IT Jobs Market Stays Robust

By | Jul 20, 2012

The overall economy remains stagnant, and unemployment remains high. But in spite of a slight dip from last year, IT jobs remain plentiful. For job seekers with a tech background, this is very good news. For IT managers at midsize firms, it also probably means good news, with a couple of twists.

On the one hand, a strong IT employment market suggests that a lot of IT departments at midsize firms are expanding, or at least holding their ground. Remember when the cloud was going to let the C-suite do away with IT? It didn't happen, and it's not likely to happen. On the other hand, if your department is talent hunting, don't expect it to come cheap.

On the third hand, so to speak, a good job market for IT professionals means a good job market for IT management talent, as well.

At the Head of the Line

The IT employment market survey from CareerBuilder is out. And as Donna Tam reports at CNET, it carries good news for technology professionals. In marked contrast to the stagnant overall employment picture, the IT jobs market is strong.

According to the CareerBuilder survey, more than half (55 percent) of IT employers are expecting that they will hire full-time professional staff during the second half of the year. This figure is very slightly down from 56 percent a year ago, but still shows a nearly unchanged and rather strong IT employment picture.

Indeed, the one-percent decline in full-time hiring could be more than counterbalanced by an expected 10 percent increase in part-time hiring. In another demonstration of strong IT employment prospects, firms are giving first priority to hiring IT prospects, ahead of other departments. (Sales and customer service come in second.)

Technology progress is also reflected in the jobs report, with a growing number of firms hiring for positions that did not exist five years ago. Data storage and data management head the list of new positions, followed by social media and cyber-security.

A Sellers' Labor Market

The CareerBuilder survey did not look at salaries. But for prospective employees with IT skills, a strong hiring market can only be good news, not only in getting a job but in negotiating salary.

For IT managers at midsize firms, however, this could pose a problem. The survey reports that 43 percent of IT employers are unable to find qualified candidates for some positions. The survey did not detail which positions are hardest to fill, but the newly created job categories mentioned above probably gives a hint. Midsize firms and their IT departments may have to sweeten the pot to fill some positions.

The news must also be good for IT managers; their own skills and experience also remain in strong demand.

This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

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