A recent eWeek report on the IT Job market was relatively uninspiring. Based on a Robert Half survey, over 90 percent of CIO’s polled stated that they will not be bringing on additional IT staff this year (emphasis mine). However, in the same study, only 4 percent of CIO’s felt that they would be further reducing head count.
Like most corporate disciplines, Information Technology has been cut to the bone over the course of the Great Recession. It is therefore unsurprising that most firms are now reluctant to chop additional staff to cut costs.
While CIO’s may not want to add IT staff, this does not mean that they are not looking for individuals to fulfill necessary niches within their organizations. However, these roles will be primarily contract or consulting engagements. This is reflected in eWeek’s report on IT Labor Market Volatility. I wrote at length about this trend in my previous post on Marketing & Selling in Information Technology.
In light of the Great Recession and the trends toward outsourcing and wage depression, it would behoove IT professionals to re-evaluate their current position. Review your career path as it relates to your professional goals. Is what you are doing now going to advance your career in the future? Are you stagnating professionally so you can stay gainfully employed at your current company? If so, what can you do to differentiate yourself from the legions on other IT professionals with nearly the same credentials as you?
We control the vertical...
My advice to the anxious IT professional is to acquire more business experience and skill. Volunteer to be the liaison between IT and the business customer. The more effectively you can communicate with the business professionals in your organization, the more valuable you become. You may be a security guru with half the alphabet after your name, but if you consistently drive a wedge between IT and your business customers, your time is limited.
Communicating your value within your current organization is a priority. It will assist you greatly in staying employed. However, communicating your value as a professional, in both business and information technology, to the market as a whole is your top priority.