IT employers seeking specific skill sets in 2011

Strong growth in the financial services sector and IT consulting space, in addition to the National Broadband Network roll out are driving the need for these certain skills in the next 12 months

Australia’s IT jobs market has experienced a number of peaks and troughs in the last few months, however according to recruitment firm, Randstad, there will be strong demand for certain skills in the coming year.

The firm notes there are a number of technology areas IT employees should ensure they are proficient in for the year ahead including, SAP, business intelligence and data warehousing, application development, and data centre design and management.

Randstad solutions director, Richard Talbot, said the success of SAP in the local market and loyal install base has continued the demand for staff skilled in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.

“We anticipate that in 2011 demand will continue to grow within clients that are end-users of SAP and within the IT consulting space, both for new implementations and upgrade work,” Talbot said in a statement.

Of application development, Talbot says candidates with app development project experience can expect to have a successful year, however only in certain technologies including, .NET and Java-related platforms along with people with expertise in systems integration and messaging technologies.

A number of recent data centre and infrastructure related upgrades, Talbot predicts, is behind the demand for experienced designers and engineers, particularly those with a background in storage and virtualisation technology for 2011.

“With the emergence of cloud computing as a concept we have seen a trend within larger organisations and the major outsourcers looking for skills and experience specific to these types of solutions,” he said. “The technology required to support cloud services requires heavy investment, and as a result, we expect to see this investment in local state-of-the-art data centre facilities.”

In addition, the firm has forecast several industry sectors including IT consulting, to be fuelled by increased business confidence in systems investment.

“The war for talent will be fierce as both the major consulting firms and smaller, niche organisations compete to attract the best IT professionals in the marketplace,” he said. “Tight margins, however, mean that clients are likely to outsource delivery of these projects and we are unlikely to see large permanent salary rises, which will drive demand for contractors and rate increases.”

The NBN will ensure telecommunications continues to be a flourishing sector in 2011, while the banking and finance sector is also expected to continue expanding.

As reported by Computerworld Australia, the hiring of permanent staff was predicted to increase, however Talbot claims IT contracting will experience growth as new projects spur the need for IT contractors with significant expertise to complete projects on time and on budget.

“Permanent recruitment will remain buoyant, however we don’t expect significant growth in permanent salaries as many organisations are reluctant to push permanent headcount costs above current levels,” he said.

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