Where Are All the Qualified IT People?


I recently wrote a post about data center managers saying at the recent Interop conference that they would rather hire candidates that were energetic and passionate and without hard IT skills rather than more experienced IT workers.


As a follow-up to that post, I found a recent report from ISC-Squared and Robert Half that showed that hiring managers need experienced network administrators (LAN and WAN), followed by desktop support and Windows administrators. The key word here is "experienced."


A separate but similar report by ISC-Squared shows that IT managers are looking for more security professionals, but they claim they cannot find qualified people to fill these positions.


As an unemployed security professional myself, I find this extremely hard to believe. The overall unemployment rate in the United States is currently 9.1 percent. More specifically, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the Information Technology sector (telecommunications, Internet service providers, and other information services as defined by the BLS) totals 5 percent annually. If we look at IT jobs on a monthly basis since January 2009 alone, the BLS rates are as follows:


  • January - 7.4 percent
  • February - 7.1 percent
  • March - 7.8 percent
  • April - 10.1 percent
  • May - 9.5 percent


Now, I couldn't find reliable statistics on the security profession alone. However, I think we can all agree that looking at the rate, either annualized or monthly, there is a percentage of security professionals who were displaced due to the economy. I find it hard to believe that given the unusually high rate of unemployment, that there are not qualified workers to fill these roles.


I think what these hiring managers really mean is that they don't want to pay IT workers what they are worth. They want to take advantage of the situation with the economy and get "deals" on workers, hiring experienced workers dirt cheap. I can say this because I have witnessed it first-hand. If you are a hiring manager and can't find an experienced IT worker to hire, you are the one who needs to be unemployed.


If you are an experienced, unemployed IT worker, please write to me and let me know your experiences in trying to find a job in this down economy.