Bright spots for tech in a dark economic picture

Bright spots for tech in a dark economic picture

The outlook for employment, particularly in the tech sector, is not as dismal as first thought

Companies know that in order to stay competitive and ensure that they can survive beyond the economic downturn, they'll need to stay on top of the latest technological advancements. This is particularly true when it comes to security.

Fraudsters and cyberthieves are increasingly adept at stealing sensitive information. In cases where thieves are successful, businesses can suffer financially, in addition to losing customer trust -- a loss that can have severe consequences.

Seeing green

Another trend currently driving the tech job market is the environmental movement. As Americans' environmental consciousness continues to increase, there is a growing demand for virtualization and "green" technologies that can help reduce the carbon footprints of businesses and individuals.

More and more companies are experimenting with work-from-home options and are in need of technologies that will keep these remote workers connected to colleagues, databases and systems. As long as environmental preservation remains a priority for businesses and consumers, workers who possess the skills and talent necessary to develop and advance these technologies will continue to be in strong demand.

In the end, employees who can create value, reduce costs, enhance product development and improve the customer experience will always be in demand, even as the economy struggles. The skills that are not related to core business functions or that are outdated -- such as skills required to maintain legacy programs -- will be the least required and the most likely to be eliminated if job cuts become necessary.

According to the CDW IT Monitor, 51 percent of all businesses are expecting IT budget increases in the next six months. Combined with the already solid hiring trends and stable wages of tech pros, and the anticipated growth of IT staffs among midsize companies, the employment outlook in the tech sector is promising.

The belief that technology is the bellwether of overall wages and employment is fairly widely accepted. With strong wages and hiring in the tech sector, we can anticipate that these positive trends will spill over into other areas of the economy and improve employment in other sectors -- important steps toward pulling the country out of its current troubling state.

Jim Lanzalotto is vice president of strategy and marketing at Yoh, a leading provider of high-impact talent and outsourcing services and a unit of Day & Zimmermann. For more information, please visit or contact him directly at

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