IT Job Prospects

IT has a good record of handling economic bumps and it’s an ever-expanding field as technological applications continue to broaden.

However, the market for IT jobs has changed a bit. The finance sector and market related businesses have been quick to shed IT staff. They’re making the cuts in response to a bottom line which moves pretty fast, and is purely cost-based.

Industry surveys are showing a very mixed picture. Conventional IT, the workplace mule, is looking stagnant. Salaries are flat, and a worrying possibility of a global recession isn’t exactly encouraging employers to hire.

US government sources are currently stating that growth in the sector will be “as fast as average”, which is at best a qualified statement.

Studies have shown that IT employment is directly linked to the industry, business, and economic situations.

Cuts are applied to IT in line with decreasing business and rising costs, either through inflation or slowdowns in business. Evidence is accumulating that IT is also an area where employers are relatively quick to shed staff.

On the whole, the industry is employing on a “fit” basis, not as a class of employment. IT industry workers are advised to use some caution in the current economic environment.

The strong employment areas in IT

Top end professional specialties are becoming very marketable. IT industry sources report rising base pay levels for top enders, and strong demand, some pros getting multiple offers of jobs.

Rising skills demand

The new demands are for some obvious, but major applications:

Wireless is now the flavor as the US opens up its new wireless bandwidths for public investment and the technology moves up the scale. With it, messaging is also a big deal in the new approach to handling the modernizing configurations of internal and external business communications across the world.

Also getting extremely hot is the mobile market, software, devices, and applications. Upgrades, new functions, and a desperate need for experts using PHP, C#, Java, and Visual Basic are driving pay and opportunities.

Network admin and help desk, the faithful old stagers of IT, are also changing, and those changes are creating demands. New laws about surveillance, human resources issues, and the onset of new technology, unfamiliar to the workplace, is putting a strain on the admin and help desk roles.

Help desk and user support are currently the main hirers in the market.

Windows admin, somehow, is also in big demand across the Windows Server spectrum. Those with the expertise are hard to find in the current market, and it seems there’s an actual shortage.

“Soft skills”

Soft skills are communication, leadership, and personal skills like collaboration.

If that sounds a little too “HR handbook”, remember:

The gap between IT and user knowledge is such that IT has to operate both with people and tech, and make them able to work together.

The tide of new applications is making this a much more demanding role, and the need for better integration of IT and users is no joke. Industry needs interpreters, particularly across the range of specialist skills.

Web developers

Web dev is now the equivalent of the essential service, the one everybody needs.

The need for Web 2.0 developers is pure needs-based, and it’s pretty huge. Web 2.0 is naturally bringing with it the added weight of new web development initiatives… and a lot of them, pretty much all at once.

With this has inevitably come the call for people with the right skills, (meaning hybrids like AJAX) and having the ability to work with whatever menagerie of technology happens to be there.

This means putting the whole thing together, integrating it, setting up the back room systems, and technical assistance and sympathy, usually of the neurotic kind.

It’s far from a small role, because it’s a major part of new business, and involves introducing new web applications.