IT jobs growing to full recovery

IT jobs growing to full recovery

Analysts say the worst is over and predict a mid-2010 return to normal IT job growth

The IT jobs market is set to enter a new growth period with a full recovery by mid-2010, according to two analyst reports.

Kelly Executive’s principal consultant for the IT&T practice, Kushal Wijesundera, said the market had been improving for the past two months.

“It’s not as good as what it was two years back for IT people, but it’s much better than what it was six months ago,” he said. “The new year is definitely going to be more positive for job seekers.”

But not all sectors are experiencing strong growth, with IT infrastructure positions like project managers remaining relatively scarce.

“Infrastructure investment in it is still very low in comparison to what it was,” he said. “Project managers, network engineers – anyone and everyone who has a technical skill set that is associated more closely to hardware is affected as a result.”

In contrast, the principal consultant said business analysts with market knowledge, professionals with good database design and administration skills as well as business intelligence experts had improving job prospects.

Peoplebank COO, Peter Acheson, agreed with Wijesundera’s timeline for recovery and said there would not be a fast rebound of the jobs market.

“There’s no V-shaped recovery yet. I think we will see the market strengthen post-Christmas and by February-March we’ll be in a stronger market. I do think it will continue to get better each month,” he said.

Acheson attributed it to renewed business confidence and major ongoing IT projects.

“There are a number of big companies, including the four major banks, who have got large IT projects underway and they are starting to drive demand,” Acheson said. “They held back hiring of people for some time, but realistically there’s only so long they can hold off before those projects need to scale up.”

Both analysts agreed with predictions of a mid-2010 recovery of IT jobs to near full strength and said the worst was over.

“In an IT context [full recovery] means strong demand for people both in contracting and in permanent positions and we’ll be back in a market where we’ll start to see talent shortages as well,” Acheson said. “It wouldn’t take much to get back into a tight candidate market like we had in early 2008.

“I think by this time next year we’ll start seeing growth in IT salaries again in the 3-4 per cent annual range.”

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