Recruitment heavyweight says outlook bright for tech jobs

IT&T recruitment heavyweight Hudson has issued an optimistic prediction on the job front for the rest of the year, despite concerns about the impact of offshoring.In a report released today, Hudson said the increased investment in business transformation projects, mainly in the financial services sector, has boosted the number of IT job placements across Australia by more than 40 percent compared to the same January to June period last year.

IT&T recruitment heavyweight Hudson has issued an optimistic prediction on the job front for the rest of the year, despite concerns about the impact of offshoring.

In a report released today, Hudson said the increased investment in business transformation projects, mainly in the financial services sector, has boosted the number of IT job placements across Australia by more than 40 percent compared to the same January to June period last year.

Hudson IT&T national practice manager Andrew Keayes said the outlook for the remainder of the year is positive, even though concerns persist in some quarters about the impact of offshoring.

"The outsourcing model persists with many companies continuing to outsource IT both overseas and locally. More than ever, companies are demanding that technology make a demonstrable contribution to the bottom line, serve customer needs and support the organisation's strategic plan. This combined with an impending IT talent shortage means that securing top talent must be a high priority for organisations in the short-term," Keayes said.

He added that the offshoring of low-end roles has not impacted on the need for high end and strategic roles in the industry. Australia has also been the recipient of offshoring jobs from Europe and America which creates opportunities for Australian workers.

Keayes said that selective outsourcing, or the outsourcing of certain areas which are outside the skills of an in-house team, is "very good for the health of the whole industry, particularly the small players."

The analysis of placement data reveals that blue chip business transformation projects have boosted job numbers and increased average placement salaries across a number of job categories over the last year.

"In our experience, IT sales and business development management lead the way with double-digit salary growth, closely followed by business analysts. Analyst programmers, IT management and help desk support have also experienced increases, though not to the same extent," says Keayes.

In the overall IT&T sector, sales roles and business development management rose by 17 percent, business analyst roles increased by 13 percent, analyst programmers is up by 8 percent while IT management and help desk went up by 5 percent.

Keayes believes that the 2003 salaries will not be sufficient for some roles, especially with the increased reliance on IT improving operations and securing competitive advantage.

Placements indicate that companies have shifted from reviewing legacy systems to focusing on securing networks and IT infrastructure. Investment in sophisticated new technologies such as .NET, Data Storage Systems, wireless, VoIP and Web services has employers recruiting significantly in these areas.

Salaries for graduates are still the same. However, Keayes said, that there is an overall positive outlook across the industry for IT students, especially as universities are providing courses to meet the IT skills that are most needed.

".NET is emerging as a skill of high demand, as many companies are moving to this platform. We are seeing that educational institutes are ensuring the market is prepared for this with many well qualified .NET students entering the market," Keayes said.

"We are walking into a very significant candidate shortage over the next few years, no question about that. Plus with the ageing workforce and birth rate going down, IT is going to be a high demand industry, even more so than today. I would predict that in 10 yeas time, IT people will be commanding a significantly high salary," he said.

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