Weekly Word on the Street: 2012 Predictions

by Jim Staats | Dec 23, 2011

Takeaway of the week is for prospective IT job seekers to take each survey predicting alternate hiring boon and/or gloom for the coming year with a grain of salt. As mentioned before, another six to eight forecasts are likely right around the corner at this “end-of-year, let’s-predict-forward” time of year. Best one can do is pull the positives out of each prediction and build on the valued suggestions of those in the position to hire others.


Survey: 2012 IT Outlook Big on Projects, Not So Much on Hiring

Business interests in data center, social and tablet technologies will continue to expand next year, but likely without comparable hiring booms, a new survey predicts.

Though the results of InformationWeek’s annual outlook survey find that 30 percent of responding companies will extend hiring freezes into 2012, a recent article on findings shows demand for trending IT projects will remain strong.

Three-fourths of the 605 business technology professionals surveyed expect demand to rise for new IT projects in the coming year, up from about half of survey respondents two years earlier.

Few business initiatives of any kind can gain traction without some IT implementation or innovation supporting the effort.

Unfortunately, even with the expected workload boom, businesses, in general, remain skittish on IT hiring, survey findings indicate. Reasons include continued reliance on outsourcing, added reliance on cloud computing software and automation.


In IT, It’s the Breadth, Not the Depth of Knowledge that Wins

Single-purpose IT job titles? Not the best way for prospective job seekers to position themselves in the emerging world of services-based software, mobile apps and cloud technologies, so say an increasing number of CIOs.

Those who demonstrate multiple skills and an expansive knowledge of technologies will be much more likely to succeed in the battle for IT positions, a recent Computerworld article posits.

“It’s very unusual for us to have folks who only have one skill,” said Norm Fjeldheim, CIO at San Diego’s Qualcomm. “There are folks who I was forced to let go because they only wanted to retain one skill set.”

He called such specialization “career-limiting.”

Today’s IT environment is trending toward a meshed fabric of onsite and offsite services presented to a mobile workforce and customer base.

The ultimate goal, insiders note, is to build up a multitude of technical capabilities and business services to help the company at hand distinguish itself in various business metrics.


Tech Interns Targeted for Bigger Things

The best way to get work in Silicon Valley these days may be to already be in-house working for gratis. Some of the biggest tech titans and smaller enterprises in need of full-time hires in the region are beefing up efforts to lure summer-interns and even fresh college newbies into the fold, a new Wall Street Journal article notes.

According to the report, Google Inc. has expanded its intern program, Dropbox Inc. will triple its intern program this coming summer and Facebook Inc. plans to add nearly 100 additional interns to next summer’s crop of talent. InternMatch Inc., an online site helping college students locate internship, surveyed a wide range of Bay Area tech firms and found that 93 percent of early-stage start-ups in the area have hired or are hiring interns.

Yolanda Mangolini, Google’s director of talent and outreach programs, said the firm extends offers to a majority of its intern class.

“It is one of the primary ways we find full-time hires,” he said.


Survey: IT Hiring on the Rise in 2012

The IT job market offers some hope for the coming year, according to the latest survey by a national recruiting firm.

Hiring activity forecasts may be well below the levels of pre-recession years, but a new quarterly survey by Robert Half Technology shows 20 percent of respondents planned to expand their IT staffs in 2012, a recent ComputerWorld article notes.

Of course, about 10 percent of the 1,400 CIOs interviewed in the survey also planned cutbacks, but the net result is still a positive result for prospective IT professionals.

Survey results also showed the most in-demand skill was network administration, with nearly 60 percent of respondents seeking such talents. The next items on folks’ wish lists are Windows administration and desktop support, survey findings indicate.

Industries with the biggest hiring bump were expected to be retail, followed by manufacturing.


Top Work Skills of the Future?

Adept at cognitive load management? Got game in the area of transdisciplinarity?

If so, then you’re ahead of the curve, according to a new report released by the Institute for the Future. The nonprofit research center, based in Palo Alto, Calif., released its forecasting report titled “Future Work Skills 2020,” offering a take on what is likely to shape career landscapes in the coming decades. A report in Gigaom shared some of the broad skills being envisioned in the coming years, including:

  • Sense-making - ability to determine the deeper meaning of what is being expressed
  • Social intelligence - connecting to others in deep and direct way
  • Cross-cultural competency - able to operate in different cultural surroundings
  • Computational thinking - translate massive amounts of data into abstract concepts
  • New-media literacy - assess and develop content that uses new forms of media and can leverage that use
  • Virtual collaboration - productive work, engagement and presence among a virtual team

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