Job demand has a 90s feel

The IT industry looks set to return to the powerhouse it was in the late nineties, with demand for sales reps, analysts and business development managers expected to go through the roof globally.

Andrew Keayes, national practice manager for IT recruitment firm Hudson, said there is no surprise that business and IT analysts will be in heavy demand in the near future.

"Everyone spent a lot of money in the late nineties and has now reached the refresh cycle; the demand goes hand-in-hand with new IT projects," Keayes said.

"Overall we feel that the CEO has taken over from the CFO and there is a real growth agenda on their minds."

Increased investment in the financial services sector from January to June this year has boosted the number of IT job placements across Australia by more than 40 per cent when compared to 2003, according to Hudson.

The recruitment firm also found average salary increases for IT sales and business development staff increased by up to 17 percent. Business analyst salaries increased by 13 percent and analyst programmers by 8 percent. The IT manager received a 5 percent increase in the same period.

Keayes said the finance industry has been a sleeping giant over the last few years - but has now wakened and is demanding to be satisfied with IT talent.

"Since Nortel and Lucent downsized, the telecommunications industry in Australia is needing talent, with the three key drivers in the Australian telecommunications space the adoption of 3G telephony, wireless services and VoIP."

According to Keayes, many organizations are still continuing to outsource both overseas and locally. This, combined with an impending IT talent shortage means that securing the talent must be a short-term goal for many organizations.

Hudson's placements indicate that companies have shifted to focusing on securing networks and IT infrastructure with significant investment in .Net, storage, wireless, VoIP and Web services.

Keayes said the outlook bodes well for IT students, especially as universities will provide the courses for skills that are in highest demand.

".Net will be huge in Australia as there is currently a shortage of .Net trained programmers; it looks as though tertiary studies will help in growing our own programmers."

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