Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Two Jobs Reports

Despite a weak jobs report that stirred concern on Wall Street late last week, two new surveys suggest that a strong jobs market is expected to continue for information technology (IT) workers.

The EDGE Report

The Employment Dynamics and Growth Expectations (EDGE) Report was released last week. The report concludes that employers are finding that workers are most difficult to recruit in the following category:

In particular the three most challenging positions to fill are as follows:

  1. sales
  2. customer service
  3. information technology

Here are the three primary reasons why companies say they are finding it difficult to fill vacant positions [ percentage of respondents ]:

  1. shortage of qualified workers [ 52% ]
  2. inability to offer competitive compensation [ 19% ]
  3. inability to offer career advancement opportunities [ 6% ]

The survey includes responses from more than 1,000 hiring managers and 900 workers, and was conducted from mid-July to early-August by Harris Interactive on behalf of Robert Half International (RHI) and CareerBuilder.com.

An eight-page summary (pdf) of The EDGE Report is available for download.

RHT IT Hiring Index & Skills Report

A quarterly report from Robert Half Technology takes a closer look at the IT market by surveying chief information officers (CIOs). While 14 percent of CIOs polled expect to add IT staff in the fourth quarter of this year, only two percent anticipate cutbacks.

Here are a few questions and responses that are relevant to Web technology professionals:

"Within your IT department which single job area is experiencing the most growth?"

"Which of the following technical skill sets are most in-demand within your IT department?"

A press release of the Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index & Skills Report is available along with links to Hot IT Jobs and IT Skills in Demand.

Summary

These two reports suggest that technology workers are expected to have more career options than many other workers through the remainder of the year. However, not all technology skills have the same demand profile.

Web professionals who are targeting organizations with 100 or more employees for employment opportunities will do well to highlight experience with the following Microsoft-centric technologies:

Open source advocates can consider making the transition by downloading MySQL and developing a solid command of Structured Query Language (SQL).

Conclusion

More than 1,800 job postings in the greater Boston area currently list SQL among their requirements, making it the most in-demand Web-related skill and a core component of database-driven Web 2.0 sites. Can you afford not to structure your technical skills around SQL?



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