Which Tech Jobs Are Recession-Proof?

Ann All

It's getting harder all the time to feign unconcern about the economy, with more companies announcing plans to lay off workers -- and not just in "obvious" sectors like financial services and housing.


Though the tech sector appeared to be faring better than many others, that was before companies like Nortel, Motorola and Sun Microsystems starting shedding large numbers of jobs. According to recruitment specialist Challenger Gray and Christmas, the tech sector will likely lose 180,000 jobs by years end.


So I was interested to see this listing of the 25 "most recession-proof jobs" compiled by Jobfox, based on the jobs listed by employers over the past four months.


The list shows movement in several tech professions. For instance, IT security is new to the list, at No. 20. This echoes what IT Business Edge has reported concerning several surveys that show security is one area where companies don't plan to cut IT spending.


A couple of tech professions dropped from the top 25, including database administration, testing/quality analysis and business analysis. Testing/quality analysis is one of those professions that companies are fairly quick to outsource if they are looking to cut costs. And perhaps it's difficult for companies to illustrate the value of a business analyst, when so many of them seemingly struggle to define what a BA does.


Oddly, with engineers reportedly in short supply, both mechanical engineering and electrical engineering dropped several spots on Jobfox's list. Technology executive moved up several spots, to reach No. 16 in October. Maybe that's why tech execs are feeling pretty secure about their jobs, or at least they were when I wrote about it in August.


Other tech jobs on the list: software development, which dropped from No. 3 to No. 5, and networking/system administration, which moved up from No. 8 to No. 7.


Professionals with college degrees are still doing better than those without degrees, says Jobfox CEO Rob McGovern, noting that the unemployment rate for degreed professionals was a "manageable" 3.1 percent in October, compared to an overall rate of 6.5 percent.

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