As with most topics surrounding the current economy, hiring trends are extremely important now. Since many people believe hiring trends will indicate the “turn around point” to signal the economy is on its way to recovery, these numbers are watched closely and often times used to create a bigger statement than what the raw numbers alone say. Because so many industries depend on Information Technology professionals, this sector in particular seems to receive an over-zealous amount of “interpretation” which causes the numbers to be quite confusing.
Review and analysis of the data often seems to provide conflicting answers as to whether the IT hiring trends are increasing or decreasing. Much of this conflict is based on the broad scope and reach of trying to clearly define the IT sector itself.
Since the term “Information Technology” roughly means “the processing and application of making others aware,” this field encompasses almost every facet of gathering, disseminating and broadcasting information. This covers every industry from hardware manufacturing to software programming as well as every facet of planning and distribution of that information from the databases to the end users.
Because of such an expansive reach in definition, it is easy to see why conflicts in hiring data and opinion are so abundant. Depending on the sector within the IT field that is of interest, the results can seem both encouraging and discouraging at the same time.
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Spring 2009 “Employment, trends, and training in information technology” report indicate that the IT field as a whole in the U.S. will see a steady increase in employment from 2006-2016 of approximately 8% per year with some spikes as high as 22%. The exception to this will be in the Computer Programming and Computer Support Specialist fields, which has already experienced a decline mostly due to outsourcing and contract labor. Estimates are projected to fall 4% over the 10 year period, but job listing trends at sites such as Simply Hired indicate from November 2009 through May 2011, the number of listings has maintained a slight growth of about ½%. For the same group of people, job salary has increased 3.5% for the same time period (Reference)
Despite the exception to certain fields within the Information Technology sector, indeed.com’s Job Trends from August 2010 to August 2011 show a rather prominent upbeat of 25% growth in IT job listings.
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Through all the downturns in the economy, a techrepublic.com article concluded that IT hiring trends are definitely on the rise, as 33% of those polled have open positions they are looking to fill, but did acknowledge that about half of all jobs will be outsourced to contract and freelance workers.
The overall outlook for hiring trends within the IT industry seem to indicate continued up turns and positive growth. There are certain areas both geographically and within the industry itself that are seeing some unexpected declines, but the outlook for IT hiring trends seems to be quite positive in the U.S. At the halfway point for the Bureau of Labor & Statistics 10 year projection, it will be interesting to see if the actual hiring trends continue to follow the forecasts.
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