IT Career JumpStart

Sep 14 2009   4:30PM GMT

Retrospective on 2009 IT Jobs

Ed Tittel Ed Tittel Profile: Ed Tittel

In trying to understand current conditions, it’s sometimes interesting to turn back the clock to see what was forecast for the period we’re currently occupying. To that end, I found this 14-month old set of predictions from ComputerWorld (7/18/2008) pretty interesting “Study: IT jobs will drop in 2009.” Conducted by Goldman Sachs — itself on a bit of a roller-coaster ride in the last year as well — the study makes some interesting observations and predictions. Let’s take a look at how these have withstood the moderate test of time in the interim:

  • IT jobs, in particular jobs for IT contractors, were projected to experience a pinch/reduction. Careful attention to the Employment Situation summaries for each month in 2009 shows this to be both true and painful, especially to those caught in that very pinch, which has indeed affected contractors, service companies, and in-house IT staff across the board.
  • Hardware outlays were projected to drop significantly. This one gets a mixed result, thanks to real and definite cutbacks in new hardware outlays for desktop PCs, servers, and all kinds of infrastructure gear. But Windows 7 seems to be stimulating interest, and may still bring some modest relief to the hardware sector before the year is out. That said, I don’t see any big corporate adoptions occurring until late 2010 or perhaps even into 2011. We’ll see!
  • Cloud computing generates lots of interest, but not much traction or deployments. Here again, I see mixed results in that although adoptions and implementations haven’t been as aggressive or pervasive as they probably would have been in better economic times, they haven’t been exactly moribund either, contrary to the Goldman Sachs prediction that uptake would be very slow in 2009, mostly because CIOs and execs don’t “get” the value of cloud computing. Not so, says this sector, which is one of the few relatively bright technology spots shining on the IT landscape right now.

What kinds of trends did you expect to see for 2009 and IT employment/activity? What turned out as you expected, and what didn’t? Post here to share your observations of what remains a dicey situation, where “stay put” remains the mantra for those still lucky enough to have jobs in IT.

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