IT Job Market Robust, Despite Layoffs at Microsoft, HP
"Yes, layoffs were up significantly last year, but this was partly due to a handful of large layoffs announced by large firms that are trying to become more competitive in a changing and expanding tech environment,” Challenger said. "So, we feel that despite the increase in cuts, the situation for tech companies and workers is indeed pretty good and is likely to continue improving this year." He said IT workers who are looking to change jobs should cast the widest net possible. "People, in general—not just IT workers—tend to seek job opportunities with the same job title, in the same industry and in the same geographic location. The need for IT workers expands well beyond the tech industry,” to health care, manufacturing, and professional services, Challenger explained. "There are also opportunities beyond the borders of Silicon Valley, Boston and Seattle, in places like Omaha, Nebraska, Jacksonville, Florida and Milwaukee, Wisconsin." He said he expects the tech job market will continue to be strong in 2015, particularly in growing areas like big data, cloud computing, mobile app development and information security.Some firms already are having difficulty finding talent plus the shortage is expected to worsen as other factors, such as retirements, increase the need for more workers, Challenger warned. All of this benefits young, entry-level job seekers in the tech sector, who can take advantage of companies trying to build or re-build their bench, he said. "Yes, companies want experienced people, but they also need to bring in young talent to replace those experienced workers when they get poached or retire," he explained. "Companies that are not bringing in fresh, young talent are being very shortsighted and are likely to regret that strategy as labor shortages worsen." Goli echoed that sentiment, noting that the latest Dice hiring survey shows that companies plan to boost their hiring in 2015. Tech candidates will have a greater number of companies to choose from, he said.
"The layoffs from the legacy companies could be a great development for smaller firms that may have been struggling to find talent--that is, if the workers from these firms are willing to lower salary expectations and look for opportunities at fledgling operations or with companies outside of the tech sector or in regions of the country where salaries are lower--along with the cost of living," he said.