Monday, November 24, 2008

Boston Tech Layoff Tracker

Doom

New England is headed for a "significant recession," according to the Wall Street Journal. Unemployment, currently 5.5% in Massachusetts, is projected to peak at 8.3% in mid-2010. These projections were released by The New England Economic Partnership (NEEP).

Gloom

More than two dozen technology-related companies in the metro Boston area have announced layoffs totaling more than 3,000 jobs. Xconomy, "the authoritative voice on the exponential economy", has begun tracking job losses via its Boston Tech Layoff Tracker.

Hope

Despite the doom and gloom, work is reasonably plentiful for technology workers with the right skills. According to a monthly report from Dice.com, demand in the Boston area remains reasonably strong for technology professionals with the following skills and experience:

The Top 10 Skill Sets most in-demand at Dice.com are listed here.

Project management experience is valued more than any other skill except for Java. According to a survey published in The Dice Report (pdf) here are the three best ways to demonstrate project management skills in your job hunt:

Access Boston Still Presents Niche Opportunities at Dice.com for details.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

2008 State New Economy Index

Despite gloomy economic headlines, the long-term future for technology workers in Massachusetts looks bright, according to two new reports.

2008 State New Economy Index

Massachusetts not only boasts championship sports teams, the state tops the standings in the 50-state New Economy league, according to 2008 State New Economy Index. Massachusetts finished in first place in 1999, 2002, and 2007, as well.

The State New Economy Index focuses on answering one single question: To what degree does the structure of state economies match the ideal structure of the New Economy?

The principal driver of the New Economy is the information technology revolution.

"This 'IT engine' is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. For the foreseeable future, the most promising New Economy advances will relate to a state’s ability to use information more effectively."

A press release is available from the Kauffman Foundation. A more detailed 88-page report (pdf) is available for free download.

Beacon Hill Institute’s Competitiveness Report

A second report reveals that Massachusetts continues to outperform all other states in technology, and ranks first in venture capital per capita, making it the most attractive state for startups. According to this report:
“A state is competitive if it has in place the policies and conditions that ensure and sustain a high level of per capita income and continued growth.”
The report reveals that Massachusetts ranks first among all 50 states in terms of its economic competitiveness, "its ability to attract and retain business and to provide a high standard of living for its residents over the long run."

A press release about Beacon Hill Institute’s Eighth Annual Competitiveness Report is available for review along with a detailed 68-page report (pdf).

Conclusion

Despite the near-term challenges in our economy, long-term prospects look bright for knowledge workers with technical skills that are valued in the marketplace.

One strategy for surviving an economic downturn is to focus on upgrading technical skills that help organizations deliver superior service to their customers. A list of the Top 20 Web-related skills that offer the greatest potential appears in the right-hand column.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Computerworld | Salary Survey 2008

Computerworld released the results of its 22nd annual survey this week. More than 7,000 information technology (IT) workers participated in this year's survey.

The results identify three job categories that received higher-than-average pay hikes over the past year. According to the survey's authors these three types of positions will continue to be in high demand -- even in a down economy:

Skills that are expected to grow in importance in the coming years include the following Web-based technologies:

Staff and Entry-level Positions

Here are the average compensation figures for Web-related positions identified as either staff or entry level [salary + bonus = total compensation]:

A chart of other staff and entry-level positions is available for review along with charts for Mid-Level Salaries and Senior-Level Salaries. In addition a Smart Salary Tool is available to help you pinpoint compensation by job title, industry and location.

Check out the Computerworld 2008 Salary Survey to access an interactive map allowing you to View Salaries by Region. Additional articles include "Twelve Ways to Pump Up Your Paycheck" and "Satisfaction, Security & Stress."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Boston Market | November 2008

The crisis in the financial markets continues. This uncertainty has now spilled over into the technology job markets.

The list of Top 20 Web Technologies in Boston has been updated for November and the sea of red down arrows appears in the right-hand column.

Growth of Knowledge Workers Low, Job Vacancies High

While it would be easy to focus on doom and gloom, our challenge is to set our sights on a future of opportunity. For example, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce released a report last week that points to opportunities for those who develop technology skills.

"The data reveals a worrisome trend: Greater Boston is not growing its skilled workforce fast enough to meet employers’ needs, and is unable to fill more than 90,000 job vacancies that exist each year in the region."

The report reveals that knowledge workers are the key to future growth and that many companies are finding it increasingly difficult to attract knowledge workers with the right collection of skills.

"Although staffing difficulties were unique to each firm, it was clear that for many businesses, technical and financial skills are highly valued."

So, developing technical skills offers long-term career opportunities in today's market place. These skills will become increasingly valued as society advances and an aging workforce contemplates retirement.

A press release summarizing Greater Boston’s Challenge: Sustaining the Talent Advantage is available for review along with a link to a more detailed report in pdf format.

Yes We Can

If you are anxious about the future, take time out -- 17 minutes -- and reflect on a better tomorrow.

"This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can."
President-Elect, Barack Obama, November 4, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008

2009 Salary Guide | Robert Half Technology

Robert Half Technology provides resources for those hiring in the information technology field. The just-released Salary Guide for 2009 features projected starting salary ranges for 65 information technology (IT) positions, as well as an overview of current hiring trends.

Two in-demand IT positions related to the Web include the following:

Web Developers

Web developers are needed as a result of the expansion of Web 2.0 initiatives and interactive web functionality. This expansion has sparked demand for Web professionals experienced in the latest Internet technologies.

Starting salaries: $60,000 to $89,750

Programmer Analysts

Programmer analysts are needed to write code, test and debug software applications, and analyze business application requirements.

Skills required: .NET, SharePoint, Java and PHP

Salary range: $60,000 to $100,750

Complimentary Resources

Web technology professionals can request a free copy of the Robert Half Technology® 2009 Salary Guide by completing an online request form.

Creative professionals can also request a free copy of The Creative Group® 2009 Salary Guide which provides starting salaries for approximately 100 creative, advertising, marketing, web and public relations positions. This Guide also includes information on major hiring trends and localized salary levels for major markets. A phone call is required to obtain a copy of this guide for creative professionals.

Both Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group are Robert Half International Companies.

A press release summarizes the findings from its work in placing accounting, finance, technology, and administrative professionals and identifies job market bright spots for 2009.

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