Information technology unemployment dips below 4%; skills hunt escalates: survey

Information technology unemployment dips below 4%; skills hunt escalates: survey

Summary: Demand is especially hot across all regions for IT professionals skilled in Java, .NET and mobile.

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TOPICS: CXO, IT Employment
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In what is good news for IT professionals and bad news for employers, the latest monthly survey out of Dice.com finds competition for technology talent escalating drastically.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that tech unemployment rate at 3.8% as of May 2011, well below the national average of 9.1%.

Dice's survey of nearly 900 hiring managers and recruiters that source, recruit and hire IT professionals, 65% anticipate hiring more technology professionals in the second half of 2011 than the preceding six months. Available positions are going unfilled a lot longer as well:

"The growth has reached a level where positions are staying open for months due to a shortage of qualified technology professionals. Of those respondents who report the time to fill a position is lengthening, 63% attribute talent shortages as the primary reason which compares to just 46% who felt that way six months ago."

Regions feeling the IT talent pinch the most: not Silicon valley yet, but the East and Midwest. About two-thirds of respondents from those areas are hiring IT professionals from outside their local talent pool to try and satisfy demand, Dice says.

Java is the skill most in demand across all regions of the country, Dice reports, followed by mobile technologies and .NET.  Here are some of the regional differences in demand Dice found:

East Midwest Northeast West
Java Java Java Java
Mobile .NET Mobile .NET
SAP Mobile .NET Mobile
.NET Sharepoint SAP Ruby on Rails
Security clearance SAP Web developers Database Administrators
Source: Dice

Topics: CXO, IT Employment

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  • Information technology unemployment dips below 4%

    Excellent information Joe, it's good to know.
    khess
  • Scarcity of IT skills getting worst

    Returning to the roaring 90's. Unix & Java ruling the skillsets, money on offering dropping significantly to the .NET script kiddies. Don't complain you weren't warned;-)

    And it just beginning. IT skills dropping off as fewer enter the field, and many of those that do have poor detailed knowledge (think that clicking in windows control panels is all that's required).

    As said before, a great time to be in IT.
    Richard Flude
    • RE: Information technology unemployment dips below 4%

      @Richard Flude

      Why should young people want to go into IT when they see IT jobs bleeding off to India and South America? I'm actually shocked that IT unemployment is so low. I'm curious as to why it is. Is it because there are fewer jobs to have or is it because former IT people are going into different careers. That would be an interesting study.
      Kind of makes you wonder if Shakespeare's publisher would have hired those 1,000 monkeys, paid for the 1,000 typewriters, a monkey wrangler, a monkey pooper scooper and still saved a few virtual shillings by having them write his works. The correct answer is 'NO.' Shakespeare did a better job.
      khess
      • RE: Information technology unemployment dips below 4%; skills hunt escalates: survey

        @khess

        It depends on the role, some positions, like PM and especially BA, are hard to offshore. Also, even with development, although the majority of the work may be outsourced most companies still want a core of high quality developers to fix urgent problems that arise or do small enhancements as the turnaround time is faster.
        OffsideInVancouver
      • I don't want them to

        The fewer the better IMO. Contracts available today for the qualified are up with the Y2K gold rush. I'm loving it!
        Richard Flude
      • RE: Information technology unemployment dips below 4%; skills hunt escalates: survey

        @khess
        Well, me being a programmer living in South America, I don't take it well that you should compare me with a monkey, not only is it racist and ethnocentrist, it is BS. If I as a programmer can stand next to any programmer in the world, why would I not participate in the job offerings like everyone else? Because I am on the other side of an imaginary boundary? Because you say so? No my boy, that's not happening, and I will take the jobs I have to take to bring food to my familys table. The internet leveled the field, so be prepared to fight with your own merits and skills and not your birth certificate or pedigree.

        Get over yourself, you would get the jobs if you were better or more skilled. Please understand, being American doesn't make you better than anyone else, being in the US is not really an advantage. I live in a free democratic country too, have full medical coverage and access to all the same technology you do, perhaps better in many aspects; and I love my daughter the same way any other monkey parent would and will stop at nothing to give her a better life.

        So keep your racist remarks to yourself and go polish your skills if you want to compete in the global market.
        willfordcr
      • Opportunities never end..

        @khess:

        I am working in a Company from Pakistan that outsources its Service across South America, north america, some parts of the UK and in mid-east asia. We see no hurdles taking opportunities and working for these off-shore companies from our Country. All what you need is communication at your best possessing all your skills and hardwork. The global market is open for Every1 and Everywhere.
        razausmani
      • RE: Information technology unemployment dips below 4%; skills hunt escalates: survey

        @khess,<br><br>IMHO...The demand for onshore talent is up. The supply for new IT talent is down because of speculation of the impact of offshoring has discouraged alot of people entering the industry. I have worked with offshore counterparts for nearly 10 years, and the skills and competency levels are no different than our own. I am ashamed at alot of the really racist rhetoric on these forums coming from my American colleagues. I can only guess that it is fueled by fear, and that fear I do feel myself sometimes and I understand where it is coming from.<br><br>That being said, application development that is serving onshore clients usually isn't executed completely by offshore resources. While offshore resources offer a cost advantage, there are obstacles that keep them from being successful on their own. The time difference, only being available via teleconference make it difficult for business partners to communicate requirements, give feedback and get status from developers on the project working abroad. In the end, when you want an answer, it's nice to be able to go in and sit on someone's desk and get it.<br><br>So, usually developers working on projects onshore are experienced developers tasked with driving the initiative. The problem with this is: if we aren't educating and hiring entry level developers onshore, that pool of experienced talent is going to run dry.
        bmonsterman
      • Don't read too much into it

        @willfordcr

        Don't read too much into the monkey thing. There is an old thought exercise around, if you took a bunch of monkeys and had them randomly hit keys how long before they could write a work of Shakespeare? More a comparison to random data entry. A lot of the work produced by outsourcing is pretty awful but it has nothing to do with the guy on the other end being as dumb as a monkey.

        For example, there are plenty of smart, hard-working, skilled I/T people in India. But there is also high demand for that talent due to the booming I/T industry there. My best people are always leaving for better opportunities, and I have to constantly filter out "Senior Developers" that don't understand the basics of a FOR loop and just hopped in to try and ride the boom. The US had the same problem with tech talent during the late 90s but the tech crash weeded out the field immensely.

        Throw in cultural barriers, time zone differences and the fact that many outsourcing jobs involve firing everyone who knew how to do the job and then expecting it to magically happen the next day in another country with no real transition. I work with what is now a very solid developer team in India, but it took many years and a lot of effort to develop that team and develop the relationships necessary for it to function well.

        I also work with a fair number of people in Brazil and in some ways it's an easier transition due to the more compatible time zones and fewer cultural differences, but there are still many of the same issues.
        SlithyTove
      • RE: Information technology unemployment dips below 4%; skills hunt escalates: survey

        @khess - I apologize on the behalf of those trying to make this a "racial" issue. Not everybody knows about the old quote about giving a bunch of monkeys some typewriters and eventually they'd reproduce the works of William Shakespeare. A British sci-fi TV show also used the same joke back in 1983... Google would reveal the complete origins of the phrase as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem (it's wikipedia, but they're not the only source.) Maybe Aristotle can be accused of racism, since the concepts involved go way back to his time.
        HypnoToad72
    • Yeah... grammar isn't faring well, either...

      @Richard Flude<br><br>or reading comprehension, for that matter. Nowhere in the article does the author mention 'Unix', yet that was your first takeaway.
      SonofaSailor
      • To understand Java, you must understand Unix

        That's its background. Sure windows developers try the transition, yet unable to understand the way application servers are configured. So spare me your lessons, I hire these people.<br><br>Then we can add the issues of running Java EE AS on windows;-)
        Richard Flude
  • IT and Accounting

    When economic times are tough two jobs seem to be in demand. Those would be IT and Accounting. IT to implement technology to make thing more productive with less staff and Accounting to find areas to to cut budgets to save money usually the reason for the less staff.

    Of course all this technology that gets implement which is supposed to save on man power usually end up the opposite as time goes on. Some projects get implemented where they make a area more productive only to bottleneck down the road when it causes staff demands to increase because one sector of business is more productive where others are not. IT can't solve everything but it can cut cost in the short term in an economic downturn but in the long run it create more jobs than it cuts. At least that's what I've noticed in 15 years with only one exception being the DotCom bubble.
    voska1
  • Uhh. Mobile & .NET are also on demand across all regions...!

    Not sure why the author put Java alone in the bold. Infact SAP is also on demand except West, which's understandable, as most SAP customers are on BFSI.
    jinishans
  • I see mostly coding positions in that list...

    Nothing wrong with that... thank God I got out of that space - 95% of it is boring form based business logic, no matter the platform or language.
    betelgeuse68
  • Where is the Talent?: The Truth About IT

    Are there really too few qualified IT candidates?

    Or too many catch-all job descriptions that blur several types of IT jobs into one description?

    Might a law firm who only wants an IT person that worked in law, and the healthcare agency that only wants the IT person who came from healthcare be part of the problem?

    Let's not forget the proprietary niche software that any given industry uses --- those are "must have" job requirements, too. (And one reason employers don't want to transfer IT talent across industries.)

    If those aren't bad enough, there's always the job ad that requires a specific VERSION of the software or hardware brand. So you supported HP and not DELL in your last job. In the eyes of far too many hiring managers, that means you can't be expected to figure anything whatsoever out about a DELL --- even though it, too, is a PC. Or perhaps you ran MS Server 2003 and they want 2008 (as if there is absolutely 0 percent commonality between revisions). There is a view in IT that knowledge is non-transferable. Can you imagine how fast your doctor would go out of business if the health care insurance companies refused to admit a doctor into a network who had gone to medical school before the newest crop of drugs or treatment modalities hit the market --- because it was assumed such a doctor were lacking in "talent" (obsolete)?

    There's yet another facet to the chaos in IT: By underpaying their IT staff and valuing their access to sensitive company information so little, is it any wonder that the news now carries stories each month, if not every single week, where a major corporation gets hacked? There's going to come a day, thanks to this all-eggs-in-one-digital-basket phenomena, where it will be hard to meet someone on the street who does NOT have a story to tell about an ordeal involving identity theft. One contributory factor: You can't have "continuity of security" if you're continually shoving a merry-go-round of IT personnel through your corporate doors, and contracting out anything and everything else (including overseas where consumer protection laws are nil).

    Consumers, too, are bound to realize sooner or later that poor hiring practices in IT mean poor security and/or major inconveniences. Just look at the major shutdown of Continental/American Airlines computers and how it resulted in so many canceled flights. Sometimes it pays to keep a paper trail ---- but again, paper isn't recyclable and computer systems last forever, right?

    In my view, there are plenty of qualified IT candidates with a shortage of realistic job descriptions. I know someone with 20 years in IT and he's routinely passed over. Ageism has something to do with not wanting the qualified candidates --- what with the stereotypical image a young, male geek. And that, in itself, is ironic because the entry-level applicant who fits the youthful geek image is the most likely to lack the broad-ranging or depth-of-experience requirements employers want.

    What goes on in IT hiring wouldn't fly anywhere else. Try asking a medical doctor to know everything outside his/her specialty. Even after 8 years in med school, that's not expected. But for $15 per hour in IT you better have it ALL.

    Outsourcing, too, has made HR lazy. They don't place a value on employee mentorship and they seemingly don't want their applicants to learn on the job. If you write job descriptions that exacting, who's left for you to hire but to literally steal talent from your direct competition?

    When an applicant has put in 5 or more years in IT, the hiring process should involve some common sense: For one, the hiring metrics should be APTITUDE-based. How fast and how accurately can you master new skill sets? Why might that matter? For the same reason a graphic artist doesn't have to work for a bank to design a bank logo. What we have instead is the wild-wild West where normal hiring expectations don't apply in IT.

    The talent shortage in IT is a perceptual issue, too. I would venture to guess that IT candidates are more likely than janitors, secretaries, nurses, teachers or the like to exaggerate or outright lie on their application to get where they are, only to "burn" their employer by failing to deliver --- reinforcing the PERCEPTION of too little talent.

    Perhaps these organizations and companies ought to begin questioning their own contribution to the recruitment problem. Thinking, however, is hard. Outsourcing --- going across oceans and continents to locate cut-rate H1-B1 material --- is easier. Go figure.

    Yes, it's a blunt assessment but nonetheless true: employers have a difficult time finding the IT staff they need. They do, however, obtain the IT personnel they deserve.
    NewsView
  • Where is the Talent?: The Truth About IT

    Are there really too few qualified IT candidates?

    Or too many catch-all job descriptions that blur several types of IT jobs into one description?

    Might a law firm who only wants an IT person that worked in law, and the healthcare agency that only wants the IT person who came from healthcare be part of the problem?

    Let's not forget, too, the proprietary niche software that any given industry is using --- those are "must haves" too. (And one reason employers don't want to transfer IT talent across industries.)

    If those aren't bad enough, there's always the job ad that requires a specific VERSION of the software or hardware brand. So you supported HP and not DELL in your last job. In the eyes of far too many hiring managers, that means you can't be expected to figure anything whatsoever out about a DELL --- even though it, too, is a PC. Or perhaps you ran MS Server 2003 and they want 2008 (as if there is absolutely 0 percent commonality between revisions). There is a view in IT that knowledge is non-transferable. Can you imagine how fast your doctor would go out of business if the health care insurance companies refused to admit a doctor into a network who had gone to medical school before the newest crop of drugs or treatment modalities hit the market --- because it was then assumed they were lacking in "talent" (obsolete)?

    There's yet another facet to the chaos in IT: By underpaying their IT staff and valuing their access to sensitive company information so little, is it any wonder that the news now carries stories each month, if not every single week, where a major corporation gets hacked? There's going to come a day, thanks to this all-eggs-in-one-digital-basket phenomena, where it will be hard to meet someone on the street who does NOT have a story to tell about an ordeal involving identity theft. One contributory factor: You can't have "continuity of security" if you're continually shoving a merry-go-round of IT personnel through your corporate doors, and contracting out anything and everything else (including overseas where consumer protection laws are nil).

    Consumers, too, are bound to realize sooner or later that poor hiring practices in IT mean poor security and/or major inconveniences. Just look at the major shutdown of Continental/American Airlines computers and how it resulted in so many canceled flights. Sometimes it pays to keep a paper trail ---- but again, paper isn't recyclable and computer systems last forever, right?

    In my view, there are plenty of qualified IT candidates with a shortage of realistic job descriptions. I know someone with 20 years in IT and he's routinely passed over. Ageism has something to do with not wanting the qualified candidates --- what with the stereotypical image a young, male geek. And that, in itself, is ironic because the entry-level applicant who fits the youthful geek image is the most likely to lack the broad-ranging or depth-of-experience requirements employers want.

    What goes on in IT hiring wouldn't fly anywhere else. Try asking a medical doctor to know everything outside his/her specialty. Even after 8 years in med school, that's not expected. But for $15 per hour in IT you better have it ALL.

    Outsourcing, too, has made HR lazy. They don't place a value on employee mentorship and they seemingly don't want their applicants to learn on the job. If you write job descriptions that exacting, who's left for you to hire but to literally steal talent from your direct competition?

    When an applicant has put in 5 or more years in IT, the hiring process should involve some common sense: For one, the hiring metrics should be APTITUDE-based. How fast and how accurately can you master new skill sets? Why might that matter? For the same reason a graphic artist doesn't have to work for a bank to design a bank logo. What we have instead is the wild-wild West where normal hiring expectations don't apply in IT.

    The talent shortage in IT is a perceptual issue, too. I would venture to guess that IT candidates are more likely than janitors, secretaries, nurses, teachers or the like to exaggerate or outright lie on their application to get where they are, only to "burn" their employer by failing to deliver --- reinforcing the PERCEPTION of too little talent.

    Perhaps these organizations and companies ought to begin questioning their own contribution to the recruitment problem. Thinking, however, is hard. Outsourcing --- going across oceans and continents to locate cut-rate H1-B1 material --- is easier. Go figure.

    Yes, it's a blunt assessment but nonetheless true: employers have a difficult time finding the IT staff they need. They do, however, obtain the IT personnel they deserve.
    NewsView