Research: IT Jobs Crawling Back

A number of vendors are experiencing a rocky quarter, but the jobs market may be stabilizing

April 20, 2005

2 Min Read
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This earnings season has gotten off to a rocky start for a number of key technology vendors, but its not all bad news. Research suggests that the IT job market remains buoyant.

Last week IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) sent shockwaves through the financial markets with its first-quarter results, and a number of other vendors are also enduring a tough quarter (see IBM Reports Q1 Results and Foundry Faces Tough Times).

There has been plenty of hype surrounding the IT industry’s putative resurgence over recent months, although IBM and Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) woes suggest that maybe it’s still too early to crack open the champagne (see Are We out of the Woods Yet?).

But research says that the IT jobs market remains unaffected by the industry’s current wobble. A recent survey of more than 1,400 CIOs from U.S. companies, conducted by consultancy Robert Half Technology, reported that execs feel pretty upbeat about IT hiring in the second quarter of 2005 (see CIO Survey Forecasts Stable Hiring).

Some 12 percent of CIOs polled by Robert Half Technology plan to add full-time IT staff during this quarter, while just 3 percent anticipate personnel cutbacks.With so many job vacancies now posted on the Internet, trends in online advertising also provide an insight into the IT sector’s health. Richard Milgram, CEO of 4Jobs.com, an online employment network, believes that the IT sector is still in the pink.

According to research released today by 4Jobs.com, IT jobs represented 23 percent of jobs posted on the network, or 40,250 vacancies, in the first quarter of 2005. This was up from the previous quarter, when technology jobs accounted for 21 percent of ads, or 27,300 vacancies.

But Milgram warns that firms are taking a very considered approach to their employment plans. “We’re going to see growth in the lower-level technology jobs before the higher-level management positions,” he says.

Robert Half Technology identified a similar trend. With the memory of the recent slump in the IT industry still fresh in the minds of many CFOs, companies are being careful not to expand their IT departments too quickly.

So, where are the hottest places in the U.S. for IT recruitment at the moment? ”On a per capita basis, D.C., Delaware, and New Jersey are showing the highest IT job availability,” says Milgram.With the U.S. government currently on a mission to overhaul its IT infrastructure and improve cyber-security, the popularity of these regions, particularly D.C., comes as no surprise. The Department of Homeland Security, in particular, is one area expected to undergo massive growth (see Report: Feds Need Security).

4Jobs.com’s research also reveals that many IT professionals start hunting for jobs as an antidote to the Monday blues. Internet job searching peaks on Mondays between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. EST, according to the recruitment network.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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