As in-house positions dwindle (or at least don’t get created as fast as in the past), IT positions with cloud vendors, managed service providers, and consulting firms are growing at a fine clip.
Foote regurgitates federal statistics, but also has a group of 2257 employers they “closely track” in their “own proprietary IT labor research,” and their closely-tracked employers are saying “this shift has given them greater flexibility and faster response times for capitalizing on business opportunities.”
Foote continues, “The fact is that often what is required to enable new revenue producing products and services are people with unusual combinations of skills, knowledge and experience. It can takes months to assemble teams of these workers but only days or weeks to bring then online using a number of staffing augmentation alternatives.”
But, Foote says, “while jobs were expanding in the Technical Services industries, they have been declining in the two other tech segments, Telecommunications and Data Processing, Hosting and Related Services, which together recorded net job losses of 41,800 and 24,300 in the last twelve and six months respectively.”
December was better than previous months for most workers
The official national unemployment rate has declined to 8.5 %, and 200,000 new jobs have opened up. 100,000 or more new openings have been filled in five of the last six months, which is great news for Americans who need jobs — or who have jobs but need or want better ones. And, overall, despite potential problems that could come up if the Euro tanks or Congress doesn’t extend the (2%) payroll tax cut, smart IT people should find significant opportunities in 2012. We’ll let Foote Partners say why:
“Though the economy is moderately expanding overall and employment statistics are improving, given all of this uncertainly it’s a little hard to imagine the government’s monthly labor reports improving substantially in the foreseeable future. It’s going to be tough going for a lot of people in 2012, but we’re confident that hybrid IT-business professionals will continue to be a bright spot in a tepid employment market, as well as people who possess a number of technical specializations that address specific areas of perceived business risk and reward.
“Unemployed and underemployed IT professionals need to take this information as a very positive opportunity as they contemplate their career plans. They really need to study the employment market closely to spot opportunities that may be available to them right now or perhaps with some additional skills acquisition. For example, there are plenty of jobs out there right now that employers are having trouble filling because that can’t find suitable candidates.
The Foote report concludes, “Sometimes this requires a change in ones mindset that divides your world between what has been your career path up to now and what’s possible in the future given your current skill sets, your age and interests, your industry and geographical preferences, and where the employment opportunities are opening up. It’s a little like shooting clay pigeons: you have to judge the latitude and longitude just right before you pull the trigger. Plus you have to have the right ammunition.”
Link to the (pdf) Foote Partners news release quoted above]]>
I strongly suggest starting with bookkeeping rather than accounting, primarily because it’s a trade-level field you can study at a community college that almost certainly charges a lot less per credit than your local four-year colleges.
Here’s a whole series of Entrepreneur Courses my local community college offers. Basic Bookkeeping for Business – a How To is only $50. Here’s what they say it covers:
This class, alone, would probably give you at least 10 times the bookkeeping knowledge most programmers or sysadmins have. From an employer’s or potential client’s viewpoint, that knowledge can make you lots more valuable than other IT-skilled people who are competing with you for a job, a promotion or a consulting contract.
Plus, knowing at least the basics of bookkeeping can help you with your own home or — if you own or start a business — office bookkeeping.
You might also want to look at accounting courses at some point. The difference between bookkeeping and accounting is similar to the difference between tactics and strategy. You need bookkeeping to record a business’s everyday financial operations, while accounting helps you plan your financial future — and can help you stay out of jail for tax evasion.
But the basis of business financial knowledge is bookkeeping. Some huge percentage of what we loosely call “accounting” is really bookkeeping, and bookkeeping skills will, if nothing else, teach you the language that finance people use with each other, and that they’d love to use with either an in-house or outside IT person — if they could find one who understood their occupational jargon.
And guess what? Take a low-cost bookkeeping class at your local community college, and you will understand them — at least enough to be their favorite IT person in the whole world.]]>
None of this bodes well for job-seekers in general. But for IT job-seekers, and currently-employed IT workers who want to change jobs, the job market looks pretty good despite the economy’s overall poor condition.
On October 7, we received an email from Foote that said:
Note that David Foote talks about “hybrid IT-business professionals.”
At the same time, we read about “hybrid IT.” Does this mean that, if you are serious about climbing the IT ladder in the career sense of gaining promotions or moving from your current employer to one that offers you a better position, you want to become a hybrid hybrid expert?
That sounds funny, but it makes sense when you think of it. Employers are looking for hybrid business managers/IT people with both cloud and local computing knowledge.
Chances are, you are skilled in at least two of these four areas, and probably three of them if you have even a few years of IT-oriented work experience. This means that some self-study, and maybe an evening or online class or two can help you learn what little you need to present yourself as a fully modern hybrid-hybrid IT person.
And as my old friend Ray Shaw points out, “The demand for security people who know what they’re doing is definitely endless. Outstrips the supply, anyway.”
Keep working, keep learning, and don’t let friends who are in less gung-ho employment fields (like, say, journalism) get you down. Overall, things are pretty good in the IT… I mean Business Technology… sector.]]>