The most recent Randstad Technologies IT Employee Confidence Index showed that, from Q1 2013 to Q2 2013, career confidence among IT workers rose slightly. While that level didn’t quite rise to the overall level of confidence among all industries, that doesn’t mean IT workers are pessimistic, especially when you take into account multiple related factors, Randstad Vice President, Growth Strategy & Development, Chris Mader, explained to IT Business Edge’s Kachina Shaw.
Shaw: Within the rise in career confidence in the whole group of IT workers surveyed, what factors do you believe lead 25 percent of those respondents to say they may lose their jobs in the next 12 months? Has this percentage fluctuated recently?
Mader: In all industries, there will always be employees not secure about their job security. In IT, 58 percent remain confident of their job security, so IT, overall, is very confident. Looking at the 25 percent saying they might lose their jobs, I would say the other data doesn’t indicate that will play out. This has been the slowest recovery in 20 years. And this most recent three to four years has been the slowest period. As related to job security, IT workers are still very confident. In relation, we can look at manufacturing job growth. That is an indicator for professional growth across other industries, and it is still quite steady. In the next three to six months, there is strong reason to be optimistic for growth.
Shaw: With so much attention focused on data-related hiring, in which industries are you seeing the most activity and what shape is that taking?
Mader: Job titles like business analyst, project manager and analysis consultant are all popping up. For people looking for the next big thing, Big Data is it. IT reinvents itself every two to three years. We’ve moved through stages like Y2K, then dotcom in the early 2000s, then the Web 2.0 and Internet boom. Now we’re seeing investments in mobile development among our customers, and with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), investments in IT and health care. Cloud projects are also prominent. In all of these, data and data analysis play a huge role, so during the next three to five years, that is definitely the next big thing.
Shaw: In addition to these areas, what industry do you think will be shaped by a data-driven focus?
Mader: Energy is one of the biggest. So many components go into the provision of energy, and data can play an important business component in using and storing energy. That is one to watch, if I had to pick one. Anywhere there is Big Data, there is an opportunity.
Shaw: Do you think that will lead to strong growth in both the private and public sectors?
Mader: Both, yes, but more so in the private sector, I think. And keep in mind that the trend in the past year of new [Randstad] scores is still quite positive. Outside of manufacturing, IT is the most optimistic sector, we find, and the difference between the two is splitting hairs. While it looks like employees may be more or less optimistic in certain shorter periods, overall, there is optimism in the IT industry.