A projected large increase in IT spending in 2011 brings glad tidings to graduates seeking jobs in the sector. The forecast from data analysts IDC predicts that businesses will spend 5.7% more on IT in 2011 than this year, potentially creating many more roles.
Software and services are the biggest winner with 12.8% projected growth and the fastest growth will be in public cloud services, according to IDC. Organisations will move a wider range of business applications into the cloud and SME business cloud use is predicted to surge in 2011.
The positive outlook for jobs is corroborated by e-skills UK, which predicts strong demand for IT graduates. “Our research shows that IT professional employment will grow four times faster than the UK average, with over half a million technology professionals needed over the next five years to meet demand”, said Karen Price, CEO of the skills agency. “Almost 20% - 100,000 - of these will come directly from education, predominantly at graduate level or higher.”
IT professional employment growth is strongest in high skill areas such as software professionals, growing at 2% per annum, and strategy and management roles. There is also a growing demand for skills in project management, enterprise change, security and risk management. A strong foundation of technical capability, business understanding and practical experience will equip graduates with the skills they need to progress into these roles.
According to the latest IDC figures, mobile technology and service delivery are also set to experience major demand from users in 2011. Frank Gens, senior vice-president and chief analyst at IDC, said, "We'll see the IT industry revolve more and more around the build-out and adoption of mobility, cloud-based application and service delivery, and value-generating overlays of social business and pervasive analytics."
Business intelligence focus
Brighton-based Graduate Recruitment Bureau (GRB) reports that this year saw a 50% increase in the number of placements with retail and financial services the hottest sectors. Both sectors had a theme in common: the need for graduates with an aptitude for business intelligence and data mining.
“Even the biggest supermarkets are having difficulty sourcing back office staff, particularly in relation to data forecasting and manipulating business intelligence software”, said Dan Hawes, marketing director for GRB. Hawes advised graduates to ‘take a step back’ and consider employers other than Times 100 firms, which also offer exciting IT opportunities.
All sectors need grads
The professional and financial services sector employs 14% of the IT workforce, and the manufacturing, science and engineering sector employs 13%, according to e-skills UK. However the agency encourages jobseekers to look more broadly. “All sectors now rely on highly skilled IT professionals to ensure their success in this increasingly technology-driven world, with over half the IT professional workforce working outside the IT & Telecoms industry”.
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