IT Career JumpStart

Nov 23 2009   5:30PM GMT

Light at the End of the Tunnel on IT Employment?

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

In last week’s blog about the Hackett Group’s take on IT employment, I may have focused too much on the negatives and not enough on the positives. With 2009 nearly over, and a pretty substantial improvement in job losses projected for 2010, with even better results for 2011 through 2014, even though all those numbers are negative they still point to overall improvements.

In that blog, I also speculated that small and medium businesses will have to make up for the ongoing deficits in enterprise level outfits’ IT hiring plans (defined in the Hackett study as companies with $1B or more in revenue in 2008). And indeed, it seems there may actually be some hope that this might occur: lots of technology and IT service vendors report that their SMB sector sales and activity are starting to pick up, and that they expect this trend to continue into and throughout 2010.

Will this translate into more jobs for IT in 2010? Probably. Will this be enough to offset the ongoing enterprise IT job losses in 2010 and beyond? I don’t know, and I can’t find any forecasts that are agressive enough to provide a complete offset those those numbers (about 212K jobs in 2010, followed by 110K/2011, 94K/2012, 93K/2013, and 98K/2014). I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how the situation unfolds.

But if economics is any guide — and see this SBA Advocate story for an explanation of what I’m driving at — small businesses are the most likely market sector to lead any recovery we experience, be it in 2010 or later, as circumstances will determine. That apparently goes double, if you count increasing turns to self-employment across the entire workforce, including IT, as part of this overall phenomenon (and it’s a truism that there is no smaller business than a one-person shop! ;-).

Cross your fingers, then, and wish for strong job creation in the small business sector in 2010, and for all those self-employed folks (including me) to have a better-than-average year. I’m right there with you on all of this!

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