IT Workers Happy, Enjoying Upward Trends

Tech staffers are feeling good about their jobs and finances – there’s hard data to prove it. Plus: what IT skills are most in demand?
Posted November 10, 2006

James Maguire

James Maguire

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The American IT worker is a relatively happy human, according to recent data from Hudson, a staffing services company.

The company publishes a monthly index that tracks the job satisfaction of IT workers, based on a survey of from 350 to 500 tech professionals. The Hudson index combines the answer to several key questions – relating to job stability and personal finances – to create an overall composite index number.

Hudson’s October index number, 109.6, is 10 points higher than October 2005, and has been bumping around in the essentially happy range of 108-115 for most of this year.

“The IT market has been stable and buoyant for the last twelve months, and there’s no sign of that diminishing," says Paul Taylor, a VP at Hudson. “I think companies are embracing IT much more, and workers are pretty happy where they’re at, and how they’re being valued as part of a company.”

In its monthly survey in October, Hudson asked IT staffers:

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• How would you rate your personal finances these days?

Workers responded: “Excellent,” 14.6%; “Good,” 41.9%; “Fair,” 31.7%; “Poor,” 9.8%.

• Are your personal finances getting better these days, or worse?

Workers responded: “Better,” 48.2% (up from 38.3% a year ago); “Worse,” 30.1%; “Same,” 20.2%.

• Over the next few months, will your company be hiring, laying off, or making no changes?

Workers responded: “Hiring,” 37.7%, “Laying Off,” 19.4%, “No Change,” 36.8%.

• Generally speaking, are you happy with your current job?

Workers responded: “No,” 16.3%; “Yes,” 75.9%.

• Are you worried about losing your job anytime soon?

Workers responded: “No,” 70%; “Yes,” 24.8%.

Which Skills Are In Demand?

While there’s a high demand for technologists, “we’re also finding that in some areas there’s a huge skill shortage,” Taylor says.

Among the skills that most requested by employers, he points to security, and also notes that Windows programming languages are "very hot.” Also requested are project managers and business analysts.

Business skills are increasingly important. “When clients of Hudson come to us asking to hire, they not just looking for techies anymore, they’re looking for people with strong business skills who can integrate into the organization.”

Being in demand is about much more than being able to write code all day long, he says. “Good strong communication skills, and a good commercial head that can add value to the business in a more well-rounded view,” are desirable.

Next page: Outlook for 2007?

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