Geoff Beers, the company’s performance marketing manager. People in these positions help establish a retailer’s mobile presence through apps and websites and ensure consumers can find the information they need through their mobile devices.
Director of business technology
Beers says Sunglass Hut recently expanded its IT department to include a director of business technology,too. People who oversee business technology for retail companies must combine their experience in IT, retail and business to re-engineer processes and oversee the company’s technology strategy. This position may involve managing a team of IT employees or collaborating with with other departments to determine their tech needs.
There are a wide variety of skills needed and positions available in the e-commerce arena, says Bill Gwinnell, who runs the retail/CPG practice for Sasken Technologies. Managers with omni-channel, mobile and RFID skills are in particular demand. People in these roles may develop apps, track inventory or examine ways to drive online sales. Familiarity with a variety of software platforms will help them do their jobs well, Gwinnell says.
Developers with J2EE, .Net, PHP, Oracle and experience integrating packaged software to legacy applications are needed now, Gwinnell says. Internal business technology needs are as pressing as any e-commerce or mobile initiatives. But just having the tech skills isn’t enough. Even on the backend, developers and programmers who want to work in retail must also stay up-to-date on the industry itself and what retail companies are doing with technology.
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