Friday, June 06, 2008
Boston Market | June 2008
Robert Half Technology's quarterly IT Hiring Index and Skills Report was released this week. During the third quarter (July, August and September) more than three times as many chief information officers (CIOs) in the greater Boston area expect to add to their staff than reduce their staff:
- increase staff | 10%
- decrease staff | 3%
The vast majority of CIOs anticipate no change in staffing requirements.
IT Skills in Demand
Here are the Web-related skills that CIOs will be looking for over the next three months:
- Database management | 63%
- Microsoft .NET development | 24%
- Java development | 21%
- XML development | 18%
- Open source development | 18%
While CIO's remain optimistic about the next 90 days, the technology marketplace has shown considerable slowdown in the past 60 days. In early May demand fell for 19 of the Top 20 skills. This month demand fell further for all 20 of the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston. This list has been updated and appears in the right-hand column along with direct links to job postings for that skill.
This slowdown reflects, in part, a seasonal adjustment not uncommon as the summer months arrive. None-the-less, the average demand for Top 20 skills as represented by job listings that mention those skills is down 37% on average over the past 60 days.
Demand has declined the least for the following skills:
- HTML & CSS | 26%
- Flash | 26%
- Photoshop | 28%
- Ajax | 29%
Demand has declined the most for the following skills:
- ASP.NET | 50%
- Oracle | 47%
The Next Step
Web technology professionals looking to land work or upgrade to a higher-paying position should redouble their efforts over the summer months while others might become distracted.
Two areas to set measurable goals over the next 90 days are as follows:
- expand your skill-set
- expand your professional network
Stop . . . Start
One strategy to help focus your training efforts is to borrow a page from IBM's recent print advertising campaign:
"Stop selling what you have. Start selling what they need."
The professionals who manage information (CIOs) are telling us that they need database managers and developers (programmers) to provide access to that information. The survey results above correlate directly with the Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston listed on the right.
Here is a three-step plan for the next 90 days:
- Identify one Top 20 skill that you would like to improve | June
- Set out on a course of study by investing in a book | July
- Demonstrate your new skill in a Web-related project | August
Come Labor Day you'll be one step ahead of your competition at a time when organizations are likely to refocus their energies on expanding their workforce.