JobWatch: more jobs, same pay

The IT industry seems to be doing well at providing jobs for those who are looking. That's good news — except for those expecting a big pay packet.

The IT industry seems to be doing well at providing jobs for those who are looking. That's good news — except for those expecting a big pay packet.

The recently released Clarius Skills Index (PDF), compiled by KPMG Econtech, shows that professional computing jobs (it is most likely referring to what others call "ICT") are fairly balanced between the demand for staff and the availability of suitable qualified contenders.

Four years ago, before the global financial crisis (GFC), Clarius reported a high skills shortage in the sector, a shortage more severe than in most other industries and professions. (These days, the only shortage seems to be for mechanical engineers and chefs — blame MasterChef).

Our own survey of recruitment consultants* supported the Clarius findings for the ICT sector as a whole, but we saw a big variation in the type of jobs available. Basically, the more delivery-focused the role, the greater the demand. Conversely, there was far less call for folks engaged in strategy, marketing and product management.

Our panel was asked which specific jobs are currently being sought, so that we could see any discrepancies between availability and demand. It's those strategic and customer-facing jobs that people seemed to be having the most difficulty in finding a job; in the other direction, we found that hardware and network engineers are in shortest supply.

Overall, it seems that the ICT jobs market is expected to pick up, although Nicole McCann at Whizdom in Canberra notes that the market always tends to slow this late in the year. Michael Postle at Beyond Recruitment in Brisbane suggests that the washout from the GFC and ongoing crisis in Europe is making the market a little jumpy, but says that support roles for the resources sector will remain in demand.

While recruiters on our panel expect job supply to pick up slightly over the next six months, the distribution of job types in demand is expected to remain the same. The only slight shift is that general managers will move up the "jobs ladder" (see graph) from twelfth to eighth place. Marketers, however, remain resolutely at the bottom and in oversupply.

Despite the vagaries of demand, our panel expects little movement in salary rates over the coming months.

Our findings also show that more jobs are being outsourced. Sales, admin, engineering and management roles are staying in-house, but most project-oriented work is being outsourced. That's a general trend that we will track each month with ZDNet's JobWatch.

* ZDNet Australia has created a "JobWatch Panel" for our monthly reports. If you wish to join this panel, email us your details.


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