Thursday, June 22, 2006

IT Labor Market Update

New online job ads increased in May according to The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine Data Series™. The number of new online job ads in May was slightly lower than the record levels in March. New England remains the region with the highest number of new online jobs. For every 100 workers there were 2.38 job ads.

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
One class to consider is Firewall Basics available for FREE at the HP Learning Center.