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The latest IT jobs report from online job site Dice suggested tech hiring managers are resolute in their staffing priorities for 2012 they need innovative professionals who design, code, build and operate. The report found that developers dominate the New Year’s most pressing hiring needs for a second straight year, although ops professionals made their list debut.

According to data compiled from nearly 1,200 tech-focused hiring managers and recruiters, Java developers are the top priority. Demand for tech professionals with Java know-how has grown year over year for more than two years as measured by job postings on Dice. “If your company is looking to hire this talent, don’t dawdle — a seasoned Java developer clearly has options,” warns Dice managing director Alice Hill.

Meanwhile, software developers moved up one-spot on the list to claim the number two position this year. According to the report employers are looking for developers who have strong opinions on what makes for high quality code, and a passion to create excellent user experiences and business solutions. On Dice, there are software developer positions posted in 44 out of 50 states, and outside of the major metropolitan markets, the company saw good demand in Florida, Oregon, Colorado and Arizona.

In addition, hiring managers have been telling Dice about the talent crunch for both mobile (which holds the number three position) and .NET developers (fourth) for different reasons. Mobile has become ubiquitous and the number of qualified, experienced developers hasn t caught up with the market. For .NET, the money gap and the concerns about .NET limiting careers has held back tech professionals from fully embracing the Microsoft framework.

New to this year’s list are systems and network engineers and administrators, holding seventh place and eighth place, respectively. Hill suggested their appearance might demonstrate companies have pushed the backbone of their organizations too far. “Doing more with less has limits as these professionals maintain, operate and optimize entire communication channels and platforms,” Hill said. The tech recruiting market is active and hiring managers have defined the priorities to start 2012. The only certainty is that companies will find ways to build value within their business and tech professionals will have a headlining role.

Dice listed 75,404 available tech jobs as of January 3, with 46,209 full-time positions, 33,300 contract positions and 1,625 part-time positions. The New York/New Jersey metro area topped the list of number of jobs posted by zip code, followed by Washington DC/Baltimore, Silicon Valley and Chicago. Los Angeles rounded out the top five. 

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Mobile, Software Developers Lead IT Staffing Priorities: Dice