I don't have a crystal ball, but it seems that the IT sector has fared much better than other careers during this recession. I'm not saying it wasn't impacted. I was on the front line of the IT impact when the consulting firm I was working for decided to close the local branch and I was on the street - and at the worst possible time: The beginning of the crash. For three months I searched and found nothing. Friends, family, colleagues, all tried to help, but employers were just too risk-averse to hire anyone in early-mid 2008. While other areas like construction, sales, real estate, automotive, transportation services and tourism were taking a heavy hit - layoffs - the IT market was holding tight. And I mean VERY tight. While other areas were tossing out the babies with the bath water, IT, for the most part, was spooning out just the specific amount of water and leaving the babies alone.
But over the past year, I've seen a significant rebound in the IT job market. Particularly along the east coast of the U.S. The number of contract, temp, temp-to-hire, and full-time offers streaming in from recruiters has grown from one or two per week to one or two per day. That's a good sign.
It's a great time to get moving on your IT career plans. Opportunities are growing, jobs are opening up, and the projects are becoming much more interesting. For years we've been faced with plugging holes. Most shops are maturing and the types of projects are shifting from damage control into forward planning and optimization. Bridging gaps, leveraging heterogenious systems, and automation are becoming key project goals across the industry. Conversations are shifting from "I can't work on that project right now because I have to fix these five other broken things" to "things are working pretty well now, let's work on making our processes work better".
After a decade of mindless, boneheaded blabbering by IT shops that "outsourcing" and "offshoring" were the wave of the future, the net result has been a decrease in interest in working in the IT field for most high school kids in the U.S. Ask around and you'll see. Many still think it's a dead-end career. Mostly because they've heard from others that jobs were being moved to cheaper countries. Thanks to almost every big-ticket U.S. corporation for spreading that mantra - not! The opportunities are actually very good, and it appears there are serious shortages of IT applicants in many areas. Recruiters are facing a tough challenge finding U.S. citizens to fill job openings, and are, ironically, having to turn to foreign applicants to fill them. Reality follows hype, it seems.
By the way, if you know anyone looking for IT work in the Southeastern region of Virginia, there are plenty of IT jobs. The City of Virginia Beach is looking for a good Systems Engineer. Some of the skills they're looking for include:
- Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2
- Active Directory
- SharePoint 2010
- Exchange 2007 and 2010
- System Center VMM (Hyper-V)
- System Center Data Protection Manager
- System Center Configuration Manager
- Lefthand and NetApp storage
If you, or someone you know, is interested, go to http://www.vbcareers4gov.com and click on "Search Postings" to find available positions.