Are things better for IT job seekers? Yes, but in a small way. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate project + jobs were added in the category of “design processing systems and related services” in June, July and August.
The change was very small, but it is trending in the right direction. Our own CompTIA IT industry Business Confidence Index for September found that 37% of the companies surveyed plans to add staff in the next six months, the same percentage as the June 2010 index.
Has the most aggressive recruitment plans, with 48% of those companies indicating that they intend to expand staff for the next six months. For large companies – those with $ 100 million or more in annual revenue – a slightly lower, 44%, said they plan to expand staff.
What would unemployed IT professionals say that they are discovering that their skills are a poor match for the market? Any IT skill retains its relevance because workers often deal with legacy and integrated systems. But the key to anyone wanting a long term career in it is to keep your skills fresh and up to date.
When the economy is fine, companies have the resources to pay for continuous training and CompTIA Security + certification training for their workers. Unfortunately, that is often one of the areas cut first when budgets.
It is up to the individual IT worker to take control of a lifelong learning program so that their working skills remain current with that looking for employers.
Employers want IT workers who can use technology for critical thinking. Demonstrate your ability to analyze a problem, solve it using the available technology and communicate the solution to others.
While organizations may have slowed their spending on new IT projects, they are still pushing to squeeze the systems they have in place. That requires the skills of IT professionals who can identify ways to use technology to make the business operate more efficiently or less costly.
Which sectors of the economy seem most promising for IT professionals? Finance, training, government, entertainment, transportation, health care – technology is deeply rooted in virtually all businesses and industry with companies of all sizes, especially among the small businesses that account for most of the nation’s economy.
There will be a great opportunity for workers in the health sector. Healthcare employers need workers with IT security skills, project management experience and network qualifications.
Employment opportunities exist with managed technology service providers that support medical facilities around the country. You have been called in large numbers to assist you in the national transition to record electronic health systems.
This transition will also create a new category of hybrid jobs that require a mix of medical care knowledge and high-tech skills.
But it is important to evaluate the opportunities that combine the technological comptia that savvy with something you are passionate about or at least a little interested in.