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These days, a career in IT seems like a sure bet for the tech-savvy. Well-paying positions await job seekers and hoppers, but they may find a little tougher to land that dream job than in years past.
Sure, IT talent is still highly sought after, but a recent analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor statics data conducted by Janco Associates, a technology consultancy, reveals that the demand for IT professionals is slowing.
Through October, 66,000 new IT jobs were created this year, just over a half (53 percent) of the 114,000 positions created during the same ten months in 2015. A big shakeup in the telecommunications market is at least partly to blame.
"Telecommunication job growth continues to be slow and still has not recovered from the Verizon strike earlier in the year," noted Janco CEO M. Victor Janulaitis. "Where the Verizon strike was about limiting shipping jobs overseas it did not cover companies that continue to outsource telecommunication jobs."
Among CIOs, sentiment is running on the pessimistic side. In its survey of 75 top technology executives, the firm found that the long term hiring prospects for IT staffers, contractors and consultants at their organizations is "down to flat."
Yet, there are glimmers of hope.
"The trend in the creation of new IT jobs Janco's continues to below last year's," continued Janulaitis. "However, there was a significant rebound from the prior months IT job market growth's moving average to a 0.44 percent from a negative 0.51 percent growth rate (a +0.95 percent favorable move)."
Nonetheless, enterprises are tightening their belts.
Most CIOs and CFOs are adjusting their budgets in anticipation of slower growth next year, he added. Not only will does affect the nation's IT hiring outlook, but also the market for hardware and software.
While it may take some convincing, finance executives can be motivated to loosen the purse strings, Janulaitis said. "On the plus side, many CFOs are not completely adverse incremental spending for IT related activities that have operational support and have a good ROI. We have found no IT initiatives that are being approved to upgrade technology for the sake of IT's desire to have the latest new thing."
At least IT salaries remain on the upswing, however slight.
Janco's mid-year IT salary snapshot indicates that through June 2016, the median IT salary was $82,775, up from $82,246 last year. According to a recent survey from the IEEE-USA, IT and engineering workers boasted a median income of $135,000 in 2015 compared to $130,000 in 2014.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.