IT Generalists Need Not Apply

Ann All

With all of the talk we hear about IT becoming increasingly commoditized, at least one area appears to be bucking that trend.

 

As far as the job market is concerned, it seems IT generalists need no longer apply.

 

Companies are looking for a much more specific set of skills these days, says a hiring pro quoted in this InfoWorld story. While companies once sought employees with general CRM skills, for example, now they want CRM project managers with knowledge and experience in specific vertical industries.

 

Also in demand for positions throughout the IT food chain: technical chops, combined with strong communication and business skills. Rather than a developer who can code like nobody's business -- a skill that, quite frankly, comes pretty cheap in India and elsewhere -- companies want developers who can also do client presentations when necessary and lead project teams.

 

Interestingly, these types of skills can often be found in older workers, a demographic that has frequently been shunned by IT (as well as other industries).


 

Such workers also may be proficient in COBOL and other programming languages used for mainframe applications. Despite the efforts of IBM and others to get youngsters interested in the mainframe, it's about as popular with college students as non-alcoholic beer.

 

So perhaps companies should get over their fears of spiraling health care costs and find ways to appeal to older workers. Some of the work perks they desire, such as flexible schedules, are appreciated by younger folks as well. Smart companies are also focusing on making it easier for older workers to share their knowledge with greenhorns.

 

Companies also may want to review their professional development efforts. It's often easier to build on existing skill sets from within than to look elsewhere for the elusive dream employee.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Oct 9, 2006 1:21 AM Steve Kornegay Steve Kornegay  says:
Greetings, I am a 25 year career mainframe professional with the last 10 years in sales engineering...and I am preparing to leave the mainframe IT biz because the job situation is exceedingly poor. In my estimation, sites such as Wachovia and Verizon Wireless are so far out of technical control in the capactiy planning and performance arenas that they actually don't realize the solution when it arrives,even punishing the messenger of accuracy. I can tell very detailed accounts of what happens in those large data centersI have been there..that what really happens is VPs just plan a political career via a very large IT budget...and are usually gone by the time management accountability reckons upon the scene. (n 15 years at AT&T I had 9 IT VPs.) If you are a senior technically competent mainframer, you are constantly in a very serious political bind. The HR folks have lost control of what is needed also...they just do what they are told. Get the perfect candidate...Yes? Lockheed Martin, AT&T, Storage Tek and EMC have been my employers over a 25 period...and the mainframe competency in extremely large, critical and complicated scenerios is very weak..but the political finger of woe is very strong. I can tell stories of extremely fiery, incompetent, yet arrogant managers that really hold sway in corporate meetings. Have you ever had a VP of Wachovia, say, stick a finger in your chest after you had delivered a excellent presentation...and to his chagrin his own technical folks did not understand the nitty gritty details you brought out during the presentation? Sorry, this is a bit of a rush job...Regards,Steve,SAK CONSULTING, INC> Reply
Oct 10, 2006 1:02 AM Peter Jones Peter Jones  says:
In the UK this arguement is flaccid.We have some 9 million jobless of those around 3.4 million are skilled or high skilled workers competing for some 3.2 million vacancies in the economy. Of those skilled workers we have many well qualified IT workers who are excluded by agism or simly not considered by employers because they don't have a job.Many companies have fired internal HR recruitment functions to cash and rely on external resources to undertake this function who rarely tap the full potential of skills in the market.In short information accumulated solely on the demand side of the equasion gives inaccurate results.Perhaps for the first time track data from the supply side BEFORE making such asumption. Reply
Oct 10, 2006 1:05 AM Peter Jones Peter Jones  says:
In the UK this arguement is flaccid.We have some 9 million jobless of those around 3.4 million are skilled or high skilled workers competing for some 3.2 million vacancies in the economy. Of those skilled workers we have many well qualified IT workers who are excluded by agism or simply not considered by employers because they don't have a job.Many companies have fired internal HR recruitment functions to save cash and rely on external resources to undertake this function who rarely tap the full potential of skills in the market.In short information accumulated solely on the demand side of the equation gives inaccurate results.Perhaps for the first time track data from the supply side BEFORE making such asumption. Reply

Post a comment

 

 

 

 


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have 1200 characters left.

 

null
null

 

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Sign up now and get the best business technology insights direct to your inbox.