7 Key Trends in IT Jobs

As we slowly come out of the Great Recession, business is beginning to return to a more normal state. Canada is in a unique position in the world as it appears our country is recovering more rapidly than everywhere else. In June of 2010, Canada posted a job growth of 93,000 new positions. This growth, over 5 times what was predicted, has even caught the eyes of our southern neighbours. The Huffington Post noted: Stubbornly high unemployment rates got you down? Not sold on the economic recovery? Look no further than America’s polite neighbour to the north, where jobs numbers are surging and home prices have been rising steadily for nearly a year.

With the rapid return of job openings, our labour market will once again change. We have assembled a list of 7 key trends we are seeing develop:

1. Staff Turn-over Increasing

As contract positions return, people who were contractors before and took full time positions as a duck and cover tactic will once again become contractors. Those full-time permanent positions will become open as contractors take on short-term roles. Also, employees unhappy with their current position will start to look again. The USA today quoted:

More people quit their jobs in the past three months than were laid off — a sharp reversal after 15 straight months in which layoffs exceeded voluntary departures, suggesting the job market is finally thawing. Some of the quitters are leaving for new jobs. Others have no firm offers. But their newfound confidence about landing work is itself evidence of more hiring and a strengthening economy.

2. More Outsourcing

CIOs are moving to flexible staffing models. CIOs are outsourcing more technical work. IDG’s John Ribeiro in his article Offshore Outsourcing Picking Up After Recession quoted an Everest report: Most current buyers plan to expand offshoring and a significant proportion plan to do so aggressively. The report said approximately 75 percent of small and medium adopters and 90 percent of large adopters plan to expand their offshore outsourcing by more than 500 FTEs {full time equivalents} over the next two years, it added. However, new government restrictions may drive some of this offshoring to domestic outsourcing. The most popular areas to outsource are managed IP services, moving applications to the cloud and desktop and security services.

3. Labour Shortage Returning

Currently, the labour market is fairly balanced, but this balance will be short lived if the job creation continues at the current pace. Already Canada has replaced 90% of all the jobs lost during the recession and in certain areas we already have some shortages in specific skills.  Joel Adams, a professor of computer science at Calvin College in Michigan released a report, The Market for Computing Careers, indicating there is a great future for anyone choosing a computing career. The noteworthy points were:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting more than 4x as many new jobs in computer science as in all the other engineering combined.
  • The number of new jobs per year is double the number of computing graduates each year, creating a stupendous shortage.
  • Computing is the only STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) discipline in which demand for graduates exceeds supply.

4. Top IT People Paid More

In the mid-year IT salary survey by Janco Associates’ found the IT Professionals are getting paid more than last year. Total mean compensation for IT professionals has increased to $78,210 from $77,690. It appears the people at the top had no problem with the recession, as the CIOs of large enterprises had a salary increase of 7.5% to $181,533, and in midsized enterprises it rose 3.7% to $169,303. As the labour market tightens these compensation increases will continue to rise through 2011 and 2012.

5. Hot Skills Harder to Find

As the market heats up those skills that are tough to fill today will only get harder. A Robert Half Technology survey found CIOs had the hardest time filling jobs in networking, applications development and security. Other hot skills include software development, database management and help desk/technical support and SharePoint. Similarly, a recent survey of 400 U.K. recruitment consultants found that IT security skills were most in demand for permanent hires. The Report on Jobs, by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, also found that full-time staff with enterprise software and developer skills was in short supply. Lastly, David Foote from Foote Partners in a press release stated What we’re seeing is demand for IT services fueling very selective hiring in certain hot sectors including ERP, virtualization, security, SAN storage, business process management, Web platforms, and a few other applications development areas.

6. Social Media Growth

Social Media growth is exploding at a rate never seen in human history. In August of 2008 Twitter registered 1,000,000 tweets per day. As of June 2010, there were 1,000,000 tweets every 22 minutes. At this rate of growth in by December 2011, there will be over 10 billion tweets per month. With over 200 million users expected by the end of the year, every marketing and sales team is trying to determine how to make money from this phenomenon. New Social Media projects are popping up. Moreover, Social Media will change how many applications communicate information. Users will demand better integration with the mobile tools and communication tools. For example Zendesk, a customer service tool has integrated Twitter flags for potential service issues and Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM) is poised to be the next killer app.

7. iBusiness

Apple continues to make headway into the corporate world. With Mac sales out pacing PCs and the adoption of iPhones and iPads, users will demand access to the systems through these tools. David Girouard, President of Google’s Enterprise division said, “Apple’s opened the minds of a lot of IT people.  He continues by noting that they are now more open to Web-based apps and operating systems. He sees Web-driven devices like the iPad as a lead-in to “a radically simpler IT management model.”

With job recovery and no shortage of great developments in our sector, the IT business continues to be an interesting place to spend 8-10 hours of your day.