Murky IT Jobs Picture Grows More So

Susan Hall

Gotta love the conflicting headlines I'm seeing.

 

For example:

 

 

In the Internet Retailer piece, management consultants Janco Associates looked at the Labor Department numbers released Friday and found the IT sector gained 2,600 jobs in February, making just 7,300 IT jobs added in the past 12 months. Of course, analysts at Foote Partners argue that the Labor Department's antiquated way of defining tech jobs produces numbers that don't tell the whole story, since many roles combine business and IT functions.

 

Victor Janulaitis, Janco's CEO, is quoted saying:

The data for the IT sector shows continued stress in telecommunications with a loss of 43,700 jobs in the past 12 months, which is countered with a growth of 48,500 jobs in computer system design and related services. The overall growth of the 7,300 jobs is not enough to cover the recent college graduates and does not bode well for the Class of 2011.

At the same time, this NPR post paints a far rosier picture of the job market for tech geeks fresh out of school.


 

Here are Janco's IT employment figures broken down into the four sectors the Labor Department tracks, with percentage change from February 2010:

 

  • Telecommunications: -4.76 percent. (When I interviewed Hyoun Park, research analyst in telecom and unified communications for Aberdeen Group, he had some career advice for telecom folks looking to transition to unified communications.)
  • Data processing, hosting and related services: -3.10 percent.
  • Other information services: 7.32 percent.
  • Computer systems design and related services: 3.40 percent.

 

Meanwhile, the Job Spectrum article draws from the Robert Half Professional Employment Report, which I mentioned last week. Based in part on interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs, the survey found a 7 percent net gain in projected IT hiring, compared with a 5 percent gain in hiring across companies overall.

 

Forty-three percent reported difficulty in finding IT pros with the right skills and named these as the most in demand: Windows administrators, network administrators and help desk and desktop support professionals. The top industries for tech jobs were finance, health care and wholesale.



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