Thursday, June 22, 2006
IT Labor Market Update
A closer look at the technology marketplace reveals that U.S. tech employment is near an all-time high while unemployment is around 3.0%, near its record low. According to a WashTech/CWA report unemployment is underreported and is actually around 3.6%. Any number less than 4% is below the national average for other sectors and suggests a healthy tech employment environment.
So where are the IT jobs? According to a quarterly survey of Chief Information Officers (CIOs), 13 percent of executives polled plan to add IT staff in the next three months and three percent anticipate cutbacks. The net 10 percent hiring increase is up two percentage points from the previous quarter’s forecast.
"As the employment market becomes more competitive, technology executives will need to focus their efforts on sound retention strategies," according to the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report.
When asked which technical skill sets were needed most within their IT departments, CIOs responded as follows (percent responding):
- Microsoft Windows administration (Server 2000/2003) (79%)
- network administration (Cisco, Nortel, Novell) (76%)
- database management (Oracle, SQL Server, DB2) (69%)
The implication for Web designers and developers is clear: to improve marketability formalize your training and expand your experience in the following two areas:
- Web server administration
- database-driven Web applications