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Driving up salaries for workers with the right mix of specialized skills, technology-based industries are expect to continue to face shortages of talent this year, and VARs could be hardest hit, according to market analysis released Jan. 3 by Philadelphia-based Yoh, a provider of outsourcing services.

Yoh predicts that the tightest candidate markets will be found among workers with specialized technical skills and specific domain and industry experience. This is expected to be strongest among the technology services and device manufacturers in the hardware space, as well as clinical research and R&D development in the pharmaceutical, medical device and biotech spaces.

R&D and software development are expected to have talent bases falling short of companies’ needs. Demand in the R&D space will include clinical research associates, biostaticians, firmware and hardware engineers. Demand in the software development area will include Business Objects, Java, MS developers, SAS programmers and systems architects.

Yoh also suggests that a steady stream of upgrades by ERP vendors, as well as continued adoption of SOA platforms, is creating a need for Oracle and SAP consultants as well as experienced database administrators.

VARs could be significantly impacted as they struggle for talent with larger IT employers able to drive large salaries, according to employment sources.

“The VAR market will be impacted in two primary ways: product development talent is becoming more specialized and will likely become more scarce over time,” said Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh. “The other is that as general technology talent wages rise, wages in all job categories will also increase.”

The report sorts employer demand for specific tech skills by major U.S. technology hubs. In Silicon Valley the demand is strongest among firmware engineers, ASIC design engineers and embedded engineers. Seattle has a shortage of software developer engineers, hardware/firmware engineers and clinical data mangers. And in Austin, Dallas and Houston, companies are looking for .NET, C# developers, Java/J2EE architects and developers and SQL database administrators.

“The technology market continues to grow, which keeps pushing wages up,” says Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh. “Hiring managers are continuing to look for specialized talent to help them keep up with maturing technology. For example, a candidate with .Net developer skills and pharmaceutical experience is far more engaging to a hiring manager than a candidate with the skills but not the market expertise or experience.”

A trend is also seen towards reaching beyond geographic boundaries for talent, no longer insisting the technology consultants be on site.

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