When examining the economy today, the outlook can seem pretty glum. Unemployment is at the highest rate it’s been in years, 7.2%1. Additionally, many major metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Detroit and Phoenix are listed in the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s fastest shrinking labor markets. However, even among this generally bad news there is a wide variance in the severity of this slowdown depending on elements like geography, industry or education level. For example, among college grads the unemployment rate remains relatively low at 3.7% and professions like education, government and health care remain steady2. There are even major markets like, Dallas, Seattle and Washington D.C. that are on Forbes Top 10 Job Growth List for 2009.
The IT Reality
While this is all seemingly good news for the sector, there is also the reality that there remains a shortage of IT skill-sets with a specific demand for workers with cross-over skills including business analysts and project managers. Many IT professionals think that possessing IT certifications is enough, but it is more important to demonstrate one’s business insight and impact on strategic business initiatives. Additionally, fewer undergrads are declaring Computer Science or Computer Engineering as a major, which will contribute to this on-going tight supply of top IT talent.
According to several industry surveys with IT executives (including Computerworld’s 2008 Vital Signs survey) some of the most in-demand skills are:
What Does All This Mean?
1, 2, 4, 5, 6: The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Published and Unpublished Data
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