2007: Where the Tech Jobs Are: Page 2

Posted December 15, 2006

James Maguire

James Maguire

(Page 2 of 2)

The IT sectors with the most openings are those that make up the core of infrastructure building and maintenance: software development, DBAs, projects managers, and security. Also seeing dramatic growth are positions requiring Linux and open source expertise.

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Tellingly, software developers continue to be in demand in spite of the blaring headlines that warn of overseas offshoring. Dice has about 15-20,000 software development jobs posted, Melland says. (In total, there are about 90,000 tech positions listed on the site.)

“I think that’s what going on is that offshore outsourcing is growing, and quickly, but it’s still relatively small compared to the overall labor market for technologists in the U.S.” In contrast to the 10 million U.S. tech staffers, Melland calculates that there are some 400,000 outsourced offshore tech jobs.

“You’re talking about a small part of the market, and demand [for domestically-based developers] continues to grow – essentially the demand is much stronger than the leakage due to offshoring.”

Project managers are very much in demand, Melland says. “There are just not enough experienced project managers, and that’s something we’re going to continue to see.”

Two qualifications make a candidate going after a project management job particularly desirable. First, a background in software development. “People who were developers have a leg up,” Melland says. "They understand the technology and they’re able to manage teams very effectively." Second, there’s a certification related to project management “that’s carrying a little bit of weight,” he notes. (The certification is Project Management Professional, PMP.)

The biggest project management qualification continues to be experience, he says. "Someone who’s been there and done it before.”

Also, open source and Linux skills are very hot. “Linux is one of the fastest growing, if not required, then recommended skills that most of the sysadmins and operations people have,” Melland says. “If you’re a systems administrator and you don’t have Linux experience, you might want to seek that out.”

“What we’ve seen is a number of large companies, especially public companies, that have converted their platforms to open source. There are many more types of companies that are thinking about doing those types of conversions.”

All this migration to Linux and open source means that job openings are zooming. Based on Dice statistics, Linux as a recommended skill is up 51% this year, and roughly 150% in the last two years.

The other hot area is security, particularly network security. “People who are Cisco certified engineers who have experience with secure networks are very much in demand,” he says.

“Security is hot and I expect it will remain hot going into 2007.”

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