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Data engineers and mobile app developers are expected to be among the hottest IT jobs in 2016. Credit: jppi/Morguefile
Data engineers and mobile app developers are expected to be among the hottest IT jobs in 2016. Credit: jppi/Morguefile
 By Mary KuhlmanContact
September 2, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois college grads and career changers got some good news on Wednesday, when recruiting company Robert Half International released its 2016 Salary Guide. It projects that starting pay in the information-technology field will increase 5 percent next year, with data engineers and mobile app developers among the hottest positions.

Don't despair if you're not a computer natural. Gerald Doyle, vice provost in the Illinois Institute of Technology's Office of Student Access-Career Services, said he also expects that fields will be less siloed.

"Some people will be able to serve as a product manager in terms of managing a scope of ideas," he said. "You'll find people growing in the area of privacy issues, both on the legal front but also in terms of securing our health and our financial records."

The highest starting-salary increase in IT is predicted to be wireless networking engineers, jumping more than 9 percent.

The guide also examines accounting and finance, creative and marketing, administrative support and legal fields - all of which will see increases in starting salaries.

State data shows that Illinois' 5.8 percent unemployment rate is slightly down, with the largest hiring increase in professional and business Services. Chris Jansen, metro market manager for Robert Half, said he expects continued job growth and more professional companies already investing in full-time workers.

"For a college-degreed worker today, that's over the age of 25, the unemployment rate is half the national average at 2.6 percent," he said. "In most instances, from an economic standpoint, that would be considered full employment."

He suggested that the best resumes show an intermingling of skills from different disciplines. For businesses trying to attract top talent, he added, the majority of people polled in their guide said they'd need about a 26 percent pay raise to move to another company.

The guide is online at roberthalf.com.

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