Sector Focus: IT Part 2

In part one of the IT sector focus, we gave you a snapshot of the industry over the past quarter. So now we’ve covered the employment figures and which companies have been hiring and firing, it’s time to focus on what skills have been in demand over the past few months.

While the IT job market is doing well and technological developments have people relying on their electronic devices more than ever before, some employers are struggling to find applicants who’ve kept their skills updated and can handle the new technology.


IT skills

Despite the increased number in IT vacancies, there’s a shortage of employees with the latest specialist skills, as the constant stream of new technology has made it hard for IT workers to keep their skillset updated.

This means many IT roles are going unfilled, as some recruiters struggle to fill the more niche IT roles, as many are now looking for applicants who have both traditional and new IT skills (e.g. mobile software).  In fact, according to a Computerworld survey, many managers said that over the next year 70% of their roles will be for highly skilled specialists.

So what skills are they looking for? Niche skills which are currently in short support among applicants include SQL, C#, .NET, Linux and other high level technical skills.

The recent demand for smart phones means app developers in particular are in demand, as well as web designers, software developers and programmers.

Ben Bennett, Sales manager for CWJobs comments that, “The IT jobs market is changing as the world around us changes.  More and more of our lives are on the go whether that be mobile or different ways of paying quickly using NFC technology.  This has massive implications for the IT jobs market as the infrastructure required to support these technologies depends on IT skills”.

So what skills could be in demand in the future? Matt Kirby is a senior consultant at ICT Partnerships, and believes that IT security could become the next essential skill for IT workers. He says, “Within the past year there have been several high-profile security breaches of online systems that are in wide use, which have raised the profile of online security in the public consciousness.”

“The security threats that are out there are ever evolving, and being aware of security requirements is now essential for working within the IT industry.”


Overview of the IT sector

In comparison to other sectors, IT is one of the strongest employers. Helped by the fact that many sectors rely on IT staff for certain aspects of their business (in particular IT support) as well as a demand for mobile technology from individuals, job vacancies are rising, along with the average salary.

The main problem that the sector is facing has come from the growth of IT itself. The new technology is bringing a demand for employees with specialist skills to work with it, which some employers are struggling to find in this current climate, meaning a small decrease in applications.


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