Demand for key IT skills remains high

Certain IT skills will remain in short supply over the next two years despite the financial downturn, according to the latest IT employment survey from the NCC
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Demand for IT skills in technologies such as Oracle, SAP, .NET and VMware will remain strong over the next two years despite poor economic conditions, according to a leading UK salary survey.

The 2009 Benchmark of Salaries and Employment Trends in IT survey from the National Computing Centre says one-third of respondents have experienced a shortage of candidates with certain key skills.

According to the survey, 33.7 percent of organisations highlight problems recruiting or retaining people with Oracle, SAP, .NET, web development, business analysis and network support skills. Expertise in areas of growing importance such as VMware, virtualisation, .NET, C#, security and the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) was also in short supply.

The NCC survey reports that perceived shortages had risen from "the very low level" of 6.8 percent in the previous year's survey to 7.9 percent. That is "not high but an indication that general IT skills shortages are emerging", the NCC report said, adding that it is "the highest perceived shortage reported in the survey since 2001".

Overall, the NCC reported that demand for systems and support staff is expected to grow to 10.2 percent over the next two years. When assessed on the basis of speciality, the highest predicted two-year demand growth rate is for systems development staff, with a predicted increase of 13.1 percent.

In terms of growth by sector, the IT services sector was leading with 80 percent of respondents saying they expected IT staff numbers to increase over the next two years by more than 20 percent. Government and finance were two other areas predicting increases.

The NCC survey is based on the responses of 202 organisations, represents 6,461 IT staff, and was collated during August and September 2008. The survey is available free to members of the NCC but otherwise costs £330.

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