As a result, the revenue growth numbers in the services industries have been strong and the forecasts for continued expansion equally robust, he said.
That is impacting how IT personnel are being evaluated. The old days of a small subset of IT personnel among a vast sea of non-IT staff seem to be fading away. Instead, Foote said that IT skill sets are more and more becoming a necessary part of many jobs throughout the enterprise, not just those in the traditional IT organization.
And that’s where opportunity knocks.
“For many of these ‘new breed’ jobs, employers would rather hire full time workers than use consultants,” said Foote.
That, of course, has positive and negative implications. While more new breed jobs may crop up, the other side of coin is fewer of the traditional jobs inside IT silos. This trend, said Foote, has been building steam over a long period.
“It‘s not something that just began with the popularity of cloud computing, managed services, and this new wave of domestic outsourcing, although certainly the widespread acceptance of alternative skill sourcing has been a big factor in the acceleration of what has clearly been a trend visible in the federal employment reports over the past several months,” said Foote, whose company publishes detailed proprietary labor trend research reports.
Those seeking gainful employment, therefore, are advised to not simply look for “system admin” positions or only apply to be a DBA. Reason: IT functions are now filtering more and more down into the various departments, lines of business and product groups.
Rather than being IT-centric, these entities are business-centric and are looking to IT to make more money, increase profitability or heighten customer satisfaction.
Foote estimates that there are already 20 to 24 million hybrid IT/business employees in the U.S. workforce. This is in addition to 4 million traditional IT professionals, according to the DOL reports.
“All of this is feeding a corporate preoccupation with both skills acquisition and stimulating hiring of non-traditional IT professionals in a very big way, and the gap between supply and demand for skills has been extremely volatile,” said Foote.
Particularly hot areas, according to Foote Partners’ own surveys, are positions for those holding database certifications, which grew in overall market value by 2.6% in the last quarter due mainly to pay hikes for three Oracle certifications. Other skills categories that showed improvement are management, process skills, messaging/communications, SAP and enterprise business applications skills.
Those experiencing a decline in value included those holding only entry level certificates, web development, IT security (which has been a hot area for years), systems administration, applications development and programming and networking certifications.