Analysts dissecting the technology hiring picture in 2010 see little growth and a lot of movement to rent or lease talent rather than hand out full-time salaries and benefits. Some see 2011 in the same light: Plenty of work and business for contractors, consultants and managed service providers.
the last month of the year in full swing and November hiring numbers flat,
analysts watching the five segments of technology jobs as categorized by the
U.S. government's Bureau of Labor Statistics find 2010 as a year of flat hiring
rather than growth.
"There has been a slight increase in employment
numbers in system design and IT services and other information services,"
said M.V. Janulaitis, CEO of technology consulting firm Janco Associates, in a
statement. "This has not been enough to absorb the displaced employees
from prior periods nor address the issue of recent entrants into the IT job
market who cannot find work."
In terms of numbers, November saw a hiring gain
between 4,400 and 4,800 technology-related jobs--a step down from October which
saw the largest job gains of the year with more than 12,000 hires. Most of 2010
experienced technology job gains, but these gains were offset by a few key months of job
loss, including March, which saw a decline of 6,800.
"I don't want to overemphasize CIO's dependency on
contractors, consultants and managed services: indeed they're also making key
hires in many areas, but it's clear demand for full-time workers outside the
services sector in particular has not gained the kind of momentum that many
analysts and pundits had been predicting this year," said chief research
officer David Foote of Foote Partners, a technology research analyst firm, in a
statement. "Foote Partners has not changed its prediction from one year ago
that there would not be a meaningful IT jobs recovery in 2010 and well into
2011, and then some."
Business and analytical skills coupled with
technology experience are highly sought after skills, finds Janco Associates.
CIOs they have interviewed claim to have a hard time finding individuals with
the right business skills, but points out that when they do find those skills,
they are not able to afford to pay them, which points to cost containment as
still of major concern to many companies.
"With this anemic increase of jobs there is
little-to-no room for recent computer science graduates and existing unemployed
IT professionals to find work," said Janco's Janulaitis. "In addition,
outsourcing has eliminated many of the entry-level positions that these individuals
could take--painting a very grim picture."