The 10 most demanding jobs in IT

June 26, 2012
Data center manager, IT operations and IT manager rank among the most demanding IT professions in a survey carried out by Emerson Network Power.

A report produced by Emerson Network Power and based on feedback solicited from 792 information technology (IT) professionals lists the 10 most-demanding jobs in IT. Emerson explains that by "most demanding" they mean "the degree to which they have to be always available, always working at peak capacity and always accurate."

The 792 individuals who responded to the survey represented 17 work roles, 18 industries and businesses of all sizes, Emerson says. "It is expected that technology, like smartphones and websites, will be always-on and available 24/7, in this hyper-speed, hyper-connected world," Emerson Network Power said when announcing the survey's results. "But what about the people who support that technology? Do they have to be always-on as well? Are some more always-on than others? ... Survey respondents confirmed the hunch that IT professionals must be as always-on as the data center."

Five dimensions of "always-on" were considered, and each was given a certain weight during calculation. The five dimensions are: working capacity/bandwidth, dependencies/multi-tasking, public leadership, quick responsiveness, availability.

Overall, Emerson Network Power drew the following general conclusions from the survey.

  • All IT jobs are highly always-on, averaging a score of 71 on a 0-100 point always-on scale.
  • On average, IT professionals are required to be available to work 119 hours in each 168-hour week.
  • In general, the higher level the job, the more always-on.

When the results were tallied, the 10 most-always-on IT jobs were determined to be as follows.

  1. Executive director/administrator
  2. IT procurement
  3. CIO
  4. IT manager/director
  5. IT operations
  6. Data center manager
  7. Engineering
  8. IT security
  9. Applications/software development
  10. Database management

Blake Carlson, vice president of the IT business segment with Emerson Network Power's Avocent Products and Service, commented, "IT is a hugely demanding profession. They need to be smart, flexible and quick, a lot like the technology they work to support. And they must be able to handle multiple tasks at once and figure out how to get things done with limited or inadequate resources. In my experience, IT professionals are a breed apart."

You can download the report here.

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