The IT Employee Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence among U.S. technology workers, showed a decline from 56.2 to 47.3 in the third quarter of 2011, according to a recent survey commissioned by Technisource. Surprisingly, the survey of 3,813 U.S. adults among which 257 are employed in IT, marks the lowest confidence level among IT professionals in more than two years, despite Technisource seeing strong growth in new technology jobs available and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the industry added 115,000 jobs through June 2011.
While IT professionals' overall confidence in the economy and availability of new jobs weakened, personal confidence in their own abilities remained unchanged-highlighted by little to no statistical difference this quarter in confidence to secure a new job or their confidence level in keeping their current job.
"It appears that current political and financial insecurities have led to a dramatic drop in confidence in our overall economy among those in the IT field," said Michael Winwood, president of Technisource. "However, these professionals remain very confident in their personal ability to find new jobs and still have a high desire to jump to a better job if available. This trend, combined with the upcoming growth of new IT jobs, means that employers need to focus not only on the future of their talent pool, but on their existing IT teams now more than ever-or risk losing them to competitors."
The survey also found a paltry 13 percent of IT professionals still believe the economy is getting stronger, down 16 percentage points from the second quarter 2011. More than half (56 percent) of those surveyed now believe there are fewer IT jobs available, with only 11 percent being confident that more jobs exist. Forty percent of respondents are confident in their ability to find a new job, down only four percentage points from the previous quarter. Likewise, only a two-percentage point difference exists from Q2 to Q3 2011 in job security confidence.
In addition, the survey found 61 percent of IT workers remain confident in the future of their current employer, down slightly from 70 percent last quarter, and despite the lowered confidence in the overall economy, a full 32 percent of IT professionals are still likely to look for new jobs while in their current position.
A recent report from security firm Symantec found most enterprises are not confident in their security posture and that staffing is a major issue limiting IT security's effectiveness. The survey also found that 46 percent of those who lacked confidence indicated insufficient security staff was a top factor. A similar number (45 percent) cited a lack of time to respond to new threats for their existing staff. Overall, 43 percent of organizations worldwide reported they are somewhat or extremely understaffed. In North America, respondents were much more likely to report understaffing, with 53 percent reporting staffing challenges.