Demand for IT staff in 2009 will grow faster than expected, according to the latest figures from the National Computing Centre (NCC).
The Benchmark of Salaries and Employment Trends in IT 2009 report questioned 202 organisations representing 6,461 IT staff. A total of 49 respondents expect the total number of IT staff employed at their offices to increase over the next two years, and a third revealed they had problems recruiting and retaining staff.
Christine Jack, NCC research manager, said: “The current economic gloom will create new winners and losers, but 2009 will also be a year of transition. Outsourced software and desktop services are maturing and will become a more financially attractive alternative for cash-strapped companies.”
A whopping 80 per cent of respondents from the IT services sector expected an increase in IT staff numbers over the next two years. Other sectors that predicted strong IT staff growth included government (62.5 per cent), other services (57.1 per cent) and finance (54.5 per cent).
Contrastingly sectors that are not expecting IT staff growth included transport, utilities and communications (25 per cent) and manufacturing (32.7 per cent).
In terms of salary increases, respondents reported a median level of salary increases of 3.4 per cent, which is an increase of 0.4 per cent than the three per cent reported in 2007. The highest level of total salary increases was reported by the transport, utilities and communications sectors at 4.6 per cent with business services (4.5 per cent), manufacturing (4.4 per cent) and finance (4.2 per cent).
Sectors reporting below average increases included other services (2.1 per cent), government sector (2.8 per cent) and retails and wholesale sectors (3.2 per cent).
Staff turnover was also up compared with last year, with a 12.6 per cent rate for systems and support staff, compared with 11.9 per in 2008.
“It is clear that IT labour markets will be hit as new projects are delayed and postponed and cost saving measures introduced,” Jack said. “However, this will be counterbalanced by continuing skills shortages and a more pronounced transition to an outsourced IT service delivery model.
“To secure their futures, IT professionals need to be prepared for the structural changes ahead, while for employers recruitment problems will not be alleviated by a worsening economy but by training more people with the right skills. In tough times, those with in-demand skills are likely to stay in-post until the economy improves.”
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