Weekly Word on the Street: IT Pros on 2012 Wish Lists

by Jim Staats | Dec 09, 2011

Takeaway of the week is an early holiday gift for the IT professional and job seeker alike. More reports, surveys and such are building on the perception that IT pros, especially those with specialty skills such as mainframe, Java and Android programming, will be big-ticket needs for firms in the coming year.


2012 Looks Bright for Tech Pros, New Survey Suggests A new report by Dice.com suggests

IT pros can expect a greater demand for their skills and less layoffs in the coming year.

The positive hiring forecast, which includes rising salaries for new hires and expanding staffs, is nearly identical to the midyear prediction posted in May by the IT jobs portal, an eWeek.com post notes.

The report finds technical professionals equipped with six to 10 years of experience can expect to be highly sought in the marketplace. Some 65 percent of the 1,200 IT hiring managers and recruiters surveyed said their firms plan to add industry pros in the first half of the coming year, with more than a quarter of those respondents expecting to grow staffs by more than 20 percent, according to the report.

Findings indicate experienced professionals will be especially in demand.

“Many companies are chasing mid-career talent,” said Alice Hill, Dice.com’s managing director. “The elevated economic uncertainty makes it tougher for hiring managers to lure tech professionals into leaving their current position.”


Got Java or Android? Get Linux.

Based on recent job postings, job seekers with skills in Java and Android are going to be hot commodities in the already hot Linux hiring front.

The Linux Foundation found those to be the two most-sought after skills for jobs posted on the Linux.com jobs board over the past three months, according to a PCWorld article.

The recent information pulled by the nonprofit dedicated to fostering Linux growth found that while a little over half of the jobs advertised seek Linux developers, the remainder are looking for Linux systems administrators.

Behind Java and Android, the next most keen skills being sought are C++, J2EE and MySQL. In terms of geography, foundation findings indicate that after the U.S., Australia represents the next biggest location for Linux openings, followed by Germany, the U.K., Canada and the Netherlands.

Note: CompTIA Linux+ Powered by LPI is a high-stakes, vendor-neutral certification that validates the fundamental knowledge and skills required of junior Linux administrators.


An IT Hot Job Six-Pack for 2012

IT staffing executives suggest good news for IT job seekers as the year turns to 2012 with six roles in particular pegged for big need and pay, a new CIO.com article posits.

The insiders predict the IT job market to build on its strong 2011 with even stronger positions, despite continued economic challenges, in 2012.

The six roles forecast to be in the greatest demand with some of the highest salaries offered include:

  1. Mobile application developers - Pros who can develop applications for the hotter-than-hot mobile device market will be in quite the enviable spot.
  2. Software developers - Despite the push for the mobile market, PC-based application writing remains a well-compensated need.
  3. User experience designers - The target audience of all these apps - the customer - needs experienced professionals who understand how to keep the offerings fun and intuitive.
  4. IT security professionals - As threats continue to come from any which way, companies will rely on IT pros who can fend off the perpetrators.
  5. Data warehouse architects, analysts and developers - Massive inflows of customer data being gathered today needs the right people to wrangle and mine it for tomorrow.
  6. Infrastructure professionals - Network engineers and systems administrators aren’t being pushed out the door by cloud computing. Rather, their increased necessity is being created by it.


Wanted: Mainframe Programmers

The bulk of Fortune 500 firms remain powered by mainframes, yet much of the personnel running it is reaching retirement with few following in their footstep, giving job seekers something to think about.

So says a recent InfoWorld article, which suggests the mainframe’s staying power and lack of qualified programmers make for a coming talent gap keen IT job seekers could position themselves to fill.

Mainframes are used for core business processes within financial services, banking and health care, industry executives note, with fewer students interested in learning how to run these systems in the age of tiny, mobile systems.

A Compuware survey of 520 CIOS in large enterprises noted that nearly three-quarters of the respondents were concerned about the looming skills shortage and what it could mean for their business. Industry players are predicting a mass exodus in the form of retiring mainframe programmers in coming years, which is creating the need - and a well-compensated one at that.

“These mainframe apps have decades of modifications and complexities built into them” and as a result, the folks willing to work on them earn more than if they work with other platforms, said Dayton Semerjian, general manager for mainframes at CA Technologies.


Report: Tech Employment, Salaries Rising

The technical industry added 7,100 jobs in November, nudging it ever closer to an all-time high, according to a new U.S. government report.

With overall employment in the tech industry at 4.068 million, up 2.1 percent from the previous year, the industry is ever-so-close to a high of 4.088 million workers set in June 2008. Figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics were analyzed by the TechServe Alliance, a labor tracking industry group.

Other findings are leading some industry observers to forecast possible gains in tech wages as well, according to a ComputerWorld article on the report.

A study by staffing firm, Yoh Services, found that wages for highly skilled workers increased 6.9 percent in September compared to one year earlier, an increased the firm described as “remarkably strong.”

In addition, the Federal Reserve Board reported wage gains for IT workers in its Beige Book recently released. The Beige Book is a collection of reports about economic findings from across the country.

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