Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Boston Market | Q1 2008

Technology workers will continue to weather the current economic turmoil better than many other professionals, according to John Challenger, CEO of outplacement and job recruitment firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The demand is expected to be stronger than average for technology workers with the following skills:

Challenger predicted in a recent interview that growth will be strong in the following two areas:

Boston Market | January

Despite Challenger's outlook, the job market continued to slow in December. There are fewer job postings in early January than there were in early December. This seasonal effect is typical in strong markets, as well as weak ones.

This quarterly report on the marketplace for technology professionals in the Boston metro area will look at bigger picture trends for 50 Web-related technologies.

Top 20 Web Technologies

There are fewer job listings this month than last month for 19 of the top 20 technologies. The lone exception:

The list of the most in-demand Web-related technologies has been updated and appears in the right-hand column along with links to job postings for that technology at Boston.com.

Nine Month Trend

Job opportunities peaked in the second quarter of 2008. On average there were a staggering THREE TIMES as many opportunities posted at Boston.com in April 2008 than there are today.

For example, SQL remains the most in-demand skill to add to your portfolio. Today, there are more than 500 postings that mention "SQL" in the job description. In April 2008 there were more than 1,500 postings! This ratio holds for each of the Top 10 skills listed in the right-hand column.

Good news: There are more than 500 postings for workers with SQL knowledge and experience! Database skills are in demand.

More good news: Job opportunities historically increase from January through April.

The Remaining 30 Skills

Here are a few popular Web-related skills that have not made the Top 20 list:

#29 Visual Studio | 40 (job listings)
#32 Illustrator | 30
#33 Dreamweaver | 28
#35 Ruby | 26
#39 InDesign | 20
#41 Rails | 19
#50 ColdFusion | 10

In addition, Web-related buzz words that simply do translate into job demand include the following:

Claiming expertise in these technologies will not likely improve your profile with technology recruiters. None of these technologies currently offer more than single-digit job opportunities.

The Next Step

In a challenging job market, it is wise to follow market demand trends and the Boston marketplace is pointing to the Top 20 Skills in the right-hand column. The best value in the market in January can be found in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN).

A one-day MSDN Developer Conference will travel through Boston on Thursday, January 22. Top 20 Skills that will be covered at this conference include the following:

#1 SQL
#4 SQL Server
#6 C#
#9 Web Services
#11 Ajax
#12 HTML & CSS
#20 IIS

If you are new to Microsoft's approach to Web development, this series of presentations can provide an overview of why Microsoft's technologies are in-demand. Getting in the door will require a $99 investment. Details are available at MDC Boston.

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