2011: A Better Year for IT Jobs?

Charlene OHanlon
U.S. President Barack Obama took to the airwaves for his annual State of the Union address, floating a sea of civility that has overtaken government, albeit if only for a short while. The topics of discussion were much the same as in years past-jobs, economic growth and competitiveness (both in education and in trade). No major bombshells were dropped, nothing came out of the blue. Obama took the middle road and promised steady progress as the country moves forward.

This time around, however, it seems as though the Obama administration is really serious about job creation. The health care reform debate that has shadowed the first two years of Obama's presidency also sucked the life out of pretty much any other important government goal, to the detriment of the country. But now that health care reform is, for all intents and purposes, a done deal, Obama and his staff seem ready to take on the challenge of job creation.

Interestingly enough, now that the focus has shifted on job creation, the market is responding. I don't know enough about economics to make an informed decision, but I could swear companies were just waiting for the 'go ahead' to start hiring again. A renewed sense of security now that it looks like someone is once again driving the bus? Perhaps, but whatever the reason, I'll take it.

My perceptions notwithstanding, jobs are being created. A recent study by the Milliken Institute ranked the top 10 states in science and tech jobs, with Massachusetts coming in at the top, followed by Maryland and Colorado. (Wondering where your state landed? Check out the rankings here.) According to the institute, the index tracks and evaluates every state's tech and science capabilities and its success at converting those assets into companies and high-paying jobs.

Other indicators also point to job growth in 2011. According to IHS Global Insight, an economic consulting firm, the majority of job creation will occur in the private sector, with health care, IT and retail leading the way. Meanwhile, global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas noted that job cuts in the IT sector were down a whopping 73 percent in 2010 over 2009-a sure sign that the economy is improving if ever there was one. Says John A. Challenger, CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas in a release announcing the results:

These firms are definitely on the leading edge of the recovery, as companies across the country and around the globe begin to upgrade and reinvest in their technology. The surge in smart phones and tablets alone is helping to drive growth in electronics, telecom and computers.

To be sure, we're not going to get back to pre-recession employment numbers for a long time. But at least now there's a glimmer of hope for the unemployed-something they haven't seen in a few years. As Obama said in his State of the Union address:

The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn't discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember, for all the hits we have taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world.


Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jan 27, 2011 3:01 AM Analytics Consulting Analytics Consulting  says:
The intersection of IT, data, analytics, and business remains a long-term growth sector...people who excel in this area will have jobs as long as they want to work. Jaime @ Fitzgerald Analytics, a Best Small Firm to Work For according to Consulting Magazine in Sept 2010. Reply
Feb 1, 2011 9:02 AM mataj mataj  says:
Obama always does exactly the opposite of what he promises. We can therefore expect another lousy year. Reply
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Sep 13, 2011 11:09 AM prefabrik ev fiyatlar? prefabrik ev fiyatlar?  says:
out of the blue. Obama took the middle road and promised steady progress as the country moves forward. Reply
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Jan 10, 2012 11:01 AM Abdiel Technologies Abdiel Technologies  says:
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Jan 13, 2012 10:01 AM Abdiel Technologies Abdiel Technologies  says:
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