Editor's Note (01/03/07): Is The Job Outlook All Hype?

Technology Staff Editor
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Just a quick glimpse of this issue's news headlines tell the story of what 2007 supposedly holds for IT professionals. If we believe all the surveys and polls and pundits, we're primed for a banner year in every facet of tech careers: more job opportunities, higher salaries and greater internal advancement opportunities: The Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Index and Skills Report states that 16 percent of tech leaders polled will add staff in the next three months, while only 2 percent may be cutting back on staff levels. The net 14 percent hiring spike is the highest since the end of 2001, and represents an increase of four percent from last quarter's forecast. A Harris Interactive survey of U.S. hiring managers and human resources professionals finds 40 percent expecting to add full-time, permanent employees next year. The 2007 Job Forecast also finds that 81% of employers plan to increase salaries for existing workers, with 65% expecting a rise of 3% or more. Nearly one in five expect to boost salaries by 5% or more. For IT professionals carrying security clearances, 2007 has the makings of a very good year. According to two recent studies, candidates with clearances can earn as much as 24 percent more than their "uncleared" counterparts, and call the shots in terms of job opportunities. Yet a recent poll at TechCareers.com, which asked readers to judge the validity of all the rosy reports clearly indicates a less-optimistic view of what's ahead from those in the IT trenches. I think they're a bit too optimistic: 33% I agree everything looks positive: 25% Things are worse than ever for techies: 25% I don't see any major change: 17% Just one quarter of poll respondents agree with the rash of IT employment predictions. So what gives? Are the pollsters and survey companies wrong? Yet the current poll on our site indicates that a majority of IT professionals will likely be looking for a new job come 2007. Is that based on the rosy outlook or just the normal wave of transition that comes in a career? Let me know what you think on what the experts predict for this year and what you're planning to do career wise in the next six months. On a final note, a big thanks to all the readers who responded to our search for a blogger to relay their story of a job hunt. We received so many responses we're actually considering initiating several job seeker blogs in the next month or so, so stay tuned. I think real life experiences of the job hunt will prove valuable to everyone focused on advancing their IT careers. And here's wishing you all a belated happy, healthy New Year. --Judy Mottl


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