The IT sector continued to experience job growth in April, adding 17,800 IT-related jobs.
U.S. employment numbers released last week from the Department of
Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed a net gain of 17,800
IT-related jobs in April, representing the 11th consecutive month
of positive job growth across four primary IT labor segments in federal
But in a continuing pattern that suggests a significant shift to IT
services industry employees of many technology jobs that businesses
have traditionally filled with full-time in-house staff, 19,200 new
jobs were added in the "Management and Technical Consulting Services"
and "Computer Systems Design and Related Services" employment segments
in April-7,000 more than in any month in more than four years.
Meanwhile, another 1,400 jobs were lost in the "Telecommunications
and Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services" segments. Moreover,
in the prior 12 months of federal jobs reports, 93,300 jobs have
been added to the "Management and Technical Consulting Services" and
"Computer Systems Design and Related Services" against losses of 41,400
jobs in the "Telecommunications and Data Processing, Hosting and
Related Services" segment.
"The trend of employers no longer wishing to employ large numbers of
their own full-timers in what are mostly pure technology IT jobs has
been building steam over a very long period of time," said David Foote,
CEO at IT analyst firm Foote Partners, which publishes national labor
trend research reports. It's not something that just began with the
popularity of cloud computing, managed services and offshore
outsourcing, although certainly the widespread acceptance of these
alternative source for skills has been a big factor in the acceleration
of what we've been witnessing in the federal employment reports over
the past several months."
Foote explained a combination of forces is driving this major
workforce redefinition. By far the biggest force, he said, is that the
role of IT in the enterprise is by now so pervasive
that managing it is distributed throughout the enterprise. "Each group
has to determine how to make the best use of information and technology
to produce revenues and profits, build or protect market share, provide
services, ensure satisfied customers, control costs, innovate solutions
and generally to stay competitive," he said.
Meanwhile, CompTIA, a non-profit association for the IT industry, is
encouraging its membership and the broader high-tech industry to
aggressively seek their share of $240 million in newly launched federal grants
available for job training programs. U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda
Solis on May 9 announced the availability of approximately $240
million through the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants program
Grants will be awarded to help workers update current job skills or
acquire new skills so they can enter career pathways that lead to
higher-paying jobs, including positions in IT. The
Department of Labor expects to fund 75 to 100 grants.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.