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IT Job Market in the US

By manish_baheti ·
With so many layoff's in the past year is the IT Job market in the US headed permanently south ? What are the factors that have lead to this downturn ? Is there light at the end of the tunnel ?

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IT jobs

by generalist In reply to IT Job Market in the US

In my case, a loss of clients due to forced Y2K upgrades put me on the job market about a year ago. It took a while to get another job because of the area I was in and the fact that I didn't have the latest and greatest skills set. Of course, whenyour company is supporting older technology, you can't really justify learning the latest and greatest on the job. You have to do it after hours.

As far as other people are concerned, the dot com layoffs seem to be due to inadequate business plans and too much hype. The situation feels like those real estate booms in places like Florida and California that were fueled by advertising. Lots of people spend money hoping to make a killing in real estate. Lots of money is spent ramping up forthe new cities that are a part of the boom. Then things fall apart because there isn't enough demand for the product and there isn't enough resource to complete the target. (Boom-bust)

Cost cutting is another factor. IT in many organizations is an cost center, not a profit center. After a certain point, keeping up with the latest and greatest technology is stupid. A well run IT organization can often do more with older technology than a 'bleeding edge' IT organization. And they can do it for cheaper too.

So, when profits are threatened, 'bleeding edge' IT organizations are prime targets for the cost cutting axe. The company may take a hit on the technology side, but the profits look better. And you can always play catch-up later, when the 'bleeding edge' becomes 'tried and true'.

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IT Jobs - Addendum

by generalist In reply to IT jobs

Selective saturation of the IT job market could also be a factor. The apparent shortage of qualified IT personnel has created a massive industry of IT training and H1B immigration. This market increases the supply, making it possible for employersto cut costs by hiring people with new skills. The old technology, and the people associated with it, can be left behind, as can the people associated with it.

Yet another possibility could be that the forecasting organizations are a little behind the times in their forecasts. Predicting the future is rough. Predicting the future in IT is extremely rough.

Then you get down to the fact that IT covers an extremely wide range of specialties. There is a lot of hidden demand for people with legacy skills in areas like COBOL and RPG. At the same time there is a lot of up front demand for people with five years of experience in the latest and greatest technology. (Even if that technology is only two years old.) If you have the properskills and good social networking skills, there isn't a downturn. If not...

Now an obvious reason for the downturn is an overall downturn in the economy. Ten years of high growth is great and has boosted IT a lot. But a downturn, perhaps basedon loss of confidence, causes layoffs in all areas. And the same downturn has a major effect on businesses that haven't established themselves. Businesses like the dot coms.

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IT Jobs - Addendum

by Shanghai Sam In reply to IT Job Market in the US

Selective saturation of the IT job market could also be a factor. The apparent shortage of qualified IT personnel has created a massive industry of IT training and H1B immigration. This market increases the supply, making it possible for employersto cut costs by hiring people with new skills. The old technology, and the people associated with it, can be left behind, as can the people associated with it.

Yet another possibility could be that the forecasting organizations are a little behind the times in their forecasts. Predicting the future is rough. Predicting the future in IT is extremely rough.

Then you get down to the fact that IT covers an extremely wide range of specialties. There is a lot of hidden demand for people with legacy skills in areas like COBOL and RPG. At the same time there is a lot of up front demand for people with five years of experience in the latest and greatest technology. (Even if that technology is only two years old.) If you have the properskills and good social networking skills, there isn't a downturn. If not...

Now an obvious reason for the downturn is an overall downturn in the economy. Ten years of high growth is great and has boosted IT a lot. But a downturn, perhaps basedon loss of confidence, causes layoffs in all areas. And the same downturn has a major effect on businesses that haven't established themselves. Businesses like the dot coms.

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IT Staffing doubles by 2004

by arenz In reply to IT Job Market in the US

Gartner Group research was referenced in a recent Contract Professional article. In it, they say that "The demand for contract IT help will remain strong for the foreseeable future, according to Dataquest, Inc., a research firm and division of Gartner, Inc. [www.gartner.com]. The company predicts in its report, 'U.S. IT Staff Augmentation Market,' that the staff augmentation industry will grow from its $21.1 billion revenues in 1999 to $42.8 billion in 2004. Gartner Dataquest defines staff augmentation as third parties providing technical workers in a support capacity where the client manages the contract personnel. Gartner Dataquest sees slow but steady growth rather than large spikes in demand. The report warns, however, that several factors could slow the demand for staff augmentation services, including talent entering the market by way of dotcom failures and the difficulty of retaining qualified IT professionals."

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