The cable industry continues to innovate—pushing must-have content to multiple platforms, adopting new broadband technologies and embracing mobile and WiFi technologies that give customers anytime, anyplace access. But this innovation comes at a price. It requires a highly trained workforce with constantly evolving skill sets. Competition for this talent is fierce, as other industries vie for workers with the same abilities. Of the 12 hottest jobs in 2014 identified by CareerBuilder.com and consistent with findings in CTHRA’s industry-specific Annual Compensation Survey, nine are relevant to the cable industry (see table below). And all require specialized training.
Hot Jobs in 2014
2010–2013 Percent Increase in Total Jobs
Market research analysts and marketing specialists
Training and development specialists
Interpreters and translators
Information security analysts
Source: Data from CareerBuilder.com, reported in CBS Money Watch, Where to Find the Hot Jobs in 2014.
“Digital jobs, international jobs, information technology and news-gathering fields are all considered ‘hot jobs’ for 2014. Accounting, finance and engineering will remain in high demand as well,” said Lisa Kaye, president and CEO of greenlightjobs. People who can marry business strategy with technological advancement will also be sought after this year to fill positions such as database engineers, digital marketers, product managers, sales engineers and other tech jobs, Kaye said.
Janet Manzullo, group vice president of talent acquisition and movement for Time Warner Cable, noted that customer service and sales will also be attractive in 2014. “Customer service roles will continue to be hot due to the increased pressure on companies to satisfy their current customers to then sell more or secure more customers,” she said. “Sales roles will continue to grow in most industries. These roles can be incredibly enticing for qualified individuals due to compensation potential being based on sales performance.”
Software Developers: Cloud and Mobile
Demand for software developers will also continue in 2014, especially those with cloud and mobility expertise. “Companies realize they need to utilize cloud and managed hosting services to keep costs down, and we are developing such products for customers at the SMB and enterprise levels,” explained Manzullo.
Other hot areas for software developers include web, connected devices and responsive web design, said Blye McSweeney, vice president of talent acquisition at Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc. “We need developers to help build, create, collaborate and integrate business needs with various platforms.” Employees with Java, CSS, HTML, Objective C, .NET, Drupal and PHP will be in demand, she added.
Competition for technical talent will drive up 2014 salaries. Staffing services company Robert Half International (RHI) expects base compensation for IT professionals in the United States to increase 5.6 percent in 2014. Demand for candidates with experience optimizing content for mobile devices will be so fierce that companies can expect to pay top dollar or see bidding wars for employees with these skills.
Understanding Your Data
A key component of many of these jobs is data analytics—the ability to understand and analyze big data and turn it into actionable business intelligence. Market research analysts/marketing specialists, financial analysts and database administrators will be in demand in 2014. CTHRA’s Annual Compensation Survey confirms the growing importance of these analyst positions as both the 2013 and 2014 surveys added new job titles in this area.
“Research, data and analytics jobs continue to gain importance in the cable industry,” said Hali Croner, CEO of The Croner Company, which conducts CTHRA’s Annual Compensation Survey. “As the industry becomes more multiplatform, the way you get information on how to market to your consumers is through real-time web usage and user analytics.” The growing importance of such data analysis jobs reflects the movement to the digital consumer and the need to market to that consumer wherever he or she is accessing content, she added.
So where will the cable industry find these data analysts? “We find that teaching our employee base how to extend and reach out to their own networks is often the best way to hire for these ‘hard-to-find’ skill sets,” said Manzullo.
“MBA programs are a great way to attract this type of talent and find the people who are hungry for the opportunity and have that successful skillset,” added Sarah Hankins, Director of recruiting and human resources at Charter. “In addition, there is a new ‘data scientist’ degree that several schools are offering to keep up with the demand. This is a hot new degree, and in many cases students can come straight out of college and hit the ground running.”
In general, hiring of new college graduates is expected to increase this year. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) 2014 Job Outlook Survey, employers will hire approximately 8 percent more new college graduates for U.S. operations in 2013–14 than they did in 2012–13.
(Pam Williams, CAE, is Executive Director for the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association (CTHRA))